By CASSIE SLANA
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — Spotlight brought magic, comedy and 90 minutes of captivating entertainment Thursday to the stage at Hendricks Hall.
Daniel Martin, entertainer and magician, told the audience his “magishing (muh-jish-ing)” career started in the streets of Chicago where he grew up as a pickpocket. He gave a lesson on pickpocketing at the event, stealing the contents of a wallet, a cell phone and an ID from homecoming nominee Nicholas Cookinham.
“I didn’t feel him take anything and had no idea what he took until he showed everybody,” Cookinham said.
Even though Cookinham was up close to the magic, he said he was still puzzled by Martin’s routine.
“My favorite part was trying to figure out how he did the tricks and how he did what he did when I was up close,” he said. “I tried to watch everything and he still blew my mind.”
When Martin was 6 years old, his grandfather gifted him his first magic kit as a way to curb his thieving tendencies, according to the biography on Martin’s website. Martin loved the kit, and by the age of 12, he was performing professionally throughout Chicago.
As part of his last trick of the night, Martin paid tribute to his late grandfather who had inspired his career as a performer.
Martin told the audience early in the performance that his grandpa used to tell him to guess a card, and if he got it right, he would be rewarded with a $2 bill. As Martin grew up, he realized no matter what he guessed, his grandpa would always give him the $2 for encouragement to keep getting better.
When his grandpa died, Martin said he found an old box with a picture of the two of them, a note and three $2 bills. The note was a letter to Martin, telling him to continue playing with magic. After getting an audience member to call their grandma and have her guess a card, Martin let his grandfather do magic one last time. He flipped over the three $2 bills and “ace of spades” was written across the back in black ink.
The night ended with a standing ovation in memory of Martin’s grandfather and for the astonishing performance.
After the performance, Martin tweeted, “Crazy night UCM…thanks for being so epic & all the love!”