Is a Mentalist a Magician? (Explained)

While looking for a performance show most people don’t know exactly what they’re looking for as they’re not sure whether they want to hire an illusionist, entertainer, magician, or mentalist.

Most people just don’t know what is the difference between magician and mentalist and in this article, we will take a close look at the difference between the two, and I will also show you few examples of tricks that are performed by magicians and mentalists.

Is a Mentalist a Magician? Mentalist and Magician are having a lot in common – Magician is using sleight of hands and props while Mentalist demonstrates the ability to read minds, using psychology and body language reading.

To dive deeper, let us first understand what exactly a magician is.

The word “magician” is used for covering a few areas – its “umbrella term” that also includes “Hypnotist” & “Mentalist,” however technically, it isn’t correct.

This would be the same as considering a builder as a plumber.

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Both of them are mostly working on houses and might have a few working tools in common, but their trades and skills are quite different.

Mentalism is a far more complex and unique form of magic that involves mind reading tricks that most people haven’t commonly seen.

Difference Between an Illusionist and a Magician

The term illusionist is used for performers who are known for using larger boxes, illusions, or props.

A lot of popular illusions can include Disappearing from a single point and they appear in another, “sawing an assistant in half”, Levitation and various other types of mistreatment of any “beautiful assistant.”

The two most famous illusionists that most people have heard of are Criss Angel and David Copperfield.

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However, the magicians, mostly perform routines that consist of packing all props in the suitcase or within their pockets.

They make use of sleight of hand or props for performing parlor, cabaret, or close up/roving performances.

However, the catch is that several entertainers are there performing both illusions and magic and the terms are interchangeably used most often.

Obviously, this is where the conclusion forms up.

Difference Between Hypnotist and Mentalist

It seems quite fairly straight forward, and almost everyone knows what is done by a Hypnotist.

So what a mentalist does?

Nowadays Mentalists have become more interesting as there is a virtual sliding scale between Mentalists and Mental Magicians.

The term “Mental Magicians” is basically used for magicians performing tricks that are designed to appear like the mentalists, while the “Mentalists” specialize in certain skillsets and psychology understanding.

Occasionally mentalists would utilize a piece of mental magic for enhancing performance and skill, but that would be as true mentalists are having the training that comprises of different skills.

These skills are:

  • Memory Training – Advanced memory techniques
  • Body Language Reading Skill – Advanced body language level reading
  • Magic Sleights – All the good mentalists are having knowledge of misdirection and magic
  • Influence – The Verbal Linguistic skills for influence
  • Personality Profiling

And also, performance capability along with a cool personality

Some well-known mentalists are Philip Esscoffey, Derren Brown, etc.

On booking a mentalist you get a lot of talent on show such as mind-reading, hypnotic fun, and mind-blowing shows that might be quite cheesy sometimes.

At the moment, Mentalists are certainly in the center of interest and highly demanded.

Difference Between Mentalist And a Magician

For beginners, mentalism isn’t a typo – mentalism is a unique type of performance magic with few key differences from conventional acts of magic.

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As most of us aren’t quite familiar with this term, let’s find out more about what exactly mentalism is, and compared to the conventional magic tricks, how much different it exactly is.

In a nutshell, Mentalism is a type of magic focusing primarily on the mind.

Whereas a lot of conventional magic tricks done by famous magicians only focus on the sleight and spectacle of the hand.

A lot of mentalist tricks tend to be mind games.

Many little tricks are there for the mentalism allowing the performer to deducing what the members in the audience would be thinking.

Examples of Mentalism

Let’s suppose that the Mentalist asks subjects to think regarding a number and then leads them through different mental calculations.

Finally, he asks the subject to link numbers to the letters in the alphabet which is then used for getting to name any animal, color, or country.

The mentalist gets the answer – Something like a grey African Elephant.

The mentalist asks the subject a few random questions and in the end, he also asks them for naming a tool and a color.

He provides them with a paper piece that guessed the answer beforehand, which is most of the time a black hammer.

The subject is asked to write a number on a folded parchment. Then he tears it up without even looking at the number and then the subject is told about the number that they guessed which is always true.

Understanding Mentalism More

You must know that the above-mentioned examples are quite simple and true and the mentalism performance acts are a lot awe-inspiring.

Here are a few examples if you’re keen to know how exactly the aforementioned examples work.

Predictable Outcomes: Here, in the first example, the letter and number combination invariably leads to the “D” and “E” irrespective of what the beginning number remains to be.

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For corresponding letters, an animal or a country gets requested, which are always almost the Elephant or Denmark.

Guiding Subconscious: In second, the questions mostly lead to subconscious synapses making it quite likely for a mentalist to guess the black and hammer together.

Traditional Sleight of Hand: In third, sleight of the hand gets used by mentalists in a certain way letting them get a glimpse of number when they’re shredding it.

By now, you must have gotten an idea that mentalism is a clever blend of tricky methods that let the performer predict different outcomes that end up resembling the real supernatural powers.

As it’s best to not spoil the fun by revealing the tricks, it’s best to book the mentalist for the upcoming event or party to experience them in live-action.

We know that you’ll definitely get awestruck by their unique and mind-boggling performances.

Can You Learn Mentalism?

Mentalism and Mind reading can be learned, the same as any other magic tricks.

While you can find quite a lot of great tricks revealed on YouTube for free, finding the right training resource for learning Mentalism might be a bit more challenging.

I have very good experiences with following online Mentalism training, that I always recommend to anybody who wants to start with Mentalism and has no experience.

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While with a magician or illusionist there is always scope to discover the idea behind the tricks performed, the same isn’t possible with a mentalist as there is a whole lot of difference in their tricks as the mentalist works on complex theories that aren’t mostly possible for the average person to catch up.

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I believe that life is magic. I'm a playing cards collector, I love performing magic tricks and I'm also the owner of a small magic shop. Apart from that I like to explore different kinds of supernatural magic that we all have in our lives and I like to share what I learn... I'm great fan of Harry Potter...

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