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Magician Michael Kent performing at the Baker Theater in Athens, Ohio Feb 3, 2024

Magician Michael Kent stuns students at Siblings Weekend

As family members and siblings made their way up to Athens for the annual Siblings Weekend, many students were tasked with the dilemma of how to entertain their family members for the weekend. Luckily, the Center for Student Engagement and Leadership invited Comedian and Magician, Michael Kent, to perform in the Baker Theatre for a free show on Feb. 3.

Michael Kent, a Columbus-based comedian and magician, combines magic and comedy to create a unique yet entertaining show for all ages to enjoy.

“People have this preconceived notion about what a magician is,” Kent said. “I kind of flipped it on its head, and that became comedy… they started calling me the ‘comic, magician, smartass.’”

Kent has practiced magic since he was a kid and he immediately fell in love with it. While it was originally a hobby, it followed him into adulthood and became his career.

“It made itself my career,“ Kent said. "I was doing magic shows, and people were asking for more shows, and I didn’t have the time to do them, so I decided that this was going to be my full-time job, and it’s been 21 years.”

Kent has performed at over 500 college campuses and has become a household name in magic. Kent was voted “Entertainer of the Year” by the readers of Campus Activities Magazine and was named “Magician of the Year” by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.

“(The awards) both meant a lot,” Kent said. “It was an acknowledgment that people were watching and listening and paying attention.” 

Besides performing at colleges, Kent also hosts a podcast on the NPR network, called “The Internet Says it’s True,” and is active on Instagram and TikTok, where he interacts with fans and explores other topics besides magic. 

The excitement surrounding the show was immense. Students and their siblings flooded the Baker Theatre on Saturday, excited to watch Kent’s show. 

Delaney Gray, a senior studying health services administration, brought her younger brother to the show after hearing about the event. 

“I looked him up when I saw that he was coming,” Gray said. “I saw his bottle magic trick, which was super cool and way cooler in person. I was just like, ‘Why not? I mean, it’s a free event.’”

Kent’s bottle magic trick, which he performed on the season premiere of “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” is his most popular trick, where he remarkably makes 12 bottles appear from thin air. 

Her brother, Liam Gray, is 14 years old and visits every Siblings Weekend. Kent pulled Gray up to the stage at the beginning of his act, where he got to be a part of Kent’s rope trick.

“I was very nervous being in front of all those people,” Liam Gray said. “Having him do the magic trick in front of you as you’re holding his prop was crazy.”

Kent’s crowd work was phenomenal. From inviting audience members onstage to venturing out into the audience himself, the audience was an essential part of both his magic tricks and comedy. Each of his performances is different from the last, and it all depends on the audience members. 

“In terms of the comedy and writing the jokes, so much of it happens on stage,” Kent said. “Something funny will happen one night, and I’ll spend the next three nights trying to get that to happen again.”

After the show, Kent stayed afterward, signing free headshots, taking pictures with audience members, and selling his signature rubber duck keychain and “not beer” drink koozie, which is located on his website. 

Kent’s magic tricks are not only mind-boggling, but his ability to incorporate comedy and his audiences is a unique talent that Kent excels in. Kent’s performance was a wrapped up yet another successful Siblings Weekend.


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