Discover the fascinating world of Mentalism

Larry Soffer - Africa’s mentalist
Larry Soffer - Africa’s mentalist

Discover the fascinating world of Mentalism

Seven astonishing facts and myths explained


Prepare to have your mind blown as Larry Soffer, Africa’s leading mentalist, reveals the captivating secrets behind the mesmerising art of mentalism. With his expert insights and years of experience, Larry takes us on a journey through the history and mind-bending techniques that continue to leave audiences questioning the limits of human perception and belief.

Fact one: An intriguing history 

Mentalism has a long and fascinating history involving ancient oracle readers who claimed divine connections. Influential figures like Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin and Joseph Dunninger, shaped its evolution into a stage performance art form.

Tracing its roots back to the rise of spiritualism in the 19th century, modern mentalism has its foundations in the performances of mediums who claimed to communicate with the spirits of the deceased.

Mediums and their mind-reading abilities fascinated people back then, and many of us mentalists drew inspiration from their practices to create the mesmerising art form we know today.    

Fact two: More psychology than magic

Unknown to most, one of the key elements of mentalism lies in psychological manipulation. Mentalists employ various psychological techniques like misdirection, suggestion, and influencing thoughts or decisions to create mind-bending illusions.

These powerful techniques can shape people's perceptions and beliefs without their conscious awareness, leaving them in awe of the mentalist's abilities.   

Fact three: More than just entertainment

The impact of mentalism extends beyond entertainment. Sigmund Freud and other notable psychologists were intrigued by mentalism, exploring its implications for understanding human perception and consciousness. Mentalism demonstrations and techniques have also been employed in psychological research to delve into topics such as suggestion, social influence, and the limits of human perception.

This unique cross-pollination has contributed to our understanding of human cognition and the astonishing power of suggestion.

Fact four: Reading people not minds

Mentalists may appear to possess complete omniscience, knowing personal details and events in people's lives. However, mentalists employ various methods like reading body language, interacting with the audience, and using cleverly crafted scripts to gather information and create the illusion of their all-knowing abilities. They selectively reveal specific details to create a sense of astonishment, leaving audiences in awe.

Myth one: Mentalists are not mind controllers

Contrary to popular misconception, mentalists do not possess the ability to control minds or manipulate people against their will. While they skilfully employ psychological techniques to create illusions, mentalism primarily thrives on suggestion, influence, and audience participation. It's a form of entertainment that pushes the boundaries of what the mind perceives and believes to be true.

At a corporate event, I once encountered a woman who had become paralysed after meeting me. I knew that her own self-belief and superstition were the cause, and through understanding how the mind works, I was able to help her regain feeling in her legs and walk again. This is the incredible impact mentalism can have on people's lives.


Myth two: Mentalists are not spiritual communicators

There is a myth that mentalism is purely a form of entertainment and does not involve genuine communication with spirits or the supernatural realm. People often ask me if I'm a medium, but I like to say that I'm actually a large.    

Mentalism offers a gateway to believing in the impossible, inspiring audiences to unlock their potential and chase their dreams. An extraordinary mentalist knows how to forge a strong connection with the audience. By engaging spectators, involving them in demonstrations, and creating a personal connection, a skilled mentalist can amplify the impact of their performance.      

Myth three: Mentalists are a one trick pony

The art of mentalism requires skilful technique and constant evolution and staying relevant and current is a constant challenge.

I always strive to develop new and fresh routines for my shows. It's important to keep evolving and staying up to date with the trends but it isn’t easy.     

In conclusion

Despite facing challenges like political uncertainty, recessions, and unforeseen events such as the Covid-19 pandemic and load shedding, Larry remains resilient, finding solutions and continuing to expand his craft.

Through years of experience, Larry Soffer has also mastered the art of dealing with difficult volunteers who may try to disrupt his act. His expertise ensures that the show goes on seamlessly, captivating audiences with his incredible skills and leaving sceptics amazed.

He inspires his audiences to believe in the impossible so that can achieve their dreams. Follow @LarrySoffer or visit his website for more information at

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