Aaron Calvert: Awaken

★★★
cabaret review | Read in About 2 minutes
31149_large
Aaron Calvert
Published 08 Aug 2017

Medically, the hypnotic state exists between being awake and asleep. Psychologically, jealousy and fear are two of the most volatile emotions. Aaron Calvert’s show of mind reading and hypnosis is all the more powerful because it is based on these scientific facts – Calvert is himself a doctor. Awaken does not pretend to be spiritual, or to connect on an alternate plane. Calvert uses medical intelligence to perform unexpected feats of trickery.

Calvert is assertive and fosters an instantaneous connection, the motivational speaker of the hypnosis world. Awaken is a show with meticulous preparation and a logical structure, a show that doesn’t claim to be truly magical but simply an example of the extraordinary feats that humans are capable of. Audience members in trance-like states do more than guess cards; they pop balloons with their mind and bend four-inch steel nails.

It's a bit too much like a self-help lecture in parts, almost as if Paul McKenna is going to walk in and cure your fear of spiders or your smoking addiction. But Calvert introduces each section with the background and theory, before doing the experiment and presenting the proof.

We believe because we want to believe – we want to be the person with mind-reading, psychic superpowers, or a telekinetic ability. But we also believe because our rational brain comprehends the facts that we are presented with. If Awaken is nothing more than statistics at work, then we must be the audience that defies the odds.