Piff the Magic Dragon brings laughter and magic to Southern
Michelle Shnayder – Copy Editor
Piff the Magic Dragon came to Southern on Saturday to entertain students, staff and the community with comedy and magic.
The room was filled with loud bass music, and there were few props visible other than a huge, neon green dragon suit with vibrant, multicolored spikes. Piff, a British magician and comedian, stood on stage, stimulating the crowd with unpredictable magic tricks and experienced showmanship.
Natalie Bowens, senior, and psychology major, said she had seen Piff’s work before online and was excited that she had the time to come see him perform.
“I saw his videos on YouTube a couple of months ago, so I was excited about the event,” said Bowens. “I usually spend my Saturday nights at work, so this is less stressful and more fun, no matter what.”
Bowens said that magic is unpredictable and spooky, fitting the atmosphere of Halloween, and that she enjoyed the different direction that Piff’s raunchy humor took the magic in.
Stephen Casinelli, junior, and English secondary education major, said he has worked for the Lyman Center for three years, and he was particularly excited about this event.
“I was interested in working as a box office employee for this particular event,” said Casinelli, “and I think Piff has a unique quality to engage the audience and keep people enthralled.”
Casinelli said that this event differed from other events put on at the theater, because it was more interactive and multi-dimensional than most other performances.
“This particular event uses the audience in in the show, so they are more a part of the show than just sitting and watching,” said Casinelli. “There is nothing better than seeing people laughing and getting involved.
Southern graduate, Kevin Redline said he had heard of the artist before, and seen some of his material on YouTube, so he was excited to come see him preform.
“I’ve heard of Piff, and I’ve watched his videos online before I knew he was coming to Southern,” said Redline. “Regardless, I wanted to see a magic dragon in the flesh, especially for free, so I came to the event.
Redline said he was enamored with the experience and thoroughly enjoyed the performance.
“I am absolutely glad I went,” said Redline. “I thought it was amazing before, because I saw him on YouTube one time and it was cool, and the events were free so that made it even cooler.”
Tayler Cowles, freshman, and secondary education major, was impressed by the quality of the tricks themselves, and he said he wanted to master them at home.
“I thought it was mind blowing when he was doing the card tricks,” said Cowles. “I don’t understand how he did any of those things, but I’m trying to figure it out on my own time.
Piff’s show featured a belly dancing woman, a chihuahua in its own costume and ground shaking rap music; there were so many visual and auditory stimuli, it was virtually impossible to ignore.
Kyle Finn, senior, and communication major, said the show’s quality and colorful use of absurdist elements made it effective.
“This guy goes beyond being some magical Barney,” said Finn, “He has a cute little dog in a shark costume and in a rabbit outfit.”
Mr. Piffles, the dog, turned out to be celebrating his seventh birthday. The dog is trademarked as the only magic preforming chihuahua.
“I loved the dog,” said Cowels. “His cute little face made my Saturday so much better.”
Larry Tomasack, director of the Lyman Center, said this humorous show was put on for a variety of reasons, including celebrating the center’s anniversary and the celebration of homecoming.
“It’s a comedy magic show, so it’s light and funny, and it gets people going,” said Tomascak. “The show is one of the events related to of our anniversary celebration and homecoming weekend.
Tomasack said that Piff was selected as the performer based on his impressive resume and notoriously entertaining material. Piff was a finalist on, “America’s Got Talent,” which Tamascak said says something.
“He’s known for being funny and putting on a good show,” Tomascak said, “which is exactly what we needed.”
Photo Credits: Michelle Shnayder