Magician Ran’d Shine performed his magic at UNCG on Saturday, March 4, in an event sponsored by the university’s Activities and Campus Events board (ACE).
Shine is a magician from Philadelphia, PA. He has traveled the world with his act, performing in places such as South Africa, Guam and Japan. However, his popularity is evident here in the U.S., especially on the college circuit, on which he’s given the chance to perform his magic for students across the entire country.
Shine has garnered fame and praise in recent years for his magic act infused with comedy. In 2009, he performed for former President Barrack Obama at the 44th Presidential Inauguration Banquet and Ball. He also appeared on the television program Fool Us, in which magicians are given the opportunity to try and fool the famous magicians Penn and Teller (Shine almost fooled them with his card trick).
Not only does he infuse a comic element into his magic act, but he also incorporates his historical knowledge of magic into his performance, educating as he entertains his audience.
During his performance at UNCG, Shine continuously integrated the audience into his act, allowing for a heightened personal connection to the show. Almost all of his magic tricks involved the utilization of a participant.
Throughout various points in his performance, nearly a dozen attendees of the show were brought on stage. Some willingly volunteered to join Shine onstage, while others were singled out and plucked from the audience to be a part of his act.
As an audience member, one of the most entertaining parts of a magic show was not only the tricks being performed, but the reaction given to the trick by the person on whom it is being performed. Shine seemed aware of this, reveling in the outraged and amazed reactions he elicited from those he pulled from the audience.
Shine began by taking a 20 dollar bill from a male student in the audience and having him write his initials down on the bill. The bill seemed to disappear from the act, and the student sat down with a one dollar bill in his pocket, with Shine telling him to leave it there for the duration of the show. He would return to him at the end of the act to complete his trick, leaving the student and the audience stunned when the 20 dollar bill ended up inside of a sealed bag of Chips Ahoy! cookies, the initials still evident there on the bill.
In another one of his tricks, Shine invited a female student on stage and sat her down in a chair, claiming he was going to put her in a trance. He went through a series of commands and steps, seemingly with the intent of putting her in a trance, but this was just a rouse. In actuality, he performed a trick with sleight of hand that allowed the audience to see the “magic” he was doing, but fooled his volunteer into thinking they were in a trance. This act of inviting the onlookers to be on the inside of one of his tricks amused the audience, but completely confounded the student on stage.
Other tricks also involved hilarious reactions from students. In one instance, Shine asked a student write down the name of his crush on a slip of paper. Shine, seemingly from out of nowhere, announced the name of the girl, sending the student’s eyes flying open as the audience laughed at his shocked response.
Shine’s performance at UNCG is just one of many recent events sponsored by ACE. The organization frequently invites performers to campus to entertain the student body. These events are always free of charge for students. A student ID is the only necessary component for access to shows such as Shine’s.