By Julia Duggan
Senior Staff Writer
Students gasped in amazement at the show provided by the College Union Board (CUB) on Mar. 2. The performer used a combination of magic and psychology to read minds, change the colors of cards and save a turtle.
Spidey, an internationally known hypnotist, magician and mentalist, still managed to astound students through a live stream. He was named U.S. Mentalist of the year in 2017, has performed for numerous celebrities and is in the Netflix original series Brainchild.
“Every single trick in the show involves some sort of audience participation,” Spidey said.
From the opening trick to the last, Spidey made sure to involve College students.
“In CUB, we try to find performers and events that will engage students and that they will enjoy,” said Isabella Amarosa, a freshman interdisciplinary business major, and a representative from CUB who introduced Spidey at the beginning of the show. “I decided to contact Spidey to perform for the TCNJ campus community because his show seemed fun and engaging for students. Spidey’s show is very interactive and involved TCNJ students as part of the show, which is a great way for students to take a break from online classes and socialize from home.”
The first trick of the evening at first just appeared to be Spidey checking the lenses of the camera. He pulled a volunteer from the audience to join him on screen, and at first the volunteer was just calling out shapes and numbers on the various cards that Spidey held up to the camera. Without warning, the backs of the cards changed from being red.
One turned blue, one turned green and became ripped, one became pink, and one turned white and was labeled ‘not red.’ In the comments people were astounded at what happened.
“Spidey took a bite,” joked Sophia Hayda, a senior urban education and anthropology major, in reference to the ripped green card.
During the show, there was a link in the comments that people could click to join a waiting room where they could see the show and also be “brought up stage” to be a volunteer for a trick.
“I volunteered for a trick,” Hayda said. “Randomly selected cards I picked spelled out my name after the end of the trick.”
Another trick performed involved a different volunteer. Spidey first called attention to an envelope that had a piece of paper that was folded. The envelope was clear and Spidey demonstrated that to get the paper out it would be very obvious. Spidey then showed the volunteer a notebook where he drew pictures and each picture had a number on it.
The volunteer picked a number in her head and then Spidey wrote down what he thought the volunteer picked before she revealed it. The volunteer revealed her number and Spidey proved that he guessed correctly. Afterwards, Spidey asked the volunteer what is one thing that makes her really happy. The volunteer answered with her dogs, and mentioned their names. Spidey then removed the piece of paper from the envelope and revealed that he predicted what she was going to say. On the piece of paper it said “Your dogs, Hazel and Rosie.” The volunteer confirmed that Spidey even spelled the names of her dogs correctly.
The next trick involved a little bit of odds. Spidey first explained that the next volunteer would have a one in four chance of being able to save something that he loves. He then brought the next volunteer. She then was told to pick from one out of four boxes, which one to save, and the rest Spidey would destroy. Spidey then destroyed the boxes and revealed what was in the one that was saved. At first it just appeared to be a watch, but Spidey opened the box again and revealed that the volunteer saved his pet turtle, named Michelangelo.
“I do like the idea of doing magic with animals because I love animals, but I don’t like the idea of putting any of my animals in distress,” said Spidey after the show.
He went further on to explain that he only uses his turtle in tricks, and he makes sure that his turtle is involved in the trick for as little as possible. Spidey also owns three doves, a snake and a cat.
The final trick of the evening Spidey created was partly inspired by the Christmas Carol. He credited the ghost of Christmas Future as inspiration for the trick. This involved an old box that psychic readers would use that had the words yes and no written on it. He showed to the volunteers that there was nothing inside the box and then put a bell on a chain on top of the box. He showed that the bell did not have any mechanical devices or anything in it. He then picked one of the volunteers that were on his screen and had her pick a number from 1-146. She did, but she was told to not reveal the number.
The number corresponded to a page in the book that had quotes from celebrities in it. Spidey then had the volunteer recite the alphabet slowly and when she said a letter that was an initial of the celebrity on the page the bell would suddenly start ringing. Spidey explained that a spirit from the future knew the name on the page and was telling everyone the initials. Once the two initials were received Spidey had the volunteer reveal the number she picked. Spidey then went to the page in the book and revealed the celebrity had the exact same initials that the spirits said.
“The last trick was pretty paranormal with the bell somehow ringing with nothing moving it,” said Gabriel Caruso, a junior finance major. “I enjoyed that for the shock factor.”
Overall, students thoroughly enjoyed the performance and felt engaged.
“If we’re separated by this camera, I want to make that separation feel as nonexistent as possible,” Spidey said.