What is mentalism? Penn’s silent partner Teller is the man who knows.

When I tell people I am a mentalist, people usually ask, “What is mentalism?”

For the uninitiated, mentalism can seem like a supernatural power. But mentalism is just a branch of magic that focuses on the performer’s ability to demonstrate extraordinary mental abilities.

According to Teller of Penn & Teller, mentalism is “the art of creating the illusion that you can read minds, tell the future, or perform other psychic feats.” He explains that mentalists rely on a combination of psychological manipulation, suggestion, and attention to detail to create the illusion of supernatural abilities.

Mentalists also employ sleight of hand, misdirection, and psychological manipulation to create the illusions they perform. Mentalists are expert communicators who can influence their audience’s thoughts and perceptions through words and actions.

Alexander the Man Who Knows, poster
Alexander the Man Who Knows, was an American vaudeville magician who specialized in mentalism and psychic reading acts, dressed in Oriental-style robes and a feathered turban and often used a crystal ball as a prop. In addition to performing, he also worked privately for clients, giving readings.

The history of mentalism can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where wise men and shamans were said to have supernatural powers and were revered for their ability to perform miracles. Truthfully, we don’t have magical powers and use our knowledge of human psychology and behavior to influence the audience’s perception of reality.

Today shows by mentalists are extremely popular because mentalism is a highly versatile art form that can be adapted to a wide range of settings and audiences. Whether performed in front of a large crowd or a small group of friends, mentalism is always a captivating experience. Mentalists can engage their audience with their skills and leave a lasting impression that can be remembered for years. Whether you are looking for an entertaining performance or a unique way to explore the mysteries of the human mind, mentalism is an excellent choice.

Magic and mentalism recently lost one of its greats with the passing of Max Maven, who made countless contributions to art with techniques and methods used by nearly every living performer. His distinctive look and manner of speaking made him popular with lay audiences and professional performers through his passing last year.

max maven photo
Max Maven was a world-renowned magician, mentalist, and performance known for his highly creative and original approach to magic, which incorporated elements of theater, psychology, and philosophy. Max was also a prolific writer and creator, having written numerous books, produced countless magic tricks, and developed numerous stage productions.

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