Shalom Life | August 31, 2014

Exclusive: Lior Suchard on Why he Became a Mentalist

He performed at Barbra Streisand’s 70th birthday bash and appeared twice on "Jay Leno." Find out why celebrities and thousands of fans love Lior Suchard.

By: Ilan Mester

Published: June 1st, 2012 in Culture » Stage » Interviews

Exclusive: Lior Suchard on Why he Became a Mentalist

You might not have heard of Lior Suchard yet, but some of your favourite celebrities certainly have. The young Israeli mentalist has worked his magic on stars like Jerry Seinfeld, Kim Kardashian, Zac Efron and Arnold Schwarzenegger. His TV credits include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Today Show. Suchard made headlines in May when he performed for Barbra Streisand at her exclusive birthday bash. He’s also impressed another public figure: world-renowned mentalist Uri Gellar. Suchard won Gellar’s reality show, The Successor, aimed at finding the next big mentalist. The charismatic performer took some time earlier this year to chat with Shalom Life about what he does.

You won the TV show The Successor. Growing up, were you a fan of Uri Geller?

When I was six years old, I discovered my abilities. Growing up, It’s not like I would walk in the streets and read other people’s minds, but I had a very strong intuition. For example, I could tell weather the person in front of me was good or bad, if he was lying or telling the truth. I was aware of Uri Geller even as a child. I remember the stories, the articles, the TV shows -- not only because of his mental abilities, but mostly because of his stage presence, and charisma. He could talk to you and you were immediately magnetized. I was performing quite a lot even before The successor started. I remember that I sent Uri an email about two to three years before the TV show and he immediately responded. I was fascinated by that and was very excited. After all, he was a pioneer at the art of stage mentalism of that kind.

How would you describe what you do?

Some people call it powers. What are powers? I don’t believe in that word. It’s too aggressive and arrogant. What I have are abilities. Some of them are congenital and some I developed through very hard work. I am a true autodidact of underground psychology, NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) body language reading, persuasion, guided imagery, psychological analysis, non-verbal communication and more. I have read hundreds of books and articles on those matters. I trained to be focused and to concentrate. I started to research and try to figure out what’s going through people’s minds when they think and how can I draw it out. How will I manage to influence someone to make a choice about something, but his choice would no be his – but mine. I made mistakes and learned from them. Then I made completely new mistakes and learned from those too. I gathered experience -- I’ll say basically I use my five senses to create a “sixth sense.” A sense of the mind, A sensitive intuition, Its all a matter of believing in yourself and positive thinking. You just need to believe… I always say: Anyone can learn to play the piano, but not everyone will become Mozart.

What separates you from other mentalists and entertainers?

Mentalists are very rare in the world. There are few artists who do what I do, some of them are also Israelis (in fact, the Israeli mentalists are considered better that the others). Every one of them are good, but I rarely go and see other mentalists at work. I think my approach is different. As an Israeli mentalist I am a bit more aggressive in a good way (with charm), and my audience management is different from others. Israeli audiences are very difficult to handle, so after lots of years performing in Israel, I developed this kind of stage presence and handling. It’s all about the show and not just the tricks. I would say its 15 per cent the tricks and abilities and 85 per cent my stage presence, charisma and entertainment. Its more important to be funny and to interact with the entire audience.

I think that too many artists forget about that and take themselves too seriously with their “supernatural powers.” Im not taking my abilities too seriously on stage and that’s the fun of it. That’s what my audience loves.

You’ve performed for a number of celebrities. Who was the most amazed by what you do?

Interesting question… I performed for quite a few. I think everyone was really amazed in their own way. Arnold Schwarzenegger looked at me and asked, ‘Can you bend my budget?’ Kristin Davis freaked out, Jerry Seinfeld started to laugh out loud, Jay Leno got angry with me and got frustrated from what I showed him. Gerard Butler put his hands on his head and screamed, then he couldn’t stop talking about it and kept telling every person he meet about my live show and what I did in it (till today). Larry king was very excited when I told him a name he was thinking of, but then got more excited when he heard I’m from Israel.
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