Mentalist Wayne Hoffman wows Humber students

Nov 13, 2012 | News

By Ustad Khaira and Heather VanAndel

Mentalist Wayne Hoffman performing at Humber Lakeshore. PHOTO BY USTAD KHAIRA 

World-renowned mentalist Wayne Hoffman blew the minds of students at Humber’s Lakeshore campus in a 90-minute performance Tuesday.

“I’m reading people’s minds and freaking them out,” Hoffman told Humber News.

“Some people literally get up and run out. I’m the only performer that likes when people get up and leave.”

One segment of his performance, reading specific details of people’s lives, prompted some members of the audience to walk out of the show in embarrassment.

His act was comprised of reading viewers to determine their phone numbers, childhood memories, favourite movies, and “connecting the auras” of two friends.

“I was mind blown, speechless,” said Kenneth Briones, an audience member who took part in the performance. “I felt really at ease and when he looked at me, it was like I was suddenly tense.”

Hoffman’s grand finale had him turn back time on a crushed can of Coca-Cola, returning the can to it’s pre-crushed state, resealing the tab, and pouring a drink out of the once-empty can.

Hoffman, the Reading Pennsylvania native, said it’s taken him years to get to the point where he doesn’t worry about making mistakes, it’s all about entertaining for him now.

“Early in my career, I used to worry about that because I was focused in on the technical aspect, what I had to physically do,” he said. “Now I just focus on having fun.”

While mistakes do occur during his shows, Hoffman said the best thing to do is “dance with the problem” and continue with the act.

“I have pretty good accuracy, but to say I’m infallible and can never be wrong is a dangerous thing to say,” he said. “Fortunately for me it’s a very rare occurrence.”

For those that are skeptics of mentalists and the validity of their illusions, Steve Joordens, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, said it’s not “bogus or crap.”

“It’s not that they know things that are creepy but that they are reading you very well,” said Joordens.

“There are people who are very good at reading non-verbal behaviours. In a way everyone is a mind reader.”

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