Mentalism For Kids…

Years ago when I was a teenager I saw Lee Earle lecture and he briefly mentioned his thoughts on performing mentalism for kids. It was only a sentence and it fully stated his position. Lee said, “In order to have your mind read you must have a mind.” He’s not wrong, however it doesn’t mean you can’t do mentalism for kids. You need to frame it differently.

In the school assembly show I’m out doing right now on this tour, I have two mentalism tricks that I’m doing. After writing the show, I realized they are the exact same trick, luckily they are 30 mins apart in the show and are presented very differently. Both are essentially one out of five predictions, but they aren’t predictions. The kid(s) pick an unseen item that turns out to be different from the rest of the items. There’s no formal prediction, but it’s clearly obvious that they picked the outlier.

After doing the show for a week and a half, I think the first effect strengthens the second one. In the first one, it’s a surprise however the second time, I’ve very blatantly foreshadowed what’s going to happen. When I finally get around to the second reveal, it’s a huge release of tension when it confirms what they were thinking.

This isn’t my first time doing mentalism for kids. I used to do a routine that used a billet switch and peek that was essentially me reading someone’s mind, but framed as a game. The general presentation was that I was the worlds best 20 Questions player and could guess what they were thinking of in 5 guesses or less. I had them write down the item so that they couldn’t lie and change their mind. I also did this as an open preshow. I would do it while the classes were coming into the show, but I did it on mic so everyone was aware. This routine is written up in the book Performing Mentalism for Young Minds Vol 2.

Mentalism can play very strongly for kids, as long as it’s framed with a presentation that they can understand.