What do you see? At first, it looks like you could fall right into this cavernous hole. Upon closer scrutiny, though, we realize it's a well-done artist's rendering. The entire surface is flat, but a talented artist with a creative mind took paint and brought it to life with perspective.
In recent years, one piece of technology that's added great value to my life is GPS. It has made it so easy to punch in an address and have a voice direct you to your destination. On occasion, I've made a wrong turn or come upon road work that made me take a detour, and the GPS says in that rather condescending voice, "Recalculating." The little computer inside recognizes I'm off course. It takes this new information and makes the needed adjustments. It's amazing how quickly this device recognizes new information and makes adjustments.
The human mind is a lot like this. It's the ultimate supercomputer. The mind is profound in its ability to create and its ability to observe, respond, and adjust, just like when we first saw the artist's masterful work above. The artist takes advantage of the information already stored in our minds about light, dark, shadows, reflections, hard edges, soft edges, etc. and uses it to lead us in the direction he desires to create a feeling.
Then, upon closer examination, we recognize an illusion. With this additional information, our mind makes adjustments and we appreciate the artistry even more. The picture is real, and it did not change. What changed was our perception. If you're like me, you enjoyed the beautiful picture from the start, but then you looked closer and discerned what you were actually seeing. At that point, I began to take in and admire the magnificent care and attention to detail the artist included to create this astonishing imagery.
My name is Don Townsend and I am a mentalist. That means I create the illusion of mind reading. My shows capitalize on these principals of illusion and reality. I use psychology, observation, and influence to create the illusion of mind reading. I use things people already know and the habitual way our minds work to create this illusion. Then, as I explain to the audience how I accomplish what appears to be impossible, the surprise, laughter, and appreciation grow.
Is it real? Yes, just like the painting above is real. Is it psychic or ESP? No, that's where the illusion comes in. Is it art? Absolutely!
By Don Townsend
Don Townsend is an Orlando entertainer that provides jaw dropping laugh out loud corporate entertainment with his astounding mentalist act.
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