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Who's in the Video
Born George Joseph Kresge in 1935, the Amazing Kreskin is a famous mentalist who rose to popularity during the 1970s and still performs live shows today. Kreskin works off the power[…]

Mentalists rely on the power of suggestion to glean information from audience members. Thus, keen communication skills are essential. But as The Amazing Kreskin explains in this video interview, those skills are waning with the rise of distracting forms of technology. The art of conversation is a dying one. People are afraid of making genuine connections. Our noses are perpetually pointed downward toward smartphone screens. Because of this, we’re losing the ability to really read people.

The Amazing Kreskin: I’ve always used the term all my career — "mentalist" — because I don't consider myself a psychic. I have no special supernatural powers what have you, but I've always felt it was possible, even when I started performing, and that was when I was about 12 years old, that it was possible under certain conditions to perceive a person's thought.

We're seeing it happen less and less in recent years because our culture, as the traditional culture is disintegrating, and I've spoken before so many, many professional groups and sociologists agree with me; people are not communicating anymore. They're relying on a box or a machine in their hand, and, of course, we know find this our level of education in this country has plummeted and education is very important to me. I've done over a thousand university shows. But people don't hear each other anymore. They're actually human beings, and this is going to seem incredible, who when they're in a restaurant have a cellphone on the table and they're looking into it. And I have nothing against cellphones and what have you because it's an important form of communication, but it's telling us unconsciously how we feel about the person across from us. We don't really value them that much because we're not paying that much attention to them. People talk to us just as much when they're not speaking. We need to listen to silence and not be afraid of silence. And there are people who reached a point where they are afraid of silence. I mean, when you go into their house have a television on and a radio on. And you begin to realize that they really can't live unless there's something busy around them. I mean, god, if you're not taking your kid on hikes, you don't have to have money, but just on hikes into the forest and listen to mother nature because mother nature is talking. And sometimes when you listen to mother nature, you can hear voices and it isn't really that they're speaking to you; it's your unconscious is turning things around and picking up certain sounds that remind you of something that's maybe in the back of your mind.

Do I believe it's possible to perceive a thought? Yeah under certain conditions. Yes, provided a person concentrates.