Freakout artist hits Duke Ellington hard

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Freakout artist Christopher Carter performs Monday night at the Duke Ellington Ballroom in the Holmes Student Center.

By Chris Krapek

Staple gun Russian roulette.

As mentalist Christopher Carter performed his show in the Duke Ellington Ballroom Monday night, there was this bizarre feeling of fear.

Either he was going to get hurt, or he wasn’t.

Of course, it’s an act. A dude isn’t just going to let some college kids staple his hand — it’s a trick.

But there he was, through a process of mystical elimination, with one staple gun left. I was biting my nails. Were things about to get violent?

Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), they did not, or it would have been a short show.

His first trick, “Body Language,” was an elaborate “let me guess your card” trick. Carter had someone shuffle up a deck, pick a card and then guessed it simply by non-verbal body cues. His pupils were dilated, and every time his suit or color was mentioned, he would lean forward or shift. Carter repeated this with three separate people in the audience.

Next, he taped silver dollars to his eyelids and a blindfold around that. He collected three items for the audience (a box of Fruit Loops, a tube of paint, a light-up wand) and had a girl hold them below his hands. Merely by the power of feeling the air around him, he guessed each item correctly.

My mind is getting freaked here, Christopher.

The crowd collectively gasped for another one of Carter’s tricks involving the whole audience’s participation. He had everyone write down on a piece of paper their name, a fact about themselves, a number and a question.

Still blindfolded, he picked up pieces of paper and not only got the items correct, he gave intimate personal information away about the individual. He knew a girl’s favorite number was 4,444. He knew the anniversary date of a couple. He even knew the nickname of one girl was “Booty.”

This was his best trick and one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, It made me want to punch him in the face. How does he do it? I would have paid him after the show for any closure whatsoever.

To conclude an hour’s worth of tricks, Carter promised he saved the best for last.

“Things are only medium-weird and freaky. It’s about to get stranger and stranger,” he said.

Carter picked two women out of the audience to hold a normal-looking, cylindrical light bulb. Not letting onto what would happen, the mentalist claimed that the trick usually worked, but failed on him the other night.

He had the two women hold out their light bulbs, had the lights turned off and after a few words of motivation, the light bulbs lit up the entire ballroom. Like, there’s no electricity, dude. How is this possible?

Then, on the count of three, he had the two participants close their eyes and off the light bulbs went.

“Thanks for letting me freak with your mind,” he said.

No problem. Thank you for freaking with it.