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Psychic Madman Closes Out Welcome Week

Everett Bishop, Student Life Editor

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In honor of celebrating the final night of Welcome Week at the University of New Haven, the Center for Student Engagement, Leadership, and Orientation (CSELO) brought self-proclaimed mentalist and memory expert Jim Karol to Bucknall Theater.

Karol, whose claim to fame is “an extreme intuitive ability and an unbelievable memory,” according to his website, also incorporated magic tricks and sleight-of-hand into his show, creating uproar in the crowd.

“Oh nah,” said one audience member over the crowd, after Karol had correctly guessed the card an audience participant had hidden in his pocket.

Karol began his show by introducing himself and his background, noting his experience as a steelworker in Pennsylvania before moving on to sell his wife’s Avon products. From there, Karol began wowing the crowd  with card tricks before he performed on “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Ellen,” “the Today Show,” and with a cameo in “Jackass Number Two.”

Karol’s show consisted of several different card tricks, guessing the ticket number of different audience members, tricking a student into cutting the wire on what turned out to be a wireless microphone, and even using his Alexa to guess the cards given to students.

“I train AI,” said Karol. “She (Alexa) knows everybody’s birthdays.”

To prove he wasn’t using a trick deck of cards, a freshman in the audience named Alex had Karol use his own personal deck that he had brought to the show. The result was the same for other participants. Karol correctly guessed the number and suit of every card given. Karol even revealed the correct card by tossing the entire deck of cards into the air and having the correct card stick to the ceiling of the theater.

But his entire show wasn’t only card tricks. Karol is a mentalist who  reads people’s faces, allowing them to lie which proved to be futile.

“I read nonverbal cues people send out,” said Karol. “I call it ‘deception detection’.”

But Karol’s show wasn’t just for entertainment. Near the end, he had some words of encouragement to share with the crowd about keeping your mind healthy and your memory sharp.

“This is the most healthy time for your brain,” said Karol. “You can do the same stuff, each and every one of you. There’s so many things you can do to get ahead. We could change education.”

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Psychic Madman Closes Out Welcome Week