Illusionist rolls up his sleeves and channels the paranormal at Ida Noyes

Prevalent “extraordinist” brings levity to University community.

By Lina Li

Award-winning entertainer and “extraordinist” Craig Karges read minds, lifted tables, and wooed the audience at an ORSCA sponsored event on Tuesday evening in Ida Noyes.

Karges opened his act by saying, “I’m not a psychic, I’m just an entertainer, but the things I do are related to ESP.”

Karges, while blindfolded, asked a randomly selected audience-volunteer to pick a student’s UCID and another to borrow a dollar bill from an audience member. He was able to guess the name of the student whose UCID had been selected, and the serial number of the bill that had been selected.

In another illusion, Karges had the audience write their name, a number with some personal relationship to themselves—like a phone number or a birthday, and a random thought, on pieces of paper circulating through the audience. He was then able to guess the names, numbers, and random thoughts that several audience members had written.

Karges encouraged the audience to rethink their mental potential, “We only use about 10%-20% of our brains…even though some of the things I do are supplemented with illusions.”

First-year Jacqueline Friduss went to the show because she had heard of all the awards Karges had won. She thought Karges’s acts “seemed legitimate.”

“I couldn’t think of any tricks that he could have used, though some of my friends thought he was just really good at reading body language, or had implanted certain thoughts into audience members,” she said.

Campus Activities Advisor Kathleen Przybysz said that ORSCA hosted the show to engage students in activities outside of academia.

“Craig’s show was just one of the many shows we organize and put on for students to take a moment out of their hectic days,” she said.

Karges leaned a wooden block against a book, and was able to “move” the block to fall over, seemingly without any other force than his mind. Karges was also able to lift a relatively heavy table, with the only contact between himself and the table being the palms of his 2 hands.

Karges asked four volunteers to describe a car. The car described was a blue, $83,566 Chevy Camaro with the license plate MH3125. He then produced, from his pocket, a piece of paper with those four pieces of information written on it.

He followed with a series of short and amusing acts.

Karges has made over 4,000 appearances in 17 countries on four continents and in all fifty states. He has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Larry King Live, Fox, CNN, E!, and has been named Entertainer of the Year six times by the National Association for Campus Activities.