It's both thrilling and frightening to have someone tell you, "Even now, I know what you are thinking!"
And yet, that's exactly what The Amazing Kreskin, world-renowned mentalist, will be doing, starting at 8 p.m. June 28, State Theatre for the Arts, Easton: telling people what they are thinking.
Kreskin's show consists of two and one-half hours of the audience participating in amazing mental sleight-of-hands for example, having six audience members (non-confederates picked at random) on stage, each one convinced that one of them isn't there.
"I did it once on "The Regis Philbin Show,'" Kreskin says in a recent phone interview. "The network had never gotten such a huge response. They thought I had made Regis disappear."
Kreskin can also make people appear. This year, he promises to evoke Fred, the State Theatre ghost that inspired the name of the Freddy Awards with the help of the audience, of course.
Kreskin has deep roots in the Lehigh Valley he has 84 relatives here and it was when he was a child that his remarkable ability to find hidden objects emerged.
By his teens, he became nationally-recognized in the United States as "The World's Youngest Hypnotist," resulting in his collaborating in psychological studies extending into the realm of Parapsychology and the Power of Suggestion.
Kreskin has also consulted with law enforcement and security personnel around the world, helping them develop their own powers of intuition and observation.
"All artists have their equipment," Kreskin says. "Musicians have their instruments, dancers their bodies, etcetera. I use the most powerful piece of equipment in the world: the human mind."
Of course, I wanted to test The Amazing Kreskin myself, even if my burning question was where did I misplace my car keys, but I couldn't find the right moment. But does being a mentalist have practical applications, I wondered?
"A couple of years ago," says Kreskin, "I was called for jury duty. Now, it's always inconvenient, jury duty, especially when you have a fully booked schedule like I do.
"But I believe in the process and thought I should do my duty. So, I sat through the selection process and finally, when there was one last juror to select, they called me. 'Do you, Mr. Kreskin,' the judge asked, 'Think you can contribute to justice being served?' and I said, 'Honestly, your honor, I do. And more than that, when the trial is over, I will tell my fellow jurors who was lying.'
"Both defending lawyers jumped out of the seats and ran to the bench and I was dismissed."
Kreskin promises to perform his signature piece, which is finding the check for his performance fee, which is hidden on someone in the audience. If he doesn't find the check, he forfeits his fee. The stakes are high.
"And Bathsheba," he says, before hanging up. "Look in your old purse."
"For your car keys."