“The Mentalist” influences Turret crowd
A receptive Laurier audience gathered at the Turret on Nov. 10 to witness a performance by self-proclaimed “mentalist and illusionist” Wayne Hoffman.
Speaking to the The Cord following his Turret show, Hoffman explained, “I got started with magic as a hobby when I was eight years old.”
“I went to a local magic shop and just kept going there and learned from other magicians and books, and then when I was fifteen, someone offered to pay me to do it. I said, ‘hell yeah,’ why wouldn’t I want to get paid for doing something I enjoy,” he continued.
Hoffman’s skills have developed greatly over the years, allowing him to solidify a successful career in the performance industry with his unique show. “I started off touring around the U.S., and now I’m touring the world,” said Hoffman.
Using a quotation by legendary magicians Siegfried and Roy to express his love for the craft, Hoffman said, “Everybody needs a hobby, and everybody needs a job. So I put both of mine together and that’s when my life became magic, and magic became my life.”
Hoffman’s career was jump started in 2007 when he was contacted by the television network NBC. Impressed by his mentalism act, the network offered him a spot as a contestant on their show Phenomenon. A few short months later, Hoffman was performing at the top theatres in the U.S.
Moving away from an illusion -based performance was a pivotal moment in Hoffman’s career. “At eighteen I studied psychology in college, and really got into the science of the mind. From that point forward the mental stuff slowly took over my show,” Hoffman told The Cord. “I tried the big illusion, but it didn’t really appeal to me as much as the mentalism did.”
The “mental stuff,” referred to by Hoffman, is his ability to “know what people think, and what they’re going to do.”
By employing his education in psychology as well as his knowledge of illusions, Hoffman is able to create the appearance of mind-reading capabilities, going as far as to claim he is able to influence the thoughts and behaviours of his audience.
“By looking at a person and seeing how they dress, move, act and speak, I know exactly what’s going through their mind at the moment,” said Hoffman. “My favourite part is watching how people react. I love to watch them step out of reality for a second and have a good time,” said Hoffman of his Turret performance.
Hoffman continues to tour the world, showcasing his impressive talents and intruding into the minds of audiences everywhere.