Theater Review | Smoke And Mirrors: Ensemble puts lots of energy into new show
By Margaret Quamme
A new show, Smoke and Mirrors, doesn’t break much ground, but it’s a pleasing, high-energy example of what the troupe can do when working as an ensemble; the emphasis is on teamwork rather than individual efforts. It might be more profane and raucous than some of Shadowbox Live’s recent shows, but it’s also undeniably entertaining.
The theme is illusion, and the tone is set by magician Michael Kent, who opens both acts of the show with bits that nimbly shift from comedic to amazing.
“Magic is a tricky business. To most, there are two kinds of magicians: the best one they’ve ever seen . . . or absolutely terrible.
If a magician can get a laugh out of his audience, however, they’re given a pass for not making the Statue of Liberty cry tigers. For years, Hilliard’s own Michael Kent has grabbed the attention of college students all over the country with his hipper version of the traditionally kiddie/campy artform, and this year his talent has earned him a national nod with a nomination for Entertainer of the Year in Campus Activities Magazine.” Read the rest of the article here.
These “year-in-review” posts sometimes feel somewhat obligatory, but in this case, 2011 was an incredible year and as I look back, I’m overwhelmed with topics to write about.
Here are some standout memories:
2011 was a record year for me as far as the college tour goes. Somanygreatmemories. I performed in morecollegesthanever this year. While it was hard on my body and mind at times, I got through it with the help of friends, loved ones and amazing audiences.
Did some great TV with ABC6/FOX28 Columbus’s Johnny DiLoretto – some of my first experience with LIVE television. I learned that live TV can be a very difficult thing – Johnny handles it like a pro. When it goes well, it’s exhilarating!
I began my commercial acting career in 2011, and worked on commercials and industrials for Intel, Ohio Lottery, Kemba Financial and a few others!
In 2011, I offered an original creation as my first release to the magic community. repAIR is a Popped and Restored Balloon effect that has never been seen before in the history of magic. It was met with favorable reviews and has sold really well so far. The Free Beer Tour* was an event that I put together with Corey Montie where I toured local bars and taught attendees bar bets that they could use to scam their friends out of free drinks.
The Kardashians will become irrelevant. Until one of them does something stupid that acts like catnip for humans and makes television gossip shows go apeshit crazy. The American Public will be thrown into an uproar and they will get government involved, who will use new National Defense Legislation to hold the Kardashians in an undisclosed location. This will launch the Kardashians into a new Reality (ever wonder why reality shows hire writers?) show called “The Kardashians Appeal to Congress.”
Apple will come out with a product that you never knew you needed. By next December, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
McDonalds will work with Paula Dean to introduce a new product called “McFatass.”
A Republican presidential candidate will say something stupid.
A group of people with Mayan ancestry will finally reveal the secret “Part 2″ of the calendar they’ve been hiding.
Playboy will offer $50M to Betty White to pose nude. She will accept.
An asteroid will come so close to the Earth that TV News networks will actually be forced to report actual news. The Huffington Post will bump their previous lead-story about what Whoopie said yesterday on The View.
Someone will ask me If I can make them disappear.
You will receive a bad haircut.
Betty White’s Playboy spread will launch her into a career in pornography, shocking everyone who thought the first Golden Girl to do porn would be Rue McClanahan.
The Presidential race will end in chaos when Major News networks announce that the candidate with the most electoral votes was Exxon Mobil.
You will fall in love.
For me, I can already tell that 2012 has some exciting things coming. Two of them I can’t talk about quite yet, but soon! If you get on my mailing list by entering your email address above or clicking here, I guarantee you’ll hear about them! As always, I usually tweet about things as they happen! I hope everyone has had an amazing Holiday Season. Have a wonderful and fun-filled New Years Eve. Make sure you kiss your loved one and hold them tight. If you don’t have a loved one, grab the person next to you and smooch. The memory of the kiss will long outlast the bruise you’ll receive from his or her significant other.
I’ll be performing a special 25 minute set at the Columbus Comedy Festival at Wild Goose Creative this Friday, April 15th. I hope you can come see me, but more importantly, a ton of other hilarious acts. I recently had the chance to meet some of the other comedians performing at the 3-day festival during a photo shoot for Columbus Alive and I’m already looking forward to seeing them.
Here is recent footage from the live segments I did with Johnny DiLoretto in December. This was a challenge for me, because in addition to battling an awful head cold, I had to come up with 7-8 bits that were mostly 15-20 seconds each and I wanted to do all stuff that I hadn’t done on ABC6/FOX28 before. Some of the bits worked out great, others came off a little rushed. Directly after the shoot, I performed two shows at the Franklin Park Conservatory and then went home and slept for an entire day.
The best part of the video is when the meteorologist, Dana, reacts to Amy’s mention of Johnny having “two balls in his hand.” He loses it throughout the entire forecast.
Michael Kent is a master at getting laughs. His smartass personality gives his magic an edge that keeps fans engaged, impressed and energized. He is the life of the party during his shows, and that’s no accident. He figures out exactly what kind of reactions he wants, then sets his performance accordingly.
Thanks to Ellusionist.com for asking me to do the interview. Feel free to comment on the story!
The Magic Newswire is a blog/podcast for magicians. There you will see interviews with entertainers like David Blaine, Lance Burton, Neil Patrick Harris and many others. I was recently interviewed about playing colleges and about my recent trip to Korea.