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Ohio State Magicians Club is more than meets the eye

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Members of the Ohio State Magicians Club during the involvement fair. Credit: Courtesy of Jack Cerne

Members of the Ohio State Magicians Club during the involvement fair. Credit: Courtesy of Jack Cerne

Members of one Ohio State club are proving to have a few tricks up their sleeves, including putting smiles on the faces of those in need.

The OSU Magicians Club was established in 2010 and spends at least one day every week at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, performing magic shows in hopes of bringing light to a tough situation. The club’s current president, Jack Cerne, started making weekly trips to the hospital’s emergency room to put on magic shows for the young patients, who seemed to enjoy the experience.

“You see smiles on kids’ faces when you perform for them … kids love magic,” said Cerne, a fourth-year in biology. “They’ll always ask me how to do it and if I can reveal secrets to them.”

Cerne said the hospital and the patients were very receptive to the shows, so he decided to expand the program by having other club members volunteer as well in different clinics throughout the hospital. However, the performance isn’t just for the kids.

“It’s for both patients and their families,” Cerne said.

The club and its members are no strangers to performing for good causes. This past spring Cerne and other members did a stage performance for Relay for Life at 2 a.m. on OSU’s campus during the overnight event.

“It was freezing cold and so brutal, but we did a really good job with it,” Cerne said. “It was still a good experience and really fun, and we want to do it again this spring.”

Cerne said the club was started in 2010 because a few students who had performed magic in high school wanted to be able to continue to do so at OSU in a group setting.

“It’s more fun to perform with people and to have a group,” he said.

While the club only has about six committed members who show up on a weekly basis, Daniel O’Brian, the club’s treasurer, said that the group is very connected and really encourages each other.

“It’s a pretty good community, we all work with each other and help each other,” said O’Brian, a third-year in biology. “We all share resources … we’re all friends.”

Cerne said the club is a good place for people to come and learn.

“It’s a good environment to mess up and improve … we give honest feedback,” he said.

O’Brian said that the group doesn’t just spend its time performing the common and everyday tricks that the audience is used to seeing.

“We not only learn tricks and help teach tricks to each other, but we try and invent stuff too,” O’Brian said.

Cerne said that a magician is more than just someone who surprises others; a magician is an illusionist.

“To me, a magician is someone who can perform something … to lead someone to believe it’s not possible,” he said.

O’Brian said he is grateful for the club’s members who come from other countries such as Japan, and help teach new styles and ways to use different and unusual props in their performances.

He said he has even learned new types of tricks using unheard of objects like CDs in the place of playing cards.

“I have even learned some new types of magic,” he said.

When asked why the club is different here at OSU, Cerne said that it’s because of its members.

“This is a really specialized club, magic is a special interest,” Cerne said. “We draw people from all different backgrounds … It’s a lot of diverse people with a special interest.”

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