Matteo Ventresca

Coming into this, I had no idea what I would write a review on. The contest was called  “Review Writing,” but I had no idea what to expect. 

As soon as I got in the room, I saw this person who I’d never seen before who was asking all these people in the classroom what their favorite book was and why they like it. At first glance, I just thought he was the adviser in the classroom, so I figured it was normal. Then, the adviser told us that there would be a performance, and then we would have to write a review on his performance and him as a person, which I didn’t think much of. It turns out the presenter is a nationally-recognized entertainer named Joshua Routh.

Joshua Routh is a physical comedian, magician, juggler, hypnotist, and side-show performer. He performs in 47 States. He performed at the MLB World Series Gala, St Louis Blues, St Louis Rams, and President Bill Clinton. Routh performs about 850 events per year!

Right there, right in front of us, he started performing. He began with some tricks, like juggling pencils, balancing paper on his nose, and magic. Then, he went on to tell his life story, which was very interesting. He explained how he ended high school with a 0.5 GPA, got arrested a few times, and attended clown class.

He kept talking about how he describes himself as the “Merchant of Joy”. This made me think. Throughout the presentation, I wondered what that meant and finally figured it out when he talked about what he does. 

“My job is to make people feel things.” 

For the final act, he did his favorite trick, which is very rare because less than 100 people in the world know how to do this trick. According to Routh, most people who do this trick fake it. This trick is very dangerous and could go wrong in less than a second. This trick is called sword-swallowing.

He did it right in front of us. When he told us that he does it and it’s his favorite thing, I thought it was cool that he likes it. I didn’t think he was actually going to do it right in front of us. He told us how the sword straightens the esophagus and can reach the bottom of the stomach. 

I liked it. It was the kind of performance you didn’t expect to surprise you.

After all the performance, I wrote the review and sent it in. I was thrilled that I was able to see this performance because I got to see two different sides of the same person at the same time.