Amélie van Tass is a an Austrian magician and mentalist. She is part of The Clairvoyants, a mentalism duet that also includes Thommy Ten. Amélie has had some amazing successes during her career. She toured in Europe and the United States, participated in America’s Got Talent in 2016, winning the second place, and later participated in America’s Got Talent: The Champions. The Clairvoyants have also won several magic and mentalism awards.
What does Amélie van Tass have to say about sexism, how she faces it, and what advice would she give to the younger generation of female magicians? Find out in this interview.
Hello Amélie! I’m a huge fan of your duo. As a person who works in the world of entertainment, have you ever been treated in a sexist way or received any comments you wouldn’t have received if you were a man?
Thank you so much! Of course it has happened multiple times that people would say something or do something, that made me feel uncomfortable and would’ve never happened to a male person. One situation that still occurs, even after 10 years of performing together, is that some people still address me as Thommy’s (my partner’s) assistant. There is nothing bad about being an assistant. But in our case this is exactly what we DON’T want. At the beginning of our career it was clear for both of us, that we want to act on stage as equal partners. We’re still pointing that out in a lot of interviews and conversations. It’s not only important for us, but we want to send out this exact message to all the kids and grown ups: No matter what gender you are. You can achieve anything.
How do you usually deal with such hate speech and sexism?
I’ve learned so much. When I was younger there were situations where people said something inappropriate or even touched me inappropriately. But I was too insecure and shy to show them that this was not ok. Through the years I got a lot stronger. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter who is standing in front of you. If a situation or a person makes me feel uncomfortable I address people directly. I think it’s important to know that it’s ok to say NO.
As an expert in mentalism, you can read minds 😉. But what in your opinion should be done to manipulate the minds of people who are sexist and misogynists?
One of the most important skills, that everyone should have, to avoid misogynistic and sexist behavior, is Empathy. If everyone would have a certain amount of Empathy so many bad situations could be avoided. The question is always: would I like to be treated like that? Would it make ME feel comfortable? It’s also important that men and women get equal pay. It’s important that women can work in “typically male” oriented work areas and the other way around.
Finally, on International Women’s Day, what message would you like to send young girls who watch you and would also want to perform magic on world stages one day, like you?
To all the girls and young women out there I would say, that you can achieve anything you want. Follow your dreams and let no one tell you, that this is “nothing for girls” or that you are “not strong enough” for something. If a situation or a person makes you feel uncomfortable, let them know. Talk about it. You are valuable. You are strong.