Not your Average Houdini

Everyone loves a good magic trick, but add a little comedy and you've got a binge worthy show! Magician and comedian Justin Willman takes the best of both worlds to create a short one season Netflix original that is sure to boggle your mind. He performs everything from simple card tricks to unbelievable stunts that make you question how real it actually is.

As we follow Willman in the six-episode-season, he engages with the public, randomly, to perform miraculous tricks. From stopping people on the street to getting people to participate themselves, his tactics seem authentic in his performances. In this season you will get everything from levitation, to watching tracking devices get pulled through people’s skin; the sky's the limit with his tricks.

Not only does he perform amazing magic tricks, but throughout each episode and sometimes within the trick’s themselves there are small life lessons that can be picked up on.

In the first episode titled “Self-Control,” Willman focuses on human’s strong dependence with their iPhone and the innocent mind of a child pressured with a simple marshmallow. It is no doubt that many struggle with self-control, however, Willman brings light to it with his meticulously well thought out magic tricks.

When sending strangers iPhones into the air by tying it to a dozen balloons results in watching the stranger engaged freak out as if their life has just ended, as they watch their phone disappear. Only for Willman to turn around and pull up his shirt exposing the strangers phone that is ducked taped to his back completely sealed and unharmed, without skipping a beat.  

One of the magic tricks that caught the eye of many through social media was when Willman  set up a “staged” magic show in order to lure random people in while the rest of  the crowd were in on the act. Willman inevitably asked those people who weren’t involved to participate, with the master plan of making them believe that they were invisible with a little help.

With the crowd members ready to participate Willman seats the lucky guest in a chair while placing a sheet over them. He then rips the sheet off and the crowd goes wild creating the illusion that the person had disappeared before their very eyes when it reality, they were still there sitting in the chair.

This viral video showed how he debunked his own magic while actually doing something pretty amazing by playing with a humans mind in just the right ways he actually made someone believe, even if for a moment, that they were completely invisible. While playing tricks on the mind is the so called “backbone” of magic itself, with this particular trick you get to see how it plays out on the magicians side of things.

Senior Wine Business major Sarah Elliott happened upon this specific video and is now hooked on the series.“I could not stop laughing when I first watched the clip of the people thinking they were invisible, so I ended up finding it on Netflix and am almost done with the season,” said Elliott. “Not only is it funny but his witty comments and mind-blowing magic tricks make it so entertaining. Although I have to say some of his tricks seem too crazy to be real, but then the reactions of the people involved reassure me that he is just incredibly talented.”

The magic tricks without a doubt leave you questioning just how he did that. While sometimes Willman is gracious enough to show the viewers just how he fooled us, most of the time he leaves the viewer stumped and wanting more.

“Should I feel guilty I was able to amaze you with such a simple gag,” Willman asks. “No! But do I? Yes.”