The University of Indianapolis held the annual Homecoming Carnival in UIndy Hall on Oct. 4 last week during Homecoming. What was previously known as a circus-themed celebration, was transformed this year into a magical escape, fit with a magic show. The event had its usual stations with activities, prizes and snacks that had been put together by students and faculty members.
The Harry Potter-themed stations from each residence hall allowed people to participate in activities such as face painting, wand making, watercolor painting and posing in a photo booth for a mugshot as a prisoner from Azkaban.
Assistant Director of Residence Life Timeshia Keys said this was the first year that the university had stepped away from the carnival theme and had not done a magic show in four years. She said she liked the way the event gave students a different way of seeing their professors.
“The event as part of Homecoming Week helps the students come together and see the faculty in a different light, with their families, than what they would normally see in the classroom,” Keys said.
Director of University Events Jeffrey Barnes also gave insight on the event and its setup.
“[We started] figuring out the actual event—so a theme, the date and time, how it fits into the Homecoming schedule and deciding how to set up,” Barnes said.
The different stations were set up along the perimeters of the room, with a center stage arranged for the magic show. There also were decorated tables toward the back of the room for people who wanted to take time to relax and eat. The decorations also included projections along the walls and hanging magician’s hats and wands.
The Homecoming magic show was one of the many events available throughout the week for the campus and the community.
The magic show was set to start at 5:45 p.m. and audience members made their way to their places where the children took up the chairs in front of the stage, and the adults mainly at the tables in the back. The magic show starred Ace and the magician Chad Collyer and began with participation from audience members.
Children volunteered to go up on stage with Collyer and Ace and assist in the different tricks and illusions, such as spoon-bending, guessing tricks and making objects appear out of what was thought to be an empty bag. Adults occasionally were asked to join in on the tricks as well or to assist the children with some. Additionally, jokes told throughout the performance kept the entire audience engaged for the duration of the show.
After the show, Collyer said his experience at the event was “all right.”
“I had to play it down for this type of audience,” he said. “I usually add mind-reading and hypnotism in other acts.”
Collyer explained how he got into basic magic at first and then went on to teach himself more advanced tricks by reading or attending seminars. Despite the show being over, Collyer performed a couple of tricks for audience members who went up to him wanting to see more.