Gerard Senehi's Unusual Career Path
Gerard Senehi: My name is Gerard Senehi and I’m a mentalist who likes to evoke mystery and a mystic who likes to seek truth.
Question: What does a mentalist do?
Gerard Senehi: There’s different labels to a mentalist but the label that I like for mentalist is that it’s someone who invokes mystery. There are some mentalists who manipulate people’s thoughts and have the ability to hypnotize people and I like to create mystery and invoke that in people.
The mystic element is that the mystic represents seeking truth. So, I’m a seeker of truth and I like to take people along with me through the entertainment to explore truth.
Question: What’s the difference between a mentalist and magician?
Gerard Senehi: A mentalist is someone who relies more on abilities of the mind whether it be the reading of the people, body language, psychology, influencing their thinking or some people would say even psychic abilities and abilities to predict the future whereas the magician will use more props and slide of hand. That’s the distinction.
Question: How did you become a mentalist?
Gerard Senehi: I had a psychic experience early on when I was in high school and I have a few different ones but there was one in particular that really struck me so that intrigued me and in started to inquire and look at my experience and experiment with it.
There was no training but it’s more you experiment with different ways of doing things and you just see if it works and most of the time it doesn’t work but then you just keep experimenting and when it works it often catches you by surprise but then you reflect back and you go, “Okay, what was it that happened that it actually worked?”
Question: Who has inspired you?
Gerard Senehi: There was a German mentalist named Ted Lesley who in the early days, when I was just starting out, I met him through my travels and he told me something really interesting that intrigue me and that impacted me quite a bit. He said that 99% of your success as a mentalist has to do with your…how you are rather than what you do and I was more leaning towards doing incredible things but that impacted me quite a bit. He is no longer alive but he was really on to something there.
Question: What have you taken from this advice?
Gerard Senehi: Well I think it brings the inner and the outer together because I think when you…when one starts in performance you tend to relate to that you’re putting something out that it’s either a skill that you’re putting out or knowledge or an ability that you’re putting out but then you realize that actually what you are really putting out is your self and you’re also putting out a skill and a performance but it’s a vehicle to put yourself out and so I learned that early on because when I started performing, I was actually performing on the streets in Tel Aviv, and so there I had to put myself into it because otherwise I wouldn’t get much response.
If I was just putting out something and my tendency was, has been to just play it safe and not to put my self out but to put out something cool or fancy or impressive and then I think what I’ve learned is that you have an opportunity to put your self out and then says who we are has boundless depth then you can always go deeper in putting out who you are because there is always more it’s not just it’s not just too dimensional. You’re not just someone who enjoys messing with people’s minds there is more depth to it than that and part of it is sometimes you’re just in to with that and then you have to dig deeper to find out what that actually means.
Recorded on: June 4, 2009
The mentalist explains why he wanted to become a mystic.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.