Comedic mentalist Sean Bott has been studying mentalism since he was 12. For the past six years he has been touring across the country, impressing audiences with his seemingly supernatural abilities. On Oct. 11 Bott showed off his abilities at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Attendees gathered in the Laird room to tune into Bott’s performance. Throughout the show he randomly selected audience members to join him on stage for various activities.
Brandon Hennes, a senior majoring in accounting and business administration, was thrilled when Bott asked him on stage.
“I wanted to participate in any way possible,” said Hennes.
When Hennes was on stage, Bott asked him to think of the most important person in the world to him. After that, Bott prompted Hennes to think of the number of letters that were in that person’s first name. During this activity Hennes did not give Bott any verbal information about the person he had in mind.
Bott was able to correctly write the name of the person Hennes was thinking of on a giant poster, leaving the audience amazed.
“It felt weird right away because I thought in my mind there was no way he could do it and I tried to stump him,” Hennes said. “It failed. He read my mind.”
Throughout the show Bott asked audience members a variety of questions, ranging from their dream vacation spots to favorite movies. Every time Bott would ask an audience member a question, he knew the answer the person was thinking of without them saying it out loud.
Libby Kaminski, a sophomore majoring in accounting and business administration, was one of the many skeptics in the audience.
“I just didn’t think he’d get a lot of his tricks right and that he’d mess up,” Kaminski said.
Bott surprised Kaminski and other skeptics by his accuracy. Bott said he was aware of skeptics and does not strive to convert anyone’s beliefs. He remains sensitive to other people’s opinions.
Bott said anyone who works extremely hard and studies subjects such as human nature and psychology can learn how to be a mentalist.
“It’s dumb luck, skill and knowing how people respond,” Bott said.
Bott admitted that during shows his answers are not always accurate. He believes if he builds a good enough relationship with the audience that instead of being outraged if he fails, they will just laugh.
“I don’t know any other job where you get to experience something really crazy,” Bott said. “I think people have many answers and it’s good to give people questions.”