ALBA, Thea

(Investigator 211, 2023 July)

In the piece on Mozart I hypothesized that prodigies and psychics could have something in common - a mental aberration. The same suggestion could apply to those who are able to perform many functions simultaneously. Furthermore, if the inherent ability is there in the first place then it can be developed and refined to perform what can only be described as miraculous.

Once billed as "The Woman with 10 Brains", Thea Alba is a typical example. Trained in dramatic art in her native Germany in the early 1920s, her remarkable ability to write with her right hand while moving her foot in perfect anti-clockwise circles came to the attention of Henry de Vry, the president of Germany's variety artist's association (Internationale Artisen-Loge), who asked her to try writing different letters simultaneously with each hand.

She did so, albeit not very well, but urged on by De Vry, within three weeks she made her debut "writing different sentences in French, German and English at the same time and ambidextrously drawing a landscape in coloured chalks." Further practise enabled her to write with both feet and with her mouth, eventually mastering the unique stunt of writing ten different figures at the same time using ten pieces of chalk mounted on long pointers attached to each finger.


 Far removed from so called "psychic" powers are those people who, by practice and dedication, can achieve an ability and/or a dexterity which to most of us is just short of miraculous, whether they be jugglers, close up magicians or mental marvels - Thea Alba was one of them.

From: Edwards, H. 1994 Magic Minds Miraculous Moments, Harry Edwards Publications