“Ultimate Magic” Season 2 has just begun and we debuted the new material for Season 2 today. There are several changes to the content of the show and besides “Body Through Steel”, the biggest new act in “Ultimate Magic”” is a theatrical levitation sequence which I have been inspired to dub: ‘Dreamscape: The Realm of the Sandman’. Our working title for this act was ‘The Sandman Levitation’ and the theatrical presentation is the creative brainchild of Ning. It centers around a girl about to enter her world of dreams and a Neil Gaiman-inspired Sandman character.
This act is a collaboration between Ning & myself. She is the creative force behind this act and her brilliant imaginative vision embodies a very distinctive theatrical fantasy/ fairytale-like story merged with almost-twisted imagery. I played the role of producer/ director for this act and pulled together the different resources and materials to turn her vision into reality on stage. I also designed the music which is a critical element in creating the theater behind the act. As this is a multi-phase illusion act, the music design had to fit the texture and patterns of the story told. The act has literally taken a full year to develop as we took that long to find the right elements/ props/ costumes/ accessories/ music from all over the world.
It was a tremendous fulfilling creative process in creating and staging this act. While we have quite a number of illusions in our reportoire, this is the most elaborate piece of theatre we present to date. I have the double-edged ability for pragmatic illusion design. The good thing is that I can design and stage practically any illusion for any event or project. I design with function and form in mind with balance. This is primarily due to my entire career being in presenting magic for corporate & special events – distinctively un-theatrical settings. The downside is that I generally do not utilize a tremendous amount of theatrical tools because it is not available to me in an event setting. Ning does not have this in-built ‘limitation’ and her love for art, film, literature as well as an unrestricted imagination allows her to freely dream up her ‘wildest’ illusion fantasy. She then passes her ideas to me and I try to convince her what can and cannot be done 🙂 . But because, we are wired similarly, I understand what she wants to acheive and I do my best to make it happen.
The end result for this act in question is an “Urban Theatrical Illusion Presentation” that is still very true to Ning’s vision. Creating a theatrical piece in a club setting seems impossible… but impossible is what we do and we have made it happen with this act. It is a perfect departure from the other acts and illusions in the show. Everyone who has seen it loves it and were enthralled by the theatrical drama of the magic. I do not want to give away anything with regards to this act. You have to come down to watch “Ultimate Magic” Season2 for yourself 🙂 All info is available here
But, here are some sneak peaks of the act in performance:
This collaboration is similar to one we had in Oct 2007 where Ning had a vision for a “Sword Basket” presentation. Now, the “Sword Basket” is a very very old illusion that has been presented the same way by magicians for years. (I was one of those magicians). But Ning had a completely different vision and I helped to bring a scaled down version of her presentation to life. Her full version would have been just too time consuming and expensive to stage. But that is the realities of pragmatic performing in the real world 😛 In her presentation, the traditional “Sword Basket” could hardly be recognized.
Below is a peak into Ning’s mind, in her own words (from an entry from her blog regarding the vision of the illuson)
“2 years ago, I got a visit from the muse of inspiration after watching Lord of the Rings on DVD countless times *sheepish grin* The visuals swirled around in my head and haunted me for along time…
Intimidating dark hooded figures in cloaks coming after a mysterious, lone female magus who seemed powerless against them and she gets attacked, forced into a prison of some kind and mercilessly speared by their ugly ogre weapons. After which when there is no more movement from the basket, the monsters check to see she’s dead, laugh horribly and turn their backs, but she magically resurrects and with this new rebirth, is stronger and more powerful than ever, giving them back their desserts.
Tonight, my dream became a reality.
Secret ideas scribbled passionately onto paper finally turned true on stage. Yes, it’s a much scaled down version but I feel a personal triumph simply because I made it happen and it wasn’t just an abstract idea or “just talk” *wry grin* It really took a lot of time to perfect the choreography, given our crazy work schedule and it took a lot from me. Blood. Sweat. Tears. Literally.”
She’s right. Doing it and doing it right and true to herself is the triumph…. aside from presenting good theatrical magic, of course.