Students seemed wowed and amazed by Christopher Carter, a mind-reader and mentalist, on Friday night in Forum Hall. According to Carter, one can deduce what a person is thinking about by looking at their body language.
“I have only one mission,” Carter said. “I don’t care if you believe, I just want to mess with your mind.”
Carter’s interest in extrasensory perception, or ESP, started at a young age, and it continued throughout his college years. Carter combined his interests in psychology and theater performance to build his show. His performances have won him multiple awards, including the title of Entertainer of the Year in 2005, the highest honor granted by the Campus Activities industry.
In his show Friday night, Carter performed several stunts that included reading an audience member’s mind. In his first act, Carter asked Carlos Morales, sophomore in architectural engineering, to shuffle a deck of cards and pick a card. By asking Morales several questions and looking for clues in Morales’ body language, Carter was able to accurately guess the correct card.
“I felt nervous and excited,” Morales said. “I didn’t know what to expect. I was hoping to get hypnotized.”
One of Carter’s acts did include hypnotism. Carter hypnotized an audience member into a deep sleep. Afterwards, Carter convinced her that she saw a hallucination.
Carter instructed the audience member to thumb through a book and stop at a random page. On that page, he told her to find a word that stood out to her and say the page number and word aloud for the rest of the audience to hear.
She was 100 percent sure that she saw the page. Carter gave her the book again and asked her to look up the page. However, when she tried to turn to the page, she found it had been ripped out and was not in the book at all.
Carter also performed one of his more famous and well-known acts, where he reads minds from notecards submitted by audience members. For this trick, Kelly Kell, sophomore in apparel design, tape a silver dollar over each one of Carter’s eyes, add a black cloth over his eyes, and a final layer of duct tape.
On the notecards each audience member wrote down his or her name, a personal fact that one could not see from just looking at the person, a special number, whether it was a date or password combination and a question to be answered.
“I was expecting him to read my mind,” Kell said. “But it was cool to see how it all ended up.”
Once the notecards were gathered Carter randomly picked one and started to guess the audience member’s name or initials. From there, Carter correctly answered the question, guessed the number and its significance, and a personal fact about that person. Sometimes Carter would pick up clues from the audience member’s friends or neighbors to correctly answer their questions.
For his big finale Carter asked two women from the audience to hold light bulbs for the entire performance, and to stand with him on stage for the last act. He asked one woman to look at his watch and imagine a beam of light coming from the watch and into their eyes. Then he instructed the woman to look at her light bulb.
In the darkness of Forum Hall, the light bulb lit up instantly. Standing next to her was the other audience member holding the light bulb, which started to glow after the first bulb lit up. Carter asked the women to blink. The lights blinked on and off at the same time.
“I think my favorite act is the light bulbs,” said Sara Miller, sophomore in accounting. “I can’t think of a reasonable explanation for what happened.”