On Thursday, July 27, Mint Hill was treated to an entertaining visit from the self-proclaimed “best magician in the world,” Professor Whizzpop!
The Professor’s 45-minute high-energy show was equal parts humor, magic and good old goofing around. The Professor’s opening, in which he claimed to have forgotten his “magic words” showcased the wordplay and humor that would pepper the show throughout as he feigned mishearing the audience’s suggestion of “abracadabra” and instead chanted the likes of “Barack Obama!,” Hannah Montana!,” and “Have a banana!”
Professor Whizzpop kept the audience involved in his show, calling three different children to the stage to assist him with different magic tricks. Thea’s favorite part of the show was getting to be a magician as she helped Professor Whizzpop make the blueprints to his house materialize from a bag – but only after first extracting a mouse, a cookie, a banana and a pickle.
The blueprint trick was the first in a series of building and construction-related material in keeping with this year’s summer break theme. For example, audience member Grey helped Professor Whizzpop make the Big Bad Wolf disappear after the three little pigs built their houses.
Although humor and fun were always at the forefront of Professor Whizzpop’s show, he also performed magic tricks that left the audience guessing, like pulling a gigantic lego out of his shoe. His final trick, accomplished with the assistance of Shannon, involved walking through a solid sheet of metal. This trick was Tessa’s favorite part. “She’s still trying to figure that one out,” said mom Tori.
Professor Whizzpop also used the show to generate more interest in reading. He relied heavily on books for his tricks and humor, referencing diverse stories like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Pete the Cat, The Monster at the end of this Book, Harry Potter and Harry Houdini. “I like when I leave a show seeing the kids in the library getting books out,” said the Professor. “Sometimes they’re getting books out that were referred to in the show and that’s really cool, that’s awesome stuff.”
Professor Whizzpop, a former schoolteacher, performs throughout the Southeast from may to mid-August every year, averaging two to three library shows in a day. During the school year, he conducts science and reading themed pep rally programs for schools and focuses on developing a new show for next year’s summer reading program.
At the end of the day, it’s all about fun for Professor Whizzpop. “You know what I really like?” he asks. “I like big crowds who are into the show. If I can get a big crowd and they suspend their disbelief and they get into the show, then I can kind of just surf the wave. I can surf the wave of their energy, and I can pop out just a really good show, and it’s just pure fun.”