Great State: Rader the Mind Reader

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Chickasha, Oklahoma -- They walk in skeptically, every one of them. The audience consists of bright students at USAO in Chickasha who saw something about a mind reading show at the auditorium that night.

What they got was William Rader, who calls himself a mentalist, and who loves to get inside people's' heads. "It's all about perception and what we see," says Rader.

Through an hour-long show Rader walks volunteers through several games. Which hand is holding the written thought? He guesses 3 straight times. What is the thought written on a small piece of paper? He finds that out too. "I love performing," he says, "but what I really love is creating these ideas."

In another game he hides a sharp nail in one of several paper bags. Another volunteer, without consciously knowing herself, picks one at a time for him to pop. She's nervous but Rader isn't. Rader says, "I've planned this that she will keep me safe. I know she'll keep me safe. She just doesn't know that."

Later on, Rader plays a game of 20 Questions, but he gets them in five. He never claims to actually read thoughts as beam of energy. His answers come from subtle clues. "We give off signals," he says. "There are 'tells' that people give away that they don't even realize they're doing."

William Rader's deepest secrets of observation he keeps to himself. "I won't reveal all my secrets," he chuckles.

He can draw the same picture his volunteer draws without looking at what she's doing. His audience came in full of skepticism but they leave with that delicious, spooky feeling we all get when we see something unexplainable.

Rader performs magic and mind reading shows all over the country, but he has a regular gig at the Pink Elephant in Norman, Oklahoma every Friday night.