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    German mentalist Nicolai Friedrich, on his toughest trick and why he’s back in India barely months after his previous visit
    Nicolai Friedrich was four years old when he learnt his first magic trick. But by now you’ve read that in the numerous interviews he has given the Indian media over his trips to the country. His most recent visit to the country was in August, when he left audiences in five cities amazed, to say the least. Now gearing up to perform in seven cities (including Chennai and Bengaluru), Friedrich is being brought down by Ashvin Gidwani Productions. Ahead of his show at the Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall on October 31, he talks about psychology, tricks and more.

    What brings you back to India?
    The audiences here have welcomed me with open arms. Besides, I love Indian food and can’t have enough of it. So you could say that brings me back.

    What can we expect this time?
    The audience will be in for some new, spooky tricks including inception and inkblot. Imagine someone planting a thought in your head, then erasing it and planting a second thought. As for inkblot, you will have to attend the show.

    Is a mentalist also a good psychologist?
    Mental magic is a mixture of psychology, suggestion and magic. Psychology is about understanding human behaviour. If you train and use some of those hidden potentials you can do things that seem like miracles to others. Moreover, if you have studied the psychology of human nature and know certain ways that people behave, it is quite easy to detect a lie or predict a future behaviour. Our body is constantly screaming out information, so if you think your secrets are safe in your head as long as you keep your mouth shut, you are wrong!
    Your toughest trick till date…
    I once predicted the headline of a big German newspaper, a week ahead. It was for a TV show and everything was under supervision. Another very difficult publicity stunt for the same TV show was when I flew an airplane with a German celebrity on board while being blindfolded. There was no autopilot and I glad I managed to land the plane safely.
    What does it take to be on top in your profession?
    Read a lot, go and see as many shows of good performers as possible, practice, practice, practice and perform as often as you can.
    A magnum opus to you would be?
    Maybe travel back in time. It would be exciting to know what the past looked like and the future looks like.

    — RP

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