What we can learn about: Max Maven-Named Card

We are blessed to be alive and share time and space with the fantastic Max Maven.

A truly master in the dramatic performance of mysteries, he is one of my main inspirations in the art of Mentalism, and this direct opener using playing cards is an example of various aspects that I admire from him.

First of all, observe the first 5 seconds of his performance. Commanding, relaxed and dramatic, using that beautiful line..."Boo", which meta-communicates both the style of his performance and conditions the approach that the audience can take. He is so serious in his identity that he even offers that simple word "Boo" to release the tension of his dramatic opening and visuals.

One excellent technique to communicate confidence is first of all really feel it (and that only comes from experience) and be able to laugh at yourself! In life, that licence is only taken by people that really are so high in his game, that his abilities and competences are presuposse it. 

"Yes, I know that I can read minds, but dont let that distract you for the fact that YOU can also read minds in a way..."

Thats a powerful line in which you are placing your mindreading skills as pressuposition (if you want to learn more about this, I highly recommend you Kenton Knepper-Wonder Words Vol 1)

Also you can appreciate the power of silence and how he takes his time, WITHOUT TALKING, letting his non-verbals take focus. In his initial script, also observe Max´s head, and how he is scanning everyone in the audience, not focusing just in one place. This is a classic technique from public speaking that, if you perform on stage, you must master.

In this article we will not discuss secret methods (this routine isnt released as far as I know), because we are observing all the beautiful aspects of the outer reality of his performance, so dont worry about this. There is a lot to learn in the performative aspects.

Also you can hear that Max in some situations used words in Italian. This meta-communicates that he is a knowledgeable person which takes the effort to use a foreign language to connect with his audience a little bit better.

Finally, at the end of his performance, he uses a beautiful "indirect mindreading" moment to show the deck to be completely normal with all 52 cards. This technique is associated in the mainstream to Derren Brown, but you can see that Max used it before. 

"I know that you are thinking...all the cards are the same...
Well.. that would make this much easier, right?"

The previous one is another approach in terms of scripting that you can use. You are reading the mind of an invisible member of the audience!

Just yesterday I use this technique in a gig that I had (in the context of other routine), but I actually say this words to someone. Being onstage allows you to create fantastic compliance that you can take in your favor.

So as you can see, with a little time, efforts and good reflections we can learn a lot from enjoying the performance from a master performer.

And yes.. playing cards CAN be used in Mentalism, and if you are interested in knowing more about effective Card Mentalism, you can check my "52" eBook 


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