The Mentalist returns to Bakersfield College

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Students in BC’s cafeteria, between reading syllabi and munching on food, were treated to a short presentation of hypnosis and mind-reading on Aug. 21.

Richard Aimes, along with his wife and stage partner Marielle, are welcomed to campus every semester. Known as The Perceptives, the duo started off their short show with a few basic brain bungling tricks.

Rich began by introducing the question “What’s the difference between an illusionist or a magician and a mind-reader or a mentalist?’”

1- Mentalist Richard Aimes takes the stage to show students his hypnosis and mind-reading skills

To demonstrate, he held up the familiar black-and-white spiraling illusion pattern and spun it in front of the face of volunteer Stephanie. The audience was to focus on the middle of the spinning spiral for ten seconds and then immediately stare at Stephanie’s head. Audience members marveled at Stephanie’s head as, in their eyes, it expanded in a very phantom-like way.

Richard tries to guess a student’s drawing while blindfolded.

Next, the showman attempted to read minds. Rich asked a student named Pedro to guess any number from one to five, to which he responded the number three. Rich then flipped over an envelope, and the number three, which he had written before even asking Pedro his number, was shown on the back.

“I know what you’re thinking,” Rich said, addressing possibly the most common observation. “I had a one in five chance of him guessing the number I wrote.”

Richard compares a normal spoon to the one he just distorted.

So the show had to be amped up a little.

The next act started with another student, Briana, volunteering to hold a balloon. Inside the balloon was an envelope Rich had written something in pre-show. Rich then gave two different students one book each. One student was to choose a random page number which the other student had to turn his book to and then read the page’s first word, The page number was 92, and the word was “akbar.” Rich turned his attention then back to Briana and popped the balloon, letting the envelope fly. Inside the envelope was written the word “akbar.”

Rich let the approval of the audience keep its momentum. Following the unbelievable, he went a step further and showed off his telekinetic ability.

A Bakersfield College student volunteers to blindfold Richard with duct tape.

Rich attempted to use only his mind to bend a spoon resting in the palm of his hand. Demonstrating a use of powerful force with his other hand, the mentalist effectively bent the spoon after putting his brain at unease. After doing so, he held up the finished spoon with an unbent spoon to show the result.

Rich continued with audience participants. In his next performance, he allowed two students to blindfold him with duct tape while Marielle handed out a sheet of paper to a random audience member for that audience member to draw a picture on. Rich had to then guess the drawing, which could have been of anything.

“I am going to describe what is on this picture by using what is known as ultrasonic vision,” Rich claimed. The kind of animal that was drawn was hard to make out, but Rich was still somehow able to guess it. “This looks to me sort of like either a lion or a teddy bear.” A roar of applause ensued.

Though the crowd’s reactions were mostly positive throughout the show, some held on to the concept of the performance being just one big mind game.

“He repeats things, he tells you to believe things using your subconscious,” said one student, Francis, who has attended the show in the past.

Though Rich still “seems to be enjoying what he does,” added another audience member, Matthew.

And indeed, Rich did have a lot of fun with the crowd of BC students throughout his show. Amid his acts, he told jokes and even taught the audience how to use hypnosis to relax.

The Perceptives are expected to return to BC next semester.