Richard Osterlind (b. 1948)
Mentalist, Author, Inventor, Lecturer
Place of Birth
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
Richard Osterlind possesses the superior abilities of mindreading, psychokinesis and suggestion. Apart from being a specialist in the art of mentalism, he also harnesses a degree of flexibility that enables him to perform in various show settings from intimate groups to stage performances.
Osterlind lives in a colonial house (complete with 2 white pillars) where he has his "Magic Workshop." It is here at his computer where he develops and creates his new material.
Richard Osterlind was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on March 6, 1948.
Bridgeport was once the home of another famous showman, P.T. Barnum, so it seems fitting in some way that Osterlind would obtain his first magic trick, a coin slide, at the age of 6 at a performance of the Ringling Brothers-Barnum and Bailey Circus under an open tent in Seaside Park.
Other magic sets followed, of course, and by the age of 10, Osterlind was performing magic shows for his friends in the family basement.
By this time, the family had moved to Ansonia, a smaller town north of Bridgeport, and Osterlind’s interest in magic began to wane during his high school and college years.
Music had become his new calling and his skills as a drummer led in exciting new directions.
It was during a trip to New York City to play at the Bitter End, one of the Village’s hot jazz and rock clubs, that Osterlind decided, on a whim, to stop by Tannen’s, the legendary magic shop then situated right in mid-town.
This brief visit re-ignited his passion for magic and, in short order, he bought a set of The Tarbell Course in Magic and worked at joining the local International Brotherhood of Magicians ring.
As a matter of fact, for his initiation show, he learned Dai Vernon’s Cups and Balls routine, practicing endlessly to make sure it was perfect so he would be allowed entrance into the club.
He later mused that at the time, he didn’t realize that learning "any old trick" would have gotten him in.
However, Osterlind’s skills were not lost on the members who thought he was incredibly gifted, not realizing that the Vernon routine was the only trick he knew at the time!
He soon became intensely interested in mentalism and began doing mental effects for interested persons during band breaks.
In fact, it was the bass player in Osterlind’s band that got him his first mentalism gig at a local Chamber of Commerce function.
He created his first original effect for that show, an impression device that turned out to be clever, practical and fiercely original.
Later marketed as "IMPAD," this would be only the first in a number of inventions, many of which would go on to be part of the arsenal of mentalists everywhere.
By this time, Osterlind was performing shows often, some magic others purely mentalism but it wasn’t long before his love for the latter won out.
Even during a lengthy, seven-year sojourn as the house magician at a luxury hotel in Stamford, along Connecticut’s "gold coast," he was mixing in more and more mentalism. He had also started to study stage hypnotism and began doing hypnotism shows.
In the ensuing twenty years, Osterlind became a full-time performer, moving from the college to the corporate market, doing less shows for more money and traveling to places most only dream of.
During this time, he’s created numerous marketed effects, including "CHANGE OF MIND," "TWO-FACED;" "RADAR DECK," "ULTRA BOARD;" "THOUGHT SCAN" and the “S.O.S. BAG,” perhaps the last word on Annemann’s Pseudo-Psychometry plot and his own unique take on the classic “MENTAL EPIC.”
His published works include "Three Miracle Routines," "Two Perfected Routines;" "Dynamic Mysteries," "The Very Modern Mindreader;" "Mind Over Matter," His "trilogy;" "Making Magic Real," "Making Real Magic" and "Essays" has gathered widespread critical acclaim.
He’s contributed to many publications including Bascom Jones’ Magick, Apocalypse, The Linking Ring, The Magic Menu, and many of Al Mann’s mentalism manuscripts.
Osterlind’s work is also represented on video in "Challenge Magic," a video released over a decade ago, "Mind Mysteries" in 2009 and "Easy To Master Mental Miracles" published by L&L Publishing.
Richard Osterlind moved to Kentucky in 2000 where he lives with his wife, Lisa and his 2 stepdaughters, Megan and Brittany.
Information courtesy of 'OUT OF THE SHADOWS: A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF RICHARD OSTERLIND' by JIM SISTI.
Photo courtesy of Randolph Photography
For more information, visit
Richard Osterlind's official website.
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