GLOVERSVILLE - Robert Channing swears he can boggle the minds of his audiences using only the powers of his own.
Nathan Littauer Hospital will host a family fundraiser event featuring Channing to support the Littauer Family of Health Services on Saturday, Nov. 17.
Channing is a mentalist known around the world for his apparent ability to read people's thoughts. His act includes hypnosis, fortune-telling and a dose of humor.
“Psychic entertainer” Robert Channing will perform at 4 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Gloversville High School auditorium. The show will be a fundraiser for Nathan Littauer Hospital and its family of health services. Channing claims to have the ability to read people’s thoughts and bend keys, coins and cutlery with his mind.
He is one of the official entertainers of the United Nations and has performed for celebrities including Alice Cooper, Gene Simmons and Madonna.
"I go all over the world," Channing said. "But I really love when I come home to perform around here."
Channing grew up in Newport, Herkimer County, and has previously performed at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.
He said he discovered he had a rare ability when he was 5 years old and his mother took him to get a haircut in Newport. He said when a man was walking by, he was able to answer the question the man was asking in his mind but never said aloud.
"He was really freaked out by it, and at that point is when I really discovered my ability," Channing said.
He said he was inspired by a magician in the area and started by practicing simple tricks.
He said he later became infatuated with psychology and how the mind works and decided to change his focus to mental magic or mentalism.
Channing said his show will incorporate mind-reading, comedy, hypnosis, fortune-telling and even telling random audience members exactly how much money they have in their pockets.
"Until you witness or see one of my shows, [merely describing it] does no justice," Channing said. "For example, after telling you what I will do, your excitement is probably at about 10 percent, but after seeing the show for yourself, you will be at 100 percent. People walk out completely flabbergasted."
Channing said in the grand finale to the show, it will be revealed that he predicted - a month in advance - what three people selected by the hospital staff will be wearing to the show. He said he will mail a sealed envelope to the hospital that will not be opened until the end of the show.
Not only will he predict what people are wearing but also will include in the envelope what four randomly selected people at the show want for a dream vacation. It will mention the exact date, cost and location of the vacation, Channing said.
To convince the skeptics, Channing said, he will give away $100,000 to anyone who can prove that he has rigged the act by planting "stooges" in the audience To date, no one has been able to prove that he isn't really reading the minds of his audiences, he said.
"I am very accurate in what I predict about people," Channing said. "I tell them things about themselves that only they would know."
Channing's appearance fee will be covered by event sponsors, and if the event sells out, it is expected to generate $20,000 for the hospital, said Littauer Vice President of Development Susan Kiernan.
The money generated from this fundraiser will go toward surgical and diagnostic imaging equipment. Kiernan said some of the money will go toward the recent upgrade to the CAT scan system at the hospital that reduced radiation levels by 40 percent.
"This is a great cause and I am proud to be a part of it," Channing said.
Kiernan said the hospital was looking for a fundraiser that could include more people and that families would want to attend. She said she has about 16 sponsors from the area to endorse the event, and the honorary sponsor will be J. Fine Jewelry.
"People think that if you are going to make a donation to a hospital, it has to be big to be meaningful," said Kiernan. "When, actually, this hospital has a 118-year tradition of being built on smaller donations from the community."
Kelly Colby, one of the event organizers for the NLH Foundation, describes Channing's act at "exciting, entertaining and mind-boggling."
"Robert Channing's show is amazingly riveting and clean - it is a perfect blend of comedy suitable for the whole family," she said.
The event will be at the Gloversville High School auditorium and starts at 4 p.m. Nov. 17.
Tickets will cost $20 per person, or $50 for preferred seating, which includes a meet-and-greet with Channing after the show.
Kiernan suggested people with general admission tickets should arrive when the doors open at 3 p.m. to find the best seat.
Tickets can be purchased at the hospital or by calling 773-5505.
Tickets may also be available for purchase at the door.
Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.