Jennifer Zuniga Advertising Manager
The Campus Activity Board welcomed Joseph Tran, a comedy magician, to Eastern on Aug 30th. Tran quickly gathered the attention of the audience with his humor and charisma. Through his introduction, I was able to learn that he was from Hollywood, his parents were South Vietnamese immigrants, and on top of being a comedian and a magician he is also an actor.
What I enjoyed most about the show is that Tran was very interactive, almost as if he was in constant dialogue with the crowd. He allowed many students to take part in many of his acts. For example, Tran fascinated the audience by asking them to pick a color for his tie. Suddenly, the color of his tie changed from green to red in that instant, it was pure magic!
With the help of four spectators, he performed a magic trick where they had to pick a card from the deck and memorize it.
Tran went a step further than the usual magician, allowing people to take their cell phones and to look at his Instagram story to reveal the exact same cards they had chosen! Joseph Tran spiced up his acts by making the young crowd laugh constantly. He had one scene where he showed the audience a list of people of who he often gets compared to, such as Jackie Chan, the kid from “Up,” and even South Korean president Moon Jae-in. Tran’s personality shined and he was able to simultaneously take pride in and make fun of his Asian heritage.
In addition to his witty humor, Tran performed a variety of mind-blowing magic tricks. In one of them he picked out Julia, a first-year majoring in education, and allowed her to pick a card from the deck. Suddenly, Tran illustrated her card without even knowing what card she had picked! The audience also got to see Tran’s soft side. In one act, he decided to do a balloon animal trick. Tran allowed someone to volunteer by asking the crowd, “Who is single”? He ended up choosing a student named Nicky, a senior majoring in Communication. In this act, we were able to see a hint of Tran’s more personal soft side when he shared a heart-warming childhood story with the audience, “When I was little I wanted a balloon animal, but my family could not afford it.” Now that he is a comedy magician he can afford a lot of things. Therefore, he made a tradition to give balloon animals away.
I highly recommend Joseph Tran’s show if you really want to experience something that truly allows you to interact with not only the entertainer, but also the crowd around you. I cannot speak on the behalf of everyone else in the audience but, by the end of the show, Joseph Tran left a soft spot on me. During the majority— if not at all of his acts— all I could hear was laughter and cheering from the crowd like, “Woah!”, “Is this really happening?”, “That’s amazing!” Thanks to his clever word-play and his dynamic vibe, I laughed from the beginning to the end of the show.