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July 29, 2014

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Youthful mentalist a magician at reading minds

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Sam Morris

Mentalist Luke Jermay performs his act at O’Sheas Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009.

If You Go

  • What: “Mental” starring Luke Jermay
  • When: 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Dark Sundays and Mondays
  • Where: O’Sheas
  • Tickets: $29.95; 733-3333

At 24, Luke Jermay is a veteran magician, mentalist and author with dozens of books and thousands of performances under his belt.

“Everyone considers me a baby,” says the British native who has spent half his life absorbed in magic, beginning performing at the age of 12.

Jermay’s first book on magic, “7 Deceptions,” was published in 2000 when he was 15. Soon after he became a consultant to magicians around the world.

Among his library of magic books are “3510,” “Building Blocks,” “Emotional Intelligence (E.I.),” “Skullduggery” and “The Coral Fang.”

In June he debuted his show “Mental” at O’Sheas, in a snug, 100-plus seat showroom he shares with “Freaks.”

Both shows are produced by Anthony Cools, who stars in an adult-oriented hypnotist production at Paris Las Vegas.

Over the years Jermay has performed many shows for private events in Vegas. This is his first public show here.

What fans can expect?

You can expect to have your mind read. No two shows are ever the same. It keeps things fresh. In terms of what you will see, people are chosen at random and are told personal information about themselves that I should not know. Obviously there are theatrical dips and valleys and so on. That’s the core of the show, for me to look at somebody and tell them information about themselves that nobody else should know. One of the other things people enjoy about my show is I don’t try and hide the methods and how they work. I’m very comfortable with what I don’t mind explaining what just happened. That’s as entertaining as not telling somebody how something happened. But it’s impossible to really explain it in depth because it’s a long, drawn out process.

Why magic?

I was quite young when I began. I had a natural aptitude toward these ideas and concepts I now perform onstage. At the age of 15 I became a creative consultant for a lot of television performers in England. That’s how I was introduced to Vegas, through my various shows in England. There were connections.

Who inspired you to do what you do?

In terms of inspiration, there are very few areas to look to. There’s a natural aptitude, human interaction, people watching. Very few people have done a show like this one in the past. I found myself looking back 100 years to find anyone who did anything parallel to my show. It’s hard to find anyone on the modern scene parallel to me. The real inspiration comes from what I wanted the show to be. I find it really fascinating to try to make the audience the focus as opposed to the performer. My show is not a magic show, however there is a similar amazement factor. The audience doesn’t know how these things work. In a magic show, the performer is on the pedestal, but in this show I look at it as the other way around ‹ as a celebration of people in the audience, their ambitions.

Why Vegas?

As a young performer Vegas always seemed like a really interesting, exciting place. What brought me here in first place was being a creative consultant to other people. I met producer Anthony Cools and he was interested in shows that work around the way the mind works. I was fortunate. I’m a good fit for Vegas. This is very much a case of the right person at the right time and the right place. I hadn’t planned on coming to Vegas but then I spent a little time here through various projects and decided I really liked it. I was surprised, discovering the local side of Las Vegas. I had a great two months here and decided not to leave. One thing led to another and here I am. The heat bothered me at first, but now when I go back to Europe I can’t handle the cold.

What about the small room?

I work much like a standup comedian ‹ the size of the venue can be flexible. The impact of the show is much better when it’s in a smaller room. I can connect with people. There’s an intimate feeling that is very special in the small room, as opposed to something spectacular in a larger room.

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