Who is Derren Brown?

The mentalist, illusionist, hypnotist and artistic painter from England has taken the world by storm with his hit TV shows, which combines thought provoking ideas, controversy and mind experiments to provide entertainment at its best.

How a Hypnosis Show Altered Derren Brown’s Career Path

Derren Brown was born in Croydon, England in 1971 and his interest in magic and psychology was sparked during his childhood years.

However, it seemed as though he was going to head down a completely different career path. Brown was privately educated and went onto study Law and German at the University of Bristol. It was there that he attended Martin Taylor’s hypnosis show, that brought his childhood interest back to the forefront of his life.

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The show that Brown witnessed had a profound impact on him, and thus inspired him to make a career out of being an illusionist and hypnotist instead.

Almost immediately, Brown poured himself into the world of magic, studying and practicing intensely. He was a quick learner and was able to start working as a conjuror when he was still an undergraduate.

Under the stage name of Darren V. Brown, he began performing stage hypnosis at his university. Alongside that, he also performed traditional close up psychological magic tricks in bars and restaurants, which helped him to develop his skills, confidence (using hypnosis for confidence) and also to pay the bills.

derren brown

Derren Brown’s Big Break in TV

A huge moment in Brown’s life and professional career came in 1999 when he was asked by Channel 4 to put together a mind reading program. It was called “Derren Brown: Mind Control” and proved to be an immediate success, with the repeat shows featuring in Channel 4’s Top 10. This prompted another series and a long relationship with Channel 4 was established.

Recorded live stage shows, television specials and a long line of entertaining mind manipulation programs were all part of the agenda, and they all produced great ratings with some of his shows winning prestigious awards.

Brown was once an Evangelical Christian during his teenage years but it was through learning how the mind works that eventually changed Brown’s personal beliefs and convert him to atheism.

His newfound beliefs would go on to influence some of his work in his TV shows, such as the “Messiah” where he seeks to provide answers to common criticisms of religion.

Techniques, Methods and Writing from Derren Brown

The knowledge, experience and recognition that Brown has gained since he started taking hypnotism seriously, prompted him to author several books. Absolute Magic and Pure Effect were directed at practitioners of magic and mentalism (read about it here) and his other two books, Tricks of the Mind, and Confessions of a Conjuror were written for the general public.

They all provide insight into how the human mind works, the paranormal industry and what techniques he uses to alter people’s state of mind.

Brown cites that his methods consists of a combination of traditional magic and conjuring techniques, hypnosis, memory techniques, body language reading, cognitive psychology, cold reading and psychological, subliminal and idemotor suggestion.

It’s an impressive mix of techniques which provides a little more depth about Derren Brown’s complex mind.


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