2009 in Review

Another year has come and gone and we finished 2009 with a slew of big bang shows. The team worked to pull off 4 shows in one night (well technically, the last show was on 1 Jan early morning at 245 am so it was our first show of the new year).

Ning helmed the first 3 shows with different show formats. The first show was an illusion show which she starred in (alongside her very able assistant ‘me’), followed by 2 one-gal shows. She was the highlight at each New Year’s eve party and did a fantastic job commanding the stage and mesmerizing the audience with her “Deadly Sexy Magic”.

I’m really proud of how she comfortably owns the stage with crowds of 500 and draws them in. The demand for Singapore’s first professional female magician and the ‘Magic Babe’ brand was so great that we had to turn down shows after all 3 time slots of the night were booked up.

The last show we did was as one of the key highlights of a free countdown party organized by the Radin Mas CCC and Hua Yuan Association at Labrador Park. It was a great initative as the party was targeted at new citizens of Singapore and local families. Over the night (the party started at 10pm), thousands attended the event in a unique location.

The committee booked a bigger illusion show amidst a programe of song and dance items. We were pleasantly surprised that a large percentage of the local crowd stayed on waiting just for our show. We ‘killed’ with this show and presented many of our new urban illusions like “Human Light Tunnel” and “Spike Box”. Due to the diverse make-up of the crowd, we also performed the show bilingually in Mandarin and English.

The key to running so many shows successfully in one night is the manpower, transport and logistics planning behind the night. Considering this was New Year’s Eve and traffic/ parking would be issues, we still ran all the shows smoothly and punctually. The “how-to” is in itself is a big trade secret.


Just like many who look back at the year, I too looked through my blog entries to see what we did in 2009. Even though, it was a tough economic year globally, I was surprised at the amount of work we did. We did over 250 shows with our daily Ultimate Magic shows, corporate gigs and special projects. Here are a couple of highlights of our year:

Southern England Magic Convention (Jan)

Ning was the first Singapore magician to be booked as a headline performer for an overseas magic convention and I was booked to lecture.

It was a great experience and our local media was also very supportive of us putting Singapore on the world map. Channel News Asia booked us to make an appearance on their primetime morning show and this is the intro that they gave us:

“Up-and-coming young magicians are emerging from Asia and thrilling international audiences. Singapore’s magic duo, ‘Magic Babe’ Ning and J C Sum, the first and only Asians to be invited to a magic convention in the United Kingdom, tell us what drives them as the new faces of an age-old art form.”

Urban Illusions (Jan)

I published my 3rd illusion design book in Jan 2009 and it has since been sold to hundreds of magicians across the world. The book details the methods and building plans to many of the illusions we feature in our show currently.

With this book, I currently have over forty different illusions in almost 400 pages in print, that took me over 10,000 hours to write since 2003.

5 Stars Carnival (Feb)

Ning and I were booked by MediaCorp TV to appear in a 5-episode series called “5 Stars Carnival”. on Ch8. It was a variety show and we opened each show with an illusion act.

Some of the material was taken out of our “Ultimate Magic” show that was ongoing at The Arena in Clarke Quay. Here is one of my favourite episodes.

Magic Day (Feb)

Magic Day was our initative to give back to the local magic community. It was not a big commerical venture but it was something we could squeeze into our schedule at that point in the year. It was really well attended and helped expose magic to a new generation of enthusiasts.

We also introduced two new talents to the professional industry in the form of Larry the Escape Guy and Kinetic Gal; both who have gone on to successful event performing careers.

Asia Uncut (May)

We were the first illusionists (and still are) to appear on this Asian English talkshow that airs on the StarWorld network. We had a great time exposing our brand of urban illusions to another audience.

Rumour has it that we might appear on Season 2 that will be beginning production early this new year. Check out our appearance in Season 1 below:

Inversion (Jun)

Ning showed why she is fearless with her 2nd extreme stunt in 2 years. It was a cool layered stunt but what made it appealing was that it was attempted by a hot babe!

The Impossible Record (Jun)

This mega event got us international news coverage and has been widely talked about in the magic community worldwide. It also drew great media and public interest because we were putting Singapore on the world map in a different way – by setting a new world record.

This was really a very successful mega event and campaign that was once again supported and funded by the Singapore Tourism Board.

Destination X (Aug)

After teleporting 50 storeys in 5 seconds in 2007, SPH was interested to have us create a new illusion for their anniversary event. We did our biggest teleportation feat yet by teleporting a full-sized car cross country.

This illusion was witnessed by 16,000 people, the biggest turnout for the yearly SPH event!

Ultimate Magic (Aug 08 – Aug 09)

In Aug, we ended our 13-month run at The Arena with Ultimate Magic, Singapore’s first permanent illusion show and magic attraction endorsed by the Singapore Tourism Board.

We really learnt a lot on the business aspect of marketing an attraction and working with the tourism industry. We also got to create many new illusions and honed the J C Sum & ‘Magic Babe’ Ning brand.

Merlin Awards (Oct)

We are so proud to be the first Singapore illusionists to be awarded Merlin Awards by the International Magicians Society. We had a full-house at St James Power Station’s “The Boiler Room” for our awards presentation by Tony Hassini who flew down from New York for the event cum show.

Our media once again was really so supportive and we got covered for the awards by most of the major media outlets in Singapore.

New Illusions (Oct)

Our new relationship with St James Power Station, Singapore’s biggest club, also allowed us to design, reinvent and perform new illusions for our shows. During this time, we debuted such as “Human Light Tunnel”, “Shadow Vision”, “360 Sawing” and later “Spike Box”.

These new illusions joined our other signature illusions such as “Light & Space”, “Crystal Metamorphosis” and “Revollusion”.

magicseen Cover (Nov)

Continuing our year-long campaign of putting Singapore on the world map, we were honoured to be the first Asians (and Singaporeans naturally) to be on the cover of Europe’s largest magic magazine, magicseen.

Published in the UK, the previous issue featured the first American magician on the cover, David Copperfield.”

FHM Cover (Dec)

magicseen called Ning “The sexiest woman in magic” and FHM concurred by featuring Ning on the cover of Singapore’s #1 men’s magazine.

She did a sizzling shoot and makes the unarguable distinction of being the only Singapore magician (or possibly in the world) to be featured on FHM.

Honestly, I don’t think there is any other magic team in this part of the world who have done so much in terms of scale, calibre and quality of projects in just one year! Of course, all this would not have been possible without our fantastic team, fans, industry partners and clients!

What’s next? We have a really big ‘stunt’ that we are going for later this month which we hope will capture the attention of the nation once again (more info on this later) … plus out “Sexy Magic/ Urban Illusions” show at St James Power Station runs from 26 Jan – 30 Jan 2010! www.magicjustgothotter.com


About J C Sum

International Headline Entertainer, Content Creator and Investor
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One Response to 2009 in Review

  1. Pingback: It’s 2010… Happy New Year! « Ning's Magic Diaries

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