September 22, 2020

Magic in the Rat

Norman Ng performed interactive tricks in the Rathskeller on Friday, Oct. 29. (Tom O’Dell / Photo Editor)

By Christine Devito

A veteran magician shocked and entertained students at the Rathskeller Friday, Oct. 29 during “The Norman Magic Experience.”

Audience members were encouraged to participate throughout the show, which Norman Ng said he does because “Nowadays (magicians) are competing against other interactive things … and it’s more fun.”

In one notable trick, Ng (pronounced “Ing”) had an audience member select a piece of paper from a bag containing random words written by students of the College earlier in the day. She did not tell or show anyone what was written on the paper.

Ng then had the audience member “send” her thoughts to him, and he was able to draw and eventually spell out the random phrase that she chose, which turned out to be “bowling ball.”

However, the trick did not stop there. “That is what a mentalist would do,” Ng said. “But I am not a mentalist.”

Suddenly, a 12-pound bowling ball fell out from the easel he had been easily holding up with one hand and drawing on.

The audience gasped, which Ng cites as one of the reasons he has continued practicing magic for the past 18 years — since he was 8 years old.

“The thing that keeps me going is people’s reactions … that’s a fantastic feeling,” he said.

Ng kept the audience entertained and on edge the whole night.

“I’m in awe,” said Jordan Cabello, sophomore biomedical engineering major

Magic was not the only attraction of the show, however. “It was funny too,” senior English major Nicole Pieri said.

Throughout the night, he conversed and joked with the audience.

In another trick, an audience member’s cell phone was placed in one of three plastic cups. Each cup was placed in a drawstring bag, and the bags were mixed around.

Ng then smashed the two bags that the audience member guessed most likely contained the cups without her phone.

“I learned that last move right here in New Jersey,” he said.

In the end, Ng revealed that it would’t have mattered which bags she had chosen to be destroyed because the phone had somehow gotten inside a sealed Pringle’s container, in the middle of the stack of chips.

“I’m not creating a show,” Ng said. “I want to make it so that the people in the audience feel like they know a little bit about me, to feel like I’m their friend … (I try to) break the fourth wall.”

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