Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
On Saturday, magician Mike Super returned to Swarthmore and performed a show to a not-quite-full, yet enthusiastic crowd at LPAC. Sponsored by the Office of Student Activities, Super’s performance was thoroughly enjoyed by Swarthmore students.
Displaying the charisma and confidence of a seasoned performer, Super talked incessantly throughout the show and even introduced Swatties to his made-up word, “lavenous”, which he used in various contexts throughout his performance. (ie: “You all attend such a lavenous university”) Super sold “I’m lavenous” T-shirts after the show. While his jokes and one-liners weren’t always as impressive as his magic, his expressions had the crowd laughing throughout the show.
Super’s most entertaining tricks were those that involved audience members. His levitation of Erin Heaney ’09 on a wooden board was particularly impressive. Surprisingly, as Heaney lay on the levitating board, she didn’t notice anything unusual. “I felt pretty normal. I had no idea until my teammates told me what happened”, she said.
Super’s most talked-about and bizarre trick was what he described as “voodoo magic”. Super claimed to have learned voodoo magic while performing in the Bahamas, and selected Romaine Paul ‘10 to practice on. Using a cloth voodoo doll, Super proceeded to tap, burn, and poke the doll, making Paul feel touch, heat, and ultimately, jump out of his chair. When Super singed the voodoo doll’s hands with a lighter, black marks appeared on Paul’s hands, leaving both audience and participant bewildered.
The one thing that detracted from Super’s performance was the loud showbiz music during his tricks. Some students speculated afterwards that perhaps it functioned to distract the audience.
Super ended his performance by telling a story about his mother and her love for snow. He dedicated his trick to her as he made paper flakes of “snow” flow out of his hands.
After the show, Super came out to meet students, take photos, autograph T-shirts, and answer a few questions. One frequently asked question is whether his last name is really “Super”. “My real name is Supernovic, but I just cut it in half to be Mike Super,” he said.
Super enjoys performing for college audiences across the country because of the energy of the crowds. “The best thing is the enthusiasm from the students. I love meeting people and the audience interaction,” he said.