From reading books to reading minds

Mentalist Brian Ledbetter brings magic to Ferris

Mentalist Brian Ledbetter poses with Ferris students Friday, Oct. 25. Promotional image

Guessing the card you’re thinking of isn’t all that Mentalist Brian Ledbetter did on Friday, Oct. 25.

In an event put on by Entertainment Unlimited, Ledbetter did everything from guessing the name of loved ones of members of the audience to describing images in the minds of audience members who read a random passage in a book.

For his last trick of the night, Ledbetter even had the audience members describe a date he would take a random audience member on. After the audience gave details, Ledbetter opened a sealed envelope which contained all of the details that the audience had just given him.

“There are many different genres of mentalism,” Ledbetter said. “There’s telekinesis, which is causing things to move or bend or shift without really touching them. There’s telepathy, which is communication from one person to another person nonverbally. There’s psychometry, which is knowing something about an item just by touching it, like knowing who it belongs to and its history.

“And [there’s] a lot of other genres; it’s a sort of a big umbrella term for a lot of bizarre things,” Ledbetter said. “I don’t claim to have supernatural abilities. I use the abilities everyone has. I just use them in very particular ways. I use principles of psychology, intuition, illusion and perceptual manipulation to make the totally impossible seem possible.”

Those who came out to watch Ledbetter’s free show found it exciting and engaging.

“I am kind of partial to be pulled up on stage, that’s always fun,” Ferris technical professional writing sophomore Hannah McKeen said.

McKeen was pulled onstage during a trick in which a blindfolded Ledbetter guessed objects held in front of him without touching him.

“I usually just hang out with my family and have fun when they come up, but I saw mentalist, and I had to come … I like stuff like this because it’s like I’m going to have fun and see cool tricks, or I’m going to have fun and see actual magic.”

Other students also enjoyed the crowd interaction and the overall show.

“I loved it, it was wild,” Ferris professional tennis management freshman Emma Gauthier said.

Gauthier was also pulled on stage, as the audience member who wrote down the name of a loved one, which Ledbetter then guessed.

“[I liked] getting to realize that it wasn’t just selected audience members when I got pulled up.”