By Christopher A. Pape
What’s in a phrase or response? Is it just that particular word or is it how it is said? Marc Salem, the world-renowned Mentalist and a student of the human mind for over thirty years, would say it is the latter. As an academic he holds advanced degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and New York University and has been on the faculty of several major universities for close to two decades. He is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on non-verbal communication. How the mind creates reality and meaning has been his major focus. And I had the pleasure of speaking with him to understand how this works, his new show and how he is so good at predicting what people are thinking.
NYR: You live on the West Side and you’re returning to the city with a show called: Mind Over Manhattan. Can you tell us about it?
Marc Salem (MS): I had a previous show called Mind Games. This is much more Manhattan based. It will be more about my experiences in New York. It will be based on the audience with mind games attached but with the loftier goal of pleasing all Manhattanites.
NYR: Can you give us an example of what you will do during the show?
MS: For example, I have a number of envelopes and one has cash and the others only have a prize. Hopefully, I give away the prizes and keep the cash for myself. It’s a matter using influence and my intuition versus the audiences’ intuition and I read some non-verbal cues. Also, I distinguish between truths and lies - all in a nonthreatening environment. It’s all very fun.
NYR: Is that something you do in person or can do this over the phone? Is it possible to do this without the human connection?
MS: I usually need the human connection, but I’ll give you an example of how this works. Think of a number 1 to 4. Do you have it?
MS: Is it three?
NYR: Yes. How did you know that?
MS: Because I already used all three other numbers. Although ‘to’ is not a number, your mind processes it that way and you almost automatically go for the unique number.
NYR: Most people fall for that?
NYR: And that’s across education and socio-economic levels - it doesn’t matter?
MS: I do the show around the world. And if there is one thing it’s taught me, it is: how much the same we really are. Sure, non-verbal responses vary across cultures, but some are innate and some that we are born with.
Visit marcsalem.com for more information
Mind Over Manhattan is running two Saturdays in March, for tickets visit ticketmaster.com or call 800.745.3000