What’s the difference between a corporate magician and a corporate mentalist?
I get this question a lot. Simply put, a magician performs magic and a mentalist performs mentalism. Magic is a broad category including sleight of hand magic with small objects, such as cards and coins; medium platform effects, such as rope and table props; as well as large illusions (think tigers), and doves. Things disappear and reappear, transform, are lost and then found. Personally, I perform sleight of hand magic with small objects, often borrowed from spectators. I got my start in magic with sleight of hand and have always been intrigued by the craft. It requires tremendous practice to do well, and though the performance has been around for thousands of years, magicians are constantly innovating and creating new effects. It challenges you to appreciate the visual and temporal assumptions we make as intelligent, social beings. Mentalism on the other hand is a sub-genre of magic that relies on psychology, sleight of hand, and presentations involving influence, observation, and prediction. It too takes practice and experience and though mentalists do not use traditional magic props, the audience themselves become the props. A corporate magician may perform sleight of hand magic during a cocktail hour or provide on stage entertainment involving larger objects while a mentalist performs effects specifically relying on the decisions and thought processes of the audience members. Performing in the corporate setting, we do not belittle or embarrass our audience. Rather, our goal is to bring the audience together to experience a collective form of theatrical entertainment.