The Mentalist Case
by Alfredo Barrago
There is, within each of us, a fantastic and mysterious monster; usually inconspicuous, it has neither form nor matter. It sometimes re-emerges from the past; at times reveals itself, threatening to tell us what will happen. It hides, insidious, prophetic, subtle and enlightened. It owns the ancient memory of time and knows rummaging through tunnels secrets of the future. Man is not allowed to know him. Discover the existence and reveal the identity is the task of the mentalist: interpreter of ‘soul and surgeon of the mind, the one who is granted to use the five senses to arrive at the discovery of the sixth. To unlock the secrets of thought, to explain human behaviour, read body language.
(E. M. Twins)
Guessing the future, discovering the secrets of the past, knowing the intentions of those in front of us, or whether we’ll be accompanied by good health and how our things will generally go: at work, in loving matters, in everyday life. These have always been among the most natural human desires. Philosophers and scientists have always questioned on these aspects of our lives. This is also the matter under investigation by mentalism, which consists of behaviour observation, interpretation of thought, ability to read the signs given out by the mind as inexplicable dreams, anxieties, weaknesses, feelings and hopes. All this can also become a game, a clever way to provoke, to encourage reflection, to arouse feelings, to enhance our imagination’s creativity, to disclose or anticipate events. Yes, but how? The Mentalist Case is the tool that I decided to put at disposal of all those who love the intelligent exercise of the mind, which are capable of transforming the moments of socialization in opportunities to reflect, in rather light ways,
on the infinite possibilities that our brain, our imagination, our creativity can offer each of us so that we are able to use, in more gratifying ways, this almost unknown purveyor of knowledge that is the mind. Because it is certain that in addition to the familiar senses that we use daily (sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch), there is also this mysterious sixth sense that is an extraordinary instrument, almost unconscious, that nature has given to each of us: WonderFULLY!
The games that I propose have two functions: to entertain so friendly, being together, and to exert, discovering the infinite qualities, the world of the mind. Thanks to “pack” you will learn about an important branch of illusionism and simulate the ability to possess the great paranormal powers such as telekinesis, mind reading and foresight, using the tricks and the skill of the great mentalists of the world. Among them the legendary Silvan from which, as a child, I learned the first secrets when I was donated his “magic box”. To achieve this, I propose a very simple method composed of fourteen special tricks. It is a real journey, which will take you step by step until it makes authentic mentalists of you. Essential, at this point, are your presentation skills when illustrating the number you wish to propose. Simply having The Mentalist Case at hand, in fact, is not enough. It is necessary to explain well, in a captivating and compelling way, what you are doing, always bearing in mind that much of the final outcome will depend on your own presentation. I say this because I myself, in my shows, actually experienced how important getting the attention and cooperation of the audience is. Good luck! And soon, hopefully, The Mentalist Case Returns!
The Making of The Mentalist Case
by Antonio Palmas
It was 1986. I wouldn’t miss a single instalment of the Fantastico TV show, major Saturday evening program of Rai 1 in the 1980’s. I was enchanted by the cleverness of a magician from Sardinia (my region as well): that was just the dawning of Alfredo Barrago’s career, more than thirty years from now. A career still developing in Italy, in Europe, and in the whole world.
Alfredo Barrago, a very eclectic artist, is capable of moving with extreme ease from his early performances of his youth, in nightclubs and such, to the international circus Tribertis, the shows in the city squares, cruise ships, and of course theatres, also conquering a unique record: he participated in the most important programs in the history of Italian television: “Grand Prix International TV” with Mike Bongiorno, “Domenica In”, “Porta a Porta”, “Il Fatto” by Enzo Biagi, “Uno Mattina”, and “Il Capodanno di Rai 1”. His great versatility allows him to master various branches of magic, from the manipulation of cards to the general magic, from close up magic to mentalism. First illusionist to perform the walk on water in 1994 (broadcast on Super Quark by Piero Angela), Barrago ranked fourth in the 1996 World Championships in Germany. He also champions the defence of the weak, working with Telefono Antiplagio (founded in 1994 by Professor Giovanni Panunzio), which exposed through the years dozens of impostors who use tricks pretending to possess paranormal powers. Memorable in this regard a page that the famous London Times devoted regarding the Civitavecchia bleedings statuette of the Madonna, when he exposed fraud against the unsuspecting faithful.
About all of this, of course, I could not know of in 1986, although pretty early I began to feel that our paths would cross one day. That happened in 2013, when I enrolled in the school of magic art “Harry Houdini”, directed by Alfredo Barrago. As a trainer and an educator, I saw in magic a powerful tool to be used in school to teach in an innovative and fun way, as well as a tool to restore one’s energy in moments of weariness.
Since I devoted my entire life to the study of human behaviour, to the goal of realizing the potential of our mind and the development of the unique and inimitable talent that everyone has, the branch of magic that immediately excited me was certainly mentalism.
When I started I could not imagine, of course, that a few years later, in 2015, I would win the regional title of the category; having attended a school which hosts live entertainment every month had benefited me greatly.
So fate made a mental coach passionate about mentalism and a mentalist looking for a mental coach meet to share an ambitious dream: the making of this Mentalist Case. Alfredo reckoned that all the magic box sets currently on the market are conceived to appeal a very young audience of very young age, while a product intended for a more mature audience, interested in a type of effect that allows training the mind as well, was still lacking. How nice then being able to offer everyone the chance to become a mentalist, at least for one evening in front of your friends!
In order to reach such an ambitious goal, a very meticulous preparation was essential: through the use of various personal empowerment tools we have created the conditions for enhancing the extraordinary Alfredo experience and his strong inventiveness (which won him, in 2010, the award for best innovative illusionist in St. Vincent). On my part, I put at the service of this case my fresh experiences as a mentalist and my more rooted expertise on the functioning of the human brain and the mechanisms that regulate attention, seasoning it all with a healthy dash of creativity and madness.
It has certainly been an honour working with a professional so motivated and focused; I had yet another demonstration of how much energy we can release if only we devote all of ourselves to the enhancement of our talent.
Alfredo and I hope to raise awareness, through The Mentalist Case, that everything in life can be looked at from different points of view, and that reality is sometimes very different from how it superficially looks. Expanding our points of view makes us free, increases the range of options to choose from, and surely brings us nearer to being the true masters of our choices. Having fun while doing is even more rewarding.