By:Amy Rosner By:Amy Rosner | February 24, 2022 | Culture
Hailed as having the “magic touch,” Kevin Nicholas has gone on to become an international award-winning magician, captivating audiences around the world with his illusions.
Kevin’s dedication to his craft has brought him throughout the world to perform his own brand of magic known as “Modern Mentalism”.
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Intriguing, breathtaking, and astonishing, Modern Mentalism enthralls audiences with wonder. “What just happened?!” and “How did you do that?!” are frequent exclamations heard from the crowd during a performance. However, most people are simply left wide-eyed and speechless.
Kevin’s journey has placed him front and center, performing for high-profile clientele in Manhattan, the Hamptons, Los Angeles, and all over the world.
He’s had the pleasure of entertaining countless celebrities, fashion houses, and sports icons, including Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Hudson, Paris Hilton, and Michael Strahan.
Keep reading for an inside look at the man behind the magic.
You have spearheaded an entirely new brand of magic called Modern Mentalism. Can you talk a little bit about how this branch of magic differs from existing conventions?
As an entertainer, the title of “modern mentalist” is my style of bridging the gap between magic and mentalism. My style of magic is fast, visual, and in your face, whereas my mentalism offers a more personal connection with my audience. All entertainers have their own style and personality that they bring to the stage. I want to leave my audience with a feeling of magic they never thought possible and to bring a new image to magic.
Although some may categorize you as a mentalist, your invention of Modern Mentalism qualifies you as an industry trailblazer. What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs who are trying to push the boundaries in their respective industries?
Advice I can give to anyone trying to push boundaries in their respective fields: what is your “why” and is it big enough for you to fail and to continue because it’s all you believe in? You must embrace and find the romance in the struggle. For many, it won’t always come overnight and for some, not at all. If you know why you are doing what you are doing and are willing to do it for free- you’re on the right track.
How have you established yourself in the entertainment world? In an environment so saturated by talent, how do you stand out?
To stand out is to do what no one else is and to go where no one else will go. I love thinking outside the box. Aside from my passion for fashion, cigars, wine, cocktails, and my love for traveling, I love marketing and being able to create and get inspired- that is what I believe sets me apart from others in my field. When you think differently you start attracting more of what you love. For me, it’s the amazing events I get to perform at because of the atmospheres I put myself in. Talent will get you far but won’t always set you apart.
Can you talk a bit about the psychology behind magic? In other words, why are consumers so drawn to this form of entertainment?
Magic is an art that can connect to anyone. It breaks all cultural and language barriers. The visuals of magic allow our art to be universal. I don’t need to speak the language for you to understand that a number or picture changed on a piece of paper. It connects to people in many ways, sometimes even comically, other times it can be emotional if it connects on a deeper level. I have had moments where there were tears from laughter and other moments where the tears came from a different place.
On the flip side, why are you attracted to mentalism? How does that suspension of disbelief play out when you’re “the man behind the magic?”
Mentalism to me is like listening to jazz. It’s more of a give and take where you don’t know exactly what can happen next. Unlike a card trick, you know the beginning, middle, and end. With mentalism, you know when the ending is but it’s the time in between that is this beautiful give and take, where you and your audience know anything can happen. It keeps things fresh and interesting.
In a way, skepticism fuels the magic industry. In what ways do you use this sensation of “how is that possible” to further your work?
There will always be skeptics in our industry. I classify myself as an entertainer. There are 3 types of audience members:
The funny part is both of them are similar because they’ll both watch you and connect with you, maybe for different reasons, but you know they're focused.
Magic is oftentimes questioned as a talent. How is your work challenging these notions that magic is lesser than more popular forms of entertainment?
Mentalism and magic is a talent that I feel sometimes gets thought of and put aside for your child’s birthday party. Magic is the only art where perfection is the only way. If you are not perfect, you fail and if something goes wrong, you see behind the curtain. I bring my form of art into different genres that people might not have ever thought about. I love bringing a new image to magic through working with some of the biggest fashion houses to create marketing projects for emotional experience.
Photography by: Courtesy Kevin Nicholas, Klim Musalimov