Peace Piano

Call for Entries

Participate Please

NJ Film Festival

Corrections or additions?

This article was prepared for the October 6, 2004

issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Hypnotic Comedy: Volunteers Welcome

There were requests for refunds at Ricky Kalmon’s first professional

appearance as a magician. He was eight, and was charging friends and

neighbors a nickel. By the time he was 10, Kalmon had improved enough

to pull in paying gigs at birthday parties. Within another few years

he had added hypnosis to his shows, and had begun to bill himself as a


Kalmon brings his show, which relies heavily on audience

participation, to the Stress Factory in New Brunswick from Thursday,

October 7, through Sunday, October 10.

Speaking from his office in St. Louis, Missouri, Kalmon says he has

been hooked on magic — and on performing — since the age of five, when

a magician performed at his birthday party. “I’ve never had another

job,” he says.

Kalmon grew up in St. Louis, where his parents, both of them

salespeople, supported his early career choice. He studied education

at the University of Missouri (Class of 1991), but says he frequently

skipped class to perform.

He added hypnosis to his show, he says, because “after a while with

magic, it’s the same trick.” With hypnosis, however, the same

suggestion — perhaps “you’re a sumo wrestler who speaks no English” or

“these napkins are $100 bills” — given to five different people is

likely to elicit five very different responses. Kalmon is a certified

hypnotist, but does not use the technique in a clinical sense.

Instead, he sees it as a tool that frees people to think and act

without the everyday constraints that define most of life. “No one is

asleep or unconscious,” he says. “They’re just so relaxed that they

are no longer judging themselves.”

Kalmon spends the first five to ten minutes of his hourlong shows

persuading his audiences that, yes, they really do want to volunteer

to come up on stage and be hypnotized. He takes approximiately 12

volunteers, but invites the entire audience to “go under” too. He then

invites them to come up on the stage, too. Whether they are in a

hypnotic trance or not, everyone is likely to participate. “I often

send some of the volunteers back into the audience,” he explains.

There they try to engage those around them.

Kalmon’s show at the Stress Factory will feature adult — “HBO-type” —

material but he also does family shows. The bulk of his work, however,

is done neither for comedy club patrons nor families. “I’ve scaled

back,” he says. “I don’t do many public appearances anymore. About 70

percent of my clients are corporations.” The experience of being

hypotized together is great for building comraderie among the troops

and promotes creative thinking, in his opinion. “It’s a great ice

breaker,” he says. “It’s not about me; it’s about them becoming the


It is impossible to predict what will happen during Kalmon’s upcoming

shows at the Stress Factory. “You never know where to look,” he says

Ricky Kalmon at the Stress Factory. 90 Church Street, New

Brunswick; Thursday through Sunday, October 7 – 10. $22. 732-545-4242

or visit For a preview, visit

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Cheng/Ferrara Productions seeks actors for “The Last Five Years” to be

produced in January at Kelsey Theater. Auditions are Saturday and

Sunday, October 16 and 17. Call Frank Ferrara at 609-499-1388 for


Dance Conservatory seeks singers, dancers, and actors over the age of

6 for “A Christmas Carol” to be performed in December. Audition is

Sunday, October 17, 6 p.m. at Vermillion Square, 8919 New Falls Road,

Levittown, PA. Call 215-946-0100 for information or to set up a

private audition.

Kelsey Players seeks actors ages 8 and older for “‘Twas the Night

Before Christmas” to be produced in December. Audition at Kelsey

Theater is Saturday, November 6, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call Lorraine Wargo

at 609-530-0912.

Top Of Page
Peace Piano

Jacobs Music Company has been instrumental in the inaugural leg of the

Peace Piano’s three-year tour through the United States, Europe,

Africa, Asia, and Australia, being in Philadelphia. The campaign

supports UNICEF and raises awareness and funds for children in need

around the world. The piano will be at the Kimmel Center for a “Play

for Peace Perform-a-thon during which hundreds of children from

Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware showcase. The piano will be at

the Trenton War Memorial on Saturday, October 30. Call Tim Cifelli at


Top Of Page
Call for Entries

Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper calls for entries for

the 18th annual two-week residency program for New Jersey artists

working in any medium. Deadline is Monday, November 8. For information

visit or call 732-932-2222, ext. 838.

Art First! seeks works from artists with disabilities for the annual

international juried exhibition and sale held March 7 through April

15, 2005, sponsored by the Auxiliary of University Medical Center of

Princeton. All work must be for sale and must have been executed since

the onset of disability or injury. Oils, watercolors, pastels,

sculptures, photography, jewelry, fiber art, and fine crafts are

invited. Slides must be submitted by Friday, November 5. Call Lois

Levy at 609-497-4211 for information.

Focus on Sculpture 2005 is a juried photography exhibition of images

with the common theme of sculpture. Open to serious amateur

photographers 18 years and older. Limited to two per person. No entry

fees. Photojournalist Bryan Grigsby is the jurer. All photographs must

include sculpture, must be suitably framed with glass or plexiglass

and ready to hang. Entry labels must be affixed to the back of works.

Hand delivery is expected on Saturday December 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Grounds for Sculpture, Domestic Arts Building, 18 Fairgrounds Road,

Hamilton. Call 609-586-0616 ext 18 for information.

Villagers Theater is accepting submissions of small musicals and

one-act plays from directors for its 2005 to 2006 Black Box Series.

Directors should submit the title, author, and a brief synopsis of

each play to be considered, a current resume, references, and

availability from September, 2005 to July, 2006. Deadline is

Wednesday, December 29. Visit for information

or send to Stephanie Youngman, The Villagers Theater, Box 6175,

Somerset, New Jersey 08875.

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Participate Please

Garden State Wood Bat League has openings in upcoming tournament for

ages 14 and up. Visit or call


Princeton YMCA seeks children ages 5 to 18 for the Piranhas swim team.

Call 609-497-9622 for information.

GNC is distributing a woman’s health guide focusing on early detection

and prevention of breast cancer in participating stores. In addition,

all customers who wear a pink ribbon to stores on Friday, October 15,

(National Mammogram Day) receive a discount on their purchase.

Long & Foster Companies offers college $1,000 scholarships to 200

students with the money payable directly to the college in the

student’s name. Criteria include a 3.0 GPA, be in leadership

positions, and have a financial need. Applications are available at or at any of the sales offices.

Deadline: March 1, 2005.

Top Of Page
NJ Film Festival

New Jersey Film Festival screenings are Fridays through Sunday in

Scott Hall, Room 123, Rutgers College Avenue campus, near the corner

of College Avenue and Hamilton Street. Thursday screenings are in

Loree Hall 024, Douglass College campus, near the corner of Nichol

Avenue and George Street. Admission $6; all programs begin at 7 p.m.

Information 732-932-8482 or

Experimental Films by Sidney Peterson. Three rarely-seen films by

Sidney Peterson, the originator of American avant-garde cinema, made

while working for Walt Disney Studios. Films include “The Petrified

Dog,” 1948; “Alice in Wonderland: The Lead Shoes,” 1949; and “Mr

Frenhofer and the Minotaur,” 1949. Thursday, October 7.

Strayed. A film about survival in France circa 1940. Directed by

Andrew Techine (2004). In French with subtitles. Friday, Saturday and

Sunday, October 8, 9, and 10. 7 p.m.

Last Year at Marienbad. A key film in the development of cinematic

modernism. Directed by Alain Resnais. (1961). French with subtitles.

Thursday, October 14.

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