Mentalist duo bends minds, wows crowd

Tessa Evason (front, right) of mentalist duo The Evasons instructs students during a segment of her performance on March 2.

By Jason Mount

The mentalist duo called The Evasons read thoughts and blew minds during their performance in the Yvonne Theater on March 2.

Married couple Jeff and Tessa Evason proved their talents of “second sight,” magic and telepathy Friday evening with acts that confused, wowed and shocked audience members.

The performance started with Tessa flexing her mental muscles by correctly guessing six random numbers collected by Jeff from the audience. The accuracy of the mentalist’s assumptions stunned the audience, but the amazement had only just begun.

Another awe-inspiring act was when Tessa was able to describe pictures in people’s wallets, in terms of the image itself and its connection to the audience member, revealing details that Tessa most likely would not have known prior to the show.

One of the moments that caught the audience off-guard was when Tessa described a business card in a student’s possession, which was for a magician with whom the mentalist duo was familiar. She announced that the student who had the card was connected to the stage, a performer, and impressed the audience with a simple sentence.

“You’ll be successful. I see your name in lights: Casey, Casey, Casey,” Tessa said, correctly guessing the student’s name and conjuring shrieks of amazement from the audience.

Senior musical theater major Casey Esbin, the audience member involved in this segment, said the experience was just as shocking to her as it was to everyone else.

“Getting involved was such a wild experience,” she said. “Not only did The Evasons immediately know all the information on the card I gave them without them looking at it, but they were able to guess my name almost immediately.”

The acts from that point on relied more heavily on volunteers. The couple demonstrated how to use a pendulum and how to interpret its swings, leading into the next segment of the show.

Five people were selected to come on stage and try to open a lock with their keys, only one of which worked. Tessa once again used her abilities and correctly guessed which person had the right key. After this, the keys were placed back into a cup and mixed up then handed out once more.

One more volunteer was selected, sophomore finance major Maria Anna Koutsoubas, to step on stage and test her pendulum abilities, fashioning one out of the lock and accompanying cord. As each of the previous five volunteers held their keys over her head, the pendulum would swing in a circle for no and in a straight line for yes.

“When I got picked, I was honestly scared,” Koutsoubas admitted after the show. “But I did it anyway and it was probably the best decision ever. I had so much fun and I would definitely see them again.”

In a seemingly fantastic twist, the person who first had the working key had it again, as correctly told by the pendulum, shocking the audience.

The next acts were much more elaborate, including four men attempting to lift a girl with just their fingertips — and failing.

After the attempt, Jeff guided the volunteers in a meditation, leading them to easily lift her up this time.

The final act sent shivers down the audience members’ spines, as the Evasons made people think of their own ghostly encounters. As a student sat in a chair with a white sheet draped behind her, she claimed to feel a poke on her back. Another audience member took a picture of the student with a Polaroid camera. When the film developed, the face of an old woman vividly appeared on the sheet behind the student, mystifying the audience and leaving them with a sense of wonder and fear.

After the Evasons’ performance, both Esbin and Koutsoubas were deeply impressed.

“I thought the show was masterful, exceptionally well-done and super fun,” Esbin shared. “There wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat during the entire performance.”

Koutsoubas commented on how engaging the duo was, saying, “I loved how interactive the Evasons were the audience. It really showed us how there were no cameras or videos used throughout the performance.”

Even if people doubted the mentalist duo’s abilities, it is safe to say that they are impressive and entertaining regardless of whether or not they are supernatural.


Published in the 03/07/18 edition.

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