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The magic of the moment: Magician comes to campus

Magician Jay Mattioli performs at Hendricks Hall.

by Kylie Teem

Jay Mattioli, magician and former contestant on “America’s Got Talent”, is used to doing things out of the ordinary.

Mattioli performed Thursday night at Hendricks Hall at the University of Central Missouri. He combined hilarious dance moves, great jokes and astounding magic into one unforgettable show. Themed music accompanied each act and there was a high level of engagement among the members of the audience as their friends were brought up on stage to assist. Laughs echoed across the theatre as  jokes were made and participants danced along with the performer. 

His show began with an upbeat musical entrance and he drew a picture of a bowling ball. After a little shake, the drawing became the real thing and dropped to the stage. Then Mattioli rolled a strike behind the curtain. 

Mattioli showcased his whimsical side as he played a lighthearted ballad and folded a piece of paper into a rose. In the blink of an eye and a burst of fire, the paper rose changed into a real one and he gave it to a lady in the audience, leaving the audience with wide eyes and big smiles. In another act,  Mattioli swallowed a piece of string and several pins, one by one. An audience member pulled the string from Mattioli’s mouth with, astonishingly, all the pins attached. 

Magician Jay Mattioli uses a red cloth to make a lamp float during his performance Oct. 10 at Hendricks Hall. (Photo by Kylie Teem / for the Muleskinner)

One act in particular had people awed. Mattioli had only a red cloth and a lamp. He wrapped the cloth around the lamp, and the lamp began to float. Mattioli tugged the floating lamp around with the cloth, bringing it high up in the air and low to the ground to show there were no strings attached. The audience grew quiet, perhaps trying to figure out what was happening before their eyes. As the lamp slowly floated back down, the light blinked out and the applause began.

Mattioli’s final act of the night was one many won’t soon forget. He talked about how his grandfather, who always encouraged his magic, told him no matter how far he travels, his family is always with him. He pulled out a large, paper heart and a picture frame that said “family.” He covered the frame as he crumpled the heart in his hand. The heart became a flourish of white confetti that floated through the air after he blew it from his hand. He then removed the cover from the picture frame, which now revealed an actual picture of his family. 

Mattioli ended with a bow and said he was extremely grateful that the University of Central Missouri could be part of his family for the night. This show had heart-stopping moments along with heart-warming ones. Mattioli’s exuberant stage presence brought laughter and cheers from audience members and created a truly memorable night.   

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