Christian illusionist dazzles Ballroom audience

Abbey Stirgwolt

Andre Kole, a world-famous illusionist, performed at the Student Center Ballroom last night.

Credit: Steve Schirra

Amid the darkened ballroom, the spotlight falls upon large fan. Two assistants draw a red curtain atop it and it billows, parachute-like, as renowned illusionist Andre Kole makes yet another appearance.

Kole appeared in the Student Center ballroom yesterday. His performance was sponsored by The Dive.

“I loved it,” said Sean McPhillips, freshman integrated life sciences major. “It takes a lot of guts to go on stage and say everything he said. I thought he spoke with great confidence.”

Kole’s first act involved a student volunteer and guillotine-like contraption he said he acquired in China.

“I am now going to perform a little experiment,” he said. “The reason I call it an experiment is that it doesn’t always work.”

He proceeded to drop the guillotine on the student’s neck, but not before issuing a warning to ignore the crimson stains “left from last time.”

Kole’s acts ranged from the classic transformation, which turned a male assistant into a woman with just a twist of the magic human-sized box, to a “human faucet” demonstration, in which Kole cleanly placed a jar of water upside down atop one student’s head and, with the assistance of two female volunteers, cranked the water out of a faucet secured to another student’s forehead.

This and numerous other demonstrations, colored with bits of humor and classic musical accompaniment from “The X-Files” and Ghostbusters, culminated in Kole’s keystone performance: the disappearance of an 11-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty.

Kole included a message with his performance. Prior to his final disappearing act, Kole gave his personal testimony to the audience.

“Many of you may think it unusual for Campus Crusade for Christ to have someone in my profession as a guest,” he said. “When I was in college, I was disappointed to learn they didn’t have any magic classes. I majored in Psychology and Philosophy with hopes of finding out about the meaning of life.”

Eventually Kole moved into the business field, devoting his time to seven different business operations at the age of 25.

“Over time I began to think, ‘Surely there must be more to life than making more money and attaining more and more stuff,'” he said.

In his investigations of the miracles of Christ, Kole said he visited a Christian meeting and was amazed that the men there “talked about God as if He was their dearest friend,” he said. He finished by explaining his faith and inviting students to learn more.

The event, which cost $5 per person, was attended by 300 people. “It’s not exactly the most popular message,” said Michael Subichin, freshman integrated life sciences major, “but I thought it was great.”

Contact religion reporter Abbey Stirgwolt at [email protected].