Mind-Reading Group Returns to BC

Jocelyn Sandusky, Features Editor

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Las Vegas-based mentalist group, The Perceptives, entertained Bakersfield College students on Jan. 22 with a free show inside The Huddle. 

For the second year in a row, board-certified mentalist Richard Aimes kicked off Welcome Week with an interactive and participatory mind-reading act. The event was sponsored by the Office of Student Activities and the Office of Student Life.

Before Aimes began his short show, he took a moment to explain to the audience what he does as a mentalist through the act of hypnosis. “It’s not mind-control. It’s relaxation followed by suggestions,” he said.

With just a small and elevated platform for a stage, Aimes attracted the attention of many students as he encouraged them to sit and watch as they ate, studied and socialized. 

But despite his best effort to engage with the crowd and an influx of students coming into the cafeteria to grab lunch, there wasn’t much enthusiasm. His partner tried her best to get people energized, motivated and enthused, but the audience remained mundane. 

Still, Aimes continued his show with enthusiasm. 

For his first illusion, Aimes asked an audience member to dictate what page he had to stop on while flipping through the first of two pre-selected books. When the first person said stop and confirmed the page number, the second person had to flip to the corresponding page number in the second book and choose two words from that page. Subsequently, a third volunteer went on stage to reveal what two words Aimes had written down and placed in a ballon before the start of the show. Aimes correctly predicted what two words would be chosen. 

Following two other displays of his abilities, Aimes ended his show with his most intricate act. Aimes, with the help of two volunteers, blindfolded himself with duct tape and a leather blindfold to ensure he could not see anything happening around him. Three audience members were asked to draw a picture and stand behind Aimes once they were done. Aimes had to guess what pictures the students drew without his sight and only using only his mind. He correctly guessed all three. 

Following the end of his act, some students stayed seated to participate in a short self-hypnosis workshop. Aimes said self-hypnosis would help with school, testing anxiety and social situations. 

Aurora Alejandre participated in the event as a volunteer because her friend persuaded her to overcome her shyness. Alejandre said she had fun and hopes to attend a similar event in the future. As far as whether she completely believes in the authenticity of a mentalist show like this, she is not quite sure. 

“I want to be a believer, but there has to be a catch,” she said.