Saturday, December 1, 2012

'Phenomenon' challenges minds at Stafford library

When nearly 80 people showed up at the Stafford branch of the Ocean County Library in Manahawkin on Wednesday, Oct. 17, for “ESP and Mind Reading with Amore,” everyone seemed to be thinking the same thing: What the heck is going to happen here tonight? Although some participants came to the event hoping to experience the paranormal, including Barbara Broderick from Manahawkin, who said she was looking to team up with other people who are interested in the psychic world, others had attended the performance at the library the previous year and knew the magician possessed no such control.

Photo by Jack Reynolds
Renowned magician, Amore, puts on an
entertaining 'magic' show for members at a
local library in 
New Jersey.
“But the show is excellent, and he really boggles your mind,” declared Tom DeRosa of Manahawkin, who came out to witness the show for a second time.
James Lazzarini, a Long Island-based magician who goes by the stage name “Amore,” has been performing “Phenomenon,” a show that combines the influence of magic with the power of psychology, for about 10 years. He has a college degree in psychology and holds a doctorate in clinical hypnotherapy; everything he performs during his acts is rooted in humanistic observations. Throughout the show, Lazzarini even continues to remind the audience that he certainly does not hold any supernatural powers.
“I don’t play on people’s emotions; that’s not in my character,” he alleged. “It’s really just education mixed with a bit of trickery, and the humor and jokes are just my personality. I use props to entertain specifically so people can relate to what I’m teaching them, because we all learn differently,” he explained.
Francine Everson, senior librarian of the Stafford branch, who coordinates the library’s adult programs, told The SandPaper that the world-renowned magician, who has performed his acts for “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,” The Daily News and The United Cerebral Palsy Association, was able to name her best friend, whom he had never even met before.
“He’s so amazing; he just pulls truisms out the air. I mean, how could he know these things?” she emphasized.
Of course, Lazzarini said, these principles are based on 23-plus years of research.
“I’m always researching and revisiting psychology books. When I’m flipping through them, I realize there’s a routine written on every page,” he said.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Amore calls up audience members
to help him perform his 

mind-altering acts.
During Wednesday night’s interactive show, Lazzarini kept the audience on the edge of their seats by simply using the body’s five senses to help them discover the power of their own minds. He challenged the group’s cognitive ability by flashing the names of colors written in contrasting shades, and depicted audience members’ personality types by observing their handwriting. He could even tell who was being deceptive during a guessing game, based purely on body language.
Each act appeared more and more exploratory as Lazzarini confirmed letters and words written on a piece of paper and even ascertained the color and suit of a playing card, all while blindfolded and with metal coins taped over his eyes (yes, he said it was a bit painful ripping the tape off his face).
Lazzarini even pulled out a Ouiji board, which he explained is managed by a person’s ideomotor responses. He maintained what appeared to be a floating table, supposedly with the help of the audience’s slew of happy thoughts, and even trusted an audience member to avoid driving a large, metal spike through the middle of the magician’s hand.
Though there wasn’t any paranormal activity present during the show, the crowd seemed hypnotized by Lazzarini’s charismatic charm and mesmerizing stunts.
“I love performing because people are always having fun,” he said. “I am reading people from the moment they walk in the door, and they’re always at their best, smiling and getting into the moment,” he added.
For more information about “Phenomenon” and Lazzarini’s other acts, visit

This article was published in The SandPaper.

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