What Exactly Is a Mentalist?

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Answers by Morgan Strebler, Mentalist, Actor, Director, Writer and Published Author, on Quora.

A: It's truly an amazing experience being a mentalist! I'm constantly pushing my creative boundaries of what I can do and get away with during my interaction with my spectators.

In my unique brand of Mentalism, I blend psychology, hypnosis, suggestion, cold reading, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), misdirection, and other subtle skills of observation to create the Illusion of a sixth sense. This allows me to accomplish mind reading, psychokinesis, telepathy, etc. There is no feeling in the world like connecting with people on a deeper level.

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A: It's a very difficult field to master, but, with research, anyone can learn the basic elements of Mentalism. And, by investing a little time to learn the basics of Mentalism, spectators can more truly appreciate the many nuances of the art and science. In my career experience, I haven't known anyone who has possessed the skills from birth necessary to be a proficient mentalist. Like most highly specialized endeavors, it takes years of practice, as well as reading and analyzing every book, paper, and article available on Mentalism and related topics. However, if one desires to actually perform Mentalism, constant growth and refinement is absolutely essential to attain proficiency and credibility. And, there is nothing that substitutes for the experience and feedback one gains from repeated interaction with and study of people. Surprisingly, especially at the outset, practicing in the "trenches" (informal, impromptu situations) thing you can get your hands on regarding the subject, studying people, and doing it in the trenches with real people.

For the novice, a great resource book to get one's feet wet is 13 Steps to Mentalism. Among several other excellent reference sources, it's a great place to start for the fledgling student of Mentalism.

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A: I remember it as vividly as if it were yesterday. My son, Caleb, and I were sitting in the living room of our Las Vegas home playing Halo 2. I was winning, not that that really matters! Lol.

Then, out of nowhere, a shadowy figure glided across the living room and into my son's bedroom. We both looked at the same time and saw the exact same surreal phenomenon.

I'm trained in replicating the paranormal with my skills as a mentalist. I feel I can pretty much recreate anything in this area. However, in this particular circumstance and experience was totally different. I couldn't replicate or explain it under those conditions.

A decade later, my son and I still talk about it. I have no doubt we experienced some kind of paranormal phenomenon that evening.

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