A Mentalist Who Reads Minds Over Zoom

Title: Jason Suran

Age: 29

Hometown: Skokie, Sick.

Now Lives: In a brownstone within the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Declare to Fame: Mr. Suran is a postmodern mentalist and dapper showman who jokingly calls himself a “demon we must always kill with hearth simply to be protected.” His up to date twists on traditional psychological illusions — one trick entails swallowing needles — have spellbound the higher ranks of New York nightlife (he was an artist in residence on the Norwood Membership in Chelsea final yr), Hollywood (he has carried out for Robert DeNiro and Jamie Lee Curtis) and even the Pentagon (he as soon as entertained former intelligence officers over lunch).

In an period of contested truths, Mr. Suran stated it’s vital that his sorcery is constructed on transparency. “I give individuals a peek backstage with out spoiling the thriller,” he stated. “A kernel of fact makes individuals extra passionate in regards to the present, not much less.”

Large Break: His first brush with the thriller arts got here in 2010, when he was finding out at New York College and moonlighting as an usher at Monday Evening Magic, a long-running magician’s night time on the Gamers Theater in Greenwich Village. A motley crew of “magicians, jugglers, glass eaters and, after all, the odd mentalist” would seize a post-performance chunk on the close by Washington Sq. Diner to debate “card methods, coin methods, escapes, aspect present, pickpocketing, juggling and even simply the inventive concept of magic,” he stated. A yr later, Mr. Suran was performing his personal solo exhibits at cocktail events and locations just like the Nationwide Arts Membership. “Mentalism is so thrilling as a result of it’s one of many few artwork types that places the viewers on show in a really possible way,” he stated.

Newest Venture: When New York went into lockdown final spring, Mr. Suran retooled his hourlong present for a digital viewers. “Reconnected,” which entails upward of 25 strangers logging right into a Zoom video convention — everybody is inspired to maintain their webcams on for higher viewers interplay — has bought out over 200 performances since July. Regardless of the bodily take away, the exhibits have been surprisingly intimate. “We’re all going by means of this equally terrifying recreation of Russian roulette collectively,“ he stated. “Simply as all of us are going by means of Covid and quarantine collectively.”

Subsequent Factor: Though he has no plans to cease his live-streamed sorcery (firms like Van Cleef & Arpels and Google have booked the present), he’s starting to ponder what an in-person sequel to “Reconnected” may appear to be as soon as dwell theater is ready to safely resume. “Fairly than it simply being the identical results onstage, I would like the dwell present to replicate on what the distinctive expertise of doing the digital present itself,” he stated. He’s additionally exploring a tv collection with Alan Cumming’s manufacturing firm.

Hocus Focus: Mr. Suran, who was identified with consideration deficit hyperactivity dysfunction when he was within the first grade, finds performing therapeutic. The extreme focus the job requires “gave me instruments that I didn’t know existed” to handle his A.D.H.D., he stated. “I’m by no means as undistracted as I’m after I’m conscious of viewers consideration.”

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