The Schmooze

Q&A: Mentalist Marc Salem on Reading People

Mentalist Marc Salem knows how to read people. He begins and ends his latest show, “Mind Over Manhattan,” by assuring his audience that there’s nothing paranormal or supernatural about what he does. But it’s hard to reconcile those claims with the “magic” he performs onstage.

How, wearing multiple blindfolds, does he identify items just by placing his hands in their proximity? How does he call out audience members by name and describe favorite vacations they’ve been on?

Salem, 57, born Moshe Botwinick, is a rabbi’s son with a Ph.D. in psychology. He studied with Ray Birdwhistell, who founded the field of non-verbal communications, which, Salem says, is the science he uses to deduce his responses.

“Mind Over Manhattan” is the latest incarnation of “Mind Games,” a show he’s performed from Broadway to Brazil. It’s currently at the concert hall at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. Salem spoke to The Arty Semite about non-verbal communication, Broadway plans and his sixth sense of humor.

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Q&A: Mentalist Marc Salem on Reading People

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