This past weekend, I was invited by Christian Painter and Katalina Absolon to their Mind Tripping magic show. They’re running two shows on Friday and Saturday nights at the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites (120 W. Market St., Indianapolis, IN).
Christian and Katalina are the husband-and-wife duo also known as Married2Magic, and they can typically run one of two shows, a traditional magic show, or their Mind Tripping show, which is billed as “psychological illusions for the mind.” (Full disclosure: I’ve known Christian and Katalina for nearly two years, when we were all members of the same networking organization.)
Now I’m a big fan of magic, so I was excited to go. I always like to see if I can figure out the tricks (I never can), and if I can be surprised by a new trick (I rarely am). Plus, I’ve seen C&K perform a couple of tricks before, and have heard great things about their Mind Tripping show, so I fairly jumped at the chance to watch it.
Like I said, I’m a fan of magic, and while I can rarely tell how a trick is done, I can usually spot where the sleight of hand usually happens.
Not this time.
One particular trick — and a favorite of parlor magicians for well over a few centuries — is the mind reading trick. In this trick, the magician is blindfolded, while his or her partner shows different cards to the audience.
“Now, can you tell me which card this is?”
“The 7 of Diamonds.”
“And which card am I holding in my hand this time?”
“The Queen of Clubs.”
This trick went as planned, and I was sure I could see how the trick was done. It’s usually done by code. The partner says certain words in a certain order — “Do you know which card I am holding now” — and that tells the magician which card they’re holding. The same thing can be done with items in your pocket (wallet, cell phone, keys) which is part of the trick C&K also did.
Only they quickly dashed my “they’re using a code” thought right there. One guy had a cell phone and a wallet (which is to be expected), but another had a wooden nickel, which Katalina nailed. Yet I can’t imagine they worked out a code for wooden nickel.
“You’re using a code,” blurted out one member of the audience, who, if I didn’t know her, would have sworn she was a plant (but she’s a friend, and I knew she wasn’t part of this). Her statement was perfectly timed, and it ended up putting a nice final touch to the trick.
“All right,” said Christian, “you get to help show that it’s not.” He brought the young lady up on stage, and asked her to select several cards at random, all without him seeing them. The he walked to the back of the room, and didn’t say a word. The woman was supposed to look at the cards, and Katalina would tell her what cards she was holding.
But she took it one step further, and walked over to the side of the stage, and held the cards tightly against her chest, to prevent any magic mirrors or cameras.
It didn’t matter, with the exception of one near-miss, she got every card right. And she corrected the near-miss immediately, and got it right.
My belief in the code was happily dashed. If there was a code, I didn’t catch it. I don’t know how it was done, couldn’t figure out where the trick was. And even though I haven’t been surprised by a magic trick in years, this one floored me. I’m pretty sure my mouth was agape.
I was talking to Christian afterward, who told me that a reporter from one newspaper refused to attend the show, because he doesn’t do “kiddie magic shows.” Let me tell you, this ain’t no kiddie magic show. This show was unlike any I had seen in a long time. If you think this is a kiddie magic show, you’ve got another think coming. This one is truly a mind trip, and anyone who dismisses it out of hand is doing themselves a disservice.
Christian and Katalina have spent the last eight years touring all around the U.S. and the world doing their act, and this is the first time in a long time they have done an extended run in their hometown. Who knows when they’re going to be back for such a long stretch, so if you like magic, and don’t want your typical run of the mill magic show, visit their website at www.mindtrippingshow.com, or stop by the Hilton about 15 minutes before 6:00 and 8:30 on Friday and Saturday nights, and check out a truly mind tripping show.
Photo: MindTrippingShow.com website