Students gathered at Donovan’s Pub Friday, September 16, to enjoy a performance by interactive illusionist Joel Meyers. The performance was preceded by an introductory video which compiled praise that Meyers has received from various celebrities, television shows and entertainment magazines. Al Pacino referred to Meyers as “the coolest person ever,” and media such as Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly and People magazine have written about him. He has also given private performances for celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lopez, and has appeared on SyFy, The CW, NBC and FOX.
After this introduction, Meyers made his grand entrance and began the show by selecting a participant from the audience. In one of the most memorable tricks, sophomore Talia Greenblatt wrote her name on a playing card that she chose out of a brand new deck with a permanent marker. Meyers then instructed Greenblatt to rip the card into multiple pieces. He put the pieces into his hand and closed it. He then had her wave a knife over his closed hand, and when he opened it, there was only one piece of the card left. She took this one piece, and was told by Meyers to pick one lemon out of a bunch of lemons. Meyers then took the knife and cut open the lemon, which revealed that a card was rolled up perfectly inside of it. It turned out to be the same card Greenblatt had ripped up, but it had somehow been put back together. Upon closer inspection, the card was missing one corner piece, and that piece ended up being the one Greenblatt had been holding all along. She demonstrated by taking her piece and fitting it into the card from the lemon. It was a perfect match.
After this, Meyers escaped from a straitjacket in just over two minutes. He used a straitjacket modeled after Harry Houdini’s, which was made to be impossible to escape from. He also informed the audience that, during previous shows, he had both broken a rib and had his appendix burst attempting to pull off this trick. The audience cheered Meyers on as he struggled to escape, although many were holding their breath, worried for his safety. He finally broke free.
In the most anxiety-inducing trick, Meyers called Greenblatt back onto the stage as a volunteer and placed a block of wood with a spike in it into one of four brown paper bags. He mixed up the bags multiple times, so no one would know which bag had the spike in it. He then told Greenblatt to trust her intuition and tell him which bags were safe. Only after receiving her confirmation would he slam his hand down on the bags. He did this all while blindfolded. On the last bag, he put his and Greenblatt’s hand together, a move that really put the audience on edge.Somehow, she made the right choice.
Throughout the entire course of the show, the audience kept up a high level of participation and feedback in the form of laughter.
“Joel Meyers was so charismatic and had me laughing through the entire show. I was hooked,” sophomore Sophia Velazquez said. Greenblatt enjoyed her time on stage as an audience volunteer.
“I wasn’t expecting to play such a big part in the show,” Greenblatt said. “It was really cool coming down to Donovan’s Pub just to watch a performance and then finding myself in the middle of it. While the tricks were completely mind-blowing, I loved that there was just as much of a comedy aspect to the show as well. I had such a great time.”
Meyers certainly lived up to the praise he has received over the course of his career with his performance at Donovan’s Pub last Friday night. It was not one to be missed.