Magic mixed with reality

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Story by Piper RotherContributing writer

Students and community members came together last weekend at Lovett Auditorium to witness the Maze: an illusion show hosted by Jim Munroe, an illusionist who was diagnosed with leukemia and who we profiled in last week’s paper.

The Maze is an illusion show that ties in a bigger message about how we all have one right path for us but to find it, you must look at things through a different perspective, Munroe said.

“It may seem like you’ve hit a dead end, but that’s because you can’t see the whole picture,” sophomore Caroline Cropp from Lexington, Kentucky, said.

Munroe said you need to look at things from a different perspective; just like when you see an illusion it looks like one thing is happening, but in reality, another thing is going on. He ties in all the illusions with how life works.

“A maze is a puzzle with interconnected pathways that all finish in a dead end except one,” Munroe said. “Life can feel like a maze, especially in college, when all the paths look the same and the only way to find the right one is after you’ve hit that dead end.”

One way Munroe helps get his message across to his audience is not just by doing magic tricks, but he incorporates those tricks into something people can relate to.

“We’re always looking for thematic things that people care about: love, money, connections,” Munroe said, “Then we try and put tricks to those themes.”

The themes helped keep the audience interested and focused on the show for it hit what most people care about.

“I feel like with the themes, people were more interested in it because if it was just trick after trick I would’ve been bored after 20 minutes,” sophomore Ali Wilks from St. Louis said.

Munroe said they try and pair each trick with a theme, but one trick that was performed was Munroe swallowed a string and then had Cropp pull it out of his stomach. What made it look real was the help of cameraman and tech crew member Brice Harney from Lexington, Kentucky.

“With the string illusion, people saw that a string was coming out of his stomach,” Harney said. “But if you see, a close up of the string tugging his skin it amplifies the effect.”

Harney has always been involved with magic but after hearing Munroe’s message and what he believed in, he felt a calling that he had to be apart of the show.

“I was so enthralled by the way he shared his message and his skills with illusions, I was like ‘I have to be a part of this,’” Harney said. “There’s something so much more about this than just capturing people’s attention; it’s about sharing what we believe to be true.”

Munroe said what the people of the Maze believe to be true is that even though good and bad things happen in people’s life, those things happen for a reason and that there is more going on than what we can see, just like with illusions.

“I think that all the random circumstances that we face point to something,” Munroe said. “With a seemingly random set of circumstances, there might be something bigger going on behind the scenes.”