60 seconds with… neuro-magician Rufus Wiena

Rufus Wiena, a talented neuro-magicians and educator on the topics of brain-hacking, mind-reading and meta-learning, has captivated audiences all over the world with his impressive dexterity in sleight of hand and psychological skills. And our lucky inVOYAGER’s will get to experience it first-hand this Sunday (6 October) evening at our welcome reception in Monaco. We got the lowdown from the man himself on his unique talents…

Tell us more about your background and how you got into magic?
Before magic, my background was as a long-distance runner in Sweden. I trained really hard to become one of the best runners in the country, but unfortunately was struck by exercise-induced asthma, which hindered my ability to get to the very top. I had to change career and try something different and was inspired after seeing an amazing card magician, so little by little I got interested in magic and into that field. Through practicing, I became number one in Sweden for card magic and ended up travelling all over the world performing.

That was the start of it. Then slowly but surely the sleight of hand magic I was doing evolved and I got more into psychology, how you present to the audience and trying to entrance people though techniques like body language reading, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and the pseudo-science world. I got more interested in how the brain works and how to play with timing and use my voice and eyes to manipulate the brain and get people to make the choices I want them to make. From there, I got into the corporate world and have been doing it in different countries and continents for years.

Your expert topics are listed as mental training, meta-learning and brain hacking – can you tell us a bit more about them and how they might help the inVOYAGE community of event professionals?
With my background I have realised that in order to learn, you have to have tricks and shortcuts you can take to do that. If you want to get a boost of energy quickly, techniques like extreme cold exposure such as an ice-cold shower and holding your breath are a great way to increase your mental strength and what you are capable of achieving. Those are my two quick hacks to boost your mental state of mind.

I have the mentality that nothing is impossible. I think you can get pretty far with anything with the right kind of training. Meta-learning is getting yourself into the best possible state of mind to learn – you can save time and be more time-efficient and productive with small tools that everyone can benefit from them not just in their work, but in their personal lives.

Brain-hacking is about using psychological tricks such as NLP to plant an idea into someone’s head.

What do you enjoy about working at corporate events?
Meeting new people – it’s very fascinating. I go to events with the idea that I am going to learn something new. Having that old-fashioned physical connection and being there and able to give them that wow experience is very thrilling.

Where are the most exciting places in the world you have performed?
There are many destinations I like, but Nanjing in China is one of the most interesting places I have performed in. One of the most spectacular things I have experiences is being flown by private jet to perform at a private event. It was a fantastic experience and the most exclusive thing I have done. I have also done some very challenging shows, for example 3,000 people at a New Year’s event, which was not the easiest to perform at.

Of all the magic you perform – which trick tends to wow the audience the most?
There are some things I have been working on for five to ten years to master, but those are not necessarily the things that people are most wowed by. The technique people always talk about is my ability to remember names. At one event I memorised and recited 138 names before I got off stage.

What can our inVOYAGE community expect from your performance?
I will do a combination of the things I have talked about – memory tricks, sleight of hand, the power of suggestion and other magical tricks – but I don’t want to give away too much. You think you have control over your brain, but I’ll be trying to hack myself into the brains of people there, and I think they will be shocked.

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