Mental Circus – An interview with Gilan Gork

I adore magic.  At almost 32 years old I still believe that clapping my hands helps fairies to live and I prefer not to know how a ‘trick’ is done, I rather believe!

Ever since I watched the first episode of The Mentalist, I have been fascinated with the art of Mentalism and with what can be accomplished with the mind and it is my privilege to have been asked to interview world renowned, South African mentalist Gilan Gork.

What is a mentalist? Are you a magician?

There is a great difference between a mentalist and a magician.  A magician is someone who specialises in the art of sleight-of-hand and perhaps larger illusions.  A mentalist is someone who deals only with the mind such as reading thoughts, predicting what people will say or do before it even happens or telekinesis: the ability to move objects or bend substances like metal using only the mind.

Is magic real?

Magic is always a trick and relies on various principles of illusion.  Mentalist uses a wide spectrum of techniques from psychology to intuition and showmanship to be able to accomplish the mental feats seen in a mentalist’s show.

When did you first realise you wanted to be a mentalist?

I was always interested in entertainment and when I became older – in my teenage years – I started to meet various hypnotists and mentalists from other countries.  When I realised that I could do what they do, and that I had a natural knack for it, I decided that this is a path of learning that I would pursue for the rest of my life. 

Have you ever gotten a prediction wrong?

Yes.  Sometime I envy magicians – once they have mastered a sleight of hand, they know that they will be able to create the same illusion at the click of a finger.  However as a mentalist, dealing with the mind and working with random people on stage, there is always a risk of being wrong.  Fortunately I get enough right for people to forget if I do get anything wrong!

What is your personal favourite moment in your career?

When I was first able to bend a stainless steel fork with my mind with other eyes watching: this was in front of my parents who were speechless.  I knew that I was on a unique path.

Has using mentalism ever gotten you into trouble?

I typically would never use mentalism to harm anyone or to gain an unfair advantage, however there was one time at school when I had not studied for an exam… Suffice to say I should have picked another student’s answer!

What advice do you have for people wanting to learn more about mentalism?

Start reading books on people skills, leadership, and how to influence others.  Classic self-help books are a great start to being able to understand behaviour. 

If you could have one super power (besides being able to read peoples minds) what would it be?

I have always fantasised about flying.  To simply stare up into the sky, push against the air, and fly freely upwards .  I used to walk home from school and would often find myself having an almost out-of-body experience as my mind would imagine the view, flying above, while my body continued walking on my path.

Gilan has a brand new show happening at the Joburg Civic Theatre on Thursday 7th July at 8pm and there are still tickets available!

To book tickets please visit the Civics brand new booking portal here:

To read more about Gilan and his amazing gift visit his site here:

You can also follow Gilan on twitter here: @ImTheMentalist

BONUS: I have just heard that I have 1 double ticket to give away to one of you lucky readers for the show on Thursday!!

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment telling me what super power you would love to have.  Easy!

T’s & C’s

This competition is governed by these rules as read with my Promotional Competition Rules

  1. The prize is a set of two tickets to a performance by Gilan Gork at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre on 7 July 2011 at 8pm.
  2. This competition is open to you if you 18 years of age or older and can arrange your own transport and accommodation to/in Johannesburg (where necessary and at your own cost) where you can receive your prize.
  3. Entries are open until 12pm (GMT +02:00) on Tuesday 5th July 2011.
  4. Winner will be announced at 1pm on Tuesday 5th July 2011.
  5. Winner will be chosen by numbering comments posted to this blog post and selecting a winner based on the corresponding number determined by

10 Replies to “Mental Circus – An interview with Gilan Gork”

  1. If its a super power in the Marvel-comics sense then I’d love to be able to fly. Save a fortune on airline tickets and I’d be able to skip traffic too.

    If its something I believe is entirely possible then I’m going with moving things with my mind. Remote come here!

  2. Gosh, so many superpowers I’d love to have – do I have to choose just one?!
    I guess flying would be at the top of the list, followed closely by invisibility and then mindreading…

  3. Hmmm… let’s see…
    Realistically speaking, I think Remote Viewing would be my superpower of choice (a-la the US’ Project Stargate – 1970s to 1990s).
    Fictionally speaking, I would have selected teleportation (on account of my insatiable Wanderlust).

  4. Hi

    I would apreciate the power of ShapeShifting, be a cat and laze in the sun all day, become a bird and fly where ever, become anybody to get in front of the qeue and if I could shape shift become a hero and help people with my powers to become famous on my own accord aswel.

    But we all know its a fantasy, in reality I have the power to actively determine my future right here right now! as do we all.

  5. Every time I watch a super hero movie I go through this… Hmm, as much as I love Wolverine I think Phoenix is the coolest X-(wo)man I don’t know how to describe it, but I love the stuff Peter Petrelli has in Heroes – I want HIS abilities!! Is that cheating?? :p

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