Interviewing a mentalist is intimidating. Does he already know what we are going to ask? Can he really read our minds? Maybe, but then we realize it doesnt work as well over the phone.
Much of my work is nonverbal, says the world-renowned mentalist, Marc Salem. Even so, he tried to test his long-distance skills. Grab that pink pad by your hand, he says. Um, do you mean the yellow one? (To his credit, there was a pink pen by the yellow pad.) Now write a number between one and ten. Okay. Im feeling a six or seven. Its five. Well, I was close. Okay, now draw one simple geometric shape inside of another. Okay. Is it a circle inside of a triangle? Um, its a triangle inside of a circle. Okay, Im getting closer. Now draw something, anything. A little bunny is quickly sketched. Im seeing two half-circles. Yes. A horizontal line . Yes, again. And a square at the top. Well, I guess the ears kind of make a square. Close, but no bunny.
Even if Salem is not spot-on over the phone, he never ceases to amaze audiences -- or even 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace -- with his ability to guess the serial numbers on bills in your wallet or move the hands on your watch. But do not call him a psychic: Its not occult, not supernatural. What I do has roots in psychology and sociology, Salem states. Im extremely sensitive to many cues.
So what does his family think of his talent? They ignore me, he deadpans. Im not kidding when I say that; they ignore me completely. You wont be able to ignore Salem tonight at 8:00 during his show Mind Games, Too! at the Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $30 and $40, with proceeds benefiting the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education. Call 305-576-4030, ext. 141, or visit www.caje-miami.org.
Tue., May 16