“The Impossible Record” – Before the Show

It has been more than a day since we set the world record for ‘most number of grand illusions performed in 5 minutes’. Comments, messages, photos and videos are still coming in. Thank you once again 🙂

The entire team has spent the day recouperating and resting. Personally, my left bicep and left knee are aching from the tremendous physical activity over the past week. Ning is resting up her bruises and cuts sustained over the week and even an abrasion from yesterday.

I thought I would share some behind the scenes insights on the world record attempt day.

We loaded in all our illusion equipment from two different locations (The Arena and our studio) to Central at about 11pm on Friday night. This in itself is a logistical nightmare and a tiring effort; considering the total weight of equipment moved was about 1.5 tons.

Concurrently, from 10pm , the stage and audio, visual, lights (AVL) were being set up. We could only load up ou gear onto stage when the stage was built up. The stage was only complete at about 2am which is when we started moving our illusions up and storing them for the night. We left Central about 4.00am. Ning should have photos of our set-up in her blog in a day or two.

The next day at noon, the team headed to Central to do stage markings and a technical run through. After I marked out pyrotechnic positions, Ning & I worked on the show/ media script while the crew took care of business on stage.

We started full run throughs at about 3pm. We never performed all the illusions but blocked through the entire sequence. We ran into quite a few problems. For one, it was a really hot and humid day. Not only were we getting dehydrated and exhausted fast physically, our illusions were also reacting badly to the intense heat and humidity. Props were warping and causing technical problems and metal fabricated parts became scalding hot to the touch. In addition, the wind from the River caused problems for the illusions that used cloth work.

As late as 5pm, we made the decision to remove one illusion (3 inch Hole) completely and change the order of the illusions slightly to accomodate the movement of illusions on stage and backstage. This seemed like a drastic last hour change but was necessary. In hindsight, it was the right move. I re-edited music on the spot and we did one final run through at about 530pm.

Originally, we had planned to present 18 illusions within the 5 minute period but it was physically impossible as we found out in rehearsals weeks ago. We then reduced the number to 16 which was barely manageable. This gave us a buffer of one illusion in the event an illusion failed during the actual attempt. But, since we removed one at the last hour (due to the strong wind conditions), we were left with only 15 illusions. This meant we had no room for error; something we were not entirely comfortable with.

While Ning went to do hair & make-up at 6pm, the rest of the crew reset the illusions and triple-checked the set-up. I then conducted multiple briefings with the AVL crew, camera crew, Singapore Book of Records, International Brotherhood of Magicians, event support team and the emcee.

At 8pm, we were all set and the audience had already begun to build up. Over the next hour, the crowd grow to about 2000 people. And when we finally presented the record attempt, we estimated over 3000 people present watching the event. This included people at extreme sides and across the river who were watching via the giant video screens and plasma TVs.

tir1Before the event, our event backdrop featured our images as well as event logo

Giant video screens ensure the thousands present could see the action on stage

tir3The audience were made up of all ages, race, gender and nationality.



tir6The media plaform was filled with media cameramen, photographers &  reporters (as well as a few unauthorized people). This was the magic event to be at!

tir8Our event support team comprising of AVL consoles and pyrotechnic station



About J C Sum

International Headline Entertainer, Content Creator and Investor
This entry was posted in Behind The Scenes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “The Impossible Record” – Before the Show

  1. Darren says:

    Hey JC,
    Think you should consider setting up a twitter account with NING…and maybe individuals one…then we can follow u in the meantime.

    I am sure that many people will follow you guys!

  2. hazden says:

    Wow. the amount of work and logistics that went behind must have been tremendous! congrats to you and your team for a GREAT performance and for the new record!

  3. naomi says:

    whoa. looks like there was no space for people to even walk through in the crowd! Congrats to such a great awesome performance and event. 🙂

  4. NewToMagic says:

    that was freaking mind blowing. 15 illusions being done in such short time. so much preparations being done and even the hot weather is being against the props. its really great that you and your team managed to overcome all that and still get 15 illusions done. terrific job!

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