Mentalist Lior Suchard, talks about what it is like to read people’s minds, guess their intimate secrets and manipulate metal objects – for a living.
Lior Suchard is a supernatural entertainer and mentalist with an extraordinary talent for mind reading, thought influencing and telekinesis. Performing amazing mental feats before a live audience, he takes you on an incredible journey through the wonders of the human brain and can read your mind as easily as he reads a newspaper. Skeptical?
How does mind reading work?
There’s no specific way. It’s not that I can ‘hear’ thoughts. What I do, when I interact with people on stage, is that I get hints – I’m using a lot of techniques from psychology to non-verbal communication to ESP (extra-sensory perception) to NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) to tap into people’s minds and get information. (At this point he takes out a piece of paper). Spell your name for me (writes down the name and a number that no one else can see). Now say a number, any two-digit number (I say 12, at which point he holds up the card, that already has the number 12 written on it). Now see, I already knew you’d say 12. What happened here is not that I guessed you would say 12; I influenced you. That’s what I do. I know how to press the buttons in people’s minds.
What’s your average show like?
It’s a combination of many, many things. For example, I can guess things about people – their dreams, their stories, sometimes I guess someone’s pin code number… And other times, I influence people to choose something, so people are inventing a story but I already have that story written down before they even say it. I use predictions, things people are going to say or move or choose. Also, a little bit of telekinesis and mind over matter, to show how energy works. How people are connected together. I use those techniques to create a funny and supernatural show.
You’ve had this talent or ability since you were six years old, right?
When I was six, I started to develop this very sensitive intuition. I’d play those games where you hide the money in one fist and stuff like that, I always guessed which hand it was in, and I could always tell if someone was lying to me. I researched it, grew up and read books about it and found out everything that I needed to know, combined that with my love for the stage and became who I am – a master performer in the art of mentalism.
How did your parents react to their child being so… different?
Well, I was a pretty normal child, I wasn’t a freak or something (laughs). I had a normal childhood, normal parents…
Did they think you could read their thoughts?
Yeah, but the difference is I don’t hear thoughts. Only when you are focussed, when we are in the procedure of this experiment, I can do that stuff.
Okay, so suppose you are in a relationship and your girlfriend is cheating on you…
I will know for sure.
You will know the name?
I will know the name, if she thinks of the name. Name, number, address. (laughs). No, just kidding.
In your day-to-day life, does this affect you in any way?
Well, I think I am much more sensitive to the environment. I’m sensitive to people, and things happening around more. I am more focussed on stuff surrounding me…
Like for example, you were in the army (where this talent could have been extremely helpful), and you perform regularly in las vegas, you can even guess people’s PIN number! Ever used any of that to your advantage?
Oh yeah, that’s right. I started performing in Vegas four years ago. I was banned from playing in casinos. I can play, but there’s only a certain limit that I can play till. I can play ‘for fun’, not to gain money because I can count cards in blackjack and other things.
There must be a huge degree of scepticism when people meet you, regarding what you do…
I always say, scepticism is part of the show. I always call the sceptics my unpaid publicists because they keep talking about me. It’s important to be talked about. The interesting thing is that this is the only show in the world – even if you see the best singer of the world, you leave the show and you say, “Oh my God! That was amazing.” The next day you just talk about the game or something. In my show, after the show, people are staying. And they start to argue – is it real? What is it? I think I know this one, but I don’t know that one! What happened there? And the next day they keep talking. I get emails from people months after the performances. It’s a different experience.
It is surreal; you even call it supernatural…
I call it supernatural ‘entertainment’. I don’t do any healing, I don’t talk to the dead. Well, I do talk to the dead, but the dead never answer to me (laughs). It is supernatural, not by the way of ghosts and things like that. It’s supernatural in the way that it is above normal. Because the show is not normal. I do not-normal things.
But do you then believe in the supernatural? That there are things beyond science?
No, a lot of things I do are actually connected to pure science. NLP, non-verbal communication and influencing, it’s pure science (and I actually encourage people to believe in themselves because if you believe in yourself you can do a lot more. I actually wrote a whole book about it, called Mind Reader, on how to think creatively, meditate the right way, how to deal with situations and how to improve your memory.)
Have you ever met another mind reader?
There are several other mentalists in the world. Some good, some not-so-good. There are very, very few people who can do what I do.
When you meet each other, do you say, ‘Hey, we can read each other’s minds’?
No, when we meet each other, there’s just silence (laughs).
Your personality’s a big part of your performance…
I think it is the most important part of the show. If I just went on stage and started reading people’s minds it would be frightening, right? But I always make it comic, it is very funny, there has to be a lot of participation on the stage. It’s always fun when you play with people’s mind in a funny way.
Have you ever gone wrong?
Oh yeah, definitely. There’s no 100% when you play with people’s minds. But again, I’m doing it forentertainment and it’s okay to be wrong. I crack jokes about myself when I am wrong, and the audience laughs with me.
So, is someone born a mentalist?
I feel like it is a talent. I always say that everybody can play the piano, but not everybody will be beethoven, so it’s the same thing. I can teach you some elements. Maybe I could teach you how I knew you’d say the number 12, but that doesn’t mean you can go out and start to do it on people. But maybe if you practiced a lot of years, you’d be able to do it too.