Steven Shaw aka Banachek
(b. 1960)


Steven Shaw's Real Name

Steven Robert Shaw




Mentalist, Lecturer, Inventor,

Author, Magic Consultant, Entertainer

Place of Birth

Middlesex, England


5' 9"






Banachek possesses the uncanny ability to bend, warp and manipulate metal objects at will. He can also perform mastery feats of telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, derma optics, and hypnosis.

Interesting Fact

Steve Shaw had been a fan of Banacek, the early ’70s television show starring George Peppard as the title character, In searching for a stage name, Steve took the name Banacek and changed the spelling to “Banachek” to pronounce the name easier. The change stuck and he has been Banachek ever since.


Banachek was born Steven Shaw on Nov 30, 1960 in Middlesex, England.

His parents divorced their first year of marriage. Banachek's mother later remarried and had two children.

In 1969, the family immigrated to South Africa and lived there for 7 years.

That same year his mother left her second husband, who battled alcoholism. Steven Shaw essentially abandoned, had to raise his two siblings, a year old and three year old by himself until he was 15.

In 1975 Steven flew to Australia to find his real father. The two moved to the United States in 1976, however, their relationship was short-lived.

While in high school, Steven moved out of the house, rented an apartment and supported himself with three jobs.

During that time, he discovered books by renown scientific skeptic and magician James "The Amazing" Randi, including "the Truth about Uri Geller!”

Shortly after, Steven deepened his study of mentalism. He went to the school library and buried himself in a multitude of books on spiritualists and psychics in 19th Century.

He performed his very first show in Washington, Pennsylvania at the Washington mall.

Thereafter, he entered talent show competitions, and won many of them.

He even devised methods for bending nails and silverware.

His metal bending abilities were so profound that other students were stealing cutlery from the cafeteria for him to bend.

Steven Shaw wrote a letter to James Randi, explaining if he ever wanted someone to stump scientists, Steven felt he could do so.

Randi took him up on that request and devised a clever hoax to dupe professional scientists and convince them the reality of psychic power.

Thus, in 1979, the successful "Project Alpha" was born.

In 1983, He teamed up again with Randi in the investigation of faith healer Peter Popoff, which ultimately debunked Popoff's false claims.

Steven "Banachek" Shaw has written many books on mentalism, such as the best selling "Psychological Subtleties," series 1-3.

He has also designed many magic and mentalism effects, including the Penn and Teller bullet catch and the original "Buried Alive."

Banachek's consultive expertise is often sought out by many top performers around the world, including David Blaine, Lance Burton, and Criss Angel.

His popularity has also garnered him numerous awards and television appearances, including "Mindfreak," "CNN Live," and the "Today Show."

Banachek is currently enjoying his career as a mentalist, performing, and lecturing around the world.

For more information, visit Banachek's official website.

Return from Steven Shaw to Mentalists page.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.