Like television's popular "Mentalist", Paul Draper apparently reads minds and he’s happy to show audiences and journalists how he does it. In “Mysteries of the Mind,” which Paul calls “a combination of lecture and performance,”
“I do not see how anyone can be truly successful in mentalism if they do not love learning,” Paul said in an interview with Magic Magazine. “If we have the skill to read people’s thoughts, we should know a lot about a lot of different subjects and areas. We must know about astronauts and bus drivers; we must know something about the South if he is from Atlanta, or about Wisconsin if he is from Appleton, and hopefully something about those exact cities. We should know details about peoples’ hobbies, interests and ideas that we could only know if we were peering into their minds.”
Paul is a sought-after Anthropology expert on Spiritualism and the paranormal. Paul’s stage shows often include stories about his Anthropology field work with the Navajo in Arizona, the Yanomami tribes in South America and Spiritualists in Louisiana. Many of his mentalist techniques come from his observations of shamans and diviners across different cultures. Often the simple sleight of hand tricks Paul does between his mind-reading feats will be imbued with deeper meaning by a story Paul tells from one of the cultures he has studied. In performing both simple and complicated tricks, he is careful to preserve “the moment of awe.”
“Growing up in magic, we enjoy the startled looks of amazement,” Paul said. “That is our reward and it is heady stuff; so much so that it is easy to be satisfied with that. However, the moment of awe provides us with the opportunity to do something very special for our audience. We can instruct them, we can give a message; we can even serve as the catalyst for profound change. In the study of human interaction, I have come to recognize that magicians, shamans, through the ages have used this technique.”
Paul’s stage show draws on his experience in theatre as an actor, director and singer. Although he graduated with a degree in Anthropology, Paul originally enrolled at Weber State to study musical theatre. After graduating, Paul moved to Las Vegas, where he taught at Anthropology at UNLV and continued to perform. When he’s not performing magic, Paul performs and records professionally as a singer, and he sings in a deep, rich baritone as part of his stage show.
Paul’s show has been honed through thousands of performances. For many years, he was “on retainer” for the Venetian Hotel and Casino which has used him as a Venice Street Performer, an Asian Wizard in the Tao Nightclub and an emcee as well as having him perform his mentalist show whenever there was an open venue. The Venetian also sent Paul oversees to perform at its Macau location. Now a regular at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, Paul takes every possible opportunity to perform live.
“Mentalism must be practiced in front of a live audience,” Paul said. “It’s not like performing a billiard ball routine, which can be polished in front of a mirror or video cameras. Mentalism is fluid. It is interactive by nature. The mentalist must be aware, in the moment and capable of making instant choices. This can only be learned under fire.”
For more images and additional information on Paul: www.mentalmysteries.com
To reserve seats, call 435-932-0017.
# # #
The Cache Valley Conjurers is a group of magicians who meet to improve their performing skills and knowledge of the craft of theatrical conjuring. Membership is open to anyone with a sincere desire to learn and a willingness to respect the traditions of conjuring. Close-Up magic, stage magic, parlour magic, street magic, the history of magic, card magic, coin magic and mentalism are just a few of the interests group members share.