After the dinner crowd had cleared out of Upper Commons on the evening of Friday, Jan. 27, crews went to work transforming the space into a stage fit for a performance by star mentalist Jon Stetson. After a stage was placed in the front of the dining area and curtains surrounded the seating area, a small crowd of students flooded into the space for the 9 p.m. show.
A mentalist is a type of magician; however, instead of performing the normal slights of a hand, a mentalist demonstrates extraordinary mental powers such as mind reading. Stetson, who is categorized as America’s Master Mentalist, walked onto the stage and pulled out a deck of cards to begin his show. Sleight-of-hand tricks were performed as a warm-up to entice audience members to participate, and the intimate space that was shared between the audience and Stetson made each card trick even more unbelievable.
After these card tricks, when the smell of free popcorn had filled the air, Stetson moved onto some of his more impressive tricks, which involved him picking members from the audience to aid him. The tricks would start with Stetson telling one audience member, as well as the entire audience, a fact about the volunteer which he had no way of previously knowing. One trick in particular, however, started like the rest but would lead to a twist no one was expecting. The questions seemed to have no common point, but soon after, Stetson called on another member of the audience and was able to guess both the model and color of the participant’s car.
The audience seemed to be in awe of how much Jon Stetson knew about each member and applauded Stetson’s charismatic presence. Junior Natalie Gambrell was among the audience members who expressed this view, explaining that Stetson “was entertaining as he added sass and comedy to quite an interesting performance.”