No one had forewarned me about this…and while I don’t have too many skeletons in my closet, I still found myself getting a little nervous as I sat in the V Theater watching The Mentalist, Gerry McCambridge, reveal the secrets of randomly selected audience members while apparently reading their minds.
As he stood on the stage blindfolded, with large coins duct taped to his eyes, he would call out the first and last initials of someone’s name. An audience member would then stand and reply “Yes Gerry, those are my initials,” as they prepared for him to share private information about their lives, details it would be impossible for him to know. Gerry became famous for this ability when his hit primetime special “The Mentalist” which aired on NBC.
Sure there are several explanations for the mindreading, the most obvious being plants in the audience, but even if you’re not convinced by his ability to declare the past, you cannot deny his ability to precisely predict the future. In the live Vegas show for those who are still convinced that all of the alleged audience members are really just in on the act, Gerry dispels your belief by ensuring that everyone in audience has a chance to participate. The show culminated with each audience member (including the nonbelievers!) tossing numbered balls into baskets in a random human lottery – the results of which were of course accurately predicted.
Being your average cynic I was prepared to find all of the smoke and mirrors with my well trained eye for detail and analytical mind. I love a good magic show, but always leave feeling frustrated when I can’t determine the secret behind the magic. Which is why I was thrilled when Gerry shared the secrets to his success during the first few tricks of his act.
In Gerry’s words “A mentalist is someone who can figure out what you’re thinking and also can influence your thoughts.” He explained in detail how he used verbal and nonverbal cues to both predict and influence the response of audience members, but even after his detailed explanation I remained mind-boggled by his apparent ability to both declare the past and predict the future. Gerry will tell you that his Mentalist abilities were honed over a lifetime, thanks in part to the magic kit he received for Christmas at the age of 8, and the skills he learned from his father, an NYC detective and an expert at interrogation. Others might argue that part of his “magic” began when he was born…on Halloween.
To get in on the magic stop by to see The Mentalist Live on your next visit to Sin City. Even if you do have some sins in your past, not to worry Gerry won’t reveal them. The show is rated PG-16. Showtime is at 7:30pm Thursday to Tuesday (Dark Wednesday) at the V Theater in the Comedy Club located in the Miracle Mile Shops inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino right on the Las Vegas Strip.
For a bonus visit Houdini’s Magic Shop located just across from the theater and take a little magic home with you.Photo Credit: V Theater inside Planet Hollywood – by Gregory Moine on flickr