Magician wows students at Simpson College with exciting magic


Daniel Martin performed at Black Box. Photo by Taylor Hereid.

by Danielle Blake, Staff Reporter

Magician and entertainer Daniel Martin came to perform at Simpson College’s Black Box Theater on Oct. 15, 2019.

Martin has been awarded best variety artist and best male performer while also winning an award for entertainer of the year, according to his website. Martin travels the world performing magic acts and has collaborated with the creators on Netflix’s popular show, “Magic for Humans”.

Martin opened his show with a video of him doing various tricks on an airplane. He called it “mile high magic.” He performed magic using typical airplane objects such as snacks, cups and utensils.

In his first act of the night, Martin asked first-year student, Garrett Livingston, his favorite color and drink. Livingston responded Orange and Fanta. Martin told a story of when she spoke to a shaman while visiting Mexico, and said he’d turn the can of Pepsi into Fanta for Livingston.

After a few failed attempts and some jokes, Martin poured orange liquid into a cup. Livingston drank the liquid and confirmed it to be Fanta.

“My overall experience with the show was baffling, I still can’t wrap my head around some of the tricks he performed,” Livingston said.

For his next trick, Martin set on a classic card trick. He asked the audience for someone who was a fan of that type of magic. Sophomore Tatum Clayborn’s hand shot into the air. Clayborn received the deck from Martin, selected a card and shuffled the deck again.

Martin asked for the deck back, but before he could count to three, Clayborn chucked the deck back on to the stage. Martin laughed and explained Clayborn messed up his original trick.

Martin began to stop talking and communicated with the audience with giant note cards instead. The cards contained guesses about Clayborn’s card that she drew, to which all the guesses were wrong. Martin then pulled a card out of his mouth, which was an ace of spades, the card that Clayborn originally drew.

 “He was very funny, there was never a dull moment in the show. I would see him again if CAB brought him back,” Clayborn said.

Next, Martin bragged about what an amazing pickpocketer he was as a kid in Chicago. To prove it, he asked someone in the audience to pull out a dollar. Foreign-exchange student Ruairi Forester excitedly brought his dollar to the stage.

After some friendly banter, Martin had another student record the dollar’s serial number onto a large piece of paper. He then gave Forester his own passport wallet to pickpocket from him, the dollar back and a marker.

After more jokes and banter, Martin ended up with all of the cards that were once in the passport wallet in his hands. When Forester took the wallet out of his pocket, it was empty. However, the dollar was still missing. That’s when Martin told Forester to take the marker out of his pocket and uncap it. To his surprise, the dollar with the exact same serial number was inside the cap.

In the middle of the show, Martin wanted to make students invisible and help them read minds. Junior Mason Spree and junior Jonathon Cox assisted him with this trick. Cox was sent out to the hall as Spree was questioned.

When Cox was welcomed back into the theater, he was able to accurately guess Spree’s dream car and dream destination. A Land Rover and a trip to Hawaii. The audience was amazed.

Martin next sat both Spree and Cox in chairs and convinced them they had disappeared while the audience roared with applause.

“I thought that he really brought a sense of magic to Simpson. I consider myself more of a skeptic, so the whole time I was trying to figure out how he was doing his tricks. I was at a complete loss,” Spree said.

Martin had another pre-made video in store for the audience. He claimed to have been on an episode of “MTV Cribs” that has yet to be aired. In the video, every single one of Martin’s tricks was featured, before the tricks ever happened.

In the video, he picked up an ace of spades from poker night. He opened his fridge to reveal a lone bottle of Fanta. He showed us his Land Rover with a license plate that had the same number combination as the serial number on the dollar. He even discussed a trip to Hawaii in the video.

Martin ended the magical night with a tribute to his grandfather who he calls “Papi.” Martin told the audience a story of how Papi would keep two-dollar bills in his wallet. Martin would be rewarded the two-dollar bill if he guessed the playing card Papi was thinking of. Eventually, when Martin guessed right every single time, he realized Papi was just trying to build his confidence.

After Papi passed away, he left Martin a box that he brought to the performance. The box contained Papi’s wallet and a note. The wallet had three two-dollar bills and the note was a last sentiment to Martin, expressing his desire to be the one to guess their game this time.

Martin asked someone in the audience to call a grandparent they’re close to. A female student contacted her grandmother Jane first.

The student brought the phone to the microphone so Martin could ask grandma Jane questions. He asked her to think of any playing card.

When grandma Jane was ready, Martin went ahead and guessed that she was thinking of a four of hearts. Grandma Jane informed him she was actually thinking of a seven of hearts, seven is her lucky number. Martin thanked Jane and the student hung up the phone.

Now, it was Papi’s turn to guess. Martin slowly revealed words written on the back of each of the three two-dollar bills.

The first two dollar bill had the word “four” on the back. The second bill had the word “of.” Then finally, the last bill revealed the word “hearts.” Exactly what grandma Jane was thinking of.

This act touched and shocked many students in the audience, especially thinking in regard to the people they care about.

“The trick that got me most was his last one because it left an emotional effect on appreciating the time I have with family and loved ones,” Livingston said. 

Martin’s overall performance left students with their jaws on the floor questioning, “How did he do that?” The collective reaction to this CAB event was a positive one that seemingly will stick with students.