Q Any suggestions as to how to use humor or comedy in mentalism

A. Be careful and very selective. What's funny to one audience could be offensive to another. Above all, work "clean." Under no circumstances should you use "blue" lines or suggestive humor.

Never get a laugh at the expense of your audience volunteers; make yourself the butt of the joke. If you have a problem getting a good response from verbal humor, consider "situation comedy." The humor is built-in, often visual and never relies on a joke in the traditional sense.

I guess the most outrageous example of that was my PK routine that involved having a spectator attempt to "move" an inanimate object in a wine glass, only to have the flower in my lapel spin around wildly. My more serious contemporaries would never consider such a blatant sight gag, but my audiences cracked up. If humor or comedy works for you, go for it. The worst they can say is, "You were very entertaining."

routines that I do. More than creativity, it often requires the ability to recognize a latent magical usage in an object devised for an entirely different purpose. When I first

I'm often asked how I come up with the commercially entertaining spotted novelty items such as the "Revenger" and the "Terminator" I was intrigued by the possible use of sound effects in connection with the performance of a mental effect. This is the result of one such effort.

The performer explains that today's technology has made tremendous strides in trying to improve the quality of the human experience. For example, take this little device, the performer states as he displays a small black box. This unbelievable invention greatly reduces the stress usually associated with driving an automobile. For example, the performer continues, suppose you're behind a slow moving car doing 35 M.P.H. in a 65 M.P.H. speed zone. All you do, is flick on the device (the audience sees brightly colored tracer lights) and ZAP the guy in front of you with your choice of three imaginary weapons.

The performer demonstrates by pressing three buttons on the box. Each button triggers the realistic sound of (1) a Missile, (2) a Machine Gun, or (3) a Grenade Launcher. When the audience stops laughing, the performer explains that this imaginary mayhem immediately relieves the stress and anxiety that one experiences in frustrating driving situations.

Being a mentalist, the performer explains, he's usually able to predict which of the three weapons people will select. To demonstrate this amazing psychic ability, the performer displays a sealed manila envelope which is placed in full view of the audience. Now, a spectator is randomly selected to participate in the experiment. Holding the black box, the performer asks the spectator to freely select one of the three weapons. As the performer lists the choices, he presses the appropriate button so the spectator can hear the sound.

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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