A. It would depend in great part on the type of mentalism that's being performed. A more serious effort that involves a significant amount of "cold reading" would probably suffer from a musical accompaniment. However, a fast paced presentation sprinkled with light humor and spiced with a dramatic climax could benefit substantially. One of my recent performances was backed by an excellent keyboard musician who filled some potentially "dead spots" with delightful background music and added cute sound bytes and musical emphasis to several effects. When I was revealing a mentally selected telephone number, I asked the spectator if she could hear her party's phone ringing in her mind. The audience actually heard the sound of a phone ringing at that precise moment It got a great laugh and made the presentation even more effective.
Smart performers who are getting top dollar for their act should consider employing a full-time musical director/ accompanist to enhance their performances.
There are three places on Earth that I find most suitable for contemplative thought. In my automobile, speeding down an endless highway, in the bathroom, and, most of all, in bed while awaiting Morpheus, usually about midnight.
While perusing one of my "World of Super Mentalism" books some time ago, I came across an effect called "Midas Mentalism" which involved changing a silver coin to gold. This was a variation of my commercially marketed, "Hare Mail" effect that enabled the performer to indetectably switch an American coin for a Chinese coin with a hole through its center. I knew the method I had created to perform the above had other applications, but the thought process was interrupted by my wife telling me it was time to hit the sack. About midnight, the following ideas crystallized.
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Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.