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Banachek (born 30 November 1960 as Steven Shaw) is a mentalist, inventor and author of mentalism books.

BornSteven Robert Shaw
November 20, 1960
Middlesex, England, UK

Known forMentalist, magician, writer, skeptic
CategoriesBooks by Banachek

He has invented various magic effects, including the inspiration for Penn & Teller's double bullet catch. He is the Director of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) Million Dollar Challenge.

Born in England and raised in South Africa and Australia, Banachek began performing before his arrival in the United States in 1976.

He as been a consultant for entertainers and magic TV shows around the world including Penn & Teller, David Blaine, Lance Burton, James Randi and Criss Angel.

During the early-1980s Project Alpha hoax, Banachek was one of the "psychics" that fooled scientists at Washington University into believing that their supposed psychic abilities were genuine. Also, with James Randi, he took part in an investigation of alleged faith healer Peter Popoff's activities, which ultimately exposed Popoff's false claims.

In 2008, Banachek toured as part of the stage show Hoodwinked with Bob Arno, Todd Robbins and Richard Turner.[1]


  • Psychic Entertainers Association Dave Lederman Memorial Award (for Creativity in Mentalism), 1997.[2]
  • APCA (Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities) Entertainer of the Year 1998, 1999.[3]
  • APCA College Campus Novelty Act of the Year, 2000.[citation needed]
  • Psychic Entertainers Association Dan Blackwood Memorial Award (for Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Mentalism), 2006.[2]
  • Psychic Entertainers Association Dunninger Memorial Award (for Distinguished Professionalism in the Performance of Mentalism), 2007.[2]
  • His book Psychological Subtleties 2 won the first place in The Magic Woods Awards for Best Book in 2007.[citation needed]
  • Awarded Honorary Lifetime Membership at PSYCRETS (British Society of Mystery Entertainers) Tabula Mentis VII in April 2010.[4]

Books and Videos


  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Awards
  3. Steve Banachek- Mentalist of the Millennium-performed Friday Brinck, Chad Clarkson University Clarkson Integrator October 8, 2001 link July 31, 2009
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