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The Blue & Gray Press | August 20, 2019

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Mentalist Craig Karges fails to entice some student minds

craig-kargeswebBy MORGAN WITTER

In his opening act at the Friday, Sept. 6 magic show, Craig Karges asked an audience member to blindfold him and then proceeded to predict the answers to questions of his own design, while members of the audience predicted his tricks.
“Magicians make me realize just how jaded I am,” sophomore Erica Wood said as she guessed the premise of the mentalist’s first three tricks.
On a college campus, students receive magic shows in one of two ways: with childlike excitement and a willing suspension of disbelief, or with adult cynicism and a sarcastic deconstruction of what is seen. Students are young adults, often caught between those two extremes.
The row in front of Wood was wowed by the magic. The row behind her was unimpressed by tricks.
Karges’ act relied entirely on audience participation and the magician chose at least one volunteer per trick. Students’ rapport with Karges supplied unexpected humor to the show. Stand out volunteer No. 1 gave the entertainer an impromptu eyebrow waxing after ripping his taped blindfold off his face.
The second volunteer failed to name Judy Garland when shown pictures of her and other deceased celebrities. Luckily, the volunteer could name Marilyn Monroe, the picture mysteriously disappearing from the pile. Volunteer No. 3 almost fell off the stage while trying to keep up with a magically moving table before letting go just in time for it to lift into the air.
By far the most popular trick of the night, Karges’ mind-reading act was repeated multiple times and in multiple forms. The magician had an audience member think hard about anything they pleased, and, without fail, Karges plucked the thought from their minds and revealed it aloud.
Before the end of the night, Karges explained his tricks.
Using psychology, he could predict what kind of person his volunteer was and what kind of thoughts such a person might have.
Karges cited his own “suggestion box” trick as an example: each volunteer, following the completion of whatever trick they were involved in, wrote three things they liked on a post-it note and put it in the suggestion box.
The post-it notes were blue and yellow. Karges claimed that those who used blue post-it notes were more logical and would therefore give standard answers to the question “what do you like”, such as the answers “sleep” and “trigonometry” (both of which he guessed).But yellow post-it noter users, he said, were more excitable and submitted things like “bear” and “easy mac” (also used in the act).
Wood pointed out that there must be more to his magic than that because Karges’ predictions were 100 percent accurate. Still, when the mentalist guessed that one audience member was thinking desperately about “banana seeds,” Wood stifled a laugh and a delighted grin.
“I have nothing jaded to say about that,” Wood said.


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