Blake Adams

Mentalist Blake Adams will perform his mind-reading and other audience-fooling acts Saturday at the Waco Hippodrome.

Staff photo—Jerry Larson

Blake Adams is looking forward to Saturday’s performance at the Waco Hippodrome because it gives him greater control on messing with the audience’s minds — in a good way, of course.

Adams bills himself as a mentalist, which is not a quite the same as being a magician nor an illusionist although the tricks he does sometimes involve sleight of hand, misdirection or canny observation of human nature. “A mentalist uses the five senses to create an illusion of a sixth,” he explained. “I’ve studied how the human mind operates when put in certain situations.”

That’s the mind of his observer when Adams is attempting a stunt with spikes hidden by cups or paper bags that might puncture his hand if he’s wrong, pulling a string with razor blades attached from his mouth, reading favorite memories from a stranger’s mind or predicting newspaper headlines before they’re printed.

The 31-year-old Adams (his stage name — his real name is Blake Herridge) took a interest in magic and evolved it into a mentalist act, polishing it at local venues such as Common Grounds and Poppa Rollo’s Pizza while at Baylor University, then a Truett Seminary student and Baptist pastor.

For the last three years, Adams gone fulltime with his mentalist act, performing for church and college groups, corporate meetings, team building exercises and more. Some leave his audiences with practical tips from a mentalist’s experience, such as how to network better or establish rapport with strangers. “All my shows are completely different — different perspectives, different experiences, different expectations,” he said.

Saturday’s performance at the Hippodrome is strictly for entertainment and a general audience with the support of a theater’s presentational abilities.

“The Hippodrome is a great venue for this kind of show. You can control the lighting and the sound,” he said. “We live in a world surrounded by mystery. You want to bring back a sense of wonder.”

-----

Mentalist Blake Adams

Performance: 6 p.m. Saturday at the Waco Hippodrome, 724 Austin Ave.

Tickets: $10, $5 for children, available online at wacohippodrometheatre.com.