I recently re-read a modern day classic on mind reading and mentalism. The book is by Paul Brook and is called The Alchemical tools. The book is essentially a must have for any mind reader or mentalist - novice and professional. Google 'Paul Brook Mind Reading' for more information.
Anyway, after reading the book again I re-read the true story about how one day he had a disagreement with one of his pupils. Being a great mind reader Paul occasionally took on people to teach his secrets to. Paul gives the impression this particular pupil was a bit of an idiot and an argument ensued.
In the argument the pupil basically claimed he was now better than Paul and knew everything he needed to know and left Paul to go out on his own. He soon returned with his tail between his legs claiming he could only get a handful of bookings and needed Paul's help. Paul took pity on the poor fellow and said he would watch him at his next gig to see if there were any problems in his performance and why people didn't seem to recommend him.
After his gig Paul said he knew the problem, he said he was throwing too many tricks at the crowd in quick succession and not giving each trick a chance to build in the mind of the audience. The pupil wasn't convinced so Paul asked him to one of his own gigs in a couple of days time.
Paul's gig was table hopping at a private function and it was split into 3 sections – before seating entertainment, after desert entertainment and a final section after the other acts had performed. Anyway, Paul said that he would perform in the first section and the pupil in the second. Then, they would ask the guests to vote on who they wanted to see on the final section. The pupil looked smug and agreed to the challenge.
They each performed their bits and a vote was taken. Every single guest voted for Paul. The pupil was stunned..
The pupil asked the individual guests why they didn't choose him. They all replied along the lines of, “It's because Paul really got into our minds and gave us all goosebumps.”
How did he do it? Well, the pupil was busy throwing 100 tricks at the guests in quick succession barely giving them time to appreciate it. Paul only performed ONE trick on each table. That trick got everyone involved and lasted 15 minutes, building up the suspense each time.
The moral of the story – I'll say it again, take your time and don't worry about learning 100 tricks, just learn 5 or 6 REALLY well and make it special. That's the difference between good mind reading and great mind reading.
I don't usually talk about hypnosis but I think when you're into mind reading and mentalism, hypnosis is something you eventually dabble in.
The first port of call when you first learn a few inductions is going straight to friends and family to try your new techniques on. To the budding hypnotist this is usually make or break as to whether you ever hypnotise someone ever again – depending on if it works.
The problem with hypnotising friends and family or people who have known you for a while is the fact that it generally won't work.
Hypnosis works mostly due to the fact that the person being induced BELIEVES in your hypnosis abilities. It's all about convincing someone to follow your directions and help put them into a trance like state. I'm not going to go into depth about what a trance actually is, but it's generally when someone takes directions off you and when brought back – they will claim to have been 'under'.
So, why shouldn't you hypnotise friends and family?
Because they won't believe you. They won't believe you have the 'power' to put them under, are unlikely to take you seriously and will usually fight you the whole way.
This is why so many novice hypnotists soon give up after failing miserably to put their friends under. At the end of the day, most people will have to try it on their friends and family first through lack of confidence and not wanting to look like a total fool to a complete stranger.
What I suggest is using a friend who is open minded and doing it away from everyone else in a quiet room to start with. Take it slowly too, don't panic and rush, just slowly lead them into a trance.
If you have a good book or DVD course to learn from then you should also know good 'tests' you can use on your friend before going ahead and really taking them under. That way, if your friends 'fail' the test, you can stop right there and tell them it won't work on them.
Remember to be confident in your abilities and believe they will go under. If You Believe, THEY will believe.
You'll be putting people under like Derren Brown in no time!
P.S. If you want to learn the most extensive and quite frankly ridiculously good course on hypnosis then check out ---> Covert Hypnosis
If I could give an aspiring mind reader or mentalist one tip whether you have dreams of being famous or just want to know some killer tricks to amaze your friends - it would be to take your time.
You should take your time in more ways than one as well. The first way is to take your time while learning mind reading tricks. The urge to go straight out and perform to your friends as soon as you learn a method of a trick is sometimes hard to suppress but it's one you will not regret taking your time with. Mind reading and mentalism is all in the performance and the actual method is really not important.
Make sure you have a rough script for a trick, have the method down to a tee – which includes the misdirection that's needed to pull it off – and ensure everything is smooth and fits with your persona and claim of special ability.
Secondly, once you have taken your time learning the trick – take your time performing it. This isn't quick fire visual magic tricks which are a dime a dozen and are thrown at spectators til they're bored. This is suspense building, mind boggling, emotionally charged mind reading.
Take your time and lead the audience as you pace them slowly and get involved in the trick, until the final revelation.
So here are two ways to take your time:
- Take your time learning the tricks
- Take your time executing the tricks
So if you want to create a truly marvellous experience for your audience so they really believe you have some incredible abilities – take your time.
I don't often rant.. well I do, but this is something that really quite bothers me more than usual. The constant overuse of blatant actors on TV in mind reading and mentalism tricks.
You know the tricks, the ones that are stupidly impossible and have an obviously overreacting crowd and a pathetically enthusiastic volunteer. If you don't know what I'm talking about, stick on a Criss Angel television show and see.
These people are paid actors and are in on the trick, they have be in on the trick otherwise the trick won't work. These tricks are all for the camera and cannot work to spectators who are right up close to the mentalist. Now I'm sure a lot of you love Criss Angel but as far as QUALITY mind reading and mentalism goes, he's pretty darn poor.
I do believe there is a difference between and actor and a stooge in this case. To me, an actor is someone who has a big part in the overall effect of the trick and is usually pretending to be a volunteer. There are usually a crowd of actors too, all pretending to be amazed by some silly levitation. A stooge is someone who is involved in the trick but usually behind the scenes and doesn't broadcast their poor acting skills to the spectators but makes the effect look utterly impossible.
I understand some tricks need a stooge, but it's the overuse of actors that kill the real creative side of mind reading and mentalism. There is a danger of filming a whole show with actors as spectators and having no magic of real reactions and disbelief.
I love close up mentalism with real people. Nothing can beat the effect whereby the spectators are genuinely mystified by the mentalist. I don't personally love stooges either but I have and will always use them when I feel the need. I won't however use actors. Ever. I don't care if I've got a world famous television show. I'll never water down my effects with that nonsense. Derren Brown manages without it, so that's good enough for me.
Remember, to check out the Ultimate Mind Reading manual - it contains best mentalism tricks around so you can literally amaze everyone you meet with mind blowing tricks like the professionals - visit mind reading NOW!