By Keegan Byron Camardella
If you looked up the word “mentalist” on the Internet you would probably get 20 or 30 different definitions. But what is the true meaning of the word mentalist?
According to Jeff Evason of the performing mentalist duo The Evasons, it is “a person who entertains by using the power of the mind to amaze and fascinate people.”
Jeff and his wife, Tessa, travel the world and entertain people by using their minds. Tonight, their travels will bring them to Fitchburg State University for a 9 p.m. performance in Weston Auditorium.
The couple met in 1983 in Canada where both were living at the time and were introduced by a mutual friend. As Tessa put it, “We had an instant connection and it felt as if right when we met our lives took off as one.” The two began performing soon after they met, which they’ve been doing for over 30 years.
To be a mentalist, it requires some natural born ability inside your mind, along with hundreds of hours of practice and focus to perfect your craft as a performer. It also involves a great deal of showmanship and stage presence to be able to captivate your audience and keep them wanting more. However, if there is one thing in particular that any good mentalist must be able to do is connect with people.
Tessa often performs blindfolded, enabling her to feel connections with others around her. “It takes a great deal of focus and concentration, and I am human, sometimes I can get lost in my own head,” she said. Her ability to connect openly with others on stage is unparalleled, as she and Jeff’s relationship also feeds into the audience dynamic.
Their relationship as a couple can give the show a more personal feel that is welcoming to the audience, allowing them to really open up into Tessa and Jeff’s world. “The main goal of our show is that people walk away with a sense of wonder and that we create connections with the audience that they can see and feel,” said Jeff.
According to Tessa, in order to be a great mentalist you must own your craft and treasure it. Passion is also essential, which is portrayed through the quality of your work. “Never give up,” Tessa said.
Jeff sheds a different light on what it takes to be a great mentalist. “Look back into the past to the masters who have done this before us. Also read; there are great books to point any aspiring mentalist in the right direction,” Jeff said. He also reminds us to be wary and not take advice from any old person online trying to sell you your dreams.
The show includes crowed interactions, psychic readings and much more. Perhaps you’ll leave with a sense of wonder that you never could have imagined.