Saturday, January 09, 2010

Project 365 (9/365): The Oracle Act

.:9/365: The Oracle:.

Derren Brown yet again!

Can’t believe I’ve done nine straight days of this without missing a beat. This is Derren Brown’s performance of the infamous “Oracle Act.” Essentially, he demonstrates the ability to read people’s questions mentally, and even answer them. The way he does this is rather delightful, and proves to be quite a showstopper.

Oftentimes, mentalists are confused with fortune tellers, because of their apparent ability to foretell what has yet to happen. In reality, mentalists don’t really posses any powers to divine the future. What they have are honed skills and educated guesses that tend to be right on the button because of their mastery of the human condition and its tendencies.

For instance, the way a person moves, the way a person fidgets, even the way their eyes flit from side to side all tell a story no words can convey. The mentalist worth his salt notes all these minute details and employs them to his advantage. He reads a person like an open book, and in doing so, can easily anticipate what they are most likely to do in the future, barring drastic changes in their personality or lifestyle.

The Oracle act is one such demonstration, and is further buffered by the empathy that a mentalist learns to develop over time. In being able to divine a question about the future that a person is asking, the mentalist finds it almost child’s play to answer the unspoken question simply because he has already read the person so well, having discovered what they wish to ask, in the first place. The answers are often shocking because they reflect an intimate knowledge of a person: a kind of knowledge they find difficult to imagine from someone who ought to be little more than a complete stranger to them.

Many people tend to ask the mentalist about career, lovelife, or travel. It’s always been enticing to the audience for them to know things pertaining to themselves at some point. Well, what would you wish to ask of a mentalist, after all, right? And really... given how mentalists only glean their answers from what they perceive to be your true personality, do you really want to know those answers?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Any idea how he was able to figure out what people were thinking, when blindfolded?