Tips for Performing Mind Reading Tricks

These tips for performing mind reading tricks should help anyone new to the art of mentalism get off to a pretty good start. There are many misconceptions about this branch of the magical art, so I'd like to start by clearing those up. First of all, despite the necessary mystique surrounding mind reading, it's something anyone can learn with a little practice once they know what the secrets are.
And the second thing that we really need to get clear at the outset is that no one can really read anyone's mind. That's a fact. Mind-reading is a magic trick just like any other magic trick and the techniques used in mind reading are essentially the same as those used in any other form of magic trick. Namely, sleight-of-hand, misdirection, gimmicks, stooges and so on. There are no psychic powers. Anyone who claims to genuinely read minds or have psychic abilities is either a liar or deluded. Mind reading or 'mentalism' as it is popularly known is simply a 'performance persona' for these tricks.
It might seem almost mystical in its effects - and you certainly want it to if you're performing it - but it is just a series of clever psychological techniques and close observations of behaviour and, in all honesty, some simple gimmicks and tricks that have nothing to do with psychology at all, that enable a mentalist to create the illusion of psychic powers.
It is little wonder that all the mind-readers and mentalists that I have ever heard of or met (apart from that wicked phoney Uri Geller - one of the worst magicians I've ever seen) are all debunkers of 'psychism' and the miraculous. Why? Because they know how it's done! Think of James Randi, Penn and Teller and Derren Brown, for example. The truth is that only the most despicable low-life would stoop so low as to take advantage of people's trust and misfortune for their personal profit. Witness any number of TV 'psychics' for examples of this. Okay, rant over. So we know we're dealing with a performance art, not a mystical one and it's just for honest fun, not for taking advantage of the gullible.
So what are these secrets that enable mentalists to apparently understand your secret thoughts, read your mind and even control what you are thinking?
There are three aspects to mental magic: gimmicks, sleight-of-hand and misdirection. I'm afraid that's it. Antone who was looking for psychological secrets for manipulating people thoughts; time to laugh at yourself for being so taken in! The techniques of mentalism are the same as all other magic tricks. Any bluff about NLP and other such stuff is all just part of the act.
So, get some mind-reading tricks tutorials and learn these tricks (video tutorials are an excellent way to get started) and bear in mind these tips for performing mind reading tricks:
1) There's no need for a huge repertoire: 5 decent tricks is plenty. Just choose five good tricks and learn them to perfection.
2) Know Your Character - Mind reading involves a,lot more bluff and misdirection than most magical disciplines because it play-acts at mystical powers; having a strong magical persona or character part can often really help induce the right atmosphere and sense of credulity.
3) Tell a Good Story - This has nothing to do with once upon a time but everything to do with leading your audience up the proverbial garden path! Every mind-reading trick has to have its story, its false premise. It could be that you claim 'conversation with the spirits' or maybe 'focussing mental energy' or as is more acceptable these days (because its pseudo-scientific language sounds more plausible to a modern audience) 'clever psychology' 'muscle reading' or 'neurolinguistic programming'. Whatever nonsense it is, know what it is, beef it up and stick to it. Under that cover, you can switch cards, check the mirror, get the signal from the stooge etc.
4) Only Do It If You Know How- Mind-reading is once again very popular and everyone wants to get on the band wagon. There's plenty of room aboard, just make sure that you know what you're doing. If you don't get the story right, the bluff, well then it's going to look just like any other magic trick (...because it is). It's all in the act.
5) Practice - This follows on from the last tip and is always true: you cannot do enough practice and many professional magicians will tell you that they don't feel happy with a trick until they've performed it hundreds of times!
That said; if you don't want or need to go into that kind of depth, there are other options to get started. There are some cool mind reading and mentalist routines that are powerful and effective and will work just a little practice if you get a good tutorial. Things like spoon-bends, card predictions and 'book test' tricks are excellent places to start. Nothing helps like a good visual demonstration and explanation. That's why increasingly I recommend video downloads as a trick-by-trick method for learning magic. You can see and hear what's going on and get a real handle on the presentation and routine rather than just the trick. You can also rewind, pause and so on as often as you like. If this is an option that interests you, then you might like: Mindbender Book Test, Thought Transmission and Emotion as tricks to get started. These and more are all available from the Video Tutorials page of The Magic Tricks Homepage.
I'm sure you'll find these tips for performing magic tricks useful and if you get yourself some video tutorials you'll be off to a great start. I have to say, that mind-reading really is one of the most enjoyable kinds of magic trick to perform. Enjoy it!

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