An evening with The Mentalist

The suspenseful staple trick
The suspenseful staple trick

Another awesome experience that I have had this semester at Hanover College was seeing a show called The Mentalist. No, I didn’t just sit in front of the television with my friends and watch the actual television show called “The Mentalist,” but it had a similar effect. This show was a part of the Campus Activity Board’s Winter Term season.

I went to the show with a few of my friends, one of whom had been before and the rest of us were all new to The Mentalist Christopher Carter’s magic. As a “Criminal Minds” fanatic and a potential double major in psychology, I like to think that I can read people’s body language very well. However, my abilities have nothing on Christopher Carter.

Throughout the night, he performed many tricks that seemed like real magic. However, Carter explained that most of the answers to his tricks could be found by just watching people: looking for the tiniest shift in their body or the tiniest quirk in their voice, to reveal their secrets.

One of the tricks he performed involved four guys from the audience, three chosen because they said they could be manipulated easily and one because he said nothing could make him change his mind. The three volunteers went on stage and the one stayed standing at his seat.

The one in the audience chose a nail gun to be assigned to each of his friends, two of the guns having actual staples in them and one of them without. He also chose a note to be assigned to these three. The note had instructions as to where they should staple—either in a board or to Carter’s hand. It was incredibly suspenseful to watch but, sure enough, The Mentalist manipulated the guy in the audience to choose exactly what he wanted him to, and he escaped without a staple in his hand.

Two girls turning on lights with the power of their mind
Two girls turning on lights with the power of their mind

Another awesome trick that I actually still can’t figure out how it was done was with a lightbulb. Two girls went on stage and the lights were turned off. Each of the girls held a light bulb and Carter coaxed them into being able to turn the light on with their mind.

My favorite trick, however, involved the entire audience. Each audience member was told to write down five answers to five questions that were asked, ranging from “Pick a number” to “Ask a question that you would like to discover the answer to.”

The Mentalist then blindfolded himself and grabbed random notecards from the stack. He was unable to read what was written but he could somehow call certain people out from the audience and answer their questions and guess their answers. It must have not been an easy trick to learn, but it sure was rewarding.

After the show, students were able to talk with Carter and purchase his book about reading body language. This show was both a nice break from studying and a fun time with friends.

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