Despite the unexpected snow Saturday night, renowned “Mentalist” Craig Karges drew a full house to Heritage Hall for his award-winning show, sponsored by the Student Programming Association.
Karges said the acts of his show involve looking for behavioral patterns, a combination of psychology, subliminal persuasion and of course, “magic.”
One of the first acts of the program Karges loosely called “the mind-reading segment,” and told members of the audience that some of them might want to start “cleaning themselves up, if they know who they are.”
From initials of those who signed into the show, Karges chose members of the audience to stand, and told them to think of some sort of personal information, including a birthday or telephone number, and then to think of a random, premeditated thought.
From guessing correct thoughts about kittens on sweaters, to thoughts about how the “Pens are better than the Flyers,” the crowd roared with laughter and shock as Karges continued to accurately guess personal information as well, including a friend’s phone number from Texas.
Switching pace from mental demonstrations, the crowd grew still and quiet as Karges announced what he was going to do next. The focus turned to a small end table on stage, and the crowd knew what was coming next. Karges’ claim to fame within his shows is levitating a table, and during this show, he was successful.
Calling another participant from the audience, Karges instructed the student to run a magnet over the small table, to ensure that there was no way what was about to happen would be trickery.
With palms pressed to the ends of the table on both sides by Karges and the participant, silently, the table began to run around the stage in circles as if they were chasing it, before lifting in the air to be hung over another table.
Being Karges’ most highlighted portion of the event, it drew Penn State students to take a look at what they truly thought was real or not real during the show.
“I’ve been to shows like this before, and normally I would be skeptical,” Alexa Daseults (freshman-mathematics) said. “After I saw the table levitate, I was in shock. It really made me question what I believe or not.”
Closing the show, Karges engaged in what is a tradition of his show. SPA Late Night chair Corey Jackson presented upon request, the check for his performance, which also included travel expenses.
Playing a game of chance, Kages called another participant on stage, to mix his check with two other envelopes. Facing the opposite of the student with the envelopes, they were numbered, and Karges requested to see two of them. Shredder in hand, Karges shredded two of the envelopes. By luck or other means, the check was safely in the third envelope, unharmed.
Jackson (senior-mechanical engineering) said that Karges has been a historic performer at Penn State, and that he was pleased with the show and the turnout.
“He’s such a great performer because he's so interactive with the audience, and you know it’s personalized because it’s not pre-planned,” Jackson said. “He’s really genuine.”