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By BIRAL PATEL
The magician holds a handkerchief in front of a microphone stand. He asks the audience to watch carefully, and proceeds to pull the cloth through the stand. The audience cheers, astounded.
This man’s name is Ben Seidman, and on Jan. 9 in Belin Chapel he performed a comedy and magic show that amused and dumbfounded students and faculty.
Krista Nix, assistant director of Student Involvement, said that she and the Student Programming Board wanted to plan a unique event for the University.
“We searched through a couple of emails that were sent to us about comedians and magicians and [Seidman] stuck out to us the most,” Nix said. “We knew it was something that was different but would definitely appeal to HBU students, especially because of his background having worked on Mind Freak and with Criss Angel.”
Seidman’s routine centered around fate and coincidence. At the beginning of the show, he asked senior Abdul Azeez to hold onto a box containing a message in a bottle until the end of the show. Seidman then asked junior Larry Freeney to pick a name from a set of name tags and eight audience members to pick one digit numbers. The numbers chosen were 7,5,8,0,4,1,6 and 9. He asked if anyone was from a different state; sophomore Lauren Harter raised her hand and told him her California area code when he asked for it. Seidman took the area code and seven of the eight chosen numbers to create a ten digit phone number. He used an audience member’s cell phone to make the call, and the person who picked up the call was a stranger named Daniel. Seidman asked Freeney to reveal the name he chose, and it was Daniel. Then it was time to reveal the message in a bottle. Seidman broke the bottle and revealed a bill. The bill’s serial number matched the eight digits the audience members chose. Additionally, the bill had the words “Thank you Abdul. Love, Daniel,” written on it.
Seidman was friendly, positive and full of energy. He is an example of perseverance because he decided to pursue magic despite others’ disapproval.
Although Seidman’s magic and comedy were entertaining and astounding, some of his humor might be considered inappropriate in a Christian school setting. In the comedy portion of his act, Seidman played a game with an audience member and pretended to flip her off when she won a round. He also stated that he “economically raped” an audience member by pick-pocketing the audience member’s money. The University tries to uphold Christian values, and Seidman crossed the line with his improper behavior.
Seidman’s energy, smooth sleight of hand and mind-boggling tricks fascinated the audience. However, his occasional inappropriate behavior and phrases were his downfall.