Many students may have seen a strange, stout man walking around campus last Friday wowing passers-by with mind-bending magic tricks. Asking for no spare change, what could be his motivation to perform such altruistic feats of fun? Well, turns out this shiny-headed shrewdster is Mick Stone, magician and entertainer. For hours he meandered about campus enticing people to his show Friday night in the Instructional Center Auditorium. He was brought to Tech by Campus Freethinkers.
The show, called “WTF: Magic That Doesn’t Suck,” features some cringe-inducing tricks, like narrowly avoiding thrusting his hand on a metal spike and nearly hanging himself like a witch for his magic. “What Thrilling Fun” indeed! But not all of his tricks are for the strong-stomached. He managed to correctly call a member of the audience from on stage and reveal the first person she kissed.
This is an example of a series of tricks Stone did to show what he would do if he wanted to prove to people that he has psychic abilities. As another example, he asked several audience members to write down a question, maybe about the future, that did not really have a right or wrong answer, like “When will I graduate?” He answered the questions with a surprising amount of detail, generally giving hope to the inquisitors.
He never claimed to have any extrasensory faculty. He never challenged the audience to try to test his preternatural capacity, but merely demonstrated how he would go about doing such a thing if such a claim was claimed.
The whole show was done with a wink and a smile, establishing a tongue-in-cheek, facetious mood that permeated the performance. He poked fun at himself, and to a lesser extent, the audience, which correctly answered him the math problem of how many pages one would have to rip through after folding a newspaper in half eight times.
Surprised at the intellectual prowess present, he continued, the jokes not being not too cheesy and augmenting the sense of wonder with well-timed humor.
He involved the audience a lot, almost for each trick. Members of the audience would pick which noose by which he would hang himself, the questions for him to answer and under which cups the metal spike hid.
Giving the audience such a sense of ownership over the show and actively involving many other people make the show seem more special and ephemeral. The audience is experiencing something that will never happen quite that same way again.
The people that are lucky enough to see Stone in action will likely not forget any time soon the show they witnessed. Stone’s blend of humor, wonder and frankness creates an experience unlike any other. If the chance happens to come around again, do not hesitate to see this master of magic and mystery in action.