The Amazing Kreskin has been charming audiences, reading minds and making predictions for over 50 years. Impressively, he’s showing no signs of slowing down; at the age of 81, he still performs around the world. The mentalist, who was born in Montclair and still calls New Jersey his home, is making two Garden State appearances in October, one at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City and another at the Stress Factory Comedy Club in New Brunswick.
In the week leading up to Best of NJ‘s interview with him, Kreskin flew down to Florida for a day before heading to New England the following day. His wit is very much intact (when asked about who he predicts will win the election, he quips “I don’t have anything against politicians, I just wish most of them had been on the Titanic”), he still jogs when he’s home and says he’s an avid cross-country skier as well.
As is befitting of someone that reads minds, The Amazing Kreskin answered several questions I’d been planning on asking him without being prompted. One question was whether there would be anything Halloween-themed about the two shows. “I know the signs are already up for the Golden Nugget, but there will be a touch of Halloween about them,” he says, also answering the next question before I could ask it: “I won’t say exactly what will take place, but there may be a ghost sighting. If you experience this, you’ll never forget it as long as you live. I always celebrate Halloween onstage because of the spirit and the time of the year. A couple days ago in Florida, there was a ghost sighting, and a woman came up to me with tears in her eyes and said ‘I can’t believe what I just saw.’”
Another question I’d had queued up was about whether he saw any difference between playing at a larger venue like a casino as opposed to a club like the Stress Factory. “I think what’s made my work so significantly successful through the years is that there’s no boundaries, and there’s no separation between the audience and me,” he says.
“They’re an integral part of the program. I’m reading their thoughts, so they’re not watching equipment onstage or dancers or what have you. Whether it’s a small nightclub of a couple hundred people, or a state fair where there’s 30,000 people or Carnegie Hall, the people in the audience are in some way a part of what I’m doing, and I think that’s what’s made my work successful over the years.”
The Tonight Show
I also asked about his most notable appearance on The Tonight Show, where he appeared 88 times between 1970 and 1980. He began talking about about how his act translates to those that might not know English. The former Tonight Show host asked him a similar question about notable appearances following his return from performing in Japan.
As the story goes, Kreskin did a television show where a Japanese celebrity that didn’t know any English was also a guest. The celebrity had to draw a picture behind a screen. “I couldn’t get what he was drawing, but I saw a lot of shapes,” he remembers. “I was not getting what he had drawn, but I made an upside down triangle, and drew half a circle on top of it before giving up. He turned the screen around and it was pandemonium– he’d drawn an ice cream cone.”
New Jersey’s Own: The Amazing Kreskin
Despite his travels, The Amazing Kreskin still lives in the state he was born in, calling West Caldwell, NJ his home. When asked to name his favorite places in New Jersey, he explained, “If I think of growing up, through the years, one of my favorite vacation places everywhere is Point Pleasant. I have incredible memories of the boardwalk and the beach.”
“I also love camping,” he continued. “I’ve camped in many of the state parks here in New Jersey. Stokes State Forest is one of my favorite places in the world to camp. I’ve gone down the Grand Canyon, I’ve been to Machu Picchu in Peru, but I have quiet areas in Stokes State Forest that I revere, and I love winter camping. That’s a passion of mine.”
The Amazing Kreskin is performing at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City on October 29th before heading to the Stress Factory Comedy Club in New Brunswick on October 30th. Tickets are now available for both shows.
Hero (Top) Feature Image: © The Amazing Kreskin / AichG Public Relations
Additional Images (in Order) Courtesy:
The Amazing Kreskin / Website