Magician Gary Ferrar Wows SLS Students and Teachers


Abby Thomas '23, Sports Editor

On Tuesday, April 21, Upper School students and faculty had the opportunity to take part in a magic show performed by magician and mentalist Gary Ferrar. The show, conducted through Zoom, was a fun-filled event that produced many laughs and smiling faces from students and faculty while providing a sense of community spirit. 

Head of Upper School Ms. Perry organized the show because “we all need moments of lightness and laughter right now.” Perry emphasized that “purposefully seeking out reasons to play, to laugh, and to connect is an important way of taking care of ourselves and each other.”  

Ferrar performed a series of tricks throughout the hour-long show. He began by asking James Kontulis ‘21 and admissions associate Ms. DeRienzo to choose a number between 1 and 100. DeRienzo selected a low number, while Kontulis chose 56. Although Ferrar supposedly wanted them to pick the number 54, he pulled a slip of paper out of an envelope that read, “James will be the closest” and “he will be off by 2.” The rest of the audience was wowed. But this wasn’t the only occasion that night where everyone was in awe.

The second trick featured Assistant Dean of Students Mr. Thomas thoroughly shuffling a deck of cards. Ferrar shuffled his own deck, and after some time, Thomas turned his card to show the 9 of Clubs; Ferrar revealed the same card. Thomas later reflected, “The card trick was very well executed. It was fun and easy to follow Gary’s instructions. I was blown away by his ability to work his magic on Zoom.”

Ferrar’s next trick seems simple, but still profound. Chris Capone ‘23 was chosen as a volunteer to select a book on Ferrar’s home bookshelf. He wound up choosing Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Ferrar dragged a Metro card along the corner of the book until Capone said “Stop,” and on the page he stopped on, Capone read the word in the top right corner: “white.” Ferrar walked backwards in his room to a sign taped to his door. On the sign, the word WHITE was printed in Sharpie. This kind of unusual prediction came into play a second time when Mr. Ward, Mrs. Anna, and Mr. Chuhta, put together a drawing of a face. Ferrar revealed that he had already drawn that face previously–another mind-bending result.

One of Ferrar’s most impressive tricks included a cup on a table and a little red ball. Ferrar stated that he would hide the ball in one of three places: his hand, the cup, or his pocket, and two lucky volunteers — Cessa Lewis ‘23 and I — would be challenged to guess the location of the ball. We were both fooled by Ferrar. He had two balls continuously hid them in different places. He also pulled two baseballs out of a cup that was in no way big enough for even one baseball. and Dean of Students Mr. Ward said,  “[The trick] made me feel like I was on another planet. It was incredible.”

In his final trick, Ferrar asked Jonathan Hobson ‘21 to pick a number that would correspond with a movie on Ferrar’s phone, and instructed Hannah Gunn ‘23 to think of a character. Hobson chose the number 15, which corresponded with the movie Love Actually. Ferrar then walked across his room and pulled a DVD of Love Actually off of an envelope that had been taped to a fan throughout the show. Gunn then chose Anakin Skywalker as her character. To the shock of many, when Ferrar then opened the envelope, it read, “I will watch the movie with Anakin Skywalker.” 

Gary Ferrar wowed more than 70 members of the SLS community and is, without a doubt, a marvelous magician and mentalist. Reflecting on the show, James Kontulis shared, “The show was definitely one of coolest things I’ve seen in a while, and it was a really fun event for the SLS community.” There will be more shows like this, so keep your eye out for more fun activities to come!