Magic: the Mentalist"
love real magic. When something happens, that shouldn't, with no logical
Most of us, when we see a magician on stage or television, know it is
a show using trickery. When the magician puts the lady in the box and
makes her disappear, we know she didn't really cease to exist. We may
not know how it is done, but we know there is a trick to it. We suspend
our disbelieve and enjoy the show.
Very few effects really leave us without explanation. Our explanation
may be wrong, but our logic center explains away most apparent miracles.
I get to experience real magic everytime I do one of my chemistry shows
in a school. I pour a clear liquid into several cups, and each time
it turns into a different color. Little kids go ooh and ahh. Most of
us adults and big kids (yes, I am both), know there must be something
in the glasses to cause the change. It is a nice effect and magical,
but it is not "real magic."
When I pour all the different colored liquids back into the pot and
they turn clear again - that is real magic. I know it is done with acids,
bases and indicators. I understand the chemistry that makes it work.
But, after doing the experiment over 800 times, I still do not really
know where the colors go. Everytime I perform it, it is magic to me.
Few "magic tricks" have that effect on me. The exception is
mentalism. Mind tricks. To see a mentalist read someone's mind, to predict
a headline or direct someone's thoughts is "real magic." Like
the disappearing color, normal experience provides no explanation for
the well presented mental trick.When working with older audiences, teens
and adults, mentalism has an impact that regular box magic tricks do
not. Well presented manipulations, productions and changes are always
appreciated by an audience. To really blow them away though, mess with
their minds, not their eyes.
teens act like they are too cool to enjoy a magic show, but when you
successfully predict what card they were thinking off, they sit up and
listen. I love to use magic to illustrate lectures, but with teen audiences
I use ental effects. The audiences always appreciate them.
Even when doing a traditional magic show, try to mix in a mind effect
somewhere in the middle. Music, dancing, big boxes all make for a great
show, but the one trick you do where you step into your audience's minds
may be the one they talk about tomorrow. The library will have books
with some fun mental "games" and trickery. With the proper
presentation, even simple math tricks suddenly look like an unexplainable
Your local magic shop will also have some books and videos on mentalism
by names like Guy Bavli and Max Maven. For greatest impact though, stick
to the tricks with the fewest props and special moves. The less it looks
like you are using anything more than your brain power, the better the
For example, if you have a spectator pick a card, return it to the deck
and then you make a few moves and expose his card, it looks like a card
trick. Max Maven does an effect where he tosses a deck into the audience.
Three or four spectators look at the cards and memorize one. Without
touching the deck again, Max reveals all four thought of cards. That
is amazing. (Editor's note: I saw David Hoy do this same effect many
years ago, and I can attest to the fact that audience is completely
fooled and deeply affected by it.)
So put a little "real magic" in your show, and listen for
Regling is a professional magician, author and lecturer. He performs
educational programs at over 250 elementary and junior high schools
every year. Additionally, he performs gospel magic programs at church
camps, Vacation Bible Schools and other church events. Dennis has authored
over 12 books for magicians. Dennis currently resides in Freeport, Ohio
and performs throughout the east and midwest.