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Mind games

Gallatin Chamber to host mentalist
Matheny at Dec. 1 holiday banquet

By Konnie McCollum
Contributing Writer

(November 2006) – For the average person, solving a math problem before it is written or quickly memorizing the names of 100 strangers standing in a line would seem virtually impossible. But not so for one West Virginia man who has learned to harness the power of his mind and complete mind-boggling mental exercises.
Mentalist Keith Matheny of Huntington, W.Va., will amaze the crowd with his inspirational speech and stunning mental gymnastics at the Gallatin County Chamber of Commerce Annual Holiday Banquet. The event is set for 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at Bluegrass Hall at the Kentucky Speedway, Hwy. 35 near Sparta, Ky. Matheny is returning to this event for the second consecutive year by popular demand.
“Last year he was just great and amazed the crowd, so we decided to have him come back to perform this year,” said Wayne Rassman, Warsaw’s Renaissance-Main Street Program manager and a chamber member.

Keith Matheny

Matheny

Tickets for the silent auction, dinner and speech are $25 and are available at Glencoe Tire, Towing and U-Haul; the Warsaw, Ky., branch of Integra Bank; Gallatin County Judge Executive’s Office; and Gallatin County Extension Office.
Matheny, 46, started working as a professional mentalist in 1989. He had been working prior to that in a steel factory and then as a locksmith. He had seen other mentalists perform and became fascinated with the whole concept. He started practicing and studying people and then realized he could be a mentalist, too.
He insists his ability is not supernatural or religious; he is not a psychic.
“Many people ask if I can predict their future; I tell them, no, but you can,” he said during an October telephone interview.
Instead, he said his talent deals with the power and ability of the mind. He said it is nothing more than enhanced perception of memory and intuition. “I am in tune with principles and behaviors that other people are not aware of. I simply pay attention to things others may not.”
He gave an analogy of how he believes his talent works. “Many times, there will be people sitting in a restaurant eating spaghetti. Everyone will comment on how good the spaghetti is. One person may say something about how zesty or spicy the sauce is. But then there will be that one person who can name the exact ingredients and portions of each of those that go into the spaghetti, and everyone else will be amazed. I am that one person.”
Matheny said he believes he has always had his talent. He said that even back in high school, he could recall things better than other students. In one ninth grade class, a teacher was playing a memory game in which she would hold up cards with various symbols on them. Most of the students got about 35 percent of the cards right, but he amazed everyone by getting about 67 percent of the cards correct.
He spends a lot of time traveling around the country using his talent to inspire people. He does 75 to 100 shows a year.
“I found what I wanted to do, and I love it,” he said. His show is very high energy, and it combines audience participation, humor and motivational speaking. He does not use what he called “stooges or confederates,” which are people planted in the audience prior to the performance.
He concentrates on two basic programs: “Overcoming the Impossible” and “The Power of Attitude” to inspire and entertain his audiences. He works much of the time at hospitals, schools and corporations. “People are hungry for hope and encouragement, and I give them that,” he said.
His message is simple; “You can do it if you try.”
Matheny has written two books, “How to Develop Dynamite Self Esteem,” and “How to Develop a Dynamite Memory,” which will be on sale at the banquet. He plans on writing two more “Dynamite” books, “Dynamite Humor,” and “Dynamite Success,” in the future.

• For tickets or more information about the Gallatin County Chamber of Commerce Holiday Banquet, call (859) 567-5691 or (859) 567-5481.

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