At 4pm, the first free show of “Magic Day” kicked off. As one of the objectives of the event was to educate the public on different kinds of magic, the goal was to showcase different types of magic shows throughout the day. Our program line-up included a parlour magic show, street magic workshop, stage show and finally our ticketed grand illusion show “Ultimate Magic”.
Ning & I hosted the entire day and introduced the various activities and performers.
For the first parlour show, we must have had 120 people in the audience. That is a lot for a parlour show as the audience size for this type of show is usually about 30. We encouraged the crowd to stand, gather and come closer and they did so in good spirits.
“Ultimate Magic’s” resident close-up magician, Matthew Lee, was the first performer for the parlour show. He demonstrated his ability to entertain the crowd with an engaging personality, good presence and a humourous yet amazing spoon bending act with a spectator.
International Brotherhood of Magicians Singapore Ring 115 President, John Teo, was the second performer for the show and he entertained the audience with his distinct style of intellectual comedy magic. John is not a full-time magic entertainer but uses magic in his professional life extensively. He has been doing magic for more than 30 years and his experience showed in his performance. He opened with an interesting word-magic routine, then performed Stephen Tucker’s “Visa Cabaret” as well as a money production finale.
I was a last-minute replacement for another performer who had to go out of town. So, a couple days before ‘Magic Day’, I put together a parlour act. This is something I have not done in a long time but this style of performance is what I did in my early years… for a good solid 6 years. I chose to present a collection of magic routines including my “Inside Out Deck” (Mental Photography Deck), “Coins Across”, “Invisible Palm to Pocket to Wallet” and closed with the “Silk to Egg”.
After the 25-minute parlour show, attendees were encouraged to continue browsing the wares from Magic Boutique as well as mingle with each other. Magic enthusiasts gathered in groups and even performed for complete strangers.
At 4pm sharp, a free Street Magic workshop was conducted by Matthew Lee. This was a beginner level workshop to introduce interested parties to Close-up Magic. Matthew taught 3 different simple but strong magic routines and also shared his personal philosphy on performing Close-up Magic. The workshop was very well received and was watched by about 80 people.
The final free performance of “Magic Day” started at 6pm and this was a stage show that featured not just magic, but two of the allied arts – juggling and escapes. Ning & I put together “Magic Day” to also be a platform for new performers to showcase their talents in a professional setting and discerning audience. It is really our way of bringing them out of their comfort zone and seeing if they can step up to the plate. Both performers for this free stage show did just that and got a few new fans after their performances.
First up was Singapore’s only female magic juggler, Kinetic Gal. She has been working hard on her act for 1 1/12 years and combines magic with juggling. Decked in a cool black top, silver & black short skirt and striking red beret, Kinetic Gal showcased her skills with rings, balls and clubs. Many people were very impressed with her act, considering how young she is.
Starting her act juggling white rings
Midway through, all the rings change colour
Taking one of the rings, she performs some magic with a length of rope as the ring magically passes through the rope.
Producing a fountain of silks from an empty pan
After juggling balls, Kinetic Gal produced two sponge balls which eventually multiplied to dozens in a crystal box
Kinetic Gal showing the blindfold hood she would don to juggle 3 clubs
To close the show and the free portion of “Magic Day”, Ning & I introduced Concept:Magic’s latest talent. Larry the Escape Guy is best described as the “Jackie Chan of Escapes” and we have been working with him for 7 months on developing his style and unique escapolgy craft. The result is a highly interactive show with some escapes never before seen.
Larry has a degree in electrical engineering and has put his technical knowledge to good use in designing the technical elements of the escape restraints that have been custom made for him. Incidentally, he is also “Ultimate Magic’s” stage manager and Concept:Magic’s illusion manager and has been doing an excellent job in both functions.
I also got Larry started on fire twirling and eating which he performed as a eye-catching opening act to his show.
In his first escape demonstration after his fiery opening act, Larry showed his ‘professional’ lock-picking set comprising of two nail clippers, a nail file and a pair of tweezers. He had a lady from the audience pick one ‘tool’ that he would use to pick the locks that would soon be restraining him.
Larry’s upper body restraint system included shackles around his neck and hands, locked up by audience members. Amazingly, he picked all the locks and frees himself using a nail file.
For his final escape, Larry presented a really unique version of a mail bag escape. We have literally worked for months to refine and improve this escape to its current form. As a result, it is also an original version not performed by anyone else in the world.
Dubbed “The One-Handed Mail Bag Escape”, the escape saw Larry being placed into a regulation heavy-duty canvas US Postal Service mail bag, tied and locked shut with a 4-digit combination lock. The rope used to tie the mouth of the mail bag shut had a shackle with chain secured to it. This shackle was locked around one of Larry’s hands sticking out of the mail bag using a dial combination lock. He had to use just one hand and the sense of touch to successful make his escape!
The audience erupted in a big ovation as Larry opened all the locks and emerged from the mail bag.
The show brought the free portion of “Magic Day” to a close and a large percentage of attendees also bought tickets to “Magic Day” to be staged just one hour later.