Commonly seen as magic and mind tricks, Mentalism is much more than playing with someone’s psyche and is more about utilising one’s body language and the science of psychology to predict and suggest actions. If you are a fan of the popular TV show ‘The Mentalist’, have pulled up the collars on a borrowed overcoat to look more like Benedict Cumberbatch or read through the works of Arthur Conan Doyle in search of mentalism tricks, then you are certainly at the right place. Becoming a mentalist is a never-ending adventure which takes you on a journey to understand the human mind and master the art of misdirection. Many successful mentalists like David Blaine, Keith Barry, Dynamo and the like have all commented on the demanding routine they followed throughout their pre-successful phase and the need to persevere. So, buckle up your seats and get ready to be amazed as we take you on a journey to explore the question of how to become a mentalist!
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This Blog Includes:
- Who is a Mentalist?
- Skills Required
- Learn the Intricacies of Psychology
- Develop Unflinching Concentration
- Be Observant
- Inculcate the Habit of Improvisation
- Learn from the Best
- Devise your Own Personal Tricks & Niche
- It is a Gradual Process. Be Patient!
- Best Books to Learn Mentalism
- Online Courses
- Scope and Salary
- Derren Brown Power of Suggestion Cold Reading
Who is a Mentalist?
A mentalist is a mentalism practitioner who uses technical skills, psychological subtleties, misdirection, hypnosis, cold reading, and showmanship to demonstrate what appears to be extraordinary-mind reading, clairvoyance, foresight, and telekinesis. Mentalism is classified as a branch under magic and mentalists use various skills to wow the audience. The skills require immense practice and constant adaptation of newer ways to perform their art to perfection.
Among the many techniques and tricks that one needs to hone, there are also a few skills students need to master to become a mentalist. However, apart from obtaining the skills, people need to practice and sharpen these skills to gain perfection.
- Good judgement
- Thinking spontaneously
- Good body language
- Being confident
- Effective communication
- Being observant
Learn the Intricacies of Psychology
There are several psychology courses available which you can pursue to understand the inner workings of the human mind. To become a mentalist, it is important to master the knowledge of human behaviour and how we think, act, believe or perceive something. Psychology focuses on dwelling on the intricacies of the human psyche which will further help you in developing the best magic tricks to leave people amazed!
Develop Unflinching Concentration
All acts and performances of mentalists are pivoted against the length of their concentrative power. Further, the importance of maintaining long durations of concentration increases multifold owing to the back-breaking nature of acts, the continuous need for innovating new tricks and acts and the composure to deal with dynamic audiences. However, to develop a professional-level focus, starting from scratch is vital. So, to start with the process of how to become a mentalist, take a beginner-level training routine to strengthen your focus and concentration and then move on to advanced exercises.
The inherent nature of being sharp-eyed and mindful of the most uninteresting things around one’s surroundings lies at the core of almost all philosophies of how to become a mentalist. This includes reading body language, the art of catching lies, following physical cues and quickly judging from sudden changes in a person’s attitude along with a host of other elements. Be it noticing someone’s change of appearance to one’s habits and more banal things around one’s life, developing an observant and hawk-eyed attitude goes a long way for “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact”.
Inculcate the Habit of Improvisation
Becoming a professional mentalist is as much preparation as it is improvising on the spot. Performing in front of large crowds and executing tricks requires the innate ability to think on one’s feet and spontaneously. Another key step in the process of how to become a mentalist is to master the art of improvisation. To become more skilled at this, perform innumerable times alone or in front of the mirror or amongst friends or small audiences, if possible. The underlying fact is to put yourself on the spot, purposely create difficult situations or slip-ups that you expect can happen on the d-day.
Learn from the Best
While it is crucial that you develop your own path to success, it is important to know the journeys of successful performers and their insights on how to become a mentalist. Browse through the list of popular mentalists such as Derren Brown, Marc Paul, Uri Geller, amongst others, read their books, watch videos of their acts and the explanatory videos of their tricks, if available. For starters, the most-recommended texts on mentalism which you can refer to are Practical Mental Magic by Theodore Anneman, Mind Reader by Lior Suchard and Tricks Of The Mind by Derren Brown.
Devise your Own Personal Tricks & Niche
Are you more interested in cards or playing with people’s minds? Do you feel your mind is stuck with sleight hand tricks or all your prep is towards that one big trick that can be your masterpiece? Well, whatever niche you choose and whichever avenue you intend to pursue, working on your career aspirations and creating your own signature, unique and personal tricks are the only way towards finding a successful path to becoming a mentalist.
It is a Gradual Process. Be Patient!
The most important suggestion we can give you during this discussion on how to become a mentalist is the old cliched “practice and persevere”. This resonates more so for a person wishing to become a mentalist since gaining recognition and making it big is a function of incessant rehearsing, not losing hope and being persistent. Moreover, techniques like control, sleight of hand, memory abilities and most importantly creating your personal signature tricks require one to devote countless hours of practice. After all, Hard Work is the Key to Success!
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Best Books to Learn Mentalism
The journey towards becoming a mentalist needs consistent practice and finding the right mentor can be a difficult thing if you are just beginning to learn mentalism. Start with going through different books by the world’s best mentalists and master the tricks they have created which will further help you carve your path. Books also help you explore the unknown and traditional secrets penned by professionals in this field. Take a look at the following list of best books on Mentalism:
- 13 Steps to Mentalism by Tony Corinda
- Practical Mental Magic by Theodore Annemann
- Encyclopedia of Mentalism & Mentalists by Tony Corinda & William Rauscher
- PRISM: The Color Series of Mentalism by Max Maven
- Mind, Myth & Magick by T.A. Waters
- The Principles of Mentalism by Richard Osterlind
- The Art of Mentalism by Bob Cassidy Vol. 2 by Bob Cassidy
- Devious Realities by Pere Turner
- Building Blocks by Luke Jermey
- Psychological Subtleties by Banachek
To understand the many tricks and master them, students can utilize the online courses offered by skills mentalists.
- Ryan Clark’s Master Mentalism
- Rich Ferguson’s Mentalism Course
- The Revelation Effect
Scope and Salary
Being a “butterfly job”, mentalists have no specific income. The pay depends on the number of shows, the audience gathered, etc. However, with increasing platforms and a huge reach via social media, mentalists can now earn a sound amount by showcasing their skills online. They can start their youtube channel or can do shows online. Without a doubt, one needs an impressive talent to excel in this field. The average salary of a magician is INR 1,01,096 per year.
Derren Brown Power of Suggestion Cold Reading
Referred to as the art of reading minds, the journey of mastering mentalism demands consistent motivation, efforts and most importantly a single-minded approach to breakthrough. We hope this blog on how to become a mentalist has helped to declutter what it takes to make it big in this field. If you are passionate about the science of Psychology then you should definitely go for an academic qualification to delve deeper into it. Sign for a 30-minute free career counselling session with our Leverage Edu experts and let us guide you in finding a suitable course and university that can equip you with the necessary knowledge and exposure to build a rewarding career in this field.