By: Lillian Lynch
At the age of 29, Meyers has been practicing magic for 23 years.
“I got started in magic because my dad showed me my first magic trick when I was six. I used to travel with him, he was a traveling salesman, and we’d go from city to city and always end up in the most touristy cities. So I would go stand out in the street in a really busy area like Santa Monica Boulevard in California, Times Square in New York City or Key West Florida right on the boardwalk. I’d say ‘Hey everybody there’s going to be a magic show.’ I was about eight or nine and my dad would leave me there and I would perform on the streets. I’d make $500 or $600 a day,” said Meyers.
The show he performed for Vol State was one of many, including his multiple appearances on television. Meyers began the show with a short introduction and an old trick of making a bottle disappear in a paper bag.
As his title of “interactive illusionist” suggests, he asked for an audience member to come up on stage.
Hannah Brindel, a student at Vol State, was first on stage. Meyers did a few card tricks with her before having Brindel hold up a lemon. She stood at the edge of the stage and held up the fruit. Meyers, across from her, was holding a knife as if he were going to throw it and hit the lemon.
Meyers joked and took the lemon. He cut it open to reveal Brindel’s previously torn up card in tact within.
“I was terrified he was going to throw that knife,” said Brindel.
Meyers then began talking about one of the most famous magicians of all time, Harry Houdini.
“Houdini could actually swallow and regurgitate things. He would often swallow a key and regurgitate it. That was how he got out of a lot of traps,” said Meyers.
With the set up of regurgitation, Meyers swallowed a very sharp and very real sewing needle. He then took a small thread and put on end of it in his mouth, swallowing part of it. As he pulled on the string the needle followed. The thread was now tied around the needle’s eye.
Continuing with Harry Houdini’s famous tricks, Meyers then pulled out a straight jacket. It was the same kind Houdini had.
“Houdini’s record was three minutes and seven seconds. Today I’m going to escape this jacket in under two minutes,” said Meyers.
He had two audience members help strap him into the jacket.
Meyers struggled as the audience cheered. He dislocated his shoulder in order to twist out of the bounds and escaped the jacket with 10 seconds to spare.
Meyers’ last trick was accompanied by a story from his childhood.
He had never seen snow, as his family would travel to his grandfather’s house in California during the holiday season. The one year he asked if they could stay so he could see the snow, there was no snow.
The next day his father woke him up and told him to look outside. Meyers saw snow for the first time.
For weeks afterward he would go around his house tearing up small pieces of paper trying to recreate the feeling he had when he first saw snow.
His father then showed him the very last trick he performed.
“Nothing is impossible,” said Meyers.
He took a Chinese fan, a single piece of tissue paper and made it “snow” in the dining room.
“I love magic. I love going to magic shows. This show was no disappointment,” said Zachary Bolt, a student at Vol State.
Joel Myers performs at Vol State
By: Lillian Lynch