I was made aware of mentalist PAUL W. DRAPER through my brother-in-law (Bob Aagard) years ago. Since then, I have seen Paul perform numerous times for audiences big & small. Paul is very engaging, funny and will even teach you a thing or two during his amazing show. We are proud and excited to have him as our first guest in our new Your Cre8tivity blog series.
1. Describe What You Do?
I’m an Inspiring Keynote Speaker and a Comedy Mentalist.
Mentalism shows: The show is called “Mysteries of the Mind” where I weave mind reading, mystery, music and storytelling into an interactive theatrical journey where audience members become the stars of the show. What if you could tell if someone was lying or read subtle body language like Sherlock Holmes? I can teach an audience how.
Imagine witnessing water appearing from someone’s bare hands, watching metal bend with only a thought and mind reading feats that seem absolutely impossible.
I share secrets to having a super memory. When given a list of unusual words shouted out by the audience, I can name them back in any order.
As a Cultural Anthropologist: I understand how to connect at a core level across cultures and diversity of employees to help find common ground. This means I will work to build a deeper enthusiasm for your mission that will create more successful engagements with team members and customers. Skills used include anthropological ethnographic observation, understanding culture, understanding inherent human universals, conflict management, and the science behind the construction of leadership and tribes.
As a Professional Entertainer: I have performed for the The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino and Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. In my performances, I specialize in a unique set of skills to read and influence others. Beyond the above, I have a showman’s gift for making the entire process of cultural change and alignment entertaining, inspiring, less stressful, and far more productive for everyone involved.
2. How Did You Get Where You Are Today?
I used to be a university professor, my training is in cognitive anthropology. But I payed my way through school performing magic shows and musical theater performances.
After moving to Vegas to teach at UNLV I had more opportunities to perform on the Las Vegas Strip and engage with other world class performers and variety artists. The key transformation happened when I accepted my role as an entrepreneur as well as an artist.
My job is to create art, but also know how to create art and oratory that fulfills the needs of others. I am in the need fulfillment business and my key job is to add value to others. To succeed you have to have the mindset, skill set, toolset, and drive to achieve.
3. What Type Of Conditions Are The Most Creative For You?
I am most creative in 3 very different venues.
1) I love working from midnight to 6am because there are no other distractions. No one is calling me, asking to hang out, or skype. The restaurants are closed as are the parks, museums, and movies. I have nowhere to go and nothing to do but work and be in my own mind.
2) In a team of creative people who know how to give constructive criticism. Where we can let the ideas flow and none are absolutely wrong or right. Sometimes you write 300 jokes and only 10 make it into the show or speech. But you listen to all the ideas.
3) The audience is the best creative condition. They polish your act. If you watch your audience and listen to them, they will tell you what is working and what isn’t. They are always your best judge.
4. Who Has Inspired You Most? Why?
That is a reasonably long list. I have been inspired by many people. Then again, I look for inspiration in everyone as I believe everyone has genius. I had teachers who inspired me throughout my public school, university, and grad school. (But less than you would expect.). Some shining examples include my history, wrestling, and philosophy teacher Dave Vande Veegaete and my debate teacher Rebecca Brough who carried me to two national wins in Oratory.
I have been inspired by many magicians and mentalists including Looy Simonoff, Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Banachek, Blackstone, Peter Reveen, Business leaders like Burton Sperber Healthcare leaders like Roger Chen Religious leaders have inspired me from over a dozen faiths including Rabbis, Priests, Friars, Reverends, and lay clergy.
I have been deeply inspired by the biographies and autobiographies of men I have never spent any real time with in person, but have spent hours with their words: Gerry Spence, Joseph Campbell, Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Will Rogers, Gene Perret, Clifford Geertz, Marvin Harris, Victor Turner, Winston Churchill. And of course my family members – particularly my Grandmother Ruth Block, my uncle Richard Block, and my mother Paula Draper. Too many to name. The key is to be inspired by everyone, to seek inspiration from everyone, find their genius and learn what they know. What trials have they been through, how did they overcome pain, what are they passionate about and how do they get through the challenges of this difficult world.
5. Do You Have A Favorite Client or Venue To Work With?
In the world of Magic it is always such a great honor to perform at The Magic Castle in Hollywood or The Magic Circle in London. I have loved the opportunities I have had to headline my own shows in Las Vegas and share the spotlight in variety shows on the Strip. It is also such great fun whenever I have been brought onto television shows to add a little magic to their specials. In the world of leadership and Healthcare I think that I have had the greatest impact at Martin Memorial Health System and Lee Memorial Health systems in Florida though I have worked with so many across the country, those are the ones where I really found leadership in alignment with my message of kindness in care.
6. What Piece Of Advice Would You Give To Others?
1) Continuous improvement. Always look at where you can be better. Never stop developing and growing.
2) Be in the need fulfillment business. Fulfill the needs of others as a path to your success. If you can show me a need, I can show you how you can be successful if you are passionate and enthusiastic about your journey.
3) Do things that improve the world around you and make life easier, happier, and more beautiful for others.
4) Decide on a targeted clientele you want to create for. Choose one that is successful and has money. Find out what their needs are. Write a very targeted website, postcards, letters etc. that associate your name with their need. Show that you are an expert who is absolutely focused on their industry. Then spend 8 hours per day, 5 days per week contacting these companies and offering your services. If you do that for 3 years, you will be a success.
7. Do You Experience Creative Blocks? How Do You Deal With Them?
I certainly do, everyone does. I go to a movie, a park, theme park, zoo, art gallery, museum, train ride, exotic restaurant, library, class, lecture, reading, or theatrical performance. We must be actively interested and engaged in everything. Who knows where inspiration will spring. Whenever you meet a new person, you have access to an entirely new world of people and experiences – even in the same city.
8. What Is Your Favorite Color?
I tend to wear blue, purple, green, white, grey, and brown. I think that those colors of life showcase the emotions that I want to have associated with me and my message. Though I must admit, I am often drawn to the Navajo combo of turquoise, red, and black when worn by others.
B I O G R A P H Y
As an expert in his field, Paul Draper has appeared on several TV networks, including the History Channel, A&E, HBO, Hallmark, Travel Channel, and HGTV. Some of his recent TV appearances include: Hell’s Kitchen, Pawn Stars, Ghost Adventures, Mindfreak, and House Hunters.
Draper has also been featured in articles for Psychology Today, Glamour Magazine, Parade Magazine, Becker’s Hospitals Review, AskMen.com, Disney’s Family Fun Magazine, and many guest contributions for the AP and AOL News.
Paul Draper has lectured at Yale University, Apple Cupertino Headquarters, The World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and The Magic Circle in London. As a respected Las Vegas entertainer, Paul has performed in “Applause” at Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino and hundreds of shows at the Venetian Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
Based on his show, “Mysteries of the Mind”, Paul Draper was chosen as the 2014 Merlin Award winner for Best Corporate Performer by the International Magician’s Society.
In addition to his corporate shows and lectures, Paul Draper is frequently called upon as an expert in fields ranging from magical history to human consciousness. As an anthropologist and member of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, Paul Draper pursues studies with Native American ghost dancers, South American cannibals, and spiritualists.
Check out our 2016 Salt Lake Comic Con podcast episode featuring Paul.