Written By: Kimmie Jones, Sonoma State Star Staff Writer
Sonoma State University students, staff, family and friends got the best medicine when Chicago comedy magician Daniel Martin performed an entertaining magic-meets-comedy-act, in which he “magished” all night. The show, which was free for students took place on Saturday in the Student Center Ballroom.
Unless they did the research on Martin, most of the audience likely didn’t know what to expect. It wasn’t until Associate Director of Student Development Mo Phillips went up to introduce the magician, when the crowd began to get excited. Martin started working with magic when he was 6 years old.
“In 2015 he was nominated for entertainer of the year for Campus Activities magazine, and has been seen on HBO, NBC, SBC, Comedy Central and later this year he will be on MTV,” said Phillips.
As the show began, Martin immediately began interacting with the audience. Every trick called for audience involvement, an aspect that made the show even more enjoyable. For one trick, he had 6-year-old audience member Sarah go up on stage to introduce his “pet” Sparky. He asked her to reach into his brown paper bag and “let Sparky latch on.” The look on her face was one of pure terror. As she hesitantly reached into the bag, her face changed from scared to confused when she pulled out a deflated balloon. Clearly Sparky wasn’t ready yet. Martin grabbed the balloon from her hand and began making a dog. Sarah interrupted him to let him know her shoe was untied but she didn’t know how to tie it. Martin then stopped his trick, handed her the unfinished balloon animal and got down on his knee to tie her shoe. The improvisation and connection with his audience members made Martin that much more entertaining to watch.
He ended the trick by showing Sarah the different tricks Sparky can do. The last one was playing dead, in which he stomped on Sparky and popped him. He then told Sarah to put the “dead” Sparky back into the bag and he pulled out a brand-new not popped balloon dog and gave it to Sarah to “take care of.”
This was the level of impressiveness that all of his tricks were at. Although he did not levitate or escape from a strait jacket, no one knew how he did his tricks. The audience definitely played a huge part in the show. Martin told the STAR how Sonoma State was different than the other colleges he has performed at.
“Super interactive,” said Martin. “Most of my college audiences are really, really interactive, but you guys are just like crazy funny, which is a lot of fun for me because if I can play off the audience. That makes for a better show.”
It was clear Martin has a true love for making people happy. The proceeds from his T-shirts and poster on his tour don’t go to him or his team. A little girl in his neighborhood in Chicago asked him if he could donate some money to help her class raise funds for children with Lymphoma. Instead of donating what was in his pocket, he asked her if he could take the box on tour with him. With a class goal of just $100, Martin is excited to give the box back to her with over $450 in it. The little girl got to take her box into class yesterday.
Martin discussed his magician role model growing up. “When I was 6 years old, I loved David Copperfield, said Martin. “I thought he was, I still do think he’s absolutely amazing.”
Martin also pulls inspiration from music, movies and comedy for his shows. After the show, the audience formed a huge line to get posters signed and pictures taken. Junior Matt Lindberg talked about his idea of what the show would be like.
“I was expecting a very general, basic kind of magic show, but Dan Martin was really funny and brought a lot of humor into the magic, which is not something I was expecting for the show,” said Lindberg.
Martin is not only featured in Southwest and Campus Activities magazine, he will also be performing on MTV next month. He is one of five candidates for Campus magazine’s entertainer of the year. Whether on a date, or spending Valentine’s Day with friends, this show was fitting for any audience. Interactive, entertaining, and funny, Martin brought it all to Sonoma State.