The last few days, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the upcoming fall tour. Lots of midwest dates. Lots of driving. Much of the show will remain the same, mostly because I’ve busted my ass to make those parts great and there are millions of people who haven’t seen it. There are some new things that nobody (in this country) has seen that I’m excited about too. New music in the show, too. When I’m on the road doing the show night after night, changing the music can get me super excited to get onstage and even changes the way I perform sometimes too. Whether it’s for 30 people in a cafeteria or 2,000 people in an auditorium, I still get the pre-show nerves every time I go onstage. Those are good 🙂 The tour schedule, as always, is at http://michaelkentlive.com/tour. That reminds me of something else. I’m working with my friend Jon to bring a re-vamped website to you very soon. We’re spending the week in Chicago next week to work on that and some other performing artsy things.

peace, love and new stuff,
MK

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.

ellusionist.com Next Level

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

I flew into Chicago Thursday night to perform at a St. Baldrick’s event being held by Sigma Alpha Epsilon at Loyola University.  It was a fun (and very bald) crowd.  It was CRAZY windy and VERY cold.  Here’s a video summing up the event!

I’ve been doing a few new things in the show and, along with some new music, the show is becoming really exciting to perform.  You’ve gotta see some of this stuff!

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

It’s back to the grind performing around these 50 United States.  I started off my return from Korea performing at Indiana University Southeast.  We had a small crowd (about 50), but the Student Programming Council was thrilled with the turnout!  The mascot at IUS (I think would be cooler if the initials were IUSE), is not the Hoosier.  It’s the Grenadier.  I didn’t know what that was.  I thought that’s the stuff they put in coke to make homemade cherry coke.  I was informed that is GrenaDINE and that a Grenadier is a person in the war who throws grenades.  So I had some fun with that onstage.  Here are some photos from the show.

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The photos were taken my by friend, U-Gene Dinsmore, a professional wrestler who I met in Korea. After the show, U-Gene picked me up in his sweet ride and we grabbed some food.

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From there, I headed back to Ohio to perform at Walsh University’s Lil Sibs Weekend. I had a great time at Walsh. The students and staff there couldn’t have been nicer. I also did one of the more fun shows I’ve done in awhile – it was very high-energy. Normally for a larger crowd (this was almost 400 people), the energy doesn’t have to be as high because I’m normally on a larger stage and the sound and lights do all the work. I can be a little more subtle and let the laughs come. But for this show, there were tons of kids in the audience and the room was big and dark with a riser stage. (Side note: Walsh did an EXCELLENT job of setting up this multi-purpose room for the event). I was running around and yelling the whole show. One of the high-lights was when Dominico, a 9 year old, gave me a $20 to use for the trick. We then learned that someone else had lent the $20 to him and I was trying to give him advice on how to spend it. He wouldn’t stop doing that snappy thing you do with your hand when you’re trying to pack your dip. It was awesome.

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I did my own intro to this show, which is something I started doing in Korea. I come out, as if I’m part of the staff (at Walsh, I wore one of their T-shirts). Since I’m not famous, they have no clue what Michael Kent looks like as I’m reading about MK’s accomplishments. Then I leave the stage, take off the t-shirt, and take the stage again, saying, “It’s me….I’m him.”

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It was a fun show and I hope to return to Walsh again!

Finally, you can now receive FREE text message alerts from me if you want (standard txt rates apply). Basically, they’ll just let you know if there are really exciting things happening or if I’m performing in your area. Don’t worry, I won’t be texting the crap out of you with stuff like “I just ate a WHOLE habanero pepper!” Although that WOULD be pretty amazing. Click the thingy below if you want to sign up to receive the text messages.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

peace love and habaneros,
MK

Campus Activities Magazine has released the nominations for their annual Reader’s Choice Awards and I was nominated for an award in both the “Best Small Venue Performer” and “Newest Rising Star” categories!

Voting is open this month, so make sure you go vote!

http://campusactivitiesmagazine.com/awards

My good friends, the SHOWOFF Show, were nominated in the Best Live Novelty Artist category, so be sure to vote for them too!

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

Hey Everyone! I got a call from Laura last night that I was selected to showcase at the NACA (National Association for Campus Activities) National Convention Feb. 14-18 in Nashville! I’m SUPER Excited!

I was selected to be a roving artist which means I get to perform for an entire day of the convention.  This is a pretty big deal to me, so I’m really pumped!