Evolution of a Show & Artiste

Evolution is important for any serious artiste, magic or otherwise. Originality and innovation is necessary for artistes looking to reach world-class standards and push the art forward.

My personal criteria in selecting illusions for our show is simple… yet extremely difficult. I am only interested in material that “feels” different from anything that anyone else in doing in the world and does not seem run-of-the-mill. It is important that the mainstream audience, media and show bookers look at the illusions and feel that something is different or better yet, very fresh. That is simple in concept but very difficult to achieve. But, that is no reason not to try.

I know I am somewhat jaded but I also know that many international show bookers have the same mindset. When watching videos or promos of magicians/ illusionists, it is hard to be impressed or hard for the performers to stand out when the seemingly same illusions/ acts are performed. Currently, many illusionists seem to have a Fire Spiker, Fire Cage, Origami, Suspended Animation or Eclipse. And unfortunately, many use pirated illusions. Aside from that unethical practice, the acts all scream “me-too”.

As we continue to spend much time overseas for international shows, especially in high end corporate events and magic productions alongside other world class magicians, the need for unique material is essentially. Since last year, we have been tweaking all our show programs, especially at the local and regional level.

Ning’s “Deadly Sexy Magic” one gal show has evolved as well with her presentation style becoming more edgy with hard-hitting acts. In her new show, she presents a solo mind reading routine based on methods we developed for “The Mind Heist” mega stunt we did earlier this year. She also has a complete new version of her signature “Straight Jacket Striptease” act. It is more impressive, new jackets and a definitive evolution.

We have added new acts to our “standard” duo illusion shows with one particular act we have been working on since 2010. Extremely difficult and challenging, we have been introducing it into our shows phase by phase and improving it with every show we do.

This week has been crazy! My time has been divided at hours behind the keyboard finishing my “Illusionism” book which is a book dedicated to stage effects & illusions for mentalists, performing our corporate shows as well as designing and physically being in the workshop building two new illusions.

Well, more accurately, we are rebuilding one of our signature illusions. It has been a long time coming and time did not allow us to do it earlier. But, with the need to evolve and improve, we had to do it. Our “360 Sawing” illusion is an illusion that has got us booked around the world. It is fresh, unique and a surprising visual effect. However, there was still a lot to be improved with the physical design of the illusion.

So, a few weeks ago, I started with the process of giving it a (another) complete redesign and rebuild. New dimensions were calculated, materials were chosen and fabrication methods were considered. Dozens of sketched and calculations later, I drew up the plans and material lists. We even built a new model to see how deceptive it looks and if it is structurally sound. It now employs a different method, is much more deceptive and is looking really good. Next month, we will be heading to Italy for a gala show and TV show where this very new “360 Sawing” will be debuting. I’m sure we will have some photos of it in the workshop soon.

The second illusion is an original illusion featuring 3 phases of effects. That is targeted to be ready by mid-year.

We will be traveling a lot this year where we will get to showcase our original work. Beside Italy next month, we will also be in two South East Asian cities for our “3 Sides of Magic” lecture in May. In the second half of the year, we head to Genting, Malaysia, the US West Coast and over 20 cities in Europe.


About J C Sum

International Headline Entertainer, Content Creator and Investor
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