The Amazing Kreskin amazes audiences to help animal shelter

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:02

WEST MILFORD — While the cats, dogs and various other creatures slept peacefully in their beds at West Milford Animal Shelter, little did they know amazing things were occurring for their benefit. A spellbound audience at the High School auditorium witnessed legendary mentalist The Amazing Kreskin perform mental gymnastics and uproarious set-pieces. The show was arranged by the town’s animal shelter to raise much-needed funds to continue the care of the approximately 1,000 pets per year in their safekeeping. As the star of stage, screen, countless books and frequent television appearances Kreskin has achieved the status of king of his profession. A regular on the Johnny Carson Show with whom he built a lasting friendship, Kreskin has been defying the belief of viewers and audiences for over 40 years. In Saturday’s show Kreskin described the places, dates and names of important landmarks in people’s lives with uncanny accuracy. Kreskin also displayed a poker players’ ultimate fantasy by reading the dozen or so playing cards in the hands of two people while standing with his back to them at the opposite end of the stage. A murder mystery followed, where an offstage Kreskin wandered among the audience, pulling people from their seats and soon finding the fake knife in the staged murder. Not surprisingly, the “murderer” was soon identified. As the crowning point of his show Kreskin induced a dozen people or so into a gently advancing sleep. He soon had them sniffing foul odors from their stage partners and edging their seats away, all of course part of Kreskin’s game. The shelter’s organizer Glory Bracken said, “It was a really great show. We just sent Kreskin an email asking if he’d come help us and the all of sudden we were doing it.” “The money raised will be used to provide food, shelter and medical care to the animals in the shelter.” In addition to the ticket revenue, Dr. Gary Glick, DDS of West Milford donated $1,000 and James Warden, a member of the West Milford Township Council, donated $1,500. Kreskin, himself an avid animal lover, said “I could see the audience was filled with animal lovers. They all had such a light to their eyes.” The show was a whistle-stop on a tour of as many as 340 shows in one year — including 72 in a single month. “Tomorrow I fly to Houston, Texas to perform for President George Bush Sr. and his wife and friends after which I travel to Canada and Pennsylvania.” Kreskin is a born and bred native of New Jersey and expressed his love of the Highlands area, “I love West Milford, you have so much beautiful countryside.” Following the show, Kreskin spent nearly two hours meeting with fans, signing autographs and posing for photos. While entertainment is his business, Kreskin takes the welfare of animals seriously. He is the spokesman for United Action for Animals and a supporter of various other animal friendly organizations. Among the most famous elements of a Kreskin show, although not this one, is where Kreskin must find the check with his payment for his performance hidden somewhere in the audience or forfeit the fee. Kreskin says he has failed on nine occasions to find the check most notably in New Zealand where it cost him over $50,000. Successful attempts however have included finding a check wrapped in stuffing which itself was hidden inside a cooked turkey, sitting inches from comic legend Bob Hope. Kreskin said “I’ve had to find my check in so many incredible places some that have made me so nervous. One time I had to ask a gentleman if he had an artificial leg because I was sure he had it, and sure enough it was stuck in the middle of the mechanics of his leg. “The most nervous time was when performing to an audience of nuns I had to ask one, her name I remember was Sister Joan as she sent me a Christmas card every year afterwards, to lift her habit as the check was on top of her head.”