Thomas Baxter
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Thomas Baxter

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The best kept secret in music

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Fringe Festival Review: Thomas Baxter's ThoughtControl
Posted by Panthea in Arts

I swore off mind games a good two years ago, during a turbo-charged serial dating phase. No guy is worth putting up with that crap, I told myself. And it's been smooth sailing since then. My shrink's extremely proud of me.
Then, yesterday, it all came crashing down.
I saw him. I was intrigued, mesmerized. I just couldn't help myself.
His name is Thomas Baxter and his show, ThoughtControl, will have you looking at mind games in a whole new light.
This sage of human psychology turns the tables in this enthralling demonstration of theatre of the mind, where the audience's inner selves are the ones performing and being observed. Although he has held the title of "magic consultant" for countless organizations and productions-- Hollywood blockbusters, the Discovery Channel, the Stratford Festival, to name a few--hocus pocus and hypnosis this is not. Baxter truly understands human nature. In ThoughtControl, he wields his wisdom to perform seemingly magical illusions when, in reality, it's merely understanding and predicting how individuals think and react.


Gifted in the discipline of psychological illusion, Baxter is a master of his craft. His ability to tap into another level of human consciousness is astounding. As a performer, the paternal Baxter is charming, as he sheds light on the concepts behind what he does. It's not mind reading, he explains, it's predicting, suggesting and (gulp!) controlling human behaviour.
"I've had to learn an entirely new set of very esoteric and arcane skills to do the things that I do in ThoughtControl", Baxter has said of this show. "Psychology, reverse psychology, verbal and non-verbal manipulation, even things as diverse as NLP [neuro-linguistic programming] and Japanese Game Theory now play a part in how I manage to find out what people are thinking."
Absorbing and stimulating, ThoughtControl will leave you thinking. As for creepy? Sure, it may be slightly so but, to be fair, the human psyche isn't exactly all sunshine and lollipops.
I won't give away any details of his feats, for that would ruin the surprise, but I urge you to go. Just remember to pick up your jaw when exiting the theatre.
Hell, I wish I'd found out about Thomas Baxter sooner. With him on my side, perhaps I wouldn't have had all those wasted nights lamenting mind game mini-dramas. "'I have to pick up denture cream for my grandma on Saturday night so, uhhh, I can't do dinner' is a lie, Panthea, a lie!"
Then again, I guess it doesn't take a master of psychology to figure out that one. Harumph.
Rating: ****
- Travel Ontario


I was enraptured! Baxter is truly amazing.
– The National Post
- National Post


A MUST-SEE! Baxter’s ThoughtControl show is a high-wire performance without a net! Uncanny! - The Georgia Straight - Georgia Straight


Thomas Baxter has the observational skills of Hannibal Lecter! If he weren’t so charming and friendly I’d be shielding my liver from him. - Jason "Danger" Holborn
– Eye Magazine Reviews - Eye Magazine


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Bio

Thomas Baxter has performed in 31 countries around the world. He acts as a consultant to stage (The Stratford Festival, The National Ballet of Canada), television (CBC, The Discovery Channel) and Hollywood films (the Santa Clause, Daredevil), sharing his talents for mystery on a need-to-know basis.

He presents his unique and exciting Experiments in Human Nature in theaters and for events world-wide. website: www.ThoughtControl.ca
email: tom@thoughtcontrol.ca