As a mentalist, I’ve found that the longer I’m in this profession, the stranger things get during my shows. One of my all-time favourite stories is from a wedding performance that still leaves me chuckling.
Picture this: a lovely wedding filled with laughter and love, where I’m working the room. I approach a lively group and ask a guest to write down the name of her childhood pet. She tucks the paper away in her bag, ensuring no one catches a glimpse.
I explain that writing helps with memory retention and focus, allowing me to pick up on subtle signals she might be giving off. As she concentrates on the pet’s name, I deduce the name and eventually reveal it: ‘Pancake’. The table erupts in applause.
But of course, there’s always one sceptic, arms crossed, unimpressed. He challenges me, betting €50 that I can’t guess his dog’s name without him writing it down.
Tension builds, but as if the universe aligned just for this moment, one of his friends strolls by and —unbeknownst to the sceptic— whispers to me, “His dog’s name is Arthur.”
Talk about perfect timing!
With this inside information, I engage in some playful banter with the sceptic, acting as if it’s a difficult task. He limits me to one guess, so with complete confidence, I say, “Your dog’s name is Arthur.”
I’ll never forget the transformation on his face—from doubter to believer in an instant. He spewed every curse word he could think of while the table roared with laughter.
Now, fast-forward about five years. I’m sitting in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin after performing at a corporate event, about to enjoy a well-earned pint, when a man approaches me and asks if I’m Shane Black.
When I confirm, he tells me he met me at a wedding where I guessed his pet’s name. I perform that routine often, but something about this guy sparks a memory. So I take a chance and say, “Oh, was that your dog, Arthur?” His face lights up, and I know it’s him.
He’s practically reliving the moment as he excitedly asks, “How do you do that? Are you psychic or something?”
With perfect timing, I lift my pristine pint of Guinness, clink it against his glass, and say, “No, but I have a knack for names. To Arthur.”
And just like that, a once-sceptical stranger and I shared a toast, forever connected by a moment of pure, mentalism serendipity.
#ArthurGuinness #Mentalism #Serendipity
Harrison Media / George Pennock Photography / Dermot Byrne Photography
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