MIND’S EYE — Mentalist Robert Channing entertains at the Rome MVCC campus on Thursday evening. The New Hartford native has appeared on national TV and was at MVCC as part of their Fall Cultural series. (Sentinel photo by Roger Seibert)

Mentalist Channing delights MVCC audience

Published Sep 8, 2017 at 4:00pm

Mentalist Robert Channing visited Mohawk Valley Community College’s Rome campus Thursday evening as part of the college’s 2017 Cultural Series. Channing, a New Hartford native, appeared as part of a scheduled lineup of celebrities that includes Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas and musician Henry Rollins later this fall. A list of the speakers appearing at the cultural series is available at www.mvcc.edu/cultural-series.

​Channing has appeared on national TV a number of times, and during his show he performs a number of feats that apparently involve the of mind-reading, and knowledge of future events, or extra-sensory perception (ESP).

Some people attend Channing’s events to get a sense of hope and direction. Christine M. Perez, a probation officer with the Oneida County Corrections department, simply goes to have a good time. “I’m an alumni of MVCC, and I attend these events to support the college,” she said. “I’ve seen Channing several times. He’s an illusionist, and he’s really good.”

Although a number of people have worked to debunk ESP adherents like Channing, Perez and others believe in what he’s doing. Channing himself offered $100,000 to anyone who could prove he had planted people in the audience to help with his act.

“You can tell when someone is playing. I don’t think he’s playing,” Perez said.

Channing performed most of his hour-long show blindfolded with the help of an audience member and a local newspaper reporter. He asked the volunteers to get items from the audience, including a CCM baseball cap, which he identified. He also identified who owned the items while blindfolded

Channing also read the serial numbers off of a $10 bill, and at the end of the show he identified the young lady who the reporter had gotten the bill from. The show ended with Channing telling certain audience members of their future. The words were uniformly positive. He told one lady her home in Florida would be safe from Hurricane Irma.

Channing also told several women, whom he identified by nicknames and dates they and written on pieces of paper and were collected by the volunteers, when they would be married and how many children they would have. He told one MVCC employee that she would be married in six-and-a-half years and that she would have twins.

“In my act, 35 percent of what I do is ESP, 35 percent is showmanship and the rest is dumb luck,” Channing said.