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  • Writer's pictureBilly Clery

Is Mentalism more vulnerable than Magic?

Updated: Jun 24, 2021

When I was nineteen I travelled over to Chicago and was lucky enough to work as a professional Magician. At the time I didn't do Mentalism and mainly did stuff with cards, coins and the good ol' sponge bunnies. Anyways, I was at one of my residencies which was a Sports Bar in Wrigleyville and a guy there was absolutely fascinated by my ambitious card routine. He followed me around the bar for ages and every time I performed it he would flip out. He eventually said to me that he would give me $500 dollars if I would teach him how to do it. I normally would never have sold my routine but that was a lot of money to me at the time. So I warned him before hand that if I show him he won't be able to do it straight away. and would need to put in a lot of practise. He agreed and we went to a corner table at the bar where I showed him the mechanics and how the effect was done.  

After we were finished the guy thought that I was telling him a false way as he reasoned, "There's no way you could have done those moves and not have me spot it.' I performed it again at a few more tables with him watching. He shook my hand and I remember what he said to his pals. "Holy smoke, it's even more impressive when you know what he's actually doing.' 

As Mentalists are we more vulnerable to exposure? Once the method is revealed does Mentalism lose all its allure? (I am not talking about readings or entertainment skill here but more so the mechanics of our art) For example, no matter how clever we think a peek is, to a layman we are just looking at the piece of paper they wrote the info down on.

If a layman knows the secret mechanic does Mentalism lose all of its mystery/appreciation value and how as Mentalists can we mitigate that?

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