Headliner Shows, Corporate Gigs & Private Illusion Showcase

It has been quite a few weeks since I’ve blogged. Since we completed our mega stunts, “Ultimate Inversion” and “The Water Vault”, as the closing act for the Singapore Night Festival, we have been headlining a Royal Caribbean Cruise Liner in North Asia covering China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. We performed a full illusion show featuring our favourite illusions as well as a few new acts.

IMG_0147 IMG_0161 IMG_0163 IMG_0169 IMG_0183 IMG_0196 IMG_0208

About 10 days ago, we flew back to Singapore from Shanghai for a series of corporate gigs. Ning was booked to host a corporate launch for media and trade partners. Her brand as a personality has made her sought after beyond traditional magic performances. She did an awesome job hosting the formalities and activities of the event.

??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????(That is actually Ning’s twin. The real Ning has pink hair!)

The rest of the week was busy as we prepared for a private illusion showcase that we were booked for a corporate client. This was an exciting project to work on as we were booked to create and stage a show in a theatre venue for the private event. We had full autonomy to produce the 90-minute show and have been working on this project for the past 2 months.

A Night of Magic

As our show from the cruise ship was being shipped back from Busan, Korea, this private illusion showcase included different illusions as well as our “Sandman Levitation” that we performed daily in “Ultimate Magic” in 2009.

While I produced the show when I was on the cruise ship, including music production, we spent the week leading up to the show in Singapore rehearsing the show. Adeline designed the lighting cues and coordinated with the logistics, venue and client to ensure all was in order by the time we loaded in on show day.

We moved a total of 10 cases/ illusions from our studio to the theatre in a 20ft truck. The entire morning was spent on the technical set-up including, lighting, sound, effects, staging, drapes and magic equipment. The next few hours were spent concurrently on stage markings, prop movement, lighting design and audio/ video testing. The last few hours before showtime were used for show blocking and final set-up.

Show 1 Show 2 Pre-show activities before the actual show included pre-event mingling entertainers in the lobby, “Wizo the Magical Wizard” Mascot in the theatre itself as well as pre-event videos.

The opening act for the evening featured the Asian Fusion Magic of Yong Tian. She was recently featured in the “Heritage of Magic” show in July 2013 for the Singapore Heritage Festival. This time, she performed her updated act with new twists that climaxed with her magically transforming into the Managing Director of the client’s business group.

Show 3 Show 4 Show 5 Show 6 Show 7

Show 41After the MD gave a short speech, Ning & I took the stage for “A Night of Magic”, as the show was entitled. We presented magic & illusions that we have performed around the world but all in a single show.

Show 8 Show 9 Show 10 Show 11 Show 12Our original version of the “Substitution Trunk” illusion, “Crystal Metamorphosis”, is still on route to Singapore, so we presented the traditional version with an ATA case.

Show 13

Magic Babe Ning Show 14 Show 15 Show 16 Show 17 The highlight act that we designed for this show is a featured item from our “Illusions of the Mind” show. It is a 15-minute act that involves a game show, contestants, mind reading, comedy, audience participation and an incredible prediction that was read out by the MD.

Show 18 Show 19 Show 20 Show 21 Show 22 Show 23 Show 24 Show 25 The last third of the show featured Ning’s sexy “Double Strait Jacket Striptease”, a restaging of our “Sandman Levitation” and “Extreme Burn”, an escape teleportation act that sees Ning vanishing instantly on stage and reappearing in the middle of the audience!

Show 26 Show 27 Show 28 Show 29 Show 30 Show 31 Show 32 Show 33 Show 34 Show 35 Show 36 After the show, we conducted a “meet & greet” in the lobby where we chatted with guests, took photos and autographed souvenir postcards & DVDs.

Show 37 Show 38 OJX_3051

The production was well received by the audience and everyone had segments that they especially enjoyed, although the magic game show was a big hit with many… as predicted 🙂

The cast & crew did a fantastic job on this project. We had a couple of long days & nights with a lot of heavy lifting with all our illusions but everyone did their part and put in 100%. Great job to all!

Show 39

We have a short 2-week break before we fly off again in early Nov. However, the time will be spent on prop maintenance as well as the launch of my new book, “Corporate Illusions Made Easy” and the relaunch of Magic Boutique. The relaunch will include discounts on most products and the introduction of new book set deals & products. If you are a magician, you will want to stay tuned for this launch taking place in the last week of Oct 2013.

Till next time!

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“Corporate Illusions Made Easy” Book Coming Soon!

I have a new book about to be released in Nov 2013 written specifically for the working Corporate Magician – “Corporate Illusions Made Easy”!

This book will be available from all major magic shops worldwide. However, if you purchase from me direct, you will get free shipping and a free exclusive corporate illusion digital plan as well!

Corporate Illusions Made Easy

From making corporate executives appear, producing new products, launching corporate logos and staging motivational stunts, the illusions in the book are simple to build, effective in design and practical to stage in non-traditional performance environments.

All illusions are professional level effects and take into account realistic budgets, size, logistics, venue and staging constraints typical of corporate events. Best of all, no prior illusion knowledge is necessary to understand, build and execute the illusions.

New illusionists will be introduced to known as well as original illusion methods and ideas that they can execute with confidence. Experienced illusionists will find original practical solutions for common requests from corporate clients that they can use immediately.

In the first illusion book of its kind, it also includes an extensive discussion on presenting illusions for corporate events, the role of the “Corporate Illusionist”, adapting standard stage props for corporate magic, how to go about building the illusions in the book as well as incorporating corporate messaging into the illusions.

If you book a launch, conference, awards dinner or tradeshow with just one idea from this book, you will recoup your investment in the book many times over with a single engagement.

Contents include:

Examining Illusions for Corporate Events

  • The Role of the Corporate Magician/ Illusionist
  • Adapting Standard Stage Props for Corporate Events
  • Different Types of Corporate Events & Venues
  • How to Build the Illusions in this Book

The Arrival
A Self-Contained Surrounded VIP Appearance

Showcase
An Elegant Production of a Product in a Clear Display Case

Rising Identity
A Unique Way to Introduce a new Corporate Identity or Logo

Corporate Restraint
A Motivational Escape Illusion Performed by a VIP

Global Crossing
The Teleportation of a VIP

Corporate Restructuring
A Magical Transformation of Corporate Executives

The Sword Box Metaphor
Incorporating Corporate Messaging with an Illusion

Jeweled Revelation
Big Effect for a Small Item Production

The Conference
The Appearance of a Committee of People on Stage

A Big Reveal
The Magical Production or Transformation of a Large Inanimate Product

“Corporate Illusions Made Easy” features 80 pages of detailed illusion construction plans, full illusion presentations and corporate messaging & customization.

US$60.

No orders will be taken yet. Stay tuned for updates!

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Illusion Crew Position Available for One Show in Oct 2013

I’m currently in Taiwan right now but will head back to Singapore for a big production show in mid Oct.

We have been booked to stage a full 90-minute illusion showcase for a private corporate event. All our equipment will be shipped back from Shanghai for this gig as it will feature almost a dozen large illusions.

Besides dancers and principle crew, we have one more position available for an illusion crew member. If you are interested to be part (and paid!) of  a large-scale illusion show with hands-on experience with professional illusions, send us a note and info and your background.

We will need a commitment of one full single weekday in mid Oct 2013 as well as one late/ afternoon/ evening/ prior to the show date. You must be based in Singapore.

If you are interested, please email info(a)conceptmagic.biz ASAP!

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It’s Official! Check Out the World’s First Tandem Double Strait Jacket Escape

After Ning’s highly successful “The Water Vault” mega stunt, it seemed difficult to top her precision executed full view underwater escape. However, I think we did and to a record 10,000-strong audience that packed the entire National Museum facade as well as the SMU green across the road.

It was a sight to behold! The energy of the audience was incredible and this was the biggest turn out for a single act at the Singapore Night Festival!

UI B1Photo credit: Bernard Sim

We are honoured that the National Heritage Board (NHB) hand-picked us to close their most important festival of the year and we did everything we could to present an original spectacular stunt – “Ultimate Inversion”.

The day started early for our team as a huge 170 -tonne crane was brought in to hoist us high up in the air above the National Museum. 

We did a couple of initial tests with us suspended at a low height and went through a rehearsal where we escaped from our double strait jackets but without setting the rope on fire. The amount of sway and instability on the tandem rig was surprisingly unnerving. Due to wind conditions, we did not even get raised to full height in any of the rehearsals. We also made the decision to increase the height from 50ft to 75ft above the ground for a more spectacular visual.

Technical rehearsals continued through to 6pm that also included fine tuning music and editing lengths to fit the actual timing of raising and lowering the rigging.

Our performance time was 10pm but by 9pm, the facade of the National Museum, in front of the stage, was jam-packed with people. By showtime, we had a massive crowd of over 10,000 people.

As the day before, our stunt was preceded by an amazing animation sequence of Ning & myself that ended with our poster and names on the facade of the National Museum.

UI A1Photo credit: Amos Lim

We then took the stage to a huge show of support from the audience. We had our strait jackets examined by different audience members and invited two spectators onto stage to strap both of us up in the jackets.

After we were secured, we were hooked onto the tandem rigging by our ankles and the rope was set on fire. We were hoisted vertically up 75 feet in the air. The higher we went, the more I felt the rig swaying. Ning must have felt it more being at the bottom of the “pendulum”. At times, it felt like we would slide off one side of the bars, even though we have a stabilization cable. We had no safety nets employed for this mega stunt.

UI E1Photo credit: Erwin Tan

UI A4Photo credit: Amos Lim

UI B6Photo credit: Bernard Sim

I think we are the only people in the world to have the view that of the Singapore city skyline – upside down. It was thrilling, scary and exhilarating at the same time.

UI A2Photo credit: Amos Lim

UI B3Photo credit: Bernard Sim

UI E2Photo credit: Erwin Tan

With tensions running high and the audience watching in anticipation below, we started our escapes from our strait jackets. Our bodies swayed as the rigging system shook from side to side as we wrestled ourselves from our restraints. Here is an interesting note: Ning & I have different ways of escaping from the jackets so our pacing and timing was not synchronized. This made for a nice asymmetrical escape that made it more interesting for the audience.

UI A3Photo credit: Amos Lim

We took almost three minutes to extract ourselves from two strait jackets each. Dropping all the jackets to the ground below. There was a slight hiccup as my last jacket got accidentally hooked and stuck on Ning’s feet. She tried to raise herself up to remove the jacket. In the process, she grabbed one of the hand chains for her rig but it came loose as she tried to pull herself up. She let out a blood curling scream and our crew and a lot of the spectators realized something was not right. However, she recovered and I managed to remove the jacket and throw it to the ground.

UI B5Photo credit: Bernard Sim

UI A5

Photo credit: Amos Lim

This was the signal to lower us back to the stage and we dismounted from the rigging as a shower of pyrotechnics erupted behind us as well as blasts of CO2 cannons.

What an experience for us! It is very tough to describe how we felt before, during and after the escape. We had only moments to catch our breathe as the Singapore Book of Records (SBR)and the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) Ring 115 were on hand to adjudicate our mega stunt. We were presented with the record certificate by Mr Ong Eng Huat, the President of SBR.

We are also honored to receive an “Outstanding Achievement & Contribution to Magic” by the President of IBM Ring 115, John Teo.

UI B4Photo credit: Bernard Sim

It has been an intense 6 weeks leading up to this escape, as well as Ning’s “The Water Vault” yesterday. I’m glad that everything went smoothly and we have made another indelible mark on the magic landscape with these two original stunts. In a few hours, we fly up to Shanghai to rejoin the “Mariner of the Seas” till mid Oct 2013.

Thank you to our incredible magic crew, NHB, the media and general public for the tremendous support and opportunity.

UPDATE: Watch the official video HERE.

Ultimate Inversion Youtube

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‘Magic Babe’ Ning Escapes from The Water Vault at the Singapore Night Festival

She did it!

Ning, successfully escaped from “The Water Vault” in just over 3 minutes in front of a packed large audience.

The mega stunt was presented at the Singapore Night Festival, organized by the National Heritage Board, and took place in front of the iconic National Museum.

The Water Vault is a restraint container and system that I designed that saw Ning being locked, shackled and chained and completely submerged in a solid stainless steel vault filled with water.

The girl has been training underwater for months ever since we were verbally confirmed for the stunt in March earlier this year. This eventually progressed to rehearing the actual escape from “The Water Vault” after it was fabricated.

Months of work paid off as she conquered this mega stunt in front of a huge captivated crowd that was rooting for her. The atmosphere was amazing especially since the stunt was performed in front of the iconic and historical national museum at night. The setting was perfect!

The entire performance started with a custom animation created by OIC that featured animated versions of Ning & myself being projected on the facade of the National Museum. In fact, the museum served as our projection screen for close-up cameras to follow the act.

The Water Vault A 2Photo credit: Amos Lim

The Water Vault A 3Photo credit: Amos Lim

The stunt started with the vault being thoroughly examined by two spectators followed by all the locks, shackles and chains to prove they were legitimate.

Ning’s costume of choice for this escape was a 2XU compression suit provided by the kind folks at Key Power Sports. A metal detector was passed around Ning’s body to ensure she had no keys on her.

The Water Vault E 2Photo credit: Erwin Tan

Her wrists were then wrapped with a chain and locked into place a padlock. Next, her arms were wrapped with a long length of heavy chain and then locked together with another padlock. Finally, her arms with secured with a pair of stainless steel shackles and two padlocks.

The Water Vault B 2Photo credit: Bernard Sim

Ning was given two paper clips as the only tools to use to pick her locks and make her escape.

After taking three deep breathes, Ning completely submerged herself underwater in the stainless steel vault. More water was poured into the vault till it overflowed (and compensated for the water that was displaced by Ning) and the vault was immediately covered and locked in place with six heavy duty chains and padlocks.

The Water Vault E 4Photo credit: Erwin Tan

Underwater and in the dark, Ning had to use the paper clips to pick the padlocks open.
To make the escape more challenging, we deliberately used different brands of padlocks of different sizes. Each padlock is unique and requires a different touch to pick.

Ning had to first pick the lock that held the chain binding her wrists. Then she had to remove the padlocks on the shackles before moving onto the body chain restraint.

The Water Vault E 5Photo credit: Erwin Tan

We expected her to finish this first phase at about the 1min 25 second mark but she took longer than expected and explained why later. One of the arm shackle locks turned at an awkward angle, making it hard to reach and pick.

After Ning got out of all her restraints she unscrewed a small plate in the lid of the vault that allowed her to use one hand to pick the locks on the outside of the vault. She picked the first lock that released two of the four chains that wrapped around the vault. Next, she picked the second lock to release the other two chains.

The Water Vault EPhoto credit: Erwin Tan

The Water Vault E 8Photo credit: Erwin Tan

At about the two & a half minute mark, Ning used her sense of touch to open a combination lock that locked a hinged lid shot. Finally, the lid burst open with Ning emerging from “The Water Vault” as a pyrotechnic shower fired off!

The Water Vault E 6Photo credit: Erwin Tan

The Water Vault BPhoto credit: Bernard Sim

Congrats once again to Ning for pulling off such a spectacular stunt. She made her mark on the local entertainment scene five years ago with “The Impalement Cage” and now she has cemented herself as one of the top female escape and magic performers in the world today. Well done babe! I’m so proud of you.

The Water Vault A 8Photo credit: Amos Lim

Update: Watch video highlights of “The Water Vault” from Razor TV HERE.

The Water Vault Razor TV

UPDATE: Watch the official video below:

Water Vault Youtube

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Mega Stunts for the Singapore Night Festival Happens Tonight & Tomorrow!

 

Ning, our team and ourselves have been tremendously busy this week with preparations for our two original mega stunts this weekend. “The Water Vault” takes place today (30 Aug 2013) and “Ultimate Inversion” takes place on Sat (31 Aug 2013).

I have been a bit too swamped with all the rehearsals, production meetings, technical set up and media interviews that I have had no time to post updates.

The media support has been tremendous and we are thrilled that we can still capture the imagination of the general public with our original mega stunts. We have had interviews/ photoshoots/ been featured in with Channel News Asia, TODAY, The New Paper, The Straits Times LIFE!, 91.3FM, 93.8FM, 98.7FM and our stunts will also be covered by Razor TV, The New Paper and others.

Follow us on our Facebook page with all the links to media, behind the scenes photos and the latest updates: www.facebook.com/jcsum.magicbabening 

media preview 1 media preview 2The Water Vault and Ultimate Inversion

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EPIC! Deadly Sexy Magic Teaser #3 – ‘Magic Babe’ Ning & J C Sum

Check out the highly anticipated 3rd teaser for “Deadly Sexy Magic”! Watch it here!

Deadly Sexy Magic Teaser

I first wrote about the filming of this trailer along with behind the scenes photos here.

In our first teaser, we featured Ning, followed by a second teaser showcasing my magic. This 3rd teaser was designed to showcase both of us as an illusion team. From stylized shots of us together to highlights of one of our illusions from our live shows, we hope the teaser introduces us to audiences in a fresh way.

We are really proud to be part of this production as artistes and magic producers. The production value, quality and style will be reflective of our work in general and we are really working towards a feel and style of magic on TV that has never been presented before.

If all goes according to plan, “Deadly Sexy Magic” will be coming to a TV channel soon!

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