A profile of mentalist duo, The Evasons from The Baltimore Post Examiner:
I would have never guessed that the woman who was sitting across the aisle from me last Friday night was wearing a locket with miniature pictures of both her grandmother and her great grandmother. Nor would I have guessed that the guy at the table to my left was carrying a pack of Marlboros which contained nineteen cigarettes – with one turned upside down. Or that the man next to him was thinking of the number 93.
I would have never guessed these seemingly random facts, but Tessa Evason did. Or did she know?
For 30 years, Tessa and her husband Jeff have amazed audiences around the world with surprisingly accurate demonstrations of extra sensory perception (ESP) and mental telepathy. Last Friday the Annapolis couple made their Maryland premiere at Creative Alliance in Baltimore. The Evasons were joined on the bill that night by the highly entertaining comedy juggler Michael DuBois.
Cigarettes and family relics weren’t the only things Tessa correctly intuited. Bracelets, gold rings, key chains and an unusual bottle opener were just a few of the other items Tessa correctly identified while standing blind-folded on the stage. Not only did Tessa identify these items sight unseen but she also related intimate information about each piece. The detailed descriptions shocked more than one participant, and with each passing point, the Evasons seemed to convince even the most critical spectator.
Kevin McPadden of Annapolis was astounded that Tessa was able to describe a tattoo of a sea turtle just below his knee. Said McPadden after the show, “There’s no way she could have seen that ink on my leg.”
One youngster in the crowd was decidedly more succinct. After first describing the sole item in the boy’s pocket as a spent Trident chewing gum wrapper, Tessa then addressed the boy by name: Cory.
Cory’s astonished reaction was to audibly blurt out, “Holy crap!”
Even if concealed, tattoos and Trident wrappers are common enough. Not so commonplace are exotic implements with curious names.
Jamisse Baney had one such unusual object, a multi-purpose gadget the manufacturer calls The Harp. Tessa seemed confused that the concealed object she envisioned would have a musical moniker, but accurately described it as, “some kind of a tool.” When asked, Baney affirmed the odd implement was basically a women’s pocketbook sized equivalent to a Swiss army knife. Incredibly, Tessa also addressed Baney not by her fist name, Jamisse, but rather by her middle name Danielle.
Inanimate objects were not the only things Tessa had going through her mind. After Jeff distributed five different colored envelopes, Tessa described the personality traits of each envelope holder based on the color he or she selected. This appeared to be general information until Tessa, still blindfolded, identified the correct order of five numbers randomly found inside the envelopes.
Perhaps more amazing was a sequence of numbers Tessa drew on a white board, while a man in the audience wrote down a figure he had on his mind. The man’s number was ninety-three and Tessa’s sequence added up to that number no matter which way you tallied her score.
If there was sleight-of-hand, secret signals or some other trickery to The Evasons’ performance, they evaded one discerning group on hand; a group of seasoned magicians.
Max Major, a popular magician from Washington D.C., told The Baltimore Post-Examiner, “As a magician, I can usually break down another performer’s bits in about 30 seconds. With the Evasons, that’s just not the case. They are at the pinnacle of their profession. They are simply the best at what they do.”
Major said he was seeing the Evasons live for only the second time. He called their act “Amazing,” and added, “Things which look impossible on TV look that much more impossible when you see them in person.”
Nashville-based illusionist Frank DeVille, who works the college circuit and summers on the Jersey shore, echoed Major’s observations, telling the Baltimore Post-Examiner, “The Evasons are highly respected in the industry. You’ll see a lot of magicians at their shows.”
DeVille also was glad for the opportunity to see the Evasons live. “They usually do high end events – corporate shows and such – so to see them in an intimate setting like the Creative Alliance is a real treat.”
For many, the most unfathomable moment of the night was Jeff’s demonstration of Thoughtography. Using a Polaroid camera with a fresh pack of film, Jeff had one audience member take a picture of another – a woman named Ann Reagan – while Reagan was thinking about her late grandmother Rosie. When the picture developed, an image could clearly be seen over Reagan’s left shoulder. Reagan examined the image and exclaimed, “Oh my God! That’s Rosie!” After the performance, a flummoxed Reagan showed anyone who wanted to look the Polaroid shot, comparing it to a picture of her grandmother which was stored on her I-phone.
One skeptic pointed out that picturers on an I-phone can easily be gleaned electronically without an owner’s knowledge. But Reagan was quick to point out that her phone was in her purse during the entire show and was not with her on stage as the Thoughtography demonstration unfolded.
As the curtain fell, the near capacity crowd was left to ponder the source of the Evasons’ bedeviling abilities. Most seemed to believe that Tessa has an astonishing gift. Several others seemed convinced there was some kind of gimmick. And one woman even wondered aloud if Tessa is a witch.
Max Major remained enthusiastic, saying, “When you see them on TV, it’s easy to think, ‘Oh, this is a set-up.’ But when you see them live and witness the honest reactions of people in the audience, you know for (the audience) this is real. This is something special.”