An interview with Alain Nu, “The Man Who Knows.”
When I first met Alain, I was just hanging out after school with my kids at the neighborhood park. I knew there was something different about Alain because of the way dogs responded to him. One of the dogs was clearly glued to, and entranced by Alain. Alain was like a rock star with this dog.
After seeing him interact with the dogs, his child, and also another little girl that was trailing them all, I could tell Alain was extremely present with all of them. Hmmm, I thought, this is not the usual daddy at the park.
Most parents are busy checking their cell phones, only occasionally looking up. I made a mental note, and thought, I wonder what this guy does for a living?
There is something different about him. I thought Eckhart Tolle would definitely approve of the way Alain was approaching life.
Some weeks later, I was chatting with his awesome wife Tanya at the park. I got the chance to sneak in the question, “so, what does your husband do?” She was vague about Alain being a speaker or “in entertainment.” I said great – and asked if he had a website I could check out. That’s when she mentioned http://www.themanwhoknows.tv.
Aha! I checked out the website and found out that Alain was the star of the TLC TV specials “The Mysterious World of Alain Nu.”
Check him out on YouTube driving blindfolded…
Recently, I got to ask Alain a few questions…
What circumstances led you to getting a TV show?
Alain: Many things can be said to have transpired for a break like that to happen. But basically, once you are ready, if you are prepared, “it” will happen, and you must take it when it arrives. You have to keep preparing yourself so that you’ll be ready for when that time comes.
So maybe the TLC series happened because I had just come off from having headlined at Caesars Palace for four years and was more polished than ever.
Maybe it was because a TV producer asked a guy at a bar in Los Angeles for advice on who could be found as talent for a TV show and the guy at the bar told him to contact me.
Maybe it was because I had my act edited by a videographer the very week before my producer called me, making it so that I could send him something fresh.
Maybe it was the successful meeting we had when we pitched the idea to Discovery. But I think it’s what I said to begin with.
What is your audience’s favorite “trick?” What’s yours?
Alain: I don’t perform tricks, I perform miracles! And they are all so good it would really be hard for me to decide, he-heh. Also, with each demonstration, I try to carefully create a composition so that it is no longer about just the independent pieces, but a complete thought around why we should remember to appreciate the wonders of our lives; the wonders of our lives that defy rational science and logic. So each phase of my show elicits a different series of emotions and ideas mixed with feelings of confabulation. That is really what I do.
As a performer, my goal is to use my techniques so that they create an overall effect of wonder and amazement on my audiences. I am always honored to perform for the most sophisticated people in the world.
Many people seem to like my showing them how weird it is to see spoons bend. But what I think most people also like is when I can get a psychic impression of them that they know could have only come from a cosmic place. Although this doesn’t happen all the time, when it does happen, it also surprises me.
Alain: Well, my heroes were a little different than what most would expect. I liked the Amazing Kreskin, Dunninger the Great, and The Great Alexander, The (original) Man Who Knows. I have a particular appreciation for anyone who can transcend stereotype or genre and become so successful at defying logic that they are able to carry the gravitas of the words “Amazing” and “Great” as part of their moniker. Now that’s classy.
So you just started performing on the new cruise ship, Norwegian Getaway. It looks very sleek and posh, are you liking the change of pace from life on solid ground? What’s the food like?
Alain: In fact, in the show which I am a guest headliner on the ship (called ‘Illusionarium’), they introduce me as “Grand Master Nu.” It’s rubbing off on me…
Oh, the food is really good. And some of it is absolutely amazing. There are 25 different dining options onboard including 24 hour room service. I don’t think I’m going to starve on the ship!
The Getaway is an amazing ship, with saltwater pools and hot tubs, rock-climbing walls, a casino, places to shop, full spa services, large exercise facility, an art gallery, video arcade, a teen lounge, bowling, basketball, ping pong, an enormous sun deck with an outdoor jogging track and six places on the ship where you can see live performances.
There are movie channels on the TV and also both MSNBC and the FOX News Channel (for the yin yang of news experiences), a DVD player, a huge DVD library, real comfy beds, and a shower that gets hot almost immediately. That’s my personal favorite feature of the ship, actually, because I’m trying to remember the last time I ever had that, and I actually can’t.
How has your daughter adjusted to life on the ship, does she enjoy being a homeschooler, traveling and meeting new people? Maybe she will become a young travel-blogger!
Alain: My seven year old daughter really does enjoy the ship but she and her mom just went back home to check on our poor pets who still miss us despite their new and loving caretaker. But they will plan to return soon.
I think my daughter was a little homesick also. She made a lot of friends, especially during the ten day transatlantic trip from South Hampton England to NYC. She got to dance with her first “real boy” at an “actual dance.”
The most fun, really, was meeting all the other home-school families who were passengers onboard during the transatlantic. The family whose boy danced with my daughter had a father who is a chef, and a mom who is a home-school family-travel blogger. And all they do is travel from place to place, all over the world. http://worldtravelfamily.com/. So it’s sort of peculiar you would mention “travel-blogger.” See that? Mysteries are all around us!
Let’s back up. Tell me about your relationship with animals and if that has some how been a factor in your becoming a “mentalist.”
Alain: I have always loved animals even though both of my parents were never really into animals at all. My mom is even afraid of my cats.
I was really into Dr. Doolittle when I was a kid. I really felt I could talk to animals, and though I was never allowed to have any pets, I would collect stray “dog friends.” First, they started following me around and so I would pretend that they were my pets by putting rope leashes on them and then walk them through our apartment complex. They loved being taken for walks. I would walk 4 to 5 stray dogs on rope-leashes all at once. Perhaps they were pretending that I was their owner as well? My dogs definitely love to follow me around. We have 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 mice, a frog and an eel. But I am trying to keep it at that for now.
Were you a loner as a kid? When did you know you were way more tapped-in to your intuition than the average kid?
Alain: Yes, I was a loner when I was a kid. I think mainly because by the time I was five, we were moving from San Francisco to New York, and then, by the time I was seven, we were moving to Washington, DC so it was hard for me to keep making adjustments. Plus, my parents were not the greatest at knowing how to help me adjust since they were too busy adjusting to an entirely new country and language themselves. I stayed with babysitters most of the time.
Perhaps I related to being seen as a mysterious enigma ever since grade school as it was a device I used subtly against bullies to make them apprehensive to pick on me. I do not think I am “way more tapped-in” to my intuition than anyone necessarily. I think intuition as a whole is a combination of many things happening. Sometimes it’s a connection in your brain based on logic. Sometimes it’s completely illogical. Sometimes it’s working great. Sometimes when you think you are right, you’re not.
So I have stopped thinking about intuition as something I’m better at than anyone. But I do think about it all the time. And I do play games with my own intuition on a regular basis and it’s because of this that I feel I might have an overall understanding that gives me an upper-hand at determining the “right thing,” but, just like everyone, I have my good days and I have my bad days.
When did you first start performing, and/or when was your first paid gig?
Alain: I started early. I have always wanted to do for a living what I do for a living. So I am technically living the dream. It’s not as glamorous once you get there though. My first paid gig, I would say was walking around amazing people from table to table at a restaurant in Rockville, MD called G.D. Graffiti’s, which was modeled after a 1930’s speakeasy. I was 14 when I approached the manager and asked for a job. He gave me $35 dollars plus allowed me to receive tips. I worked there for about a year, but $50 to $60 for one night was much more than what my friends at school were making. So maybe I saw financial potential right about then.
When will we see you back in the DC area? Are you going to miss being on a ship?
Alain: I am sure that there are aspects of the ship that I will certainly miss. But it takes a special kind of person to WANT to stay on a ship for such a prolonged amount of time. I am having a great time right now, though. Illusionarium is an absolutely amazing show and venue which showcases me in the most perfect way, almost contrasting what I do with extremely talented magicians within a story plot of the Illusionarium itself. The blend is very nice, but don’t get me wrong, I wish I had the whole stage to myself! It is a magnificent stage with all kinds of special effects and features unto itself.
If you can make it onto Norwegian’s Getaway before May 10th, you’ll have a chance to see me play in this amazing room and also watch some other incredibly talented performers in our show and throughout the ship. There’s also Legally Blonde the Musical, Burn the Floor, and Howling at the Moon and they’re all spectacular. Oh yeah, and there’s fireworks during an outdoor dance party. It is definitely hard to get bored here. And our show has been getting the best comments, so walking around the ship is like being a local celebrity.
But after May 10th, I come back to Kensington. I have some private DC events that are expecting me to show up, so I probably shouldn’t stay past May 10th!
In fact, if your followers would like to know more about me and my passion for the weird and amazing, please have them check out my website at www.themanwhoknows.tv. There are short clips from my TV show on TLC that you can watch, as well as links to my book, info about my shows, both private and public appearances. You can also friend me on Facebook (if you “LIKE”).
Thanks for “chatting” with me Alain, and give my hellos to your family!
Alain: I will! I enjoyed meeting you the few times we have met and I feel honored to have you interview me!