2024 MINDvention Presenters

Rick Maue

Rick Maue SMALL

Rick Maue is not a magician. He’s not a mentalist. He’s not an actor, a director, a photographer, a poet, or a writer. And, he doesn’t do magic. He doesn’t do mentalism.

Nor does he do acting, directing, photography, poetry, or writing. However, Rick uses magic. He uses mentalism. He uses acting, directing, photography, poetry, writing, and countless other forms as well. Or, in a word, Rick Maue “creates”. 

Throughout the past five and a half decades, he has created more than two thousand magic and mentalism performance pieces. He has written over four dozen books and manuscripts. He has appeared in front of audiences in forty different states, directed numerous theatrical productions, and worked with magicians, mentalists, performers, and creators from around the world.

In addition, Rick was the recipient of MINDvention’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016,as well the Psychic Entertainers Association’s very first Bob Cassidy Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Mentalism in 2023; the latter being a very rare occasion, as the PEA was recognizing a non-member with one of their highest honors.


These days, Rick’s main focus is to share his creations, his experience, and his passion with artists who wish to travel the often-ignored backroads of creativity, performance, subtlety, philosophy, and humanity.

Jon Tai

Jon Tai - tintype headshot -

Jon Tai is a celebrated magician and storyteller, whose mission is to foster connections between people through shared moments of astonishment. He performs across the country and around the world, in person and virtually, and has called the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Liberty Magic Theater his home base since its grand opening in early 2019. He is best known for having co-created and starred in “Missed Connections” Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters in New York City, following its premiere at Chicago’s MacArthur Award-winning A Red Orchid Theatre. A graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Psychology, he lives in the Troy Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh where he can often be found drinking far too much coffee at Scratch & Co., his favorite neighborhood cafe.

Eric Samuels

Eric Samuels 1

Eric Samuels has made an impact on the world of Mentalism for well over a decade. He is a performer, author, product developer, and performance consultant. As a performer, he has established himself as an in-demand corporate entertainer and keynote speaker. As an author, his book Setting the Stage: Content & Character for the Stage Mentalist, has been hailed as a contemporary classic of Mentalism. His product line - Mentalism Tools, has developed some of the most original and coveted products in the game, including TableVision, BOX-X, and The Black Box. And when other performers need help fine-tuning their work, Samuels has become a go-to consultant, combining years as a talent developer in the radio broadcasting business with his second career as a seasoned performer and speaker. Samuels’ body of work was recently recognized by the PEA (Psychic Entertainer’s Association) with the Dan Blackwood Memorial Award for his Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Mentalism.

MindVention 2024 Lecture - OPENERS  

Performers have a natural tendency to focus their greatest resources on developing a show closer. Makes sense, as the closer is likely your most powerful routine. But in most performing circumstances, your opener is the routine that will either grab or lose your audience’s attention and interest for the night! And, if you don’t win them over at the start, your closer (and everything in-between) will never achieve maximum impact. 

In this session, Eric Samuels will discuss the anatomy of a powerful opener and demonstrate specific examples that he has used to great success in both his corporate and theatre shows over the past fifteen years.

Joshua Quinn


Joshua is a full-time musician and an occasional semi-pro mentalist. In the mid-2000s, he started releasing a few things to the mentalism community, including his book ParaLies, which became a pretty remarkable success – apparently because the stuff he comes up with is quite a bit different than the stuff other people come up with. After it came out, David Blaine cold-called him and asked Joshua to come to New York to coach him on parts of it, which he did, and he ended up using that material in various TV specials. His new book Immaculate Misconceptions (due out this summer) will the basis for his presentation.

The lecture he's putting together highlights material from each of the chapters in the book, which cover:

  • Using “hidden in plain sight” predictions as convincing demonstrations of subconscious influence
  • The latest work on his original “chunneling” process, which is one of the things Davis Blaine uses
  • Using binary codes in ways that are both more deceptive and easier than they’ve often been
  • Cards Against Telepathy – because why should playing cards have all the fun?
  • New, effective strategies for equivoque and related processes
  • Forces, peeks, and multiple outs that don’t seem like they could possibly be those things
  • The power of truth versus lies, and how to exploit that power for maximum impact

Garrett Thomas

Garrett Thomas

Garrett Thomas is one of the most accomplished sleight-of-hand magicians in the world, but what does he know about mentalism? Plenty!

Garrett's work in front of the camera and behind (consulting for years for David Blaine) has allowed him to create a wide-ranging number of effects, techniques, and subtleties that have uses in the world of mentalism. In addition, he is also one of the deepest thinkers about Magic and the mystery arts.  We are fortunate that Garrett will be able to present and share his knowledge and and his participation at MINDvention will benefit all of us.