This is Ben Seidman’s second year performing his act at the university. Photo courtesy of Donnie Bennett.
On Tuesday, Sept. 20, curious students were treated to a rare and cerebral experience. Magician Ben Seidman visited Palmer auditorium for the second year in a row, bringing with him a unique mix of sleight of hand magic and standup comedy.
The resident magician at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, best known for his appearance on the magic competition show “Penn and Teller: Fool Us” as a creative consultant to Chris Angel and teacher to actor Johnny Knoxville, showcased a vast range of illusions to an amazed crowd.
The show was fast-paced and interactive, relying heavily on a comedic atmosphere and regular audience involvement. The act spanned a variety of magical stylings, ranging from classic vanishing tricks to highly complicated pickpocketing, leaving the crowd in awe, especially those on stage.
Similarly, Siedman’s stage persona incorporated the grandiose mystery of a classic magician as well as a sly and genial comedic confidence that allowed for an easy-to-follow, yet highly engaging showcase. Such illusions as calling a phone number made from random numbers called out from the crowd and yielding a name hidden behind a playing card defined the unique style of the show.
After the show, Seidmann commented on his work in the magic business. “My job is to inspire a feeling of wonder,” said the performer. “If not, then I’m just someone who created a puzzle for you to solve.” This sentiment was evident in that night’s presentation, which highlighted not only the technical and psychological aspects of magic, but the simple curiosities of fate and mystery.
On his start in magic, Seidman noted at the age of 6 being utterly amazed by a coin being pulled from behind his mother’s ear. “It just melted my mind,” he said, and from there he took an interest in magic. For anyone looking into the world of magic performance, Seidman urges that novices study the craft, learn the classics and “perform as much as you can.”
The event was organized by UPC and was one of several recently as well as many to come. Students are highly encouraged attend as well as to be on the lookout for future activity announcements.