, Salem, MA


October 25, 2012

A little bit of magic, a lot of the bizarre

Magician brings his show to the Hawthorne Hotel

Even when magician Chris Bolter describes how his routine works, audiences still can’t figure out how he does it.

And that makes them wonder if his magic isn’t real after all.

“With me giving you this truth, it’s going to sound like a lie,” said Bolter, who is performing two shows a night at the Hawthorne Hotel from tonight until the 31st, with the exception of Saturday. “When you tell them what you’re doing, it almost seems like you’re denying it. They think, ‘You must have some supernatural ability.’”

If this reaction seems complex, it is part of the mind game that defines Bolter’s brand of magic.

“I am mostly in the world of mentalism, the mind-reading branch of the magical world,” said Bolter, 27, who was born in Quincy and still calls Massachusetts home.

He distinguishes between two kinds of mentalists: those like himself, whom he calls “realists,” who claim they are simply using suggestion and misdirection, while another set professes to have, or at least implies that they wield, special powers.

Bolter’s approach disarms people and makes them do a double take — many of which have been recorded and posted at his website — when they can’t figure out how he knew which card they chose.

Bolter got a taste of magic at an early age at the Marshfield Fair, where he worked at his family’s booths selling food every summer and met all kinds of magicians, jugglers and sideshow performers.

A strong interest in psychology and human behavior influenced the kind of magic he eventually chose to practice.

Mentalism relies on interaction with an audience, which Bolter prefers to acts that offer well-rehearsed material that only requires people to watch.

“Being a mentalist, you need audience participation,” he said. “That’s what makes the material stronger and harder to do: There are no guarantees. The shows are always up for grabs and always fun.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 28

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Son-in-law’s abusive father makes gatherings painful Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, "Tom." He's a wonderful husband to our daughter. He's always inviting us to dinner along with his parents and family. We get along with them but can't stand how they treat Tom. We have never seen parents treat their

    July 28, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 26

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief Congregation Shirat Hayam is offering a free, five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. from Sept. 2 through Oct. 7, at the synagogue, 55 Atlantic Ave., Swampscott. Led by Nancy Miller, the course is open to the community and is

    July 26, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Wednesday, July 30 Book Club, 7 p.m., Aviv Centers for Living, 240 Lynnfield St., Peabody. Women of all ages are invited to a free book group with conversations about Jewish identity. Group will discuss "The Harem Midwife" by Roberta Rich. RSVP to Sh

    July 26, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation Dear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what's going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I have known exactly where I'll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. Now that I have one more year to

    July 26, 2014

  • macaws Vet Connection: Pet birds need training, social interaction and time out of the cage People are fascinated with the big colorful birds on display at Animal Kingdom and wild bird sanctuaries. It's always fascinating to see someone walking down the street with a big-beaked bird on his or her shoulder as a companion. We are all drawn to

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ask Dog Lady: Her little dog is obsessed with food Dear Dog Lady: I have a 3-year-old, long-coated Chihuahua named Mexipep (after a brand of hot sauce). She has many fine attributes -- she's very sweet, not nervous and barky like the short-coated Chihuahuas can be. On the subject of food, however, th

    July 25, 2014

  • howe Book Notes: Local novelist sees ‘conversion’ syndrome in witch trials The parallels between 1692 and today are so close, they're frightening. That's one conclusion you could draw from reading "Conversion," Marblehead resident Katherine Howe's new novel, which compares the world of the Salem Witch Trials to the life of

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • vehicles Quick pick: Festival of vehicles

    Festival of vehicles Take a ride over to the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library for the 16th annual Vehicle Night on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The festival of fire trucks, emergency vehicles, cruisers and snow plows takes place in the library park

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker