Until recently, the only mentalist on the tube was a fictitious character created by Bruno Heller for a TV show by the same name. And Hollywood actor Simon Baker made for a great mind magician. But according to professional mentalist, magician and illusionist Keith Barry, not everyone has to be an actor to be able to live that part. From being able to tell when you’re being lied to, to getting someone to unconsciously agree with you, his tricks cover it all.
“My interest began when I got my first magic set when I was five. But the advice I would give to those starting now is: start learning how to have a really brilliant memory. Harry Lorayne has some great books. I started with The Klutz Book of Magic myself, and I’m sure it’s available in India,” says Barry, who recently featured on the Discovery Channel show, Deception With Keith Barry. “Studying neuro-linguistic programming is what teaches you how to implant and extract thoughts. Mixing psychology, hypnotism and magic somewhat goes into this area called mentalism, which is what I mostly do. It’s magic of the mind.”
As part of his learning, over the decades, Barry has trained himself in the 300 different postures and positions that permit him to read a person’s mind. “That’s what they make it sound like, but it’s actually just reduction from looking at people and figuring out what they’re thinking based on their physical movements,” jokes the magician.
Though Barry has never been to India, a visit is high on his list mostly because of its perceived magical past. “You have a huge background in magic and street performers! I would love to tour with the live show there. I am thinking of going to Australia in May, June or July. So if we decide to travel there, we will probably come to India at the same time,” he says, before offering his help to anyone who wants any tips. “If people have any specific questions they want to ask me personally, they can always find me on Twitter or Facebook. I’ll answer them directly.”
How to tell when you’re being lied to
“If someone is lying to you, they’ll generally look up to the top right. That means that they’re trying to construct an image that doesn’t exist,” says Barry.
1 You’ve got to be very dedicated. Learning magic is not easy. It’s very difficult
2 You need to have charisma
3 Need to be disciplined
4 Read Ormond McGill’s books on hypnosis
The ‘yes’ setting
“This will work if you practice it enough,” says Barry.
What: Basically, a yes setting is where you’re going to use language to get people to agree with you all the time without their knowledge.
1 Get someone to agree with you three or four times on a conscious level. Ask questions to which answers will obviously be ‘yes’.
2 When they say ‘yes’, use a trigger, which is this very subtle movement you have to do when they say ‘yes’. Like maybe scratch your nose.
3 Every time they say ‘yes’, use the trigger.
4 What you’re doing here is programming them to want to say ‘yes’. By scratching your nose, that’s now what’s called a triggering mechanism.
5 So in a moment when they want to say no, you’re going to scratch your nose and they’ll subconsciously say ‘yes’.