Day 105: Magician Joseph Tran

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Tonight’s first, watching magician Joseph Tran at Missouri Southern State University, was a special event! Not only did my mom and sister accompany me, but my five year old granddaughter, Aubrey, saw her first magic show as well. And my son, Nate, and his sweetheart, Megan, were able to attend also. Four generations of my family shared a first along with plenty of laughs and raised eyebrows.

I’m seeing a pattern with MSSU entertainment. Or perhaps I should say, with the college circuit. All the performers that we’ve seen so far are very skilled in their craft AND wonderful comedians. Tonight was no exception. Joseph Tran had us laughing before he astounded us with his sleight of hand.

Joseph is touted as one of the youngest and best regarded Southern California magicians today. He was recently chosen among his peers as the Magician of the Year in association with the Magic Castle Young Magician’s Program, the most prestigious academy of magic in the world. He has been performing professionally since his early teens and began practicing magic tricks at the age of five. Incorporating humor, illusion and cutting edge technology into his routine has made him one of the most sought after entertainers in the Los Angeles area. He now tours universities across the US and performs on international cruise lines.

He was entertaining, playing off his Asian heritage and inviting the audience to laugh with him at the stereotypical portrayal of Asians in films. Joseph hails from Southern California but for the first few minutes of his routine, he cleverly led the audience to believe he recently came to the US and learned to speak English. Moving in and out of an Asian accent he charmed and amused us. I’ve always loved good illusions and magic tricks. My son has had a lifelong fascination with illusions and magic as well and grew up watching greats like David Copperfield and David Blaine. He became quite skilled at performing magic routines and I hope tonight’s show will renew his interest.

Joseph primarily does close up sleight of hand magic on his university tours, using decks of cards to amaze his audience. He’s the first illusionist I’ve ever seen who used twitter as part of a card trick. He encouraged those of us with twitter accounts to pull out our cell phones and witness that 31 minutes before the start of the show, he revealed the four cards that four random members of the audience drew from a deck of cards that they passed around. And I’m still pondering over his final trick, which involved a volunteer from the audience coloring in a drawing of “super hero” Joseph, who then removed his shirt and slacks to reveal the super hero costume underneath in the exact same colors that young Precious had just used as she colored.

We had a fun evening. And although I laughed and cheered and clapped for Joseph, along with everyone else, I really enjoyed watching Nate and Megan smile and whisper together after each trick. Most of all, I cherished having Aubrey perched on my lap, watching attentively, holding up her little hand each time Joseph asked for a volunteer. I loved seeing the spark of interest in her eyes as she practiced moving her hands the way Joseph moved his and made the show program “disappear”. She’s already a magical child. I suspect her daddy will be dusting off his book of illusions and teaching his young daughter her first magic trick. I can’t wait for the daddy-daughter duo to perform their first show together!

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