There are very few things I can think of that are more frightening than trying to impress a room full of college students. And if I had to make a list titled “The Least Likely Things to Excite College Students,” magic would handily make the top three. And so I entered Cone Center and filled in my front-row seat in McKnight Hall with a very cynical mindset, anticipating enduring an hour as long as that clichéd endless kerchief that some guy with too much hair gel won’t stop pulling out of his sleeve.
Am I the only magic Grinch out there? I doubt it, and American magician and illusionist Mike Super himself even acknowledges people’s skeptical attitude towards magic.
“Because my last name is Super, people are rolling their eyes before the show starts,” said Super in a brief interview after the show. “And then I love to come out and they’re actually surprised when they have fun…that’s my favorite part about performing.”
Well, Magic Mike, you read my mind. By the time Super’s show was over, I didn’t know what was up or down anymore. Super put on an entertaining show by involving students in his comedy-filled spectacle of illusions and tricks which left the audience wide-eyed and mouths gaping.
Super seized the crowds attention with his unique style of performing, which involved everything from time-travel tricks to predicting the culprit in a “Clue”-themed bit. Through “lavenous” inside jokes and audience assistance, everyone in the room was able to be an active participant in the show.
Possibly the most memorable was his “controversial” Voodoo trick, which Super previously performed on America’s Got Talent. During this trick, an audience participant was brought to the stage and instructed to close his eyes so that he would be unaware of what Super was doing. Super then begun manipulating a Voodoo doll in order to get physical results from the participant.
After Super momentarily lit the Voodoo doll’s hands on fire, he revealed to a shocked audience that the participant’s hands were left with black ash on them. As the bit’s finale, Super pricked the doll’s bottom with a large pin. Right on cue, the student immediately jumped out of his seat, backside in hand, with a bewildered look on his face.
Super was the winner of the NBC show, “Phenomenon,” which sought find the world’s next magic superstar. He’s also performed for numerous celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, Kim Kardashian, Jay Leno and Raven Symoné.
“Don’t limit yourself on what you think you can do,” said Super when asked what advice he had for college students. “I do card tricks for a living, which is amazing…dream really, really, really big because you will hit way more than you’re capable of. I’m living proof of it.”
Super did an excellent job of synthesizing comedy and unbelievable illusions into a Dane-Cook-meets-Houdini hybrid performance. Super was able to deliver a memorable evening, and with just a little bit of magic, he managed to turn this cynic into a believer.
You can find out more about Mike Super including tour dates, videos, and social media contact info here: http://www.mikesuper.com/