5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
Alex McAleer possesses the uncanny ability to apparently tap into his audiences’ minds and read their thoughts at will.
However, he doesn’t pretend to be a ‘psychic’ who reads fortunes or talks to the dead. Instead he reads people and talks to the living, combining contemporary mind reading with sharp wit and a flair for showmanship.
Since 2014 Alex has toured extensively with Champions of Magic in England, Scotland, Wales, the USA and Canada.
SD: How did you get involved in mind reading?
AM: I was the only child, so I had lots of hobbies. I had a magic kit, but I also had a ventriloquist dummy. I was all over the place. When I was 14, my mum passed away and that led to my interest in the psychology of my feelings and ghost hunting TV shows. I soon discovered this branch of magic called “Mentalism.” Around that time, I was given a book on memory tricks and techniques. The book encouraged you to show off your newfound skills to your friends and family. When I realized they actually liked what I was doing, I never stopped.
SD: Is mind reading really a high-stakes guessing game?
AM: That is great! I might steal that. I’ve called it thinly disguised guesswork. It’s about stacking odds in your favor and always making sure you have an out. People sort of know how the trick is supposed to happen. I say think of a word and they know I am going to try and guess it, but they really don’t know what that pathway looks like. It’s not a psychic gift like it is in the movies. I wish it was, because it would make my life much easier.
SD: How do you study and continue to develop your art?
AM: Unfortunately, there is no Hogwarts. You can join a magic club, but there are lots of books out there to help. I try to read everything that is out there and try to discover new things. Even if the topic is not directly related to what I do, it does help develop your style.
SD: Is there a trick that you do that gets the most audience applause?
AM: I am not sure, actually. I would have to say it is probably the first time I reveal something to them.
SD: What is contributing to the continued surge of popularity in magic
AM: I really don’t know, but it has been quite steady for the last couple of years. I think from David Blaine it started to pick up again. With him, people started seeing a new brand of magic that wasn’t stuck with just David Copperfield. The stream of movies that have recently came out: “The Prestige,” “The Illusionist, “Now You See Me,” and of course, we can’t forget “Harry Potter.” It’s a popular art form of entertainment that never really goes out of style.