Mentalist and Illusionist Wayne Hoffman read minds and watched audience members freak out when he performed tricks Oct. 6 in the Pub Sports Grill.
In one hour, Hoffman delivered a comedic performance full of visually stunning tricks for his audience, making believers out of several CSUN students.
“He put together a really good show,” said Jonathan Gsemso, a mechanical engineering major. “ He was funny, entertaining…he kept the audience alive.”
“I know what people think, I know what they’ll do before they do it, I get into their heads and mess with them.” Hoffman said. “ My favorite part is watching people’s reaction, watching them freak out.”
One of those who freaked out was Alejandra Lopez, a senior majoring in global supply chain management. Lopez watched television programs explaining how illusionist tricks were done and didn’t really believe anything was real until she became a participant in Hoffman’s show.
Hoffman sent out a paper airplane and it hit Lopez’s head, making her Hoffman’s first participant. He asked her to think of any place in the world she would like to visit and the room number of the hotel. When she unfolded the plane, her answer was written on the paper.
“ I wasn’t expecting it … It was pretty trippy,” Lopez said. “It was unbelievable with some of the tricks he did, especially with the twins; how he wrote on one and it appeared on the other.”
The trick was done when Hoffman had a pair of twin girls close their eyes and he poked one but both of them felt the pokes in the same place. He then wrote an in x in a circle on one and it appeared on the other. Hoffman explained that the reason they could both feel it was the electric energy he had created between them.
Hoffman, at one point, asked the audience to participate by having them think of a single a thought. Hoffman guessed one student’s first car, another student’s cell phone number, which he proved by calling the number and the name of the street biology graduate student Angelica Zawala Lopez had grown up on, J Street.
Angelica Lopez said she was asked before the show if she would like to participate and was given a pen and paper to use to write a thought down.
“Before the show “I thought it wasn’t real. Now I still don’t know,” she laughed.
Other tricks included Hoffman making a digital camera go off inside a plastic bag, but what impressed many in the audience, including some of the participants, was the finale when Hoffman refurbished a Pepsi can from which he had been drinking from throughout his show.
“You guys have been watching me drink from this can the whole time, right?” Hoffman asked the audience. “Well let’s concentrate on rewinding time while I wrap my finger around it.”
Then the audience watched as Hoffman refilled, sealed and chilled the crushed Pepsi can. He then poured the refilled soda into a plastic cup.
Hoffman first discovered he had a future as a mentalist when he was 7 years old and use to ask his mother questions in the car to figure out what she was thinking. He’s spent 10 years studying and mastering his skills and has been featured on NBC’s hit TV show “Phenomenon,” “The Glenn Beck Show,” TLC, The Discovery Network, “The Howard Stern Show” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”