The Amazing Kreskin’s Mental Brilliance Awes Audiences [Interview]
By Carol Ruth Weber reprinted from Medium.com/@CarolRuthWeber
The Amazing Kreskin has been working his magic abilities as a brilliant mentalist to astound spectators for the past 50 years. The psychological phenom is now setting up residency, on off-Broadway, to showcase his powers in “The Amazing Kreskin Live” to audiences in New York.
Fans Delight in The Amazing Kreskin
At 83-years young the man, who seems to never age, has showcased his powers of prediction on TV, in 20 published books, and even in his own Milton Bradley board game. Kreskin’s most recent book, “In Real Time,” released in 2016, highlights his most important prophecies for subsequent hundreds of years into the future.
Kreskin gained major popularity for his mental prowess in the 1970s. Along with starring in his own TV show, “The Amazing World of Kreskin,” for five and a half seasons, Kreskin has been an audience favorite as a repeat guest on many talk shows. On the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson he was a proven beloved guest with 88 appearances. Kreskin also made appearances on Regis Philbin, and David Letterman, as well as such contemporary shows as Jimmy Fallon, and Neil Cavuto.
The Amazing Kreskin Talks Life and Mindful Entertainment
Born George Joseph Kresge, Kresge was inspired to become The Amazing Kreskin by the crime fighting magician lead in the comic strip, ”Mandrake the Magician,” by Lee Falk. Although he is often referred to as a psychic, Kreskin sees himself as an entertainer utilizing the powers of suggestion to work his magic.
Carol Ruth Weber: How did you come up with your moniker? Do those close to you still call you George or do you prefer Kreskin?
The Amazing Kreskin: I only use Kreskin now. My name has appeared everywhere - in German text books - even in a major article in Saudi Arabia a month ago.
My family name is Kresge. When I was in high school I was already performing professionally and I wanted a name that was not being used anywhere else. I used the beginning of my name and added k because it was the first initial of a mystery performer in the 1890s to 1920s. His name was Keller. The last two letters are from Houdin - who was a French mystery illusionist. The two mystery people helped me create the name Kreskin.
I have a service that alerts me anytime my name is mentioned. I keep getting mentioned on political shows like on CNN. I am mentioned also on sporting events. I’ve been mentioned every single year during the Olympics. I never would have dreamt that my name being mentioned like it is would ever take place.
[Excitedly Kreskin wanted to express about a breaking story!]
A story is to break tomorrow that I will announce regarding a press conference I did in 2012! In 2012 I held a press conference that Facebook would be in gigantic trouble in six years from that moment - and the people investigating will be already worried that this was contaminating our society. I mentioned how it would contaminate our privacy. I don’t know what inside me made something come so sharply clear that I made a timeframe on it
CRW: How do you feel about what is happening with Facebook today?
TAK: The issue today is reflective of what is becoming a massive danger worldwide. Facebook has shown where a human being’s privacy, one of the most cherished gifts that a human person has, can be destroyed.
CRW: When did you first read the comic strip, “Mandrake the Magician,” that would change your life, and when did you first perform?
TAK: The first reading of Mandrake was by my mother who read comic books to me. One of the comics given to me by a teenager was Mandrake when I was Five. I started performing in grade school in 4th grade and 6th grade. My teacher let me perform on Fridays, during Show and Tell, for 10 minutes to read the thoughts of my classmates. By the time I was in junior high I was doing performances for audiences and, beginning in 9th grade, some of my performances ran two hours in length as one man shows.
[Quoting himself Kreskin adds:]
“My life is an adventure!”
CRW: What was it like being a favorite guest on Johnny Carson?
TAK: I did 88 shows. When I started doing the show we would be coming off airplanes and people would say, “Hi Amazing” to me. I only used Kreskin then. A few years later, when I was watching the Carson show, Johnny mentioned to Ed that we are having Kreskin on and last time he was on he was only 92 percent amazing. Ed answered, “No he was 94 percent amazing.” It became a bit for Johnny and Ed which turned me into The Amazing Kreskin. I now have TA Kreskin on my credit cards for The Amazing Kreskin.
The Carson experience became so legendary for me, and the impact it had on others, that one fact that the public does not know about is that Johnny Carson’s Carnac is a satire of me! I am one of the few people in the entire history of the show who spent any time in Johnny’s dressing room.
John Romero, who was a legendary authority on Las Vegas gambling, quoted in one of his books:
“Kreskin is the most dangerous person in the world with a deck of cards.”
CRW: What are your magic secrets to not aging?
TAK: Believe it to not I jog 20 minutes every night. I read four books a night when I am home. My library at home has over 8000 books.
CRW: What made you want to do this residency show in New York City?
TAK: The reason for the residency is that people cannot believe that I have never done something like this in New York. I am excited like a kid. I am so excited I may not let the audience go home.
CRW: Where is your career going next?
TAK: Much of the rest of the year I will be in Europe and other countries. I will have something to announce, that is beyond belief, in about one and a half months - around June.
The airline industry announced a year and a half ago that, at that time, I had flown three and a half million miles. A year ago, if you counted every radio, TV and concert appearance, I did 364 appearances around the world in just one year.
CRW: What inspires you most to keep wowing audiences?
TAK: I see families coming - grandparents, parents, kids - because so many people know I read people’s thoughts. My entertaining is not just something people watch, but is experienced by members of the audience.
The Amazing Kreskin Works to Inspire
This brilliant man has even inspired modern movies. Tom Hank’s 2009 film, “The Great Buck Howard,” specifically remarks at the end that The Amazing Kreskin was the inspiration for the movie’s lead character. The next year, in 2010, the movie “Dinner for Schmucks” has The Amazing Kreskin as motivation for Zach Galifianakis’ character.
Continuously reinventing himself to bring his notable abilities to excite new generations may be Kreskin’s most magical ability. In 2014 the psychological headliner added a new position to his resume. Kreskin used his powers to mentally train three upwardly climbing boxers to attain wins. Heather "The Heat" Hardy further utilized the mentalist to prepare her psychologically for winning the WBC International Junior Featherweight Championship of the World.
The Amazing Kreskin continuously has used his aptitudes of prediction to forecast major world events, including presidential election and sporting results. in an appearance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” 18 months before the 2012 presidential election, Kreskin predicted who would win the presidency. For the 2016 Super Bowl the famed mentalist made three predictions on Fox TV. Kreskin accurately foretold the deciding game quarter, what team would win along with the final score.
Beyond performing and inspiring movies, Kreskin uses his skillfulness in understanding the powers of prediction to teach groups of law enforcement. A glimmer of understanding how the dazzling showman works his magic is in his lessons of utilizing psychological methods. Kreskin instructs on how to use relaxation methods to jog lost memories, as well as how to watch body language, and voice variations, to detect untruths.
The Amazing Kreskin Live
“The Amazing Kreskin Live” debuts April 12 at The Lion Theater on Theater Row. The three-week residency will allow the iconic mentalist to wow audiences with his unbelievable-until-you-see-it-for-real skills at reading peoples’ minds.
The finale of each “The Amazing Kreskin Live” will showcase Kreskin’s signature act. Every performance is set to truly amaze with Kreskin allowing for his pay check to be hidden in the theater for him to locate. If Kreskin does not find the check then he loses his payment for that particular show.
“The Amazing Kreskin Live” runs from April 12 through April 28, 2018 with show times at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Tickets at $37.25 & $52.25 are on sale at www.telecharge.com or by calling 212-239-6200. For more info visit www.theatrerow.org
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