In one of the first College Programming Board events of the semester, mentalist and self-proclaimed “Psychic of the Year 2017” Jonny Zavant showcased his mind-bending tricks. He began the performance with the classic guess-which-card-you're-holding trick to get the crowd warmed up.
“We are all connected in a fundamental way that we cannot understand,” Zavant said, introducing the audience to the way his psychic abilities function. He went on to explain the history of mediums, psychics and mentalists whose roots began with the oracles of Delphi in ancient Greece.
Fast forwarding hundreds of years to the age of Houdini, Zavant had two participants bind his hands in chains which he would later go on to slip in and out of behind the veil of a cloth. Throughout the show he entertained with a cheeky sense of humor that greatly appealed to the audience.
His interest in the supernatural began when he worked summers assessing people’s alleged abilities who, if proved to be psychic, would win a grand prize of one million dollars. After witnessing the failures of dozens of entrants Zavant decided that he could be far more convincing and made a career out of it.
The centerpiece of his set featured three volunteers in a game of telepathy. Each person was assigned the task of coming up with either a number, a word or a drawing. He added a touch of showmanship by having them write down their answers then seal them away in an envelope which would be held by an independent member of the crowd. He would write his prediction on a white board which he then gave to the volunteer who added drama by showing it to the audience before they themselves played into the big reveal and discovered his guess to be accurate. He saved the drawing assumption for the finale, which also was correct.
In Zavant’s final trick, he and a fellow left-handed participant engaged in a sequence that was meant to show their inherent physic connection. Both wore brown paper bags over their heads with the exception of the assistant holding a stick of four colored balloons. The assistant would pop a balloon and Zavanat would guess which colored balloon burst.
Mentalists, hypnotists and the like have all been popular at Ramapo in recent semesters and this performance was no different, sporting a very respectable turnout. Zavant was personable and entertaining, even offering an assortment of free buttons to the eager spectators after the show.