Man can ‘read minds’
Pick a card, any card, from mentalist Robert Haley’s deck and he will be able to tell you which one it is.
I was sceptical at first, but decided to give it a go. If he got it wrong I would have the satisfaction of being able to say I had out-mentalised the mentalist.
Barely a minute after the card was in my hand, Haley had correctly guessed it was the queen of hearts.
Haley does not use sleight of hand, or hide a card up his sleeve. He guesses your card based on a series of questions and statements and your response.
‘‘Do you like red or black?’’, ‘‘There are number cards and face cards’’, ‘‘King, queen, jack’’.
I did not even need to respond verbally. Apparently my face told the story.
While I still maintain I did not change my expression, obviously to a trained observer I blinked at the right moment.
Haley has been working full time as a mentalist in New Zealand and overseas for four years. He said he became interested in it after doing magic tricks for a few years.
‘‘I started doing magic and loved the tricks where you lay three objects in front of people,’’ he said.
‘‘Statistically they are going to go for a certain one. I started getting into that. I then read a book on facial expressions and body card tricks. One time I had lost the card so on the spur of the moment I told them to think about the card and make a picture of it. ‘‘I then asked them lots of questions. I got close and was really impressed with myself.
‘‘Now I have done the card thing about 2000 times in the last few years.’’
His new show, Elixir, opens at Bats Theatre this week.
‘‘In my previous show, Mind Reader, I would invite people on stage and read their minds using my techniques.
‘‘ Elixir is very different in that I will get people to come up on stage and they will be the mind readers. They will also be able do some weird and wonderful things.’’
He said some audience members came along specifically to prove him wrong.
‘‘There’s a certain psychological type, predominantly men, who come to prove that you’re not going to read them,’’ he said.
‘‘They normally say that you have done something there. They are always way off.
‘‘I had someone accuse me last year of putting microscopic cameras throughout the venue and wearing an earpiece, like I had unlimited resources to set cameras up in all of the 150 shows a year I do.’’
Mind-reading: Mentalist Robert Haley with his box of secret elixirs.