If you are visiting the Miami area and need some evening entertainment, a magic show can be the perfect option. As you search for the perfect show to attend, you might also come across advertisements for mentalists. We’ve previously covered what mentalists actually do, but today we’re going to go into a little more detail about the difference between a mentalist and a magician. Once you learn more about mentalism and magic as a performance art, you’ll have an even greater appreciation for these shows in Miami. Just remember that a magician never reveals his secrets!
The primary difference between mentalism and magic is the sort of tricks they perform. Magicians may come onstage and pull a rabbit out of a hat or saw a woman in half, but a mentalist’s goal is to make his audience believe he has psychic powers or the ability to read minds. Because mentalists must learn how to observe and convince other people, the ending result of their performance can depend a great deal on the audience. A magician’s trick, on the other hand, is the result of misdirection and sleight of hand. Since so many artists use both mentalism and magic, you can imagine how one performer’s show can vary.
Because a mentalist and magician have different goals, a show will also differ in performance styles. For instance, magic shows have a lot in common with theatre; obviously, there is a stage, and a magician might even use costumes and add drama to make the trick more exciting. When mentalists perform, there is more emphasis on personal interaction and creating a narrative in order convince the audience that no trickery was used. Mentalists want their audience to believe in the possibility that they really do have supernatural powers—or, at the very least, to be so astounded that they have no explanation as to how it was done.
Even though magic and mentalism are equally impressive, audiences typically have different reactions and interpretations of the performance. Most people are aware that magic tricks are illusions, and so the audience is usually left wondering how the tricks were performed. Some audience members may even try to learn the trick themselves. After a mentalist’s show, he leaves the audience wondering, “How did he know?!” Admittedly, it’s hard to find an explanation for what appears to be psychic powers.
Of course, some magicians are also mentalists, and vice versa. And while these differences are enough for some to make the argument that mentalism and magic are entirely different forms of performing arts, we know one thing for sure: both take an incredible amount of skill. No matter what sort of show you decide to see, you won’t be disappointed. Miami is full of talented mentalists, so be sure to get tickets while you can!