Michael Kent
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Michael Kent

Columbus, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Columbus, Ohio, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Comedy Comedy


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Small stage, major magic: Magician Michael Kent to perform at MSSU"

MIAMI, Okla. — Michael Kent didn't know how to react to "Wrecking Ball," the latest music video from Miley Cyrus. In the video she appears naked, making strange gestures on a large wrecking ball.

He had two thoughts. The first: "Ew."

The second: "I can't stop watching this."

"And I don't know if that's good or bad," Kent said. "It was awful and wonderful."

The self-billed "comic, magician, smartass" Kent has performed around the world, including theaters, bars and private clubs. He's entertained top audiences, from exclusive engagements for corporate clients to performances for U.S. troops in South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and other places.

But the locations at which he lands the most work have dorms, cafeterias and buildings full of classrooms. Kent performs about 80 shows a year at college campuses across the country.

And that's perfect for him, because a college audience is most likely to get his blend of magic and comedy -- meaning all the jokes he might tell about Cyrus will be immediately understood.

"These audiences are so savvy," Kent said. "I can talk about things I saw on the Internet that day, and they know what I'm talking about. That's a wonderful thing, for everyone to be at the same speed."

Kent has earned rave reviews from audiences and nominations for Entertainer of the Year from Campus Activities Magazine for his unique blend of comedy and magic. Both were influenced separately, however.

His love of magic was inspired by the legendary David Copperfield. But he was also drawn to the comedy of '80s-era "Saturday Night Live" and David Letterman. The two influences remained separate at the beginning of Kent's performance career, he said.

"Everyone wanted to be (David Copperfield) when I was growing up," Kent said. "When I grew up performing, I thought that was my performance style. I had also done a little bit of stand-up in college. But it wasn't for a while until I realized that combining the two would work."

Kent's show features none of the large set pieces, dance numbers, tigers in cages or other trappings of a Copperfield show. Instead, his show features simple, streamlined effects without dancing distractions or complicated cabinets. The effects are things that everyone can see, yet no one can believe they just saw.

As he performs, he said he invites audiences to laugh at the absurdity they are seeing. Each show is filled with amazing illusions and sarcastic humor.

His style fit perfectly with a special show he performed in his home state of Ohio. Called "Illusions, Michael," it paired Kent's magic with episodes of "Arrested Development," the sitcom that featured fictional bad magician Gob Bluth.

Every town has a Gob Bluth -- that magician who takes himself way too seriously -- and that taps into what fuels Kent's shows.

"Things like reality TV also influenced that," Kent said. "I'm performing for students who have grown up without canned laughter, watching entertainment that reflects real life. To make something as surreal as a magic show seem real, I present it as bare bones as possible."

Kent is part of a wave of magicians performing similar streamlined shows, such as Mike Super, Nate Staniforth, Peter Boie and Daniel Martin -- all of whom have performed at local campuses over the past few years.

Though travel necessities are part of the reason for his presentation, Kent said the audiences at college shows are sharper and more appreciative of the streamlined style.

"It's like the difference between watching a well-written sitcom and 'Jersey Shore,'" Kent said. "They are savvy to pop culture, and they don't let you get away with performing to the lowest common denominator. You have to perform in a way that uses their minds, and you want them to listen to what you have to say, rather than going on autopilot." - Joplin Globe

"Smoke And Mirrors: Ensemble puts lots of energy into new show"

"The theme is illusion, and the tone is set by magician Michael Kent, who opens both acts of the show with bits that nimbly shift from comedic to amazing." - Columbus Dispatch

"Kentucky Wesleyan University"

Michael Kent's magic & comedy show was awesome! It drew one of the largest crowds we have ever had for an event! Everybody loved it and was talking about it for weeks!!!! - Jennifer H.

"The Ohio State University"

He was terrific both in terms of the entertainment in his show and his professionalism. His show had a couple hundred physicists alternately amazed and laughing, quite an accomplishment! - Tom L.

"University of Dayton"

Michael displayed great professionalism, arriving early and using language appropriate to the crowd. He wowed the crowd with his sketches, magic, relaxed demeanor and bright personality -- it made for an amazing show and we look to bring him back next year. - Andrea B.

"Mohwak Valley Community College"

I am the VP for Programming here at MVCC and Michael's performance was great. He had to the student and even staff amazed. He was one of the best shows that we have had in a while. It was a joy for have him. Thank You! - Tiffany R

"Central Michigan University"

Everything went great. We had about 125 people show up (Michael loved the venue: a big round room with great acoustics, usually used for drama and choir performances) and the crowd enjoyed it very much. The crowd participation couldn't have been better. It's always fun to see an artist make fun of his own genre. His "psychic" abilities were hilarious! - Christa S.

"Illinois College"

The show went really well! Michael was a joy to have on campus, and a pleasure to get to know. He did a great show, and the students really enjoyed it. The only "negative" comment I received was that the show was too short! - Brianne

"Shepherd University"

Just wanted to drop you a quick note to say that Michael Kent was FANTASTIC on Friday. Our students absolutely loved him. Terrific show with our largest late night crowd turnout yet. He was great to work with and really impressed our students. - Rachael M.

"Alma College"

It was REAL sweet having Michael on campus for our Sibs weekend. I heard
a lot of positive comments, most of which invovled having Michael back
to do his full show (UNCENSORED of course). I could tell there were a
lot of places where the show could have taken a whole new direction, but
he did a great job keeping it PG haha. Depending on bugetary things, we
may have him back yet this year for a Springfest type event, which we
had talked about. At any rate, it was a great show. - Scott W.

"Kent Entertains with Magical Comedy"

The night ended with a story about childhood misery, a shower of confetti and applause.

Comedian and magician Michael Kent finished his Friday act at Moore Hall's Townsend Kiva by telling a story about how his dad had ruined his childhood with his explanation of where stars came from.

As he finished, confetti magically appeared from his hand.

Kent parodied fellow magician David Copperfield's habit of telling sad stories about his childhood.

"You don't see magicians who make fun of magic very often, so I'm glad we could bring someone like Michael to CMU," said Christa Smalligan, Fremont senior and Program Board member.

Smalligan's favorite part of the act was the finale.

"I really enjoyed the confetti - I think because of the way he was poking fun at everyone who's so serious about it," Smalligan said.

Midland freshman Cody J. Bartow also enjoyed the end of the show.

"I liked the last one," Bartow said. "This show exceeded expectations."

In addition to telling stories, Kent also involved the audience in his act.

For one trick, Kent brought Macomb freshman Joseph Dombrowski and asked for a $20 bill, which he then put in an envelope and shredded it.

"I was actually kind of mad, because I saw pieces of my 20 come out of the shredder," Dombrowski said.

But Dombrowski's worries were premature.

After initially pretending he had made a mistake, Kent then opened a series of boxes within boxes and revealed the $20 bill, intact and complete with Dombrowski's handwriting on it from before it had gone through the shredder.

"It was weird, because it was my same exact writing," Dombrowski said.

After getting his money back, Dombrowski held no grudges.

Kent says this is part of why he does his magic as a comedy act.

"The way that I feel about it is that some people don't like to be fooled, and the way I do magic helps people to forget they're being fooled," Kent said. "I just wanted to be myself onstage because I'm not a dramatic person." - Central Michigan Life Newspaper

"Do You Believe in Magic?"

Michael Kent worked his magic as he performed a stand-up routine at afterHOURS Wednesday.

As part of BananAwareness Week, Travis Weisberger, showcases chair for the Council for University Programs, arranged for Kent to perform at Northeastern. Kent is known for putting his own spin on a series of magic tricks by interacting with the audience and treating his act as a comedy routine, a task he admits can be a challenge.

"I started doing comedy in college," Kent said. "It is the most difficult thing I've ever done. A comic only has his personality to use [on stage], and I try to bring it to the magic tricks and give them personality."

Performing in front a crowd of about 200 people, Kent brought forth a series of magic tricks that made audience members like Yuliya Sysevich, a sophomore marketing major, wonder what his secret was.

Syesevich was initially called to the stage when Kent asked for an audience member with "excellent intuition." To assist Kent with a trick involving a broken glass bottle, four inflated paper bags and Kent's left hand, Syesevich had to guide him through a step-by-step process in eliminating the bags. One contained the glass bottle with the sharp side up.

With each elimination, Kent crushed the bag with his hand.

"Remember, I'm using my hands here," Kent said to Syesevich. "If you screw this up, it's the end of my career and social life as well."

The only bag Syesevich did not select concealed the jagged glass bottle.

"All of his tricks were really surprising," Syesevich said. "With each one I was like 'Wow, how did he do that?'"

Syesevich had an intuitive hunch that everything would turn out all right, but other students, including Grace Turnbull, a middler behavioral neuroscience major, were not as confident.

"I was terrified when he was smashing those glasses," Turnbull said.

The tricks, along with the jokes and sarcasm, continued for about an hour as Kent brought Nani Stoick, a middler music industry major, to the stage, only to have her volunteer her $100 bill for a trick. After writing her name on the bill, Stoick placed it in an envelope and left the rest up to Kent and his magic. She watched as Kent pretended to shred the bill.

After five minutes of brewing curiosity, Kent returned Stoick's money to her, retrieving it from a small metal box.

"For a split second I was worried," Stoick said. "I had a feeling it would be in the box but I have no idea how it got there. I was impressed."

As Kent's routine continued, he left the audience pondering the question: what came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case, it was the chicken - a rubber one. With a volunteer from the audience, Kent conducted a card trick in which he managed to transfer a card selected by the audience member to a plastic egg inside a rubber chicken.

When Weisberger first saw this trick performed at the National Association for Campus Activities conference in November, he knew Kent would draw attention at Northeastern and arranged for him to perform.

"It was the chicken trick that sold us," Weisberger said, "and his smart-ass personality."

Prior to his performance, Kent eased audience members into his techniques by speaking with them at afterHOURS and promoting the event at the dining halls during the day. Making the audience comfortable and entertaining them is the priority, Kent said.

Whether it involves a rubber chicken, the chance of a bleeding palm or the money to pay for it, Kent said the most important thing is giving people a chance to enjoy themselves, rather than get frustrated, which Kent said is often the result of magic tricks.

"As a kid," Kent said, "I was interested in magic and used it to compensate for my lack of a social life. I did magic in college to meet girls, and now I do it to pay the bills." - Northeastern News


Still working on that hot first release.



A self-proclaimed smartass, Michael Kent succeeds at changing the old saying that nobody likes a smartass.

Comedian and Magician Michael Kent gives the ancient art of magic a facelift with an irreverent and often satirical comedic spin. Michael has studied at the world-famous Second City comedy theater in Chicago. He has performed for audiences all over the globe from The Magic Castle in Hollywood to US Troops serving overseas in South Korea. Hes been seen in hundreds of colleges all over the country in as many as 40 states in a single year. After all this, he still feels like more of a Professional Smartass than a Magician.

Michael has been nominated for multiple Campus Activities Awards including Best New Rising Star, Best Small Venue Artist, 2012, 2013 AND 2014 Entertainer of the Year by Campus Activities Magazine.

In a style reminiscent of a late-night talk show, Michael invites the audience to laugh with him at the absurdity of a modern-day magician. Michaels audiences experience what its like when a stand up comic performs (and occasionally pokes fun at) the art of magic.

What some colleges have said:

"He was terrific both in terms of the entertainment in his show and his professionalism. His show had a couple hundred physicists alternately amazed and laughing, quite an accomplishment!"
-- Tom, The Ohio State University

"Michael perfectly adapted his show to the audience, with jokes aimed at college students and tricks that kept everyone on their toes. We are all looking forward to Michael's next performance at Kent State!"
-- Brian, Kent State University

"Truly an original! Michael's show was one of the most wildly entertaining we've seen!"
-- Dave, Indiana University

For College/University Booking:
Fresh Variety
(603) 518-5783

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