David Hall showcased his blend of comedy and magic in the CPB-hosted event in Friends Hall last Friday night. Hall has been in the business for almost two decades, and that experience was well represented due to his light-hearted showmanship. Hall began his career as a street performer before becoming a classically trained magician.
“It was a really cool show; you think you know what to expect, but I was surprised,” said freshman Franchesco Perez. “I really enjoyed it.”
Hall began his show with simple, audience-engaging tricks like “mind reading” as well as some humor via a paper dove pulled out of his magic hat. His inner street performer shined through with the classic disappearing balls under cups trick. This simple but effective trick is a result of sleight of hand. He went on to explain a few of his easy tricks, which made the show that much more entertaining and left the audience with something to try later on.
“We decided whether to bring in a magician or a hypnotist but voted for a magician because it seemed new,” explained CPB member Andromeda Casaren.
The universal crowd pleaser was Hall’s magic rabbit, Hocus. The rabbit was incredibly well trained and, adorableness aside, was an important part of his act. Hocus of course appeared from a fairytale hat and showed off his talented ears and jumping ability.
Much of the show was card tricks with a focus on sleight of hand, as well as misdirection, which Hall used to his great advantage astounding audience members. With dozens of eyes watching, it is difficult for a performer to fool everyone, but Hall has mastered his craft, so that this is no longer an issue for him.
“He did a very good job and was a good performer who mixed comedy and magic well,” said sophomore Kevin Ng.
The stand-out aspect of the entire show was Hall’s comedy, which he used effectively to move the show along seamlessly. Magic tricks that bordered on the inane were the bridge that satisfied both the comedy and magic factions. They were obviously done stunts that only the audience knew about, while a volunteer from the crowd was left clueless.
At times, Hall would have one volunteer on stage and use the help of the audience for tricks, but other times he involved everyone in attendance in order to do entertaining group tricks. His card tricks and number games were spot on, and the really amazing part was that he was able to use peoples personal information as the payoff for extended gags.
Hall set out to not only amaze attendants, but also to make them laugh, and he was more than successful on all fronts. Explaining some of his tricks added another unique dynamic that most magicians refuse to include, but Hall understood that audiences have immense curiosity, and without giving away his entire show, he pacified them well with modest giveaways.
The College Programming Board hopes to always bring in interesting talent, and it’s safe to say they did so with David Hall.