The University Activities Board featured comedian and magician Joel Meyers Feb. 6 as part of the Every Friday Saturday Night program.
Meyers opened the show with a simple card trick in which he asked a volunteer to choose a card, sign it and put it back in the deck. He found it with his mouth. It got tricky when he asked the volunteer to sign another card and then ripped up the card.
Meyers pulled out three fresh lemons given to him by the university, and the volunteer chose one. It turns out the ripped piece of the card was hidden inside the lemon.
If that didn’t leave audience members in awe, they were surely laughing at his hilarious jokes. Meyers kept the crowd hyped with unique sayings, keeping himself and student volunteers in laughter. Meyers couldn’t get enough of volunteer Emily Ondrizek’s hair. In his most preppy voice he would say how “soft and fluffy” it was as she helped him with his tricks. During her time on stage, Ondrizek stood next to Meyers as she watched him swallow and regurgitate a needle.
“I was impressed, and it was kind of gross” Ondrizek said.
Later, Clarion student Travis Myers went up on stage to help the magician attempt one big magical moment. Meyers attempted to get out of a straitjacket. Meyers wiggled feverishly and had the audience join in by making some noise while Travis kept time. “I didn’t think he was going to get out of the jacket in time,” Myers said. But Meyers did escape in just under two minutes.
Meyers got his start with magic when he was six after his father began teaching him a few tricks. After a while, he began traveling around with his father and performing magic from the streets. Wherever they would go, crowds gathered to watch. That’s how agents spotted him. He now performs on tour across the country.
Everything in Meyers’ show is a mix between reality and tricks. He combines magic and entertainment. Meyers said he is confident that everything he does is to the max. “The needle used to hurt, and the straitjacket is sometimes harder to get off depending on how tight a volunteer makes it. But my tricks are as hardcore as I can make them,” Meyers said.
Meyers has been doing some of the tricks in his show for 12 years, so he said he doesn’t really have to rehearse anymore. Since he’s been on tour, he said he has found that any trick he does with cards or sleight of hand he rehearses everyday.
Meyers said he thinks it’s hard to make new tricks and to take old tricks and make them his own. He created the needle trick, which took months of rehearsal to get down just right.
“Joel was wonderful and a great act to have,” said audience member Schuyler Caffrey. “He was just as funny as he was magical.”
Those who missed Meyers’ act on Friday can tune into the Syfy channel Feb. 26 to see his show about taking random objects and creating completely original magic with them.