During the typical 6 p.m. rush at Cheney last Thursday evening, one young man stood out to everyone. It was not just because of his gelled, spiked hair or his fancy, black dress shirt and pants. This was not a Springfield College student, but instead a 28-year-old magician, Norman Ng.
Ng, who lives in Portland, Maine, performed his magic show Thursday night in the Fuller Arts Center. Only two hours prior, however, he was walking around to tables in Cheney giving a sneak peek to students on what was in store for later.
He did unbelievable tricks involving small, red foam balls, playing cards and rubber bands. Later, at the show, there were numerous acts which amazed the crowd, but one in particular seemed to stand out.
“My favorite was the baseball bat phone trick,” junior Adam Lapointe said. “That was probably my favorite trick.”
During this one, Ng placed someone’s cell phone inside a cup inside a bag, mixed three identical bags around and smashed two of them with a metal baseball bat. The remaining bag is empty; but somehow the phone reappeared, reincarnated inside a sealed can of Pringles.
Lapointe is the vice president of the Campus Activities Board (CAB) and has seen a handful of magicians in his life.
“I’ve seen magicians before; this is definitely better than anything I’ve seen,” Lapointe said. “It was different, a lot more interactive and also a lot more recent, a lot more current things as opposed to string tricks.”
Ng performs primarily at college campuses, around 80-90 per year, and usually goes to 40 of the 48 continental states. He has been performing magic for 20 years, starting at a very young age.
“I saw a magic trick when I was eight-years-old that blew me away, and I had to learn how to do it. I didn’t know that it was one of the hardest tricks to learn,” Ng said. “It was all sleight-of-hand based, so it was very difficult. But that gave me the great foundation to do the hard magic later on.
“I started competing in magic competitions and winning, and that kind of gave me the hint that ‘Oh, maybe I can do this for a living; maybe I’m pretty good.’”
Victor Barbosa may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org