A list explaining the origins and inspirations for Pia Palladino
Brown does not claim to possess any super-natural powers, indeed his acts are often designed to expose the methods of those who do, such as faith healers and mediums. He makes clear in his performances that all of his apparent abilities, which manifest on stage/screen as feats of memory, intuition, mind-reading and control of other objects/people, are achieved through a variety of psychological means, such as hypnosis, suggestion, cold reading, misdirection, and showmanship, and in many cases he will often give detailed explanations of his specific methods during or after the performance. In some performances he also uses his techniques to explore issues of personality such as fears and motivation.
After discovering Brown, I went in search of research and reading about magic and I found this lovely, fascinating history. Harry Houdini spent many years vigorously defrocking fake psychics. Marjorie was a psychic who had many members of the Scientific American staff convinced she was "real". Houdini made it a personal mission to expose her as a fraud.
The books about Pia's war with Harry Houdini (part one is available now) are based loosely upon the struggle between Houdini and Marjorie.
It's intriguing to me how desperate people were to believe in something after death, and the lengths they would go to maintain evidence. It becomes about more than someone wanting to know when they'll get married. It's about something much sadder and deeper.
I know how to read palms. I learned it after I began my research into magic, spirituality and misdirection. Reading palms appealed to me over other psychic practices (such as Tarot cards, reading tea leaves, or numerology) because it has a direct connection with the body. Palm reading relies entirely upon the patterns grown by the hand. This intimacy is interesting because it requires an physical connection between the palm reader and the client. The palm reader must touch the client. This fact alone must change the dynamic of the reading, even in the smallest way. Though I find palm reading interesting, and giving readings to people valuable and enlightening, I do not believe in the inherent truth of palm reading.