Back to school!  That’s been the theme of the week as I ended my string of corporate shows in St. Louis, MO on Monday and started the fall college tour.  St. Louis was great.  I performed for a Forbes Top 50 company and the previous week, a billion dollar IT dept. for another Fortune 500 company.  I got some time while in St. Louis to visit the famous Gateway Arch.  I took some photos (see them on the “Photos from the Road” Flickr set) and had some time to visit Gibbol’s, a really nice Juggling/Clown/Magic/Costume shop at the Landing.


This is the view looking straight down from the top of the St. Louis Gateway Arch

Thursday brought me to Capital University in Bexley, OH for their Orientation/Welcome Week.  I really like the kids at Cap.  Many of the Orientation staff were also current or former University Programming students, so I knew many of them.  I think we had somewhere between 300-400 in Mees Auditorium for the show.  I have video from the show, but I haven’t grabbed it out of the camera yet. I was humbled by a standing ovation from the audience.

On Friday, I visited Clarion University in Clarion, PA.  Jamie at Clarion is a good friend of mine (and fellow OSUMB alum!) and she had me in for Clarion’s Welcome Week.  I hung out at a BBQ outside talking to people about the show for awhile.  It was there that I performed for the entire Clarion Football team (it’s okay guys, it’s not always about winning) and the Clarion International Students Club (who politely applauded after every move I made).  The show was in Gemmel Student center, which I’ve compared in the past to the typical gymnasium from Back to the Future’s “Enchantment Under the Sea” Dance.

I think we got several hundred students out to the show in Clarion, and went to Eat n’ Park afterward where I predicted the time set on a watch in the kitchen and we cried laughing at a drunk patron of the restaurant.

The next morning, I drove to the Cleveland Airport to fly to Colorado for a performance at the University of Northern Colorado. I had a layover in Chicago as Barack Obama was flying out to meet Joe Biden in Springfield, IL. I caught his plane taking off!


Click the photo to enlarge it and see the flag talked about here.  It was really exciting at Chicago Midway, as everyone on my flight to Denver was on their way to the Democratic National Convention, including a State Senator from Louisiana Chicago Tribune Jounralists, and several Obama staffers. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, it was really exciting as the plane was buzzing with energy and friendliness.  The flight attendant sang to us.

The show at th University of Northern Colorado was great.  The town smells like cow-poop, but other than that, it’s a really nice city.  Very modern feeling for being out amongst so many ranches.  I was surprised to arrive to 1,000 chairs set up!


The UNC Program Council (which was AWESOME, btw), told me that their events so far had been very heavily attended so they were expecting a full house. And BOY did they deliver! By 8pm, the seats were filled will more standing in the back!


The show went very well and the crowd was very enthusiastic and fun. I was once again humbled by a standing ovation of the more than 1,000 students in attendance. I really appreciate it. It makes me happy that people enjoy what I do. It makes all this travel worth it for sure. PLUS – UNC gave me a scarf and a football hackey sack!



That’s all for right now. I’m exhausted, but I finally get to head home today and will be home for 3 days! Next week, I travel to Kokomo, Indiana, Paxton, MA, Cleveland, OH and then its off to West Palm Beach, FL then Philly!

Peace, love and Obama,

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U.S. Navy Blue Angels!

Jul 10, 2008

I know I’ve left some of you wondering about the new show that I’m excited about.  I was asked by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron to do a performance at their home base in Pensacola, Florida!  Many of you have seen the Blue Angels at air shows or on television.  Personally, I’ve been a fan of them since I was a kid and as a bit of an aviation buff, this is a huge thrill for me.  I’ll also be hanging out with and doing magic for the Blue Angels at the Cleveland Air Show in August!  Don’t worry, I’ll be getting plenty of video!  Here’s a clip about them that you’ll enjoy…


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Summer Fun!

Jun 30, 2008

Hope everyone is enjoying the summer! Things here have been great. I’m in the process of moving my blournal to WordPress instead of Myspace. Most readers of my blournal read it as an imported Facebook note anyway, so it won’t matter! If you’re interested, the feed for my blournal is:


For me, summer means that my schedule slows down a bit from touring colleges and I performing a slightly less rigorous schedule of private performances for corporations and what not. My last performance was for the Ohio Clerk of Courts Education Committee which turned out to get a little crazy. There was drunken heckling involved and we all had fun.

I got a very exciting phone call this week for a future performance. Here’s a hint, the person/people I’ll be performing for are a household name and are seen by 15 million people a year.

The Fall College Tour is really shaping up, but there are still some available dates if your college or university is interested! We’re also booking into Spring 09. Here’s a preliminary Fall Schedule:

FALL 08 SCHEDULE (all dates subject to change)
Jul 17, 2008 Columbus, OH Private Corporate Event
Aug 17, 2008 St. Louis, MO Private Corporate Event
Aug 18, 2008 St. Louis, MO Private Corporate Event
Aug 22, 2008 Clarion, PA Clarion University
Aug 23, 2008 Greeley, CO University of Northern Colorado
Aug 25, 2008 Bexley, OH Capital University
Aug 29, 2008 Kokomo, IN Indiana University – Kokomo
Aug 30, 2008 Cleveland, OH Private Special Event
Sep 01, 2008 West Palm Beach, FL Northwood University
Sep 04, 2008 Philadelphia, PA Penn State University – Abington
Sep 07, 2008 Hilliard, OH Private Event
Sep 10, 2008 Manchester, NH St. Anselm College
Sep 14, 2008 New London, NH Colby-Sawyer College
Sep 27, 2008 Rindge, NH Franklin Pierce University
Oct 02, 2008 Chattanooga, TN NACA South
Oct 03, 2008 Erie, PA Mercyhurst College
Oct 04, 2008 Chattanooga, TN NACA South
Oct 09, 2008 Edinburg, TX Univ. Texas-Pan Am
Oct 23, 2008 Lyndonville, VT Lyndon State College
Oct 24, 2008 Lancaster, PA NACA MidAtlantic
Oct 25, 2008 Lancaster, PA NACA MidAtlantic
Oct 30, 2008 Peoria, IL NACA MidAmerica
Oct 31, 2008 Peoria, IL NACA MidAmerica
Nov 1, 2008 Peoria, IL NACA MidAmerica
Nov 6, 2008 Hartford, CT NACA Northeast
Nov 7, 2008 Hartford, CT NACA Northeast
Nov 8, 2008 Hartford, CT NACA Northeast
Dec 06, 2008 Celina, OH Private Corporate Event
Dec 12, 2008 Pensacola, FL Private Special Event
Dec 13, 2008 Zanesville, OH Private Corporate Event

Let me know if I’ll be in your town & I’ll make sure you can come to the show if possible!

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Originally Posted on 5/16/08


Just did a photoshoot with Michelle Black.


See the whole shoot here!

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What I Been Up To…

Jun 30, 2008

Originally Posted on 5/14/08

So the spring college tour is finished! I’ve been very fortunate – this was the busiest spring I’ve ever had and I’m enjoying some extra free time now!

My last two college shows were great times. The first was Miami University of Ohio in Oxford. It was an outdoor carnival-type event and the show was held on the back steps of the union building there. Here’s a shot of the stage:

Multimedia message

It was a really great crowd and everyone was in the mood to have a good time.

The following Monday night, I performed at The Ohio State University, my alma mater! It POURED that night, so thanks to all the folks who still came out despite the rain! It really means a lot for you to make that commitment! The next morning, this happened:

The Lantern

I made the front page of The Lantern, OSU’s newspaper with a readership of 75,000! Pretty sweet!

A couple other notes:

– We’ve updated the Michael Kent Store so in addition to the t-shirts and what not, you can also get the same buttons and stickers that are available at my show!

– Be sure to join my Facebook Fan Page. I plan on posting new videos there first – before you can see them anywhere else!

– Fall Dates – We’re still booking fall 08 dates and Welcome Week performances. If you’re interested in having me at your school for the fall, let me know ASAP and we’ll get you on the calendar! Newly booked dates:

Clarion, PA – Aug. 22
Bexley, OH – Aug. 25
Kokomo, IN – Aug. 28
West Palm Beach, FL – Sep. 1
Manchester, NH – Sep. 10
New London, NH – Sep. 14

Other than that, it’s time for me to relax a bit! I’ll be performing throughout the summer, doing private shows and corporate performances, but for the most part I plan on using this summer to relax, vacation, hang out with friends and family, and work on new material!

peace, love and flip flops,

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Originally Posted on 5/5/08

Magicians like to accuse each other of stealing their ideas. I’ve seen it in other industries as well. Comedians do it too, but a comedian telling someone else’s joke is never as funny than a comedian telling their own joke. So there’s kind of a built in originality police there. Magicians perform each other’s tricks without permission all the time. Then they claim it’s original because they added their own personality to it. Professional Speakers do it too. I’ve seen 4 professional speakers all tell the same personal story about something that happened to them in their life.

I’ve personally had my original ideas ripped off. Some people tell me I should be flattered. But when you spend months writing and refining a script and find out someone else has done it verbatim without your permission, it’s irritating to say the least.

The “Stars” is a pet routine of mine that I enjoyed writing with the help of Michael Hitchcock and I’ve been told other entertainers have stolen.

I’ve been working hard lately to try to remove all the stock material from my act (stock material is a term that usually refers to jokes/gags that are so old they have no clear point of origin and are generally considered “fair game” for use. The result is that everyone uses them!). The difficult part of this, and the ultimate dilemma is that stock lines work! Some of them get an awesome reaction, and that’s why they became stock lines in the first place! Here’s one that I don’t personally use, but I’ve heard MANY magicians use:

Magician: Where are you from?

Volunteer: Texas.

Magician: I’m sorry?

Volunteer: Tex-

Magician: No, I heard you, I’m just sorry.

Now that’s a particularly shitty and insulting version of a stock line and they’re not all that bad. But that one makes me cringe. Another is a moment that happens in most straight jacket escapes in which the performer is being put into the straight jacket and creates a joke out of the fact that the middle strap has to be pulled tightly across the crotch. Usually this is accompanied by a stock line like “You sure you’ve never done this before?” or the performer subsequently talking with a high-pitched voice. I don’t mean to be condescending – I still have stock lines in my act.

So one of the things I’ve been trying hard to do is to replace any and all stock material in my act with material that I’ve written for myself. Not only does this make me feel better about the act and myself, but it usually results in better material! There is no better material than that which is created specifically for you.

At times, there’s a place for using others’ material with permission. This is common in magic. Many times a magician will sell the “performance rights” to a particular idea. In this instance, sure – its ethically fine to use the material. But many times, this “store bought” material isn’t nearly as powerful as it could be if you find a way to really make it “you.” This is difficult sometimes. Take the Multiplying Bottles routine that I perform. The routine that I regularly perform is very very close to the original Ken Brooke routine from 50 years ago. I have written at least two other routines and performed them, but neither has gotten the reaction from the audience as the original Ken Brooke routine. It seems to simply be the perfect application for that particular prop. I someday hope to write a routine that is more original, but until then, I plan to continue to use the performance as it is.

To use another example from my own act, let’s talk about “The Yellow Trick.” This is a comedy gag I had used in my act since I was a teenager. At some point, I put it together and it got a laugh, so I used it all the time. Here’s the premise:

I display an envelope. As I ask for an audience member to think of a color – any color (“and don’t let me influence which color you’re thinking of”), I remove a bright yellow sign from the envelope. I turn over the envelope which says “The Yellow Trick.” “Now don’t YELL-OWT the color until I ask,” I would say. They name the color. “Red,” they say. Then I turn over the sign and it says “Red” in bold letters. As I take my applause and turn to put it away, a flap falls down where the word “Red” was written and the audience sees a dozen other colors written behind the word “Red.”

Don't let me influence which color you're thinking of!
A photo of me performing “The Yellow Trick”

It was a goofy gag, got a huge laugh and if you ever saw David Copperfield in the early 90’s, it may seem familiar. I didn’t realize until later that I had ripped off Chris Kenner’s “Texas Trick.” A hilarious comedy gag with the same premise. Kenner used to do the intermission show for David Copperfield and now acts as the Main Man Behind the Scenes (official title) for Copperfield. Kenner’s trick as I remember it, was as follows:

Chris displays an envelope. He asks for an audience member to think of a state – any state (“and don’t let me influence which state you’re thinking of”), he removes a Texas-shaped sign from the envelope. He turns over the envelope which says “The Texas Trick.” After talking for a bit in a thick Texas accent, he asks them to name the state. “Alabama,” they say. Then he turns over the sign and it says “Alabama” in bold letters. As he takes his applause and turns to put it away, a flap falls down where the word “Alabama” was written and the audience sees a dozen other states written behind the word “Alabama.”

Yep. Same damn trick. I was a thief. Why did I steal the gag and think I hadn’t? Well, as a young magician learning the ropes, I probably didn’t realize the value of original material. And by changing it to a color instead of a state, I probably thought I had made it mine.

I did the right thing. I spent a few hours locked in my office determined to write a better opener. The result became what is now my favorite part of the show. I won’t get into what it is exactly, but it’s much better because it’s me. And it’s not the intellectual property of someone else!

A photo of the routine that replaced “The Yellow Trick”

Striving for originality is a fun adventure for me, and in a profession with so many copy-cats, it makes me feel genuinely proud to replace something in my show with something that’s original. The entire hour-long show isn’t 100% original yet – there’s still some hard-to-let-go stock material here and there – but it will be. And there’s no better feeling than having people enjoy a creation that came from your experiences and your imagination.

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Originally Posted on 4/15/08


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Originally Posted on 4/9/08

I had a fun noon show yesterday at Mohwak Valley Community College in Utica, NY. I was warned ahead of time that noon shows in that perticular venue can be rough (lack of audience, lack of interest), but I was pleasantly surprised to perform for a full room! The people there were very receptive and despite listing my name as “Mike Kent” on the posters and promo (I perform professionally as Michael), it was a blast!

I decided not to do the broken bottle routine yesterday because 12pm is too early to be wetting my pants. I’m considering taking it out of the show altogether. It was nice not having to travel with a hammer and glass bottle for a change. What are your thoughts?

After the show, a man came up to me and said, “Michael Kent, eh? Didn’t you escape from a strait jacket at a monster truck rally?” Wow. Here’s what he’s referring to. It’s a video from another magician named Michael Kent in the early 80’s. The reruns of this appear on ESPN every once in awhile and this guy had obviously seen it. He was rattling off the name of the truck, the date, the city it took place in. Kinda strange! I told him, no that wasn’t me, but told him the story of me posting that video and people taking it seriously.

Just finished reading Steve Martin’s book, “Born Standing Up.” It was an awesome read. I brought it along yesterday knowing I’d be spending most of the day in airports. The beginning of the book where Steve is describing some of the things he experienced in his early career came me some comfort in things that I feel or experience. But mostly, it made me want to work on my act – Great inspiration!

This weekend, I’m getting together with a bunch of college buddies and going on a road trip to our Nation’s capitol. It should be a blast! it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to travel with no shows!

Next shows are Miami University of Ohio and Ohio State University. I’ll provide details soon!


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Originally Posted on 4/5/08

So last week took me to Philadelphia, PA. No problems getting into the PHL airport this time! I got the airport and shuttled it to my hotel with no issues. I was ultra super hungry and couldn’t wait to get to the hotel to eat, but they didn’t start serving food until after I had to leave for my show, so I just ate some cookies instead. The Internet at the hotel was down too, which was a bummer. Give me food and Internet and I can live happy for quite awhile.

The weather was dreary – rainy and cold. Just like it has been here in Ohio.

Neumann College’s Campus Safety picked me up at the hotel and took me to the show. That was kind of interesting. Lots of kind of interesting things happened at Neumann, but for the most part I had a good time and had a good turnout at the show. Neumann College is the second campus I’ve been to this year with a cemetery literally ON campus. And the building I was performing in was called Learning Center 1. With all those dead people right there on campus, they couldn’t name the building after one of them? Oh well!

Next it was back home for a night to perform at Wilmington College in Wilmington, OH. The folks there were awesome – super nice. I was performing as part of a Siblings Weekend Program. Right before my show, they were doing a talent show for all the little kids and one boy told me he didn’t have a talent after he unsuccessfully tried to hypnotize his mother. I taught him a card trick and gave him a deck of cards so he could be in the show. He won a prize! woo hoo for magic!

The show went really well and I was happy to get to drive home and sleep in my own bed after the show. Oh yeah, here’s one of my photos from the road of the stage at Wilmington:

Multimedia message

Today I’m relaxing and finishing up taxes (nothing like procrastination). Then I’m going to go look at cars!

Next up is Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, NY. On Tuesday, I fly in early morning, drive from Syracuse, do the show in Utica, drive back and fly home all in the same day! Wish me luck!

I will be performing at The Ohio State University on April 28th at 7pm in Hagerty Hall 180! See the facebook event HERE. Bring your friends!

peace, love and little siblings,

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Originally Posted on 4/2/08


Kent entertains with magical comedy

By: Robert D. Pore

Issue date: 3/31/08 Section: News

The night ended with a story about childhood misery, a shower of confetti and applause.

Comedian and magician Michael Kent finished his Friday act at Moore Hall’s Townsend Kiva by telling a story about how his dad had ruined his childhood with his explanation of where stars came from.

As he finished, confetti magically appeared from his hand.

Kent parodied fellow magician David Copperfield’s habit of telling sad stories about his childhood.

“You don’t see magicians who make fun of magic very often, so I’m glad we could bring someone like Michael to CMU,” said Christa Smalligan, Fremont senior and Program Board member.

Smalligan’s favorite part of the act was the finale.

“I really enjoyed the confetti – I think because of the way he was poking fun at everyone who’s so serious about it,” Smalligan said.

Media Credit: John Ehlke
Comedian and magician Michael Kent begins the show with a quick card trick in Moore Hall’s Townsend Kiva on Friday night. Kent asked audience members to look at a card and he would tell the members of the audience which card they looked at in the deck.
[Click to Enlarge]

Midland freshman Cody J. Bartow also enjoyed the end of the show.

“I liked the last one,” Bartow said. “This show exceeded expectations.”

In addition to telling stories, Kent also involved the audience in his act.

For one trick, Kent brought Macomb freshman Joseph Dombrowski and asked for a $20 bill, which he then put in an envelope and shredded it.

“I was actually kind of mad, because I saw pieces of my 20 come out of the shredder,” Dombrowski said.

But Dombrowski’s worries were premature.

After initially pretending he had made a mistake, Kent then opened a series of boxes within boxes and revealed the $20 bill, intact and complete with Dombrowski’s handwriting on it from before it had gone through the shredder.

“It was weird, because it was my same exact writing,” Dombrowski said.

After getting his money back, Dombrowski held no grudges.

Kent says this is part of why he does his magic as a comedy act.

“The way that I feel about it is that some people don’t like to be fooled, and the way I do magic helps people to forget they’re being fooled,” Kent said. “I just wanted to be myself onstage because I’m not a dramatic person.”

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