Johannes Malkamäki is a professional mentalist and magician and knows a thing or two about how the human mind works in certain situations. In his talk at Insight 2016, he explains how to influence and guide people to the direction you want. That might sound like teaching how to manipulate people, but the core message of the talk is simply to help people make a good impression of themselves and make their presence more memorable in all kinds of situations.
Johannes fell for magic in his teen years after seeing a card trick performed. It wasn’t long before he was learning to do tricks, mainly with cards. After years of doing classic card tricks, he got increasingly interested in psychology and the human mind, so he started to incorporate psychological dimensions into his magic tricks and performances. That led him to become a mentalist.
Some people argue that there is huge difference in being a magician and a mentalist. For Johannes, that’s not a discussion he thinks is important. He incorporates them both in his performances and thinks that it’s the entertainment value what really matters.
Today, he performs both by himself and with a crew with other mentalists. Last year his crew Huijarit (Scammers) did a video project where they scammed people. As an example, they managed to get free clothes from stores by pretending to be the head of the company. Ocean’s movies were a big inspiration to the crew, including well planned and perfectly executed scams. They wanted to push their limits and see what they able to do. Even though they scammed people, they wanted to do it in good spirit, which they felt they succeeded in since most of the people they scammed reacted positively when finding out they had been scammed. The videos can be seen on the crew’s Facebook page and Youtube channel. See also the blog on his page ihmetys.com.
Johannes ended up studying biotechnology at the University of Tampere and is really motivated in his studies. He would like to incorporate his interests in psychology, mentalism and human science in some way in the future. A big dream for him is to work with popularizing science in future. That would involve two things that are important to him: entertainment and science.