The Amazing Kreskin doesn't consider himself a psychic, but he sure is confident in his abilities -- confident enough to let the audience hide his fee for his performance somewhere in the theater. If he can't find the check (without any verbal help), he forfeits it. Lucky for him, there's just been a handful of times in 40 years where he hasn't found it.
"Watching the check test is like watching a murder mystery," says Kreskin, the famous mentalist who's appearing at Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury on Sunday, Nov. 11. "Except the end is different every night."
Kreskin (born George Joseph Kresge) has been a mystery his entire career. He came to prominence in the 1970s when his television show The Amazing World of Kreskin ran for five years in Canada and the United States. His act would showcase various feats of wonder, such as reciting a man's army serial number without any prompting. He was a frequent guest of Johnny Carson's on The Tonight Show, appearing 61 times during the '70s.
In recent years, Kreskin has been as active as ever, making more than 250 appearances a year all over the world, even at age 77. The 2008 movie The Great Buck Howard was based on his life, with John Malkovich playing Buck Howard, a fictionalized version of Kreskin. While not considering the movie completely accurate, Kreskin appreciated that the movie showed that nobody has ever proven that he has used electronic devices or secret assistants to aid him in his act.
Kreskin's also gotten a lot of publicity for his predictions. Recently, he suggested that Facebook will need a new person to run the company in place of Mark Zuckerberg by 2018. He also gave his predictions for the 2012 election more than a year ago, when he wrote his thoughts down and put them in a sealed envelope, which will not be opened until Wednesday night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Kreskin says that these predictions are based on research, not clairvoyance.
"I use information the same way a weatherman does," says Kreskin.
His check test is a different story. During his show, Kreskin has a group of randomly selected audience members escort him outside where he can't hear what's going on in the theater. Meanwhile, another randomly selected committee hides the check somewhere within the confines of the theater before Kreskin comes back. He then tries to pick up the thoughts of the audience members to figure out where the check is. He says it takes him about four to five minutes to find it and that it's been in a myriad of different locations, from tucked in someone's hand cast to stuffed inside a turkey at a commemorative dinner for Bob Hope at the Waldorf Astoria.
"When you think about it, there are always a couple thousand possibilities in any given theater -- not just on people, but in bags, on windowsills," says Kreskin. "I suppose this article will be giving people some obscure ideas."
The Amazing Kreskin will perform at Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. For tickets ($25), visit www.blueoceanhall.com.
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