Hey guys! In this blog post I am going to be briefly talking about the all mysterious and mystifying skill of mentalism.
Oracles, seers, psychics, mediums, soothsayers, mystics and spiritualists have been around for more than a millennia. As far back in history as the Old Testament in the Bible, there have been men and women predicting and revealing unknowable secrets to the masses. However, the earliest known “entertainment performance” of a mentalist act was back in 1572. The part time performer was a renowned printer by the name of Girolamo Scotto.
If you don’t already know what a mentalist actually does, the best and simplest description I can give you is that a mentalist performs mental abilities far superior than normal people. These abilities include hypnotizing, photographic memory, clairvoyance, hyper mathematics, telepathy, and precognition just to name a few.
The traditional stage performers back in the day used to present themselves as masters of spiritual powers and practitioners of the dark arts of far away foreign lands to draw in the crowds. Today’s modern stage and street performers present themselves as masters of observation and intuitive deductive thinking. No matter how you spin it, they are mostly the same. My favorite type of mentalist however is when the mentalist presents themselves openly to the audience as just a performer. Not putting themselves into any one category. This makes the audience have to choose if he has supernatural powers or is just really good at reading people.
All in all most “mentalists” choose not to categorize themselves with magicians. This is due to the props most all magicians use in their acts and how the skill of “mentalism” is an entirely different form of performing art than what a standard “illusionist” performs.
“I know the card you signed and it is folded up in your wallet.”