In the field of entertainment and stage art known as mentalism and sensory art, the ability to captivate, surprise, and amaze the audience is a critical and substantial part of the entire experience. It is necessary to keep them in anticipation, at the edge of their seats, waiting to see and feel what will happen next. One of the ways to do this, which is used in many mentalism segments and shows, is by using mind games.
In this post, we will explain what mind games are in the context of sensory art and mentalism performances, what stimulates viewers and participants during a show, and how this contributes to the overall experience.
What are mind games?
The term that is the focus of this post is of course a general name that developed in pop culture, and it is not a truly scientific term. It refers to elements or exercises that are psychological or cognitive and challenge the brain or our perception of reality, in an attempt to test our cognitive ability to grasp, remember, and logically explain information. In our context, these mind games are performed during mentalism or sensory art shows.
“Playing with our mind” in the middle of a show refers to the series of actions that the entertainment artist uses when appearing before an audience in order to create illusions, challenge reality, and other elements that create the surprising, moving, and mesmerizing effect that can be found in a high-quality, carefully executed mentalism show.
Mind games during mentalism and sensory art performances
These games that play with the viewers’ minds are often used during sensory art and mentalism shows as one of the ways of creating an illusion in front of an audience of viewers and participants, and adding inexplicable mystery to a show, on the way to the surprising and breathtaking conclusion of a mentalism segment and for the audience’s enjoyment.
For example, Lior Suchard, the leading master mentalist in the world and the person responsible for moving this unbelievable entertainment art up a few notches in Israel and internationally, incorporates mind games into his shows in order to create the illusion that he can read thoughts, predict the future, has a phenomenal memory, and many other surprises and unexpected abilities.
What all of these mind games have in common is that they must be performed and implemented very skillfully in order to be believable and become an integral, interesting part of the show. They all share a common purpose: to manipulate the audience’s mind and perception of reality in order to arouse a feeling of wonderment and shock.
What happens in our head?
The human brain is a wondrous and enthralling machine. But despite what many people think, it is very easy to “trick” it and cause it to perceive reality in a specific way or think certain thoughts. This is because of the brain’s natural tendency to try to complete information even when it is missing or doesn’t make sense with the objective reality. For example, if someone shows you a fake picture of yourself doing a certain activity during your childhood, your brain will quickly create a “memory” of that activity, as if you were really there, even though it never happened.
Similarly, although in a less invasive way, mind games during mentalism and sensory art shows do the same thing. The entertainment artist utilizes a range of techniques and practices from the worlds of psychology, neuroscience, and entertainment in order to harness our thoughts, emotions, and mainly the way that our brain works, in order to create a certain perception of reality that contributes to the final, enjoyable result – our sense of surprise, shock, laughter, and disbelief at the end of a mentalism segment.
The importance of interacting with the sensory artist
At a mentalism show, mind games are usually applied and work so well specifically because of the interactive nature of the performance and the connection between the audience and the entertainer on stage. This is very prominent and characteristic of Lior Suchard’s shows, during which the audience is an active, inherent part of the success of the performance.
When the audience actively participates in the show and aren’t just passive viewers, this creates deeper involvement between the performer and the audience, which results in a more memorable experience with a stronger impact. The mind games work on a deeper level and create a more successful, mesmerizing effect in terms of their enjoyment and entertainment value.