Fringe Day 3 Pt. 2: Megan and the Mind Reader

When I show up to a performance and find out it involves audience participation, I cringe.  I don’t want to be a part of anyone show. I am a little self conscious and prefer to blend in with the crowd, sit in the back, maybe scribble notes if I want to and simply observe.  Right away, Brandon Ware, The Reluctant Mind Reader, makes it known that he will incorporate everyone in his act.  I smiled and nodded then thanked the stars it was a small crowd.

For Ware, being able to read minds is a blessing and a curse.  For starters, right off the bat he lets us know it makes heckling so much easier, so if we have any “negative thoughts, just think them”.  He announces he only uses mind reading for ‘benevolence’ then proceeds to perform a series of tests to prove his craft is genuine.

The show begins when Ware recruits an audience member to partake in a card game.  Of course the card and his theory of deduction is spot on and this puts a smile on everyone’s face.   

The second test is a sort of ‘couples therapy’.  During Saturday’s 7pm performance Ware picked, from the audience, a couple married for 24 years.  He incorporated 2 decks of cards into the act to prove how well they know one another.

For his third trick, Ware recruited someone to join him on stage to read from his favorite book, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.  Ware added, he finds “something about a know it all very relatable.”  This comment proves even more sincere as the show progresses. Ware stands back to back with the audience member, then asks him to read certain words on a specific page. Astonishingly, Ware proves himself an adept mentalist. So far the first three acts are cool but it is after he manages to unlock someone’s cell phone using random numbers that I am really impressed.

The Reluctant Mind Reader is a show of pure enjoyment. “With Great Power Comes Great Comedy”, and I attest to both.

Part of what makes the show so amusing is the silly banter exchanged between Ware and the audience.  This happens between ‘tricks’ as well as during, building his credibility and trustworthiness. He is charming and charismatic, part stand up comedian and part sleight of hand master, Ware and his act The Reluctant Mind Reader add a fun and interesting twist to the the two performance styles.   



Megan Grabowski works full time for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania but for fun she enjoys volunteering, as a trustee for the Crafton Public Library Board, the Girl Scouts and as a contributor to Pittsburgh in the Round. Megan grew up attending community theater performances with her parents and relishes the escapism and adventure live productions provide.  Now, a mother to 2 teenage daughters, Megan is thrilled to see her girls enjoying live shows, performing on stage and creating playlists of their favorite showtunes. To keep up on writing trends, news and cool cultural stuff, follow Megan on Facebook @mjgrabowskiwordsmith.

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