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.
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:
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 consider making people laugh one of the most important things I can do. Occasionally, I get the opportunity to do something more important than that.
I recently worked with Hopeline.com‘s Reese Butler and PostSecret‘s Frank Warren on a project to help them raise money for suicide prevention during DC Gives on November 9. They have produced a deck of cards that feature warning signs for friends and family members to look out for to identify a loved one at risk. Their idea was to have a magician display these cards and they selected me to shoot this project with them. The video will be used after the DC Gives event to continue to raise money for Suicide Prevention via Hopeline, which is the 1-800-SUICIDE support hotline and IMAlive.org, a 24/7 suicide prevention chat line. The specially printed playing cards, along with special wristbands (also seen in the video) will be available after the November 9 DC Gives event by donating to Hopeline.
Subscribers to my “Michael Mail” E-newsletter got an exclusive look at this video earlier this week (to get on this list, type your email in the box on the upper right corner of my website or click here). Please help benefit this great cause and spread this video out to your social networks via Facebook, Twitter and email by using the share icons below.
P.S. Within minutes of this video going live on my YouTube Account yesterday, a young man contacted me, seeking help.
I’m excited to announce that my original popped and restored balloon effect, repAIR, is now available for purchase worldwide, making it my first ever release to the magic community. repAIR is an effect in which a balloon is inflated, tied in a knot, popped, and then repAIRed and inflated once again. Your hands can be shown empty both before and after the trick.
repAIR is available exclusively through Theory11.com :: The Wire, and was one of the few tricks to be chosen to be launched along with the revolutionary new magic marketplace. From Theory11’s website:
Imagine it: You walk up to a group of people. After asking for one of the girls’ numbers and being rejected, you pull out a balloon from your pocket and begin to inflate it. You remove a pencil from your pocket and pop the balloon, scaring the crap out of the girl (whom you are probably too good for anyway) and she begins to cry. Let’s face it: there’s nothing worse than a crying girl. You immediately start to massage the broken balloon pieces until they fuse together, allowing you to blow the balloon up once again. She gives you her number, but you don’t call because she’s been with all your friends. You instead make a fart noise with the balloon and put it back into your pocket – she doesn’t deserve it.
repAIR happens right in front of their faces and you’re able to show both hands completely empty before and after the effect. There’s no need to load, ditch or swallow anything. It’s super practical, extremely baffling, and looks like real magic.
Also: Here’s a video of me performance repAIR to a packed house in Manchester, NH.
Here’s the new 2011-2012 Tour Poster!
Poster design by Edwards Creative, Columbus Ohio.
There is a G-Rated Version of the poster available as well. Both poster designs can be downloaded in print-quality resolution or purchased on CafePress.
“Hi, I’m a Magician.” I said this last night more than I have in a long time. It was part of a social experiment.
Ever since I was young, I’ve had an issue with saying “I’m a Magician.” When I was young and first studying magic, it was difficult to determine at what point I WAS a Magician. After I had mastered one trick? Three tricks? One show? One year of performing? Later, the issue became whether or not I wanted OTHER people to call me a Magician. I always thought being a Magician made me look nerdy, and I wasn’t okay with that. So I did what many other Magicians did. I used other terms. At first, it was “I’m an Illusionist.” Then I realized how ridiculously pretentious that is unless you’re doing large-scale illusions (in magic jargon, the terms “illusion” and “illusionist” are generally reserved for large-scale tricks involving people, large stage props, big animals, cars, etc.). Then I was a “Magical Entertainer” because that’s what my boss at the time told me to tell people.
As my act developed into a comedy act, I would learn to tell people I was a “Comedy Magician,” but no one knew exactly what that was. So I started saying “Comic and Magician” or “Comedian and Magician” which is easier for people to understand. There are common social situations in which people commonly ask what you do. One of them is when you’re getting your haircut. This has been a time for me to play with different ways of explaining what I do and giving my little elevator speech. Sometimes I’ll simply say “I’m a comedian” because that way I know they won’t ask to see a trick. Another fear is if I say “I’m a Magician,” the next words out of their mouths are “Aww, my 6 year old daughter would LOVE that!”
Last night I attended a Speed Networking event for the local Chamber of Commerce. For those of you who don’t know what that is, Speed Networking works the same way as Speed Dating. There are several small tables set up and you rotate every three minutes to meet someone new and briefly explain who you are and what you do, exchange business cards, then it’s off to the next table. Just enough time to tell someone what I do – not enough time to do a trick. It was the perfect opportunity to try an experiment. I wanted to tell every table there very plainly and very openly nothing but the words “I am a Magician” and see how they react.
It may not seem like a big deal, but it actually was for me. It’s been a really long time since I’ve simply introduced myself as a Magician without adding some sort of other word to help distinguish me from what my insecurities told me was already going on in his or her head. In my head, they’re asking questions like “when are you going to grow up and get a real job?” “you can make a living out of that?” or “Aww, my 6 year old daughter would LOVE that!” So I added things like “I am a Magician for adults,” or “I am a Magician who makes fun of magic while also doing magic.” These are fairly accurate descriptions and they set me apart from the other Magicians. But part of what I’ve realized is that most of the people I meet have never met another Magician. And some might not ever meet another Magician. So instead of trying to distinguish myself from the other Magicians with words – why not just tell them “I’m a Magician,” and see where their imagination takes them?
I used the Speed Networking event to do just that. I sat down at the first table and said “Hi, I’m Michael Kent. I’m a Magician.” I said it with bright eyes and it was kind of fun to say. Every set of eyes I said it to lit up. It was a different reaction than “I’m a Magician, but…” or “I’m a Magician who…” It wasn’t confusing. It was straight forward and direct. I am a Magician. I am. That’s what I do. I would let my personality, my appearance and my rapport with them tell the rest of the story. Maybe THEY would go home and say “I met a Magician, but he wasn’t like other Magicians.” I don’t need to tell them that. If I’m a Magician who’s also funny, I would tell them “I’m a Magician” and simply BE funny. Otherwise I’m not telling them the truth. Don’t call yourself an Illusionist if you don’t do Illusions. Don’t call yourself a Mentalist if you read minds for 10 minutes of a 60 minute magic show. I’m a Magician. All of the other things will come out socially and naturally. But the core of what I do – the most marketable aspect of what I do is just that – magic. The experiment was a success. I received so many interesting reactions last night that from now on, I believe I’ll be thinking differently about how I introduce myself to people.
How do mimes do it?
I just returned from performing at Marietta College in Marietta, OH. Marietta has a very unique space – it’s a converted market turned into an activities building with pool tables, table tennis, a snack bar, arcade and one of the strangest backdrop murals on the stage I’ve ever seen.
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.