A magician never reveals his secrets

... but oh how we wish he would

By: Fatima Galvez and Hannah McKeen

Comedian-magician Trent James performed in a show that had the audience on the edge of their seats.

Fridays at Ferris has brought another creative event, this time with the help of Ferris’ Entertainment Unlimited vice president for programming Taylor Funari. Funari was able to see James perform at NACA, the National Association for Campus Activities, and was eager to bring him to perform at Ferris.

“We really loved his act,” Funari said. “He was lighthearted and funny.”

It seemed that many attendees agree with Funari. James would often begin his tricks with an explanation that swiftly devolved into another joke, or a bit of magic that had the audience — students and Big Rapids locals alike — roaring with laughter.

James maintained an easygoing and familiar attitude throughout the performance. With every trick he demonstrated what had earned him the Most Promising Magician award by the Milbourne Christopher Foundation, something that David Copperfield was also granted. While he has performed numerous times on cruise ships, James mentioned that he feels most connected to his audience when he is on a college campus, being only 23 years old himself.

James also told the audience bits and pieces of his personal history, confirming several after the show. He explained that it was his father who got him interested in magic.

“I discovered a box of props in the attic,” James said. “When I asked him about it, he taught me a few tricks.”

From then on James was hooked. The trick that his father taught him was actually the first that he used for the show: a color changing handkerchief. He pulled several people onto stage for other tricks and even had a skeptical audience member perform a magic trick.

He used a variety of different materials for his tricks, including a ventriloquist dummy and a vanishing flute. With another audience member’s help, James performed a ‘séance’ that ended with a ghost signing, ‘This is B.S.’ and then gave the audience a lesson on pickpocketing, where, with no explanation, he fazed through the student’s arm.

After the show, James also offered a piece of advice for any aspiring magician: “Do literally every show that comes your way. Go out of your way to do shows …” he said. “I performed a lot as a kid, and I wish I had done more.”