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Getting mental!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Gerard Senehi, one the world’s best mentalists, promises to blow and bend your mind. Glynda Alves talks to him to find out just how he plans to do so…

Gerard Senehi has appeared on various shows, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Tonight Show and forks and spoons are never the same after.

Gerard is a world-renowned mentalist and cultural change agent with a passion for expanding our notions of what’s possible. As a mentalist, he performs his seemingly impossible feats for audiences worldwide. His work has earned the admiration of world leaders, celebrities, media and Fortune 500 CEOs. He tell us more about his talent and whether it’s real or not…

Who is a mentalist? And why do you call yourself the ‘experimentalist’?
A mentalist is someone who creates mystery. Unlike a magician, a mentalist tends to use more mental techniques, such as reading body language, influencing people through psychology, feats of memory, hypnosis and even psychic abilities. I called myself the “Experimentalist” as I thought it was a fun play on words.

When did you realise you had this power or ability?
As a mentalist uses all kinds of abilities, there is no single answer to that question. When I was a teenager I was always experimenting. I would try to do things that were magic tricks through psychic means and perform displays of psychic abilities through magic.

Tell us about the first time you moved or bent something with your mind? What was your own reaction?
I don’t say that I bend things with my mind as I don’t tell people whether I have real psychic abilities or not. When I first bent a spoon (through whatever means) I was excited because I had a tool to make people question reality.

Can you explain how you actually manage to move things with your mind… It’s kind of hard to believe!
It is definitely unfathomable and hard to believe. People see it with their own eyes, can’t believe it and yet it is right in front of them, so it leaves them unsure. I deliberately don’t give any hint as to how I do it, so that I don’t take away from their positive experience of uncertainty.

What is the reaction you get from people?
People relate to the fact that they can’t categorise what I do as a trick or psychic power. They find it inspiring and since it seems impossible, they get a little frustrated that they don’t know how I do it. I often have very educated people come up to me and say “I don’t want to know how you did this but please just tell me is this a trick or do you have real powers?” I don’t give a direct answer as it is a fun opportunity to prevent from categorising what I do and keep them guessing.

What’s in store for you next?
I am interested in bringing a greater public awareness to the profound insight about life that I learned from my teacher, Andrew Cohen. This insight, that we are part of an evolving universe, that evolution is not just biological but also cultural, has changed my life. I have created a non-profit foundation called Open Future Institute, to bring out the meaning and application of that deeper understanding of reality.

Have you ever used your powers to win the lottery? How many forks and spoons have fallen victim to you?
I have not, but I’ve had different people ask me! I have bent more spoons and forks than I can possibly count. On some evenings, in very fancy locations, I’ve been approached by the manager who said that if I bend one more wine glass they will send me a bill.

What do you have planned for your Mumbai show?
I plan to do all kinds of inexplicable feats. However my main goal is to create an atmosphere where people appreciate the power of suspending their ideas about reality.

What’s the biggest thing you can move/ bend?
I have moved a soccer ball once, after the world cup in Amsterdam for a television show.

Have you ever used your abilities to move a person?
I sometimes make myself immovable so even the strongest person can’t push me even if I stand on only one leg.

When September 18 at 7.30pm
Where Le Sutra Art Gallery, Le Sutra-The Indian Art Hotel, 14, Union Park, Khar(W)
Contact 26622025

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