Cosmo is Berlin’s Mentalist Magician and Mind Artist.
On December 2, he’s poised to bring his English-language act to Neukölln’s LAGARI for a night of spectacular mind-bending routines: getting inside the head of the unsuspecting audience, and predicting even the most off-the-wall thoughts.
Berlin Loves You has seen him in action. Although we’re generally unimpressed and cynical, we must admit:
Cosmo is otherworldly.
In fact, Cosmo couldn’t possibly be anything else but a mentalist magician.
Dressed in a pristine white shirt, a bowtie, he shows shark-perfect teeth as he tells us he grew up in Neukölln (a rarity, indeed). But he doesn’t give us much else. Never ones to back down, we prod him with questions. What does it mean to be a mentalist in Berlin? What’s the scene like? As with everything else, he answers with well-thought-out certainty: he doesn’t interact with other mentalists. He has no interest in them. Unlike, say, the comedian beside him—James Rankin, his close friend and the opener for the December show, or even me, seated there with two Berlin Loves You writers, he’s a complete individual. And he likes it that way.
Throughout the evening, the boys and I learn very little about the actual show—Cosmo’s Mentalist Magician soiree, scheduled for December 2. “It’s hard to market,” James laughs, lending a shrug. And it’s absolutely true. Whereas a magician’s show is easy to advertise—maybe make a car disappear, chop a woman in half—a mentalist’s show has no set formula. It deals with the intricacies of the human mind. And while it leaves you gap-mouthed and reeling, it doesn’t fit well on a poster.
Throughout the evening, Cosmo flexes his mentalist muscles.
Tom’s asked to visualize an animal, name it, and write it on a piece of paper. Grappling for something inventive—something surely a German wouldn’t know!—he pens ZEBRA GARY. Around this time, Cosmo passes me a separate piece of paper that I grip with every ounce of strength I can. And when the moment of reveal comes, I unwrap the paper to find that, yes, dammit: ZEBRA GARY is written in a sure scrawl. It’s wild. It’s secretive. It makes you re-think who the hell you are and what we’re all doing here. And then, you want to demand he does it again—because you can’t get enough.
We’re faced with a man familiar with the ins and outs of human consciousness, seemingly without hang-ups, and wide-eyed to the world around him. He tells us mindfulness is the key to his act. “If you’re not here, and you’re not there, then you’re nowhere,” he says of living outside of the moment. “When I do the dishes, I’m right there, doing the dishes,” he says. Although, he says he wasn’t always that way. Years ago, he nearly died in a hospital in Thailand. Things changed for him after that.
In fact, it was a discussion about Buddhism and mindfulness that brought his comedian opener, James, and Cosmo together, last year at a Christmas dinner party. James didn’t know Cosmo was a performer (although, it seems his life is a kind of performance). They were drawn to one another’s thought processes, and soon began to grapple with ways they could perform together.
James has been on the Berlin circuit for a year and a half, perfecting his honest, observational style. For years, he says, he was trying hard to “be a comedian,” before realizing he was funnier when he was just himself: rambling about the everyday and finding the fun in boring. You can find him testing his new material at many of Berlin’s comedy clubs – especially Cosmic Comedy at Belushi’s – where he then uses Berlin as a launchpad for gigs all around Europe. An ex-Jehovah’s Witness, James has quite a tale—one that brought him all the way to Germany from Australia, with his Italian girlfriend.
Despite spending countless hours with Cosmo, he still hasn’t a clue what goes on in that mentalist’s mind when he does his routines.
Cosmo’s staggering and electric presence create a can’t-miss event in December.
Looking forward to hearing your gasps of incredulity, and, of course, your laughter. “How did he do that?” We’ll never know.
Find the Facebook Event Here for tickets and more information.