Differences between Magicians vs Mind Readers

an image of a mind reader hooked up to a brain

Magicians and mind readers (also known as mentalists) are often mistaken for one another, but they are actually two very different types of performers. While both types of performers may use deception and sleight of hand to entertain their audiences, there are several key differences between the two.

ABOUT MAGICIANS

Magicians are performers who use tricks, illusions, and deception to entertain their audiences. They may perform feats of magic such as making objects appear, disappear, change colour, or other ways of seemingly defying the laws of physics. And, of course, finding lost playing cards. That's a popular form of close up magic, but the card tricks of a professional magician are not the same as you might have seen before.

Read more: Card Tricks vs Card Magic – What’s the Difference?

Some famous magicians from history include Harry Houdini, Harry Kellar, and Max Malini. Some modern day magicians include Dynamo, Penn & Teller and David Copperfield.

And me! Here's a photo of my wowing some guests with my close up magic!

table magician performing at a corporate party
Jenny Court
Jenny Court
Thank you so much. Amazing tricks. Highly recommend. Everyone loved it. Thank you for getting round all the people at the party. Excellent
Nick Aldridge
Nick Aldridge
Very good
Mark Howard
Mark Howard
Ed was amazing tonight at the Severn Transport Services Christmas Party in Welshpool, highly recommend, he will on our entertainment list each year.
diane watson
diane watson
Ed was invited to entertain our charity group, and we are all very pleased he did!. Entertainment wise he was spot on, involving all of our members with his magic tricks, good humour , and easy going attitude. It was really good to see all of our members so engrossed, paying attention and getting involved. Thank you Ed
nick moseley
nick moseley
I arranged for Ed to provide entertainment at our daughter’s wedding. Absolutely spot on. He made sure he engaged with every table, and the constant howls of surprise and delight made for a really great atmosphere after the main dining. Everyone really enjoyed it and said what a fantastic addition to the whole event it was. Thanks, Ed !
Laura Moseley
Laura Moseley
Ed was the magician at our wedding and was fantastic. He was great with all our guests and did some amazing magic tricks. He was great at going around the room and entertaining everyone. Also, thank you for teaching our flower girl and page boy a magic trick, they loved it !
Andrew Marsden
Andrew Marsden
Just hired Ed for a family party in Nantwich and he was awesome! I was very clear about what I wanted at the event and Ed delivered. Entertaining the little ones with balloon modelling and magic (sorry Ed - didn't think the balloon requests would ever end at one point!) and then walking around performing table magic for all the other guests. Feedback has been brilliant, with everyone impressed with the magic and feeling like they'd been entertained with some amazing tricks! And in terms of booking Ed - easy to communicate with, friendly, punctual and very accommodating. It was a great night, everyone had fun. Thanks Ed!!
Tracey Fowler
Tracey Fowler
Ed performed at my daughters wedding , he was brilliant, all our guests loved the magic he performed, he was entertaining funny and very professional, we wouldn’t hesitate to book him again and highly recommended him, Thank you Ed ⭐️

ABOUT MIND READERS AND MENTALISTS

Mind readers, on the other hand, are individuals who claim to have the ability to read people's thoughts or predict their actions. They may use a variety of techniques to demonstrate this ability, such as cold reading, hypnosis, or neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to manipulate the person's thoughts or behaviors.

Read more: Paul Ekman's research on Micro Expressions

Some famous mind readers from history include Chan Canastra, Ted Annemann and Joseph Dunninger. Some modern day mind readers include Derren Brown, Max Maven and The Clairvoyants.

And me! This is also a style of performance that I am able to provide. Here's a video of a short mind reading trick.

While comedy mind readers do exists, they are certainly a rarity. With magic it is a lot easier to find moments to weave in comedy. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why people hire me as a magician, because of my conversation style and ability to bring out the best in people. I combine my magic with upbeat comedy, as I ask guests to choose a card, for example, or have them assist in the magic trick in some way.

Mind readers tend to perform in a more serious manner and when they ask the audience to participate in their demonstrations, they often rely on interactions that support and validate their supposed psychic abilities. An interesting question, posed by a prominent writer about magic and mentalism, is if you are convinced that mind reading is real, then what are you giving the performer credit for? Merely, accessing an natural talent?

This last point is an interesting one, but in reality, I think most people understand that mind readers are using deception just as a magician is. With that in mind, we might be better to use the term mental magic or mind reading magician rather than mind reading and mentalist.

Hopefully, this article has been useful in understanding the differences between magicians and mind readers and helping you to better appreciate the unique talents of both.

Another difference between magicians and mind readers is the level of realism in their performances. Magicians are entertainers who use deception and illusion to create the appearance of magic. Most magicians design their tricks to be entertaining and not as genuine supernatural phenomena.

In contrast, mind readers often present themselves as having genuine psychic abilities, even though there is no scientific evidence to support the existence of such abilities.

***Comedy

While comedy mind readers do exists, they are certainly a rarity. With magic it is a lot easier to find moments to weave in magic. In fact, this is one of the main reasons that people hire me as a magician, because of my conversation style and ability to bring out the best in people. I combine my magic with upbeat comedy, as I ask guests to choose a card, for example, or have them assist in the magic trick in some way.

Mind readers tend to perform in a more serious manner and when they ask the audience to participate in their demonstrations, they often rely on interactions that support and validate their supposed psychic abilities. An interesting question, posed by a prominent writer about magic and mentalism, is if you are convinced that mind reading is real, then what are you giving the performer credit for? Merely, accessing an natural talent?

This last point is an interesting one, but in reality, I think most people understand that mind readers are using deception just as a magician is. With that in mind, we might be better to use the term mental magic or mind reading magician rather than mind reading and mentalist.

Hopefully, this article has been useful in understanding the differences between magicians and mind readers and helping you to better appreciate the unique talents of both.

**WHICH IS A BETTER CHOICE TO HIRE FOR AN EVENT - A MAGICIAN OR A MIND READER

Both magicians and mind readers have their own unique charms and can be very entertaining in their own way, and so it ultimately depends on what you and your guests are looking for in terms of entertainment. Here are some factors to consider when deciding between a magician and a mind reader:

Theme: If you have a specific theme in mind for your party, you may want to choose a performer whose act fits with the theme. For example, if you're hosting a Halloween party, a magician with a spooky or supernatural theme could be a good fit, or you might want a mind reader who can get inside your guests head!

Age range: If you have a mixed age group at your party, you may want to consider a magician, as their tricks and illusions can appeal to people of all ages. Mind readers, on the other hand, tend to be more suitable for adults or older children who can get the concept of psychic abilities.

Audience size: If you're hosting a large party, you may want to consider hiring both a magician and a mind reader. This is a great option, as you get two styles of performer and the best of both worlds. Please get in touch with me if this is something you are interested in, as I am well connected within the entertainment industry and can put together an team of expert magicians and mind readers for your special occasion.

Personal preferences: Ultimately, the best choice will depend on what you and your guests are interested in. Whether you prefer the thrilling visual illusions of a magician or the mysterious abilities and the personal insights of a mind reader, both types of performers are sure to astound and entertain.

It might be helpful to do some research and see which types of performers are available in your area, and then read reviews or watch videos of their acts to get a better idea of what they're like. This will help you make an informed decision and choose a performer that will be a hit at your party.

Read more: FAQS

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MAGICIANS VS MIND READERS

HOW THEY MAKE YOU FEEL

Whereas magicians use a variety of techniques to create the illusion of magic, mind readers, on the other hand, rely on their ability to observe and interpret body language, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues to make educated guesses about what someone is thinking or feeling.

Magic tends to be more visual, mind reading tends to be more logical.

One of the key differences between magicians and mind readers is that a magician makes you think, how did he do that? Whereas a mind reader makes you think, how did he know that?!

REALISM

Another difference between magicians and mind readers is the level of realism in their performances. Magicians are entertainers who use deception and illusion to create the appearance of magic. Most magicians design their tricks to be entertaining and not as genuine supernatural phenomena.

In contrast, mind readers often present themselves as having genuine psychic abilities, even though there is no scientific evidence to support the existence of such abilities.

COMEDY

While comedy mind readers do exists, they are certainly a rarity. With magic it is a lot easier to find moments to weave in magic. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why people hire me as a magician, because of my conversation style and ability to bring out the best in people. I combine my magic with upbeat comedy, as I ask guests to choose a card, for example, or have them assist in the magic trick in some way.

Mind readers tend to perform in a more serious manner and when they ask the audience to participate in their demonstrations, they often rely on interactions that support and validate their supposed psychic abilities. An interesting question, posed by a prominent writer about magic and mentalism, is if you are convinced that mind reading is real, then what are you giving the performer credit for? Merely, accessing an natural talent?

This last point is an interesting one, but in reality, I think most people understand that mind readers are using deception just as a magician is. With that in mind, we might be better to use the term mental magic or mind reading magician rather than mind reading and mentalist.

Hopefully, this article has been useful in understanding the differences between magicians and mind readers and helping you to better appreciate the unique talents of both.

WHICH IS A BETTER CHOICE FOR YOUR EVENT?

Both magicians and mind readers have their own unique charms and can be very entertaining in their own way, and so it ultimately depends on what you and your guests are looking for in terms of entertainment. Here are some factors to consider when deciding between a magician and a mind reader:

THEME

If you have a specific theme in mind for your party, you may want to choose a performer whose act fits with the theme. For example, if you're hosting a Halloween party, a magician with a spooky or supernatural theme could be a good fit, or you might want a mind reader who can get inside your guests head!

AGE RANGE

If you have a mixed age group at your party, you may want to consider a magician, as their tricks and illusions can appeal to people of all ages. Mind readers, on the other hand, tend to be more suitable for adults or older children who can get the concept of psychic abilities.

AUDIENCE SIZE

If you're hosting a large party, you may want to consider hiring both a magician and a mind reader. This is a great option, as you get two styles of performer and the best of both worlds. Please get in touch with me if this is something you are interested in, as I am well connected within the entertainment industry and can put together an team of expert magicians and mind readers for your special occasion.

PERSONAL PREFERENCE

Ultimately, the best choice will depend on what you and your guests are interested in. Whether you prefer the thrilling visual illusions of a magician or the mysterious abilities and the personal insights of a mind reader, both types of performers are sure to astound and entertain.

Quick tip: Some performers, like myself, can offer both magic and mind reading. While they will have a bias towards one style (I'm definitely more on the magic side) this could be a good way to get the best of both worlds for your event!

Ultimately, the best choice will depend on what you and your guests are interested in. Whether you prefer the thrilling visual illusions of a magician or the mysterious abilities and the personal insights of a mind reader, both types of performers are sure to astound and entertain.

It might be helpful to do some research and see which types of performers are available in your area, and then read reviews or watch videos of their acts to get a better idea of what they're like. This will help you make an informed decision and choose a performer that will be a hit at your party.

Read more: FAQs for Hiring a Magician

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Jenny Court
Jenny Court
Thank you so much. Amazing tricks. Highly recommend. Everyone loved it. Thank you for getting round all the people at the party. Excellent
Nick Aldridge
Nick Aldridge
Very good
Mark Howard
Mark Howard
Ed was amazing tonight at the Severn Transport Services Christmas Party in Welshpool, highly recommend, he will on our entertainment list each year.
diane watson
diane watson
Ed was invited to entertain our charity group, and we are all very pleased he did!. Entertainment wise he was spot on, involving all of our members with his magic tricks, good humour , and easy going attitude. It was really good to see all of our members so engrossed, paying attention and getting involved. Thank you Ed
nick moseley
nick moseley
I arranged for Ed to provide entertainment at our daughter’s wedding. Absolutely spot on. He made sure he engaged with every table, and the constant howls of surprise and delight made for a really great atmosphere after the main dining. Everyone really enjoyed it and said what a fantastic addition to the whole event it was. Thanks, Ed !
Laura Moseley
Laura Moseley
Ed was the magician at our wedding and was fantastic. He was great with all our guests and did some amazing magic tricks. He was great at going around the room and entertaining everyone. Also, thank you for teaching our flower girl and page boy a magic trick, they loved it !
Andrew Marsden
Andrew Marsden
Just hired Ed for a family party in Nantwich and he was awesome! I was very clear about what I wanted at the event and Ed delivered. Entertaining the little ones with balloon modelling and magic (sorry Ed - didn't think the balloon requests would ever end at one point!) and then walking around performing table magic for all the other guests. Feedback has been brilliant, with everyone impressed with the magic and feeling like they'd been entertained with some amazing tricks! And in terms of booking Ed - easy to communicate with, friendly, punctual and very accommodating. It was a great night, everyone had fun. Thanks Ed!!
Tracey Fowler
Tracey Fowler
Ed performed at my daughters wedding , he was brilliant, all our guests loved the magic he performed, he was entertaining funny and very professional, we wouldn’t hesitate to book him again and highly recommended him, Thank you Ed ⭐️

YOUR INCREDIBLE EVENT IS
JUST A FEW STEPS AWAY

1. CONNECT

It's easy to get in touch with me, either:

2. DISCUSS

During a short phone or video call, we'll talk about your event and your initial ideas. Don't worry, if you're not sure. I've helped to plan many events so I can advise on the best use of magic and other events entertainment.

3. AGREE

Once all the details are agreed, I'll send you a booking confirmation and ask you to make the first payment which confirms your date in my calendar. Then it's time to start looking forward to your big event.

4. ENJOY

I'll check in with you in the week before your event, and on the day of the event. All you need to do now is enjoy the magic, mind reading and conversational comedy.