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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!

MK

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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:

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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!

ANNOUNCEMENT:
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,
MK

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Originally Posted on 4/2/08

Source: http://www.cm-life.com

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.”

news@cm-life.com

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Originally Posted on 4/1/08

Well, someone finally youtubed an old video – and the only video – of my former career as an escape artist in the 80s. The secret’s out. And here’s the video:

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UPDATE

For those of you who are good with math, you may realize that I couldn’t have been more than 4 years old in 1983, when this video was taken. The magician/escape artist you’re seeing is Michael Kent, a magician from Kansas (now residing in Sarasota, Florida) who performed a series of these stunts in the 80’s for monster truck shows. For those of you who knew it wasn’t me, great job. For those who really believed it was me – April Fools!

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Originally Posted on 4/1/08

Last week brought me to a couple more schools in Michigan. Driving toward Mt. Pleasant, MI was slightly eventful, as I hit a nasty patch of snow on the way there. It was pretty fierce, but only for about 20 minutes. Then it was sunny and nice out. Central Michigan is one of my favorite places to perform. The people are great there and the hotel has a jacuzzi in the room. And by “in the room” I mean literally right next to the bed. Slightly sketchy perhaps, but very awesome to relax and watch a movie while chilling in the jacuzzi.

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I did a noon teaser to promote the show in a couple different venues and that went very well. Here’s a creepy bird made out of hands outside one of the venues:

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Central did a good job of promoting the show. After censoring me, however, the newspaper article about me called me “Comic, Magician, Smarta.” I’m not lying – read it here:

CM-Life March 08

The posters that they had made for the event were great!

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The show took place at 9pm in a round room with awesome acoustics. Good crowd, great sound crew, and HUGE program board. I don’t have any photos from the show yet, but keep checking my Flickr Page for photos. I’m always adding new photos to it! The mascot for Central Michigan is the “Chips” – short for Chippewas. It’s cool and everything, but in Ohio we have/had the Shawnee Indians. I can’t imagine the Michigan Wolverines playing the Ohio State Shawns. On one side of the field you have a foul smelling nasty little dangerous rodent. On the other, some dude named Shawn. “What’s up…I’m Shawn.”

After the show, the program board people took me out to Bennigans – great times. Lots of laughing and I got to try out a thing using a borrowed watch that I don’t get to do very often.

Saturday brought me about 20 minutes away from Mt. Pleasant to Alma College in Alma, MI. I performed at Alma’s Sibs Weekend last year and they asked me back to perform again this year. The show took place in a chapel, which was kinda cool. I think I opened the show by saying “welcome to this holy place.”

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My Little Sibs show is a bit different than the normal show in that it’s slightly cleaner. I don’t swear or anything in the show. But let’s face it – if hearing a magician say “shit” or “dick” is the worst thing a little kid sees on a college campus in 3 days, we’re doing pretty good.

Also notable – a group of students from Grand Valley State University drove an hour and a half to see my show at Alma! That’s dedication! I really appreciate that.

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The people at Alma were super nice. I’ve had a great time there both times I’ve visited and can’t wait to come back again. Willard and Jake and the others made me feel at home! Also at the show were students from Hope College, Central Michigan and Adrian College as I found out after the show. That’s crazy. I appreciate it so much that people want to see the show. You have no idea.

This week I’ll be traveling to Philadelphia to perform at Neumann College on Thursday night, then back to Ohio to perform at Wilmington College in Wilmington, OH on Saturday.

peace, love and fan clubs,
mk

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Originally Posted on 3/25/08

I took the stage in Allendale, MI (right outside of Grand Rapids) in front of 400-500 students last Wednesday for an awesome show at Grand Valley State University. The programming board there, Spotlight Productions, does a hell of a job. They even had “I <3 Michael Kent” signs.

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The show went well – nothing scary or out of place. The room where they have their events is really cool. Couldn’t do the wallpaper thing because there was only brick and curtains, but that’s fine. Here are some shots from the show!

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After the show, some of the Spotlight members took me out to dinner and I laughed a lot. Great times.

This coming Friday and Saturday, I’ll be in the Central Michigan area. Friday is Mt. Pleasant, MI for a show at Central Michigan University and Saturday is Alma, MI for a sibs weekend show at Alma College.

That’s all for now!

Seacrest out

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Originally Posted on 3/18/08

Good Morning,

I’m finally caught up on rest after last weekend’s exciting trip to Atlanta, GA for the APCA National Conference. I was there to promote the show in the Big Name Entertainment booth along with the Showoff Show and the USA BreakDancers. All three of us also had showcases.

On Friday, I had my showcase at about 9:30pm. I had a couple new jokes and they went over really well. As a result, guess what? Now everyone else gets to laugh at them! Here’s a photo of my showcase, courtesy of Tifton University’s CAB.

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When I was exiting the stage, the Stage Manager said to me “Don’t go outside, there’s a tornado – they’re locking us all in the hotel.” I honestly thought they were putting me on. Little did I know, this was going on outside:

Pretty scary. The hotel we were in was about 4 or 5 blocks from some of the hotels that got it really bad. Check out some photos that Evan took here. Pretty scary! And it’s not the first time I’ve had a run in with a tornado while on the road!

The conference resulted in some tour dates that will be added to the Southern U.S. in the Fall of 08 and Spring of 09.

Tomorrow, I travel to Allendale, MI to perform at Grand Valley State University. The folks there are way cool. I met them at a NACA conference last fall.
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Can’t wait!

Peace, love, and boarded-up windows,
MK

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Originally Posted on 3/10/08

Last week, we saw some beautiful weather in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Early in the week temperatures neared 60 degrees and the sun felt amazing. It cooled down a little just in time for my friends Jonathan and Evan from the Showoff Show to fly in on Thursday.

I had a show Thursday night for the Ohio Intercourt Conference. When they called a few months ago and scheduled the show and told me who it was for, I thought “Alright! Finally – this is going to be AWESOME.”

Then they said “No, Michael. I said InterCOURT.” Damn. Maybe next time.

The Showoffs came with me to help out with that gig and it went well. It was a drinking crowd full of P.O.’s, Judges and Magistrates. Great times and a standing ovation at the end! (although I’m suspicious that they just were getting a head-start to the bar)

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The snow started coming in Friday morning. It was bad, but we weren’t worried until it took us more than an hour to pick up our rental car that was only 5 miles away. The Showoffs and I had a pow-wow and decided to brave the elements and drive up to our gig that was scheduled at Ohio Northern University in Ada, OH (2 hours north of Columbus). The drive wasn’t too bad, thanks to Evan’s advanced driving skills, and we made it to the show in time.

I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed performing at Ohio Northern. They brought out an AWESOME crowd of more than 280 people! I lost one of my contacts before the show, so explained to the audience that I couldn’t see shit. This made for a funny moment early in the show when I accidentally called a guy “she.” But to my defense, he had long hair and was about 50 yards away from me. haha Here’s a shot of the audience from the back!

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Thanks to Jonathan for taking some photos during the show of the crowd. Also thanks to Levi Good, an Ohio Northern Student who used Evan’s camera to take a TON of hi-res photos. I’ll post a few here, but check them out for yourself on my Flickr Account.

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View the rest Here.

After my show, I introduced the Showoff Show, a show who, according to their Mad Libs-style Introduction:
…has been performing 17 years, originated in Russia, and has been described as Chartreuse and Hairy.

They put on a hell of a show and everyone loved their comedy, contortionism, juggling and stunts.

The storm started up again about the time that we headed home. We finally made it back to Columbus around 2am and the Showoffs’ 8am flight got cancelled. Due to the record 20″ snowfall, they ended up spending the weekend at the Kent house, which was great, because we hung out and had time to go over show tapes and do some writing!

Thanks to Evan and Jonathan for a fun weekend and to Ohio Northern and the Ohio Intercourt Conference for some fun audiences!

Next up, I was selected to perform in a Showcase at the National Conference for APCA in Atlanta, GA. I fly to Atlanta on Thursday and spend the rest of the weekend at that conference. Should be a GREAT time!

Peace, love and snow shovels,
MK

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Originally Posted on 3/3/08

Wow – another busy week! I’ve really gotta thank everyone for making this year so great so far. It’s been two months and already I feel like I’ve been on a freaking U.S. Tour.

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Someone pointed out a funny thing to me today. Take a look at Jim Gaffigan’s latest concerts schedule promo:

Look familiar?

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Hahaha. How honored I am that Jim Gaffigan would copy my style. Next thing you know he’ll start ripping off my routine about Hot Pockets.

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So I started out last week flying into Philadelphia to perform at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ. Rutgers has a cool multi-purpose room with lots of space. I was still pretty sick when I got there and so my hosts were so kind as to keep me topped off with hot tea the entire time. So awesome! Here are some photos from Rutgers:

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Setting Up

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Some of my posters on a bulletin board.

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Programming Info Board

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The stage before lights and sound were set up.

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Pretty neat poster they made for the event. How cool! They are the first ones to use this photo for promotion. I put it up in the Promo section to see if anyone would use it. I personally think it looks alot like the infamous “Bat Boy Found In Cave Photo.” You be the judge:

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Friday’s show was at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois which was not anywhere near Camden, NJ. I had been to Peoria once before for a NACA conference, so the area was somewhat familiar. Bradley’s campus was pretty cool. The folks there were super kind. I’m sorry I don’t have any photos to upload (my mobile upload link from Flickr.com isn’t working). I can say that when I showed up, Bradley told me that they were expecting around 30 people to the event. They drew a curtain to separate the room and make it smaller. By showtime, there were more than 125 people and they had to open the curtain back up and add a lot more chairs! Always great to see a nice turnout! I was still under the weather, but feeling slightly better, so the show went well! It was a great time and the nice folks at Bradley took me out to an AWESOME restaurant after the show!

There was an old vaudeville saying “If it plays in Peoria, it will play anywhere!” This was because Peoria, IL was said to be a representative population of the country, so if the people there liked it, they would like it anywhere else in the country. I guess that’s great news for my act!

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The WVKO Party was a blast. I took a couple photos of the audience, but it was pretty crazy in there and I haven’t uploaded them yet. I was expecting a crowd of a couple hundred. It ended up being MUCH larger. Can’t say for sure – but definitely between 600-800 people! I got bumped from my original spot of going on right before Stephanie Miller. They decided instead to put on a myriad of politicians, each giving a 2-3 minute speech. After two or three, the crowd was sick of them and wanting Stephanie. I would have been the better choice to go on right before, but hey – you have to give the politicians their opportunity to be heard I suppose. Met some awesome folks, including Donna Mogavero, The Ukelele Man, Dan Dougan, and others. If anyone has photos, let me know!

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This week is going to be a fun one. On Thursday, the Showoff Show flies in and comes with me to a private event I’ve got going on at Deer Creek State Park. Then Friday, we perform together at Ohio Northern University! I can’t wait!

Peace, Love, and Gaffigan,

MK

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Originally Posted on 2/26/08

Source: Northeastern News
By Sean Leviashvili

Michael Kent worked his magic as he performed a stand-up routine at afterHOURS Wednesday.

As part of BananAwareness Week, Travis Weisberger, showcases chair for the Council for University Programs, arranged for Kent to perform at Northeastern. Kent is known for putting his own spin on a series of magic tricks by interacting with the audience and treating his act as a comedy routine, a task he admits can be a challenge.

“I started doing comedy in college,” Kent said. “It is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. A comic only has his personality to use [on stage], and I try to bring it to the magic tricks and give them personality.”

Performing in front a crowd of about 200 people, Kent brought forth a series of magic tricks that made audience members like Yuliya Sysevich, a sophomore marketing major, wonder what his secret was.

Syesevich was initially called to the stage when Kent asked for an audience member with “excellent intuition.” To assist Kent with a trick involving a broken glass bottle, four inflated paper bags and Kent’s left hand, Syesevich had to guide him through a step-by-step process in eliminating the bags. One contained the glass bottle with the sharp side up.

With each elimination, Kent crushed the bag with his hand.

“Remember, I’m using my hands here,” Kent said to Syesevich. “If you screw this up, it’s the end of my career and social life as well.”

The only bag Syesevich did not select concealed the jagged glass bottle.

“All of his tricks were really surprising,” Syesevich said. “With each one I was like ‘Wow, how did he do that?’”

Syesevich had an intuitive hunch that everything would turn out all right, but other students, including Grace Turnbull, a middler behavioral neuroscience major, were not as confident.

“I was terrified when he was smashing those glasses,” Turnbull said.

The tricks, along with the jokes and sarcasm, continued for about an hour as Kent brought Nani Stoick, a middler music industry major, to the stage, only to have her volunteer her $100 bill for a trick. After writing her name on the bill, Stoick placed it in an envelope and left the rest up to Kent and his magic. She watched as Kent pretended to shred the bill.

After five minutes of brewing curiosity, Kent returned Stoick’s money to her, retrieving it from a small metal box.

“For a split second I was worried,” Stoick said. “I had a feeling it would be in the box but I have no idea how it got there. I was impressed.”

As Kent’s routine continued, he left the audience pondering the question: what came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case, it was the chicken – a rubber one. With a volunteer from the audience, Kent conducted a card trick in which he managed to transfer a card selected by the audience member to a plastic egg inside a rubber chicken.

When Weisberger first saw this trick performed at the National Association for Campus Activities conference in November, he knew Kent would draw attention at Northeastern and arranged for him to perform.

“It was the chicken trick that sold us,” Weisberger said, “and his smart-ass personality.”

Prior to his performance, Kent eased audience members into his techniques by speaking with them at afterHOURS and promoting the event at the dining halls during the day. Making the audience comfortable and entertaining them is the priority, Kent said.

Whether it involves a rubber chicken, the chance of a bleeding palm or the money to pay for it, Kent said the most important thing is giving people a chance to enjoy themselves, rather than get frustrated, which Kent said is often the result of magic tricks.

“As a kid,” Kent said, “I was interested in magic and used it to compensate for my lack of a social life. I did magic in college to meet girls, and now I do it to pay the bills.”

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