Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Interview With Alain Nu: The Man Who Knows

1. How long have you been a mentalist? And how did you get started in the art of mentalism?

I became interested in mentalism around the time I was 8. I first learned about mentalism from (I believe) a book by Walter Gibson, called, The Master Magicians. It mentioned Alexander, who was the original "Man Who Knows." Mind reading and mental powers has actually always intrigued me. Around the same time I saw Uri Geller on the Merv Griffin show and was hooked. It was that combination of the two: One guy who I read about, and a more 'modern' guy who I actually got to see on TV, that showed me that entertainment could be expressed in a purely mental way.

Alain with his crystal

2. How are you the man that knows?

The very first Man Who Knows was Claude "Alexander" Conlin who was made famous for this title almost exclusively because of the entrancing posters of the vaudeville era, which depicted this obviously (non-Hindu) caucasian man wearing a Turbin and peering into a crystal ball. The posters of him continued to live past his own very successful career as a stage performer. So, I am not the first Man Who Knows. However, in my opinion, the title of Man Who Knows is a very specific one that depicts a mystery man that is neither a magician or a medium. Originally, I was dubbed the Man Who Knows by my manager, Clinton Billups. He had heard a reporter make reference to it after having seen me perform, and he was drawn to trademark it and dub me as "The Man Who Knows." So although, I may not be the original, if you Google 'The Man Who Knows", I am the top Man Who Knows ranking. This may not mean much to anyone else, but it's the little things in life, right?

3. Spoon bending is a part of your show-you can bend spoons with your mind. Can you let us in on that secret or not?

No! It's the cool and surprising part of my show... and now that we've mentioned it, I guess we'll strike surprising. Spoon bending is still, in some ways, a mystery to me. Sometimes people in my audience have been known to spontaneously bend spoons that they, themselves, bring to my programs. This is the original "Geller effect" in action. I talk about this (and I interview Uri Geller) in my most recent book, State Of Mind, The Man Who Knows Reveals the Secrets of Mind Over Matter. It is oddly hard to explain just what causes metal to sometimes bend so easily. Sometimes the multiple bends that my audience members can make in the spoons they bring, are even more intricate than the ones I bend myself in the show. So I invite you to try it—in fact, the first time we ever met face to face was in NYC and a spoon bent in your hand, remember?

Alain bending spoons on network TV

4. You have performed all over the world. What is your favorite place you have performed? And where can you be seen regularly?

I am really excited to be the Resident Man of Mystery at the famous Watergate Hotel in Washington DC. There, I perform for private groups weekly, however we are right now finalizing arrangements for a ticketed show which I will be premier there called "Secret Asian Man". No recording devices
are allowed, but even if you do, you'll mysteriously find an 18 1/2 half missing gap of audio, he he. Currently, the Watergate is my favorite place to perform. It is a beautiful and historical hotel and the people who come there are pretty excited to be entertained by me. However, the most amazing place I have ever headlined would have to be The Magical Empire at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. It would be hard to explain if you have never been there before, but just my stage alone had a curved back wall of an ancient Chinese mural and flanking both sides of the performing area were two very large, ornate dragons with smoke that subtly wafts out of their nostrils. Since it closed in 2004, nothing to this date has even come close to the spectacle and grandeur of The Magical Empire.

Alain's billboard in Las Vegas

5. You have written several books. What are they and where can they be purchased?

I have two books available on Amazon. State Of Mind: The Man Who Knows Reveals Secrets of Mind Over Matter and Picture Your ESP: Reveal Your Hidden Powers With The Nu ESP Test. You can find them in bookstores, and online retailers like Barnes and Noble and Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions. State of Mind is really a book that shows you example after example of how to think like a mentalist. It shows you how to do a few simple and beginner mentalist tricks that I have developed, then it shows you how being a mentalist is actually not about the trick, but about how, with an open mind, you can interact with reality in truly mysterious ways.

Alain's fans love his books

6. You had your own TV show on TLC. What was it called and when did it run?

My show for TLC was The Mysterious World Of Alain Nu and premiered in 2005. It was even seen internationally, including Continental Flights from Europe to Los Angeles. The only reason I know that is because I would sometimes get fan mail from people on those flights. It was an amazing experience, but I would be so much better now, if I was ever given another chance to give it another go. As you know, working on TV is totally different than live performance. So the next producer that gives me that challenge, know that I can take it to new heights.

The master at work

7. If you could have dinner with any mentalist from the past who would it be?

All my life, I have been known as an "underground mentalist" and part of that has to do with what constitutes that term. Most underground guys, are creators, and that doesn't mean that they would have had to be god performers. They just need to be clever artists that know the craft, like screenplay writers are to the film industry. Those are my peeps. Some of my closest friends are/were underground kings of their time. So if I could have dinner with anyone, I would want it to be Theodore Annemann. He was a true artist in the craft of mentalism. He was also a bit of a tortured artist, as he ended his own life two weeks before an important show he was expected to perform. But it's the artists within the field who are some of my closest friends, so if I had only one to choose, then I choose Annemann.

8. What is next for “The Man Who Knows?”

That's the one question that I never know. But I can say this: I am moving on up!

Alain amazing this group of people

9. What is your star sign?

Leo on the Cusp of Virgo. My birthday was actually the same day as the eclipse this year, so since you know me, that was quite significant... Lunar shit can't stop me now.

10. What do you eat for breakfast?

Most of the time, it's just coffee. Is that bad?

Monday, September 18, 2017

10. “Wow…..still living in your mom’s basement. Nice to see you believe in consistency.”

9. “Your kid is growing wiser and smarter. Not only is he on the honor roll, but it didn’t take him very long to figure out you were a loser.”

8. “You gained weight. But at least you’ll be ready to hibernate for winter. Wait, you hibernate every day because you don’t have a job.”

7. “You want your shit? I threw it away. I thought about selling it but it’s worthless just like you are.”

6. “I think it’s crazy you wanted me to wait for you until you got out of prison. Because when you were away, we both cheated with the nearest man who would listen to us.”

5. “I don’t want to be friends with you. You’re like used toilet paper. You’re ultimately good for nothing, make everyone uncomfortable, and a reminder that I sometimes make shit choices.”

4. “You relapsed on heroin? I’m so proud of you. It meant for once in your life you had a goal, got off your ass, and took some action.”

3. “I’m supposed to be jealous of your new girl? Honey, you are her problem now. And when she sees you sleep with the light on because you are afraid of the dark and answer to your mother there are no throw backs here.”

2. “Your new lady seems so sweet. Now tell me, how long did it take you to move in and try to live rent free? Just curious.”

1. “Who are you again? You look familiar but I can’t quite place you.” 

Bonus Disses aka Honorable mentions:

A: "Your family and friends are hassling me because they think I ruined your life. That is the only time you got off your ass and did something for yourself. They say they want you to do well. When I was 6 I wanted my dad to get me a pony and we didn't. Looks like we're on the same program there."

B. "I dumped you. But my mom's disappointed. It's not because you were so wonderful, she thinks you're a loser. She just always taught me to think for myself and never follow a crowd."

C. "Your best friend wanted me to sleep with him after you left. Even he doesn't like you. But he eclipses you in one way, he's a bigger loser than you. I didn't think that was possible. Granted, I hate myself for loving you but not enough to sleep with your idiot sidekick."


Friday, September 15, 2017


It was July 2012. I was all about being a reality star. This was a strange time in my life. I was spotted on the street by fans and thought I had arrived. I had and I hadn't. I had because I wanted to be on TV and be recognized, plus the world knew about my puppet babies. I hadn't because it had all become about the wrong thing.

Prior to this picture being taken, I felt rather stunted and depressed. I wanted to jump out my window and didn't know why. I wasn't sincerely suicidal. More like uninspired and depressed like a Smith's song. Then I applied to do The Coney Island Talent Show. It was a long way away from where I lived and I almost didn't go. The trains were crap that day. But something told me to go.

I got there and it was another snag. There were kids. NO ONE TOLD ME THIS WAS A FAMILY SHOW. FUUUUUCCCCKKKK!!!!

Except I couldn't say FUUUCCCCCCKKKKK!!!!!

So I literally had to rewrite my act on the spot. Bob Greenberg was so supportive and told me I could do it. He was one true friend as I sweated under my arm pits. For so long May Wilson and I had done the late spots at the clubs. We had been dirty. We had been raunchy. We had been as bad as can. Now we had to be good.

It felt like the longest time before we got onstage. When we did, we did our clean routine we had put together on the spot. We actually did surprisingly well. Everyone, adults and children, laughed. There was something so wonderful about being on the boardwalk entertaining people of all ages. So often in NYC comedy becomes about being angry and deep that we forget it's about making people laugh. And also, so often do we get deep into our depression of not getting what we want because the business isn't fair that we forget the root word to funny is FUN.

I didn't win, but I did a good clean set. Bob and Joe Bev rocked it as Abbot and Costello. The World Famous BOB was so cool and sometimes I sweat she is a totum animal of mine. Maybe I didn't win the cash money, but I made people happy that day. And I walked away feeling inspired. That under all my insecurity, maybe I could make this a career after all. Note, I left feeling awesome and loving comedy. And when I saw my window that night, I saw the stars to my dreams instead of a bottom where I wanted to jump and escape.

April Unwrapped: My Naked Dreams Revealed