“Brain Work”: Rabby Yang and Magic Club’s night of illusions

Rabby Yang (Sr.) makes a boys chosen card appear to move out of a deck, even though it is drawn in marker. (J. Li)

Rabby Yang (Sr.) makes a boy’s chosen card appear to move out of a deck, even though it is drawn in marker. (J. Li)

Staff Writer
Rabby Yang (Sr.) performed in his newest show “Brain Work” as president of the Magic Club on March 24. The show made a total of $888, and all proceeds went to funding UHS Grad Night. The hour long show began and ended with a performance by the band Monks of Funk, which included Suryadip Bandyopadhyay (So.), Mitchell Rogers (Jr.), Will Lu (So.), Sam Rostami (Jr.), Jaimin Patel (Fr.) and Andrew Dimarogonas (Sr.). Besides the opening and closing number, the band also provided many audio cues for the audience as well as during Yang’s magic tricks. Yang performed many tricks where he would call members of the audience to help him. All the music, lighting and magic products sales were thanks to the efforts of the members of the Magic Club.
The show opened with a simple explanation on the title ”Brain Work.” The audience picked from an array of numbers that, unknown at the time, added up to the date 32417 (March 24, 2017). What followed were many card tricks that required the audience’s participation, from somehow teleporting three cards from one person to another to picking an exact card someone had shown to the audience. The first half was capped off with his attempted escape from a regulation straightjacket. Watching the two audience members attempt to put the jacket on him was just as entertaining to watch as Yang’s removal of the jacket thanks to his stellar showmanship.
“Making a trick work is not enough,” said Yang. “You have to make it entertaining as well, and that comes down to the crew and practice to train yourself.”
The second half of the show consisted of less audience participation on stage, with the exception of the first trick. Yang had someone with a cup of water on his/her head, as well as a second cup of water on his own head, spin around while he drank the cup on his head in front of the audience, fooling the audience into thinking the trick was on the participant while the rest of the audience had a good chuckle. He then removed the cup of water from the participant’s head to reveal that it had somehow also emptied. Many of the second act tricks came with some element of revealing the magic. Some were red herrings like the water trick, while others were completely dependent on trinkets and objects that were on sale right after the show, which he shamelessly plugged during the show. However, none of this distracted the audience from being entertained.
Yang’s final two tricks were by far his most spectacular. The first involved him effortlessly making a table float by holding the two corners of a cloth he had draped over it. It almost seemed like a scene out of a Disney movie. His final trick, the one that inspired him to start magic, originally shown to him by a magician in China, involved him placing nine needles in his mouth and then fishing them out altogether at once with a string. Afterwards, the Monks of Funk played him off stage while the audience demanded another trick by chanting his name in unison. After about ten seconds, Yang declared the audience was right and the show was not over. Once he got to the center of the stage he joked, “Now it’s over.”
Yang’s own personal definition of magic is showing the audience something impossible.
“When we’re young there is a sense of magic and wonder that fades over time, and what I try to do is return some of that happiness to people,” said Yang.