MMP #22 Mentalism and The Séance with Jason Suran

Jason Suran is a New York based mentalist and performance artist. His unique blend of psychological illusions and immersive storytelling has led him to perform around the world from Haiti to Dubai and on various networks including NBC ESPN, and FOX. Originally from Chicago, Jason first moved east to attend New York University where his interest in non-traditional storytelling steered him towards magic and more specifically … the history and methods of modern psychics. His most recent theatrical project (The Other Side: A Psychological Séance) is an exploration of death, faith and the rise of spiritualism in 19th century America.

In this episode we unpack what mentalism is, talk about persevering through low-points, and explore what happens after death.

Find Jason’s work at

Here’s his IG:

-Mentalism as a sub-genre of magic
-Mentalism as ‘magic designed to simulate psychic phenomena’
-The 4 components of mentalism
-The origin and history of mentalism
-How Jason decided to bring back Seances from the history of mentalism
-Integrity in mentalism
-The temptation for a mentalist to pretend to be magical
-How to take a dishonest endeavor and extract an emotionally honest experience
-Going all the way with his seance – simulating communicating with the dead
-What emotions people experience during a seance
-The experience of longing
-Every ghost story starts with a love story’
-When we love someone and then they die, what do we do with all that energy?
-It doesn’t matter if ghosts are real, but why do we care if they are?
-How Jason got interested in the seance aesthetic
-How experiencing several deaths in a year shifted Jason’s seance
-The unpredictability of grief
-What DOES happen after death?
-How meditation changed Jason’s life
-Why mentalists are materialists
-How Jason has dealt with self-doubt and impostor-syndrome on his artistic journey
-‘You have to need it versus want it”
-The importance of realizing you love practicing something
-What would happen if a mentalist never turned it off
-The reveal of Uri Geller
-The two types of psychic performers
-Does Jason ever wonder if he’s actually communicating with spirits?
-Jason’s unwillingness to reveal his trick to me!
-How Jason feels about people revealing mentalism on youtube
-How Disneyland uses mystique
-Art includes some degree of deception to get at human truth
-When to take a leap of faith in belief
-Gambling for entertainment, not for high stakes

Here’s the video of Uri Geller we discuss:

And the phony tai-chi master:

ENJOY!!! Much love <3

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