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I’ve got a preliminary list of some of the first 2015 Fall College Tour dates that have been posted. Do you live in or near one of these cities? Have you simply been to any of these cities and have a fun memory or story? If you have a suggestion of something I should try, see or do, please let me know in the comments below!

One of the new things I’ll be doing on this tour is streaming live on Periscope! Follow me there!
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@MichaelKent

 

Keep checking back! Also, see my official tour schedule for the most up-to-date information!

If you’re interested in attending a show listed in your city, let me know. Almost all of these shows are on college campuses. Sometimes they are open to the public, sometimes they aren’t.

 

August 21 – Columbus, OH
August 22 – Bowling Green, OH
August 24 – Springfield, MA
August 28 – Manchester, NH
August 29 – Alvernia, PA
August 31 – Manchester, NH
September 3 – Fort Wayne, IN
September 4 – Winona, MN
September 13 – Urbana, OH
September 18 – Quincy, IL
September 25 – Greenville, NC
September 29 – Indianapolis, IN
October 1 – Chattanooga, TN
October 2 – Springfield, MA
October 3 – Huntingdon, PA
October 13 – Skokie, IL
October 16 – Parkersburg, WV
October 17 – Manchester, NH
October 20 – Shepherdstown, WV
October 22 – Buffalo, NY
October 23 – Savannah, GA
October 27 – Marashall, MN
October 28 – Harrisburg, PA
October 29-31 – Grand Rapids, MI
November 5 – Hartford, CT
November 6 – Elon, NC
November 17 – Barbourville, KY
November 19 – Maryville, TN
November 20 – Nashville, TN
December 4 – Dayton, OH
December 11 – Lima, OH
December 12 – Dothan, AL

 

There are still dates available for this tour. If you would like information on bringing me to your campus or corporate event, please let me know ASAP and we’ll get a date reserved for you!

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Comedian Jerry Seinfeld recently made headlines with his statements about how college campuses are too “PC” for comedy due to college students’ lack of understanding about sensitive topics like racism or sexism.

320x486“I hear that all the time,” Seinfeld said. “I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC.’ I’ll give you an example: My daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple years, I think maybe you’re going to want to be hanging around the city more on the weekends, so you can see boys.’ You know what my daughter says? She says, ‘That’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist'; ‘That’s sexist'; ‘That’s prejudice.’ They don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Well I may not be a stand up comedian, but I’m a comedian and magician who has performed at over 500 college campuses in the last decade and I can say that I wholeheartedly disagree with Seinfeld’s comments.

 

1. Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t work college campuses.
While he may perform at an occasional college campus with a ton of money, or give a commencement speech here and there, Jerry Seinfeld admits in his statement that he doesn’t work colleges. He doesn’t have his finger on the pulse of what college students are like. He’s basing his opinion on a thing that college comedians love to complain about. “Colleges are too PC.” I suspect that comedians who complain about this use it as an excuse for a joke that goes over with a comedy club crowd and falls flat with college students. Or maybe they think they’re not getting repeat bookings with colleges and blaming it on the college being “too PC.” I can’t speak for them. But I do know that there are MANY comedians who make a decent living from performing at colleges and they have no problems with this issue. They know the audience and they know the gig (see number 4).

 

2. This isn’t just a “college campus issue.”

Are college students politically correct and sometimes a little too quick to claim that they’re offended? Yes. Guess who else is?  F***ing everyone. College students are intelligent, quick, and connected. They GET IT. They know pop culture more than anyone else in the world and while some of them may still have naive or underdeveloped views about socio-political issues, they know right from wrong. If we’re going to have a discussion about college students getting “too PC” to take a joke, we need to be having it about everyone. College students aren’t any more politically correct than a diverse television viewing audience. There are some great debates out there about whether political correctness is killing comedy. I can see both sides of that argument. But that’s not what I’m here to write about.

 

First of all, the example Seinfeld gave about his 14 year old daughter is somewhat irrelevant. That’s not the type of misunderstanding of sexism that would keep a joke from being funny in a college. So what would keep a joke from being accepted as funny in a college?

 

3. Jokes that disparage groups of people just aren’t funny.
In my experience, college students don’t want to hear jokes that disparage groups of people. It’s not only because it’s not politically correct; it’s because gay jokes, fat jokes, sexist jokes are easy, unintelligent and lack creativity. They’re not funny because there’s not that much effort involved in writing them. I have watched nationally-known comedians bomb with college students by trying to do entire sets based on homophobic material. The crowd goes silent, the tweets and Yik Yaks start flying. I’ve personally witnessed it on multiple occasions.

 

This reminds me of a joke from one of my favorite comedians, Mike Birbiglia: “I wasn’t like the class clown in school growing up. I think the class clown was always the mean guy who walks in the room and was like, ‘You’re fat! You’re gay! I’m outta here!’ You know? I was always a little fat, a little gay; I never got along with that guy.”
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The stuff that goes over in colleges is comedy that is relatable. Today’s audiences want the person onstage to be someone they feel like they could hang out with. There’s a reason people love Jimmy Fallon. Gone are the days of the comedian being the guy in the room who is cooler than everyone and has to prove it by making fun of everyone he can. Now before you say it, YES, I do often call a guy a “dick” in my shows. But I’m very adamant about doing it in a way that makes it feel the same way it would feel if that guy were one of my best friends.

 

4. These are learning institutions, not comedy clubs.
I’ll stress again that I’m not a stand-up comedian. What I do is a different game. But I see entertainers go into the college market expecting that THIS is the place they can really let go. Of all places, colleges are supposed to fulfill that Animal House stereotype of anything-goes reckless abandon. It’s like they forget that they’re performing in a student union ballroom next to an academic advisor’s office. If a joke works in a comedy club but falls flat in a college, there are many situational factors that could be blamed. Political correctness may be one of them. But there are other issues to think about. In a comedy club, people are usually there with a small group of close friends. Those people usually know each other very well and the rest of the room is full of strangers. In a college, a student is aware of the impression he or she is making on everyone around them. There isn’t the amount of anonymity in a college audience that you find in a comedy club. It’s not as easy to laugh at sensitive topics when you think the people around you might hold you responsible for your views. Everyone can be a little bit of an asshole when they’re anonymous.

 

5. This is a business.
Show business people often forget about the second word. This is a business. The discussion about the commerciality of art and “selling out” will go on forever in coffee shops and art studios around the world. Are we creating our art for them or for us? At a certain point, we must realize that if we are being paid to do our art, we have to accept that we’re living by the rules of the person who pays us. If they don’t like what we do, they won’t rebook us. Many times it’s not the students who are the barometer of what is acceptable in a college, but the administrator or director of student activities. They will clearly tell you if you shouldn’t drop “F-bombs.” And I hear about it when a comedian disregards these rules. I hear about it when a director or administrator says “Oh, _____ won’t be invited back here. We asked them to keep it kind of clean, but they were way too dirty.” So is that the fault of the audience? Why paint college students with the broad brush of “they’re too PC” when it’s the comedian who made a bad business decision? I know. It’s not sexy to talk about comedy or any art as a business. But we kind of have to, right? Did Seinfeld complain when the FCC censored scripts on his show? Probably not, because he was getting a million dollars an episode.

 

So I ask the question: What jokes do Jerry Seinfeld and others want to do in colleges that they feel like they can’t? Do they wish they could do more gay jokes? Racist jokes? I honestly would love an example of a joke that works in other venues, but not colleges. I would be willing to bet that if it doesn’t play in a college, it also doesn’t play on television. Seinfeld has always prided himself on working clean. He’s a clean comedian, so what material is he afraid won’t hit hard in colleges? As far as the college market goes, Jerry doesn’t have a dog in the fight. He can say what he wants. Most colleges don’t have “Jerry Seinfeld” money anyway. They can book one of the MANY comedians making a living on working college campuses. I’ve been asked by a lot of people about my opinion on this matter. Are people too PC these days? Maybe. But as someone who visits 80-100 college campuses a year, I can tell you that college audiences are some of the best and they love to laugh just like every one else.

 

I would love to hear your opinion on this matter. If you’re a stand up comedian, or a comedian who works in colleges, what are your views?

 

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I was very pleased and honored to received a mention in the most recent “Campus Activities Magazine.” You can read the user-submitted letter to the magazine below!



I don’t know the identity of Lisa from Kentucky, but I’m very appreciative of her comments!

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Thanks to YOU, my amazing fans, friends and supporters, I’ve been voted Entertainer of the Year by Campus Activities Magazine AND Magician of the Year by APCA!

Entertainer of the Year

I was voted “Entertainer of the Year” by the readers of Campus Activities Magazine! As you can imagine, this is an unbelievable honor for me. After having been nominated for the last 3 years, it’s a huge thrill.

Read the Official Press Release Here

Read the Official Press Release Here

To be recognized in your field is something that always feels good. I’m humbled and honored to receive the title of “Entertainer of the Year” and will do my best to keep putting on the best shows I possibly can to truly earn the title. I was “real-life-share-a-drink-with” friends with all 4 of the other nominees in this category and they’re all amazing, top-notch entertainers. Adam Grabowski is a guy who is taking the college market by storm with his comedy, funny charts and observations about 90s life. Daniel Martin is someone I’m proud to call a friend and someone with whom I regularly workshop new ideas. His “making an audience member disappear bit is one of the most clever “I wish I had thought of that” things out there. Peter Boie is a magician who has a thing in his show with a harmonica that I have never figured out — and never want to. It’s a magical experience to see him perform. Matt Corey convinced me that the saxophone can actually be exciting and fun to watch (not to mention, he’s a fellow Ohioan)! I’d also like to say CONGRATS to all of the winners in other categories!

Campus Activities Magazine was nice enough to feature me on the cover of their April Issue, which is distributed to 4,300 colleges and universities nation-wide and ran a 3-page-spread about me.

An excerpt:

The self-billed “Comedian, Magician, Smart@$$” has become one of the most respected and in-demand entertainers in the campus market and this win proves it.

You can read the full story here.

Thanks again for your support. I’ll do my best to live up to it.

Magician of the Year

In other exciting news, I recently attended the National Conference for the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities in Atlanta, GA, where I was given the “2014 Magician of the Year” Award! The title is determined by votes cast through ballots given to Student Activities Groups in colleges throughout the country. I was genuinely surprised to be notified about this award!

Click to watch a video of Michael accepting his award!

 

Being recognized by your peers is always a wonderful feeling, and I smiled the whole way home from Atlanta. So thank you for the honor! The beautiful trophy I was given will be placed in my office display case next to other proud mementos that serve as reminders that I really am working in my dream job.

 

Thank you so much to:

  • The APCA Administrators, Staff and Volunteers,
  • All of the Student Activities Advisors/Directors and students who have enjoyed what I do,
  • Entertainer friends with whom I regularly consult for improvement and ideas
    and of course,
  • My agent, Laura Gilman with Fresh Variety for helping me continue to move forward in my career.

 

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I’ve got a preliminary list of some of the first 2014 Fall College Tour dates that have been posted. Do you live in or near one of these cities? Have you simply been to any of these cities and have a fun memory or story? If you have a suggestion of something I should try, see or do, please let me know in the comments below!

Here Come the Car Selfies.

I’ll be constantly updating social media followers throughout the tour on my twitter and facebook. And check my Instagram to look out for tons of videos, audience and venue photos, general thoughts and car selfies. Lots of car selfies.

 

Keep checking back! Also, see my official tour schedule for the most up-to-date information!

If you’re interested in attending a show listed in your city, let me know. Almost all of these shows are on college campuses. Sometimes they are open to the public, sometimes they aren’t.

 

July 15 – Tampa, FL
July 30 – Orlando, FL (Private)
August 4 – Orlando, FL (Private)
August 6 – Orlando, FL (Private)
August 11 – Orlando, FL (Private)
August 20 – Brevard, NC
August 22 – Philadelphia, PA
August 23 – Westerville, OH
August 24 – Cobleskill, NY
August 25 – Greenville, NC
August 26 – Hamburg, NY
August 27 – Baltimore, MD
August 28 – Bowling Green, OH
August 30 – Manchester, NH
August 31 – Oxford, OH
September 1 – Manchester, NH
September 4 – Sanborn, NY
September 5 – Chattanooga, TN
September 6 – Emory, VA
September 9 – Denver, CO
September 10 – Providence, RI
September 12 – Annville, PA
September 17 – Lubbock, TX
September 18 – Atlanta, GA
September 20 – Columbus, OH
September 24 – Aberdeen, SD
September 26 – Manhattan, KS
October 3 – Elon, NC
October 4,5 – Syracuse, NY (Private)
October 7 – Columbus, OH
October 10 – Wilmington, OH
October 16-18 – Lancaster, PA (Private)
October 21 – Dallas, TX
October 22 – Victoria, TX
October 23 – Tyler, TX
October 24 – Texarkana, TX
October 28 – Harrisburg, PA
September 29 – Reading, PA
October 30, 31 – Hartford, CT (Private)
November 1 – Gettysburg, PA
November 6 – Covington, KY (Private)
November 7 – St. Cloud, MN
November 10 – Dallas, TX
November 12 – Huntsville, AL
November 21 – Dayton, OH

 

If you would like information on bringing me to your campus or corporate event, please let me know ASAP and we’ll get a date reserved for you!

 

 

 

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Check out some of the Fall 2013 Tour Dates! This isn’t a complete list – additional dates are still being added. It looks like when all is said and done, this tour will bring me to around 40-42 cities in something like 18 different states! There are a few days off in between some of the shows, so I’ll be visiting some touristy things like Niagara Falls and Disney World. But most of what I’ll be seeing is small-town America. I want to see all the interesting things there are to see in these small towns. Is there a city near you on the tour? Let me know what I should check out!

 

I’ll be constantly updating social media followers throughout the tour on my twitter and facebook.

 

Keep checking back! Also, see my official tour schedule for the most up-to-date information!

If you’re interested in attending a show listed in your city, let me know. Almost all of these shows are on college campuses. Sometimes they are open to the public, sometimes they aren’t.

 

August 6 – Columbus, OH
August 9 – Columbus, OH
August 10 – Columbus, OH
August 14 – Normal, IL
August 17 – Greenwood, SC
August 18 – Rock Hill, SC
August 22 – Highland Heights, KY
August 23 – Oxford, OH
August 24 – Urbana, OH
August 26 – Bowling Green, OH
August 27 – Tyler, TX
August 28 – Texarkana, TX
August 29 – Gainesville, TX
August 30 – Manchester, NH
September 2 – Manchester, NH
September 3 – Green Bay, WI
September 5 – Sanborn, NY
September 6 – Orlando, FL
September 14 – Rockford, IL
September 16 – Winona, MN
September 17 – Joplin, MO
September 20 – Emmitsburg, MD
September 21 – Columbus, OH
September 23 – Dayton, OH
September 25 – Bexley, OH
October 4 – Bronx, NY
October 5 – Angola, IN
October 15 – Lake Charles, LA
October 16 – Beaumont, TX
October 17 – Natchitoches, LA
October 18 – Buffalo, NY
October 22 – Columbus, MS
October 23 – Pittsburgh, PA
October 24 – Old Westbury, NY
October 30 – Eunice, LA
October 31 – El Paso, TX
November 1 – Hartford, CT
November 5 – Rochester, NY
November 6 – Gallatin, TN
November 7 – Peoria, IL
November 14 – Chattanooga, TN
November 20 – Akron, OH
November 21 – Barbourville, KY
November 23 – Dayton, OH

 

If you would like information on bringing me to your campus or corporate event, please let me know ASAP and we’ll get a date reserved for you!

 

 

 

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The 2012 Winter/Spring Tour is off to a wintery start! We had to reschedule the first college campus of the year (see below) and almost had to reschedule a second one! Nonetheless, things are really clicking with the show. I sincerely hope you have the opportunity to get to one of the shows on the tour soon!  See the below list of shows on the schedule to see if I’ll be in a city near you and keep checking back for updates!

2012 Winter/Spring Tour

January 12 – Chicago, IL – RESCHEDULED FOR FEB. 2
January 14 – Dubois, PA
January 19 – Adrian, MI
January 21 – Glassboro, NJ
January 26 – Cleveland, OH
January 31 – Baltimore, MD
February 2 – Chicago, IL
February 3 – Flagstaff, AZ
February 7 – Alpine, TX
February 9 – Lyndonville, VT
February 11 – Guest DJing –  Powell, OH
February 15 – Melbourne, FL
February 16 – Normal, IL
February 18 – Columbus, OH
February 22 – Mattoon, IL
February 25-29 – NACA – Charlotte, NC
March 10 – Dayton, OH
March 16 – Bexley, OH
March 29-31 – NACA – St. Paul, MN
April 6 – Bennington, VT
April 13 – Ewing, NJ
April 21 – Hamilton, OH
April 28 – Manito, IL

For more info on any of the above dates, refer to my published tour schedule.

 

Also – remember that voting is still going on for 2012 Entertainer of the Year!  The story was recently picked up by Columbus NBC4!

 

 

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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. So many great memories. I performed in more colleges than ever 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.


In probably one of the most important things I’ve done in my career, I helped Hopeline, IMAlive.org and Post Secret raise money for Suicide Awareness through this PSA.


Predictions for 2012:

  • 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.


    Stay tuned,
    MK

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    The Grateful Magician

    Nov 21, 2011

    The grateful magician acknowledges and recognizes the magicians that have come before him or her that have allowed the new presentations, methods, ideas and effects to flourish.


    The grateful magician thanks his or her audiences for allowing themselves to be entertained by a complete stranger.


    The grateful magician understands that people have many things to do. Watching a magic show doesn’t have to be one of them. They have made a choice to watch. And for that, a magician should be grateful.


    The grateful magician thanks those in charge of hiring him or her and treats them with nothing but humble respect. A grateful magician is not a diva.


    The grateful magician appreciates all types of audience members. Even silent ones.


    The grateful magician supports those who create magic and pays for books, videos and effects rather than pirating and sharing them.


    The grateful magician does not refuse to perform when asked.


    The grateful magician realizes the sacrifice and dedication to those who work in theater, sound & lighting, booking, tech, crew, advertising and other behind-the-scenes roles and thanks them accordingly.


    This Thanksgiving, I hope we (magicians) all try to be grateful magicians. And after Thanksgiving, let’s try to be grateful every day.


    I’m going to start by thanking all of you who regularly read my blog. Thank you all. This applause is for you.




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    I had a great show last night at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, OH – the next to the last show of the fall tour! I performed in Rickly Chapel, an upstairs auditorium on campus. Normally at Heidelberg, I can’t perform without a train going by every five minutes (and by “by” I mean literally BY – the tain train tracks are 50 feet away), but for some reason there were NO trains during my show. A Thanksgiving Miracle!


    One mishap during the show. After visiting someone in the front row near the top of the show, I decided to return to the state by hopping up rather than using the stairs at the side. The result was my back pocket getting caught up on the edge of the stage and me being pulled down violently. It was funny at the time, but I’m sore this morning. I think I injured my butt-bone. Do I have a butt-bone? I can’t wait to see the weirdo traffic that “butt bone” brings to my site.


    Here are some photos from the evening. The part where I’m laying on the stage are immediately after my “mishap.” Thanks to Lacey Squire for the photos.





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