Magician Michael Kent brings unique entertainment to U
By Robyn Young and Times Staff Writer
Defying the traditional magic show and stand-up comedy performance, magician and comedian Michael Kent reinvented both performances by combining them into one successful routine. Kent displayed his talents for the University of Michigan-Flint on Nov. 29 in the KIVA auditorium.
Crediting late-night talk show host David Letterman as one of his many influences, some of the comical portions of Kent’s routine reflect a late-night talk show style in which Kent interacts with the crowd to get ideas and inspirations for jokes. He admits to favoring the late-night talk show style because he believes that crowd involvement is one of the keys to getting the crowd to fully enjoy the performance. He also added that performing is more for him if the audience participates.
Kent awed the crowd with numerous clever tricks: a card trick in which he guessed which playing card a member of the audience would choose, a glass bottle smashing trick that involved an audience member “with good intuition” to choose which brown paper bags he should smash with his hand in hopes that the bags did not contain the glass bottle, a money trick that immediately left the crowd speechless when he fooled a member of the audience into thinking that he shredded a $20 bill and a rope cutting trick where Kent continuously altered the size of a cut rope. He amused the crowd with his casual usage of sarcasm and also when he talked about his humorous personal experiences.
When asked what he hoped people took away from his show, he said he just hoped that they had a good time.
“I’m supposed to make people laugh. My overall purpose is to make people have a great day,” Kent said.
While Kent admitted to previously using magic and comedy as a social interest to make friends and meet girls when he was younger, he explained that now he uses it to help people. For one of his most recent projects, Kent collaborated with hopeline.com and PostSecret in order to raise money for suicide prevention. Because of this project, Kent was able to encourage a suicidal YouTube user who was subscribed to Kent’s channel to get help. Kent described his impact upon the YouTube user to be one of the most important highlights of his career.
Kent’s advice to aspiring magicians and comedians is to go to school, get a degree, study magic and comedy as much as possible, to read every book you can and to learn everything you can.
Robyn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org