I’ve been wanting a tattoo for a long time now. The most nerve-wrecking part of a tattoo for me (and probably for many others) was deciding what I would want on my body that I wouldn’t get sick of. I’ve been a student of Buddhist philosophy for about 7 years now, and it’s greatly changed my life and how I think about things. Definitely important enough to symbolize on my body. I once saw a man in Buckhannon, West Virginia with a tattoo on his neck. It said “Tattoo.” He tattooed the word “tattoo” on his neck. Relatively speaking, my decision to go with an “Om” tattoo seems pretty good to compared to that.

Lots of people have “Om” tattoos. It’s a pretty popular tattoo, as the symbol is used pretty widely by both the Buddhist and Hindu faith. It’s also very commonly symbolized by those who study Yoga. In Buddhism, “Om” is the first sound in the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum.” For a nice description of this mantra, read the The Dali Lama’s writing here. Each curve of the Om actually represents something. The big curve of the part that looks like a “3” represents the waking state. The small part represents the sleeping state and where they come together and form the third curve on the right represents the dream state.

Once I decided to get the tattoo, I was excited to schedule the appointment. My friend David McCreary had just had an awesome tattoo done by Anthony Dubois, the owner of Stained Skin Tattoo and Art Gallery in Columbus. He introduced me to Anthony and I brought along my Step Brother Luke, who also wanted to get some ink done.

When you get a tattoo (and I assume its the same with a piercing), everyone asks the same thing. “Did it hurt?” Yeah. It hurt. It was manageable, but as Luke said afterward, it wasn’t the worst pain in the world, “but I was ready for it to be done.” The “bee-sting” analogy is pretty spot-on. But as soon as it’s done, it doesn’t hurt anymore. It took a total of about 2 hours with one break.

The tattoo after the first break.


The finished product

I’m really happy with the results. It’s been a week, and it’s not all the way healed yet (it’s just started getting to the itching phase). Once it’s completely done healing, I’ll go back in and see if Anthony wants to do any touch-ups on it. But I love it – it turned out exactly how I pictured it. They say tattoos are addicting – but I’m not sure about that. I do have another one in mind that I’d like to eventually get.

Here’s a gallery of Bad Tattoos for you to enjoy.

That’s all for now.

MK

I recently chatted with the guys at Ellusionist.com, a web site for magicians to talk about my ideas about the use of comedy in my magic.

You can hear the podcast HERE.

From Ellusionist.com:

Michael Kent is a master at getting laughs. His smartass personality gives his magic an edge that keeps fans engaged, impressed and energized. He is the life of the party during his shows, and that’s no accident. He figures out exactly what kind of reactions he wants, then sets his performance accordingly.

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Thanks to Ellusionist.com for asking me to do the interview. Feel free to comment on the story!

The Magic Newswire is a blog/podcast for magicians.  There you will see interviews with entertainers like David Blaine, Lance Burton, Neil Patrick Harris and many others.  I was recently interviewed about playing colleges and about my recent trip to Korea.

You can listen to the interview via flash HERE.

My good friend Jon Petz produces “Miracles and Magic,”  a benefit show every year for “A Kid Again,” which is an organization that helps kids who are fighting illness do fun activities despite all their medical bills and stress. Part of that show is an opening night party at a Martini Bar, happening tonight. The martini bar, Martini Park at Easton, is a SWEET environment for entertainment. Tickets are $100 each and all proceeds go to the charity. I donated my time to the cause, along with a gang of other magicians, local and national. To promote the event, some of us appeared live yesterday on Columbus local television Fox28 and ABC6 with Johnny DiLoretto.

To learn more about the show, http://miraclesandmagic.com

Ellusionist.com, a web site for young magicians to learn stuff, has written about me on their blog.

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“It was an incredible 15-day tour on 10 US Army bases,” Kent said. “I was doing college shows and I loved doing them, but I wanted to give back more. These people were so appreciative it was really fulfilling and it became difficult to leave each night.”

Read the full text here.

Here are some videos shot at AFN The Eagle on Yongsan USAG in Seoul, South Korea.

My recent tour in South Korea was an unbelieveable experience. I arrived home one week ago, and I’m JUST NOW getting over the jet lag. The photos were easy to put up, and by now, many of you have seen them. If you havent, they are here.

I have some pretty incredible stories that I plan on sharing with you. I hope to create videos to share telling some of the stories like my experience with a Brigadier General’s daughter onstage, being completely immersed in parts of Korea where no one spoke English, hanging out with a bunch of ICW Professional Wrestlers, a special gift from the 557th MP Company, and being left unaccompanied for 2 hours in the Demilitarized Zone with no security escorts! Stay tuned! It will take me awhile to get through the almost 4 hours of video footage on my camera, but (most of) it will eventually be seen!

Finally got to see the results of a photo shoot I recently did with Michelle Black. Michelle is the photographer with whom I did the last round of promo shots and I was really pleased with the results. This shoot was done at and outside of Michelle’s new studio space.

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Michelle’s got a really unique feel for the photos where she lets loose and has fun and the result are photos that almost have a sort of dark feel to them. That background intrigues me, because many photos that I appear in almost have the opposite affect, that being a corny or cheesy feel. Just like photos of my act – photos of me, when taken out of context – don’t convey the edge or intelligence of the show. They just come off looking cheesy. Michelle’s photos help me accomplish what I’m trying to do, which is have the pictures not just be good pictures of me, but share who I am. In this shoot, we were really trying to portray the show, which is a) conversational and b) friendly. Here are some samples of the awesome results:
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Again – thanks to Michelle for scheduling me for this shoot. Like mine, her schedule has gotten significantly busier since our last shoot. I think its a testament to a good partnership!

Browse through all the pics from this shoot
Visit Michelle’s Site
Visit Michelle’s Blog

On Saturday night, I was selected to perform a showcase at the NACA MidAmerica Regional Conference in Peoria, IL!

At the conference, they leave one of the final spots in the showcase open for what is called an “on-site showcase selection” which means that students vote for who they’d like to see in that spot. More than 300 students voted, and they selected me! It was a GREAT honor to get the vote and I really appreciate the support of everyone.

I performed three excerpts from my hour show, including “Seeing Into the Future,” “The Money Trick,” and “Stars.” I really enjoyed it, but the 15 minute showcase went by in the blink of an eye!

Thanks again for voting for me!!! I should have some video of the showcase highlights up soon, so check back next week for that!

Next weekend, I’ll be showcasing at the NACA Northeast Regional Conference in Hartford, CT!

ECU, LSC, NACA and IUP!

November 3, 2008

Shows at ECU, LSC and IUP.  All three shows were nice theaters, so it was nice to be out of the multi-purpose rooms for a week!

Flew into North Carolina and drove out to Greenville to visit the campus of East Carolina University.  East Carolina’s mascot is the Pirate. And when I asked the audience what the school mascot was, they all answered in unison: “The Pirates! Arrrgghhh!” It was as if they had rehearsed it – VERY funny.

The show went well with an excellent turnout. ECU does a cool thing where they make a slideshow of all of their upcoming campus events and play it before the show. i tried to take a photo from the wings before the show.

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After the show in Greenville, I flew to Manchester, NH and drove to Lyndonville, Vermont.

Here are some photos taken while driving. Not safe to do, but I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the fall leaves and had to take them.

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Lyndon State College was another really fun show. Another nice theater and great people! I was realy impressed with their broadcast production studio behind the theater. They do live local news broadcasts from there! After the show, I was invited to a big party that ALL the students were going to. One student even myspaced me the directions to the party! But I had to fly out of Manchester EARLY the next morning and it was a 4:30am wake up call, so the smarter MK prevailed and I went back to the hotel after the show.

I flew into Philly and drove to Lancaster, PA for the NACA MidAmerica conference. Stayed there for a day and hung out – then drove to Indiana, PA for a show at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

When I got there, I learned that I was one of the first acts to perform in the theater in over 2 years because it was under renovation. The theater was absolutely beautiful and the tech crew was awesome. Top notch. The other acts schedule to appear there this year were Creedence Clearwater Revival and Ron White – that’s some pretty good company! The show had 400 or 500 in attendance and was a LOT of fun. Sold some posters and keychains and drove home.

One thing that’s tough about doing three or four shows in a week is when I go to think back about them, I get the details confused. That’s one of the reasons I started writing here. When I get to a school, I usually only really get to see the theater or room I’m performing in. Every show is different because the audiences are all different, but usually the easiest way to remember about a school is to remember the great people who brought me in and put the event on. So thanks this week to Jacob Tidwell, Laura McNaughton, Stephanie Tyler, Dave Surtasky and Rick Kutz for making the shows more memorable and being so welcoming.

peace, love and good people,
MK