Magician returns to campus: A Critique


Joshua Boley/The Chart

Show casing his steady hands and balance, Daniel Martin was able to knoch the tray out of the way and land all three eggs in the glasses below.

Magic once again enchanted Southern students on Sept. 6 when magician Daniel Martin made his annual return to Joplin to perform in the Corley Auditorium.

The event, which was sponsored by the student-run campus activities board (CAB), began with a minor time delay before Martin finally appeared on stage—unfortunately through a stage door and not in a cloud of white smoke.

Making up for his late arrival, Martin immediately kicked off the show with his sarcastic sense of humor, which quickly put the packed house in a jovial mood.

Often seeming to poke fun at other, more stereotypical magicians, Martin kept the laughter going throughout the show and fed heartily on his audience’s delight.

With the exception of one “currently in development” illusion that he decided to preview for the Southern audience, Martin’s tricks were certainly more basic than those of the “mindfreak” illusionists—Criss Angel fans be warned. Regardless, they remained very entertaining and complemented his sense of humor greatly.

Despite the college level audience, Martin blended his sense of humor with a kid-friendly attitude and kept his show appropriate for all ages. This was clearly demonstrated through his interactions with one volunteer participant from the audience in particular, five-year-old Riah Gass.

More often than not though, Martin embraced the mentality of a practical joker for the sake of his act, even in Gass’ case. His cell-phone trick—in which he finds a way to enact revenge on those few audience members who text during his show—is by far one of his best and funniest examples of this.

In addition to these tricks, the show was complete with a brilliant “how could he possibly know that?” styled ending that essentially summed up the entire performance, and a great suspense-filled, potentially dangerous (for some) final act.

In hindsight, it seems the only flaw with Martin’s show, other than the late start, stemmed from the auditorium’s sound system, which made him hard to hear and understand at times.

For a while this problem seemed to improve, but later became devastatingly worse once his microphone cut out completely.

Fortunately, though, Martin quickly solved this problem and proved himself to be an experienced performer by effortlessly projecting his voice louder than usual so that audience members in the back rows could still hear him.

For more information regarding CAB events, contact Landon Adams, director of student activities, at (417) 626-9669