The internet touts this 22-year-old as a ‘selfproclaimed psychological illusionist’. A meeting with him in person, however, let’s you know that Karan Singh is a cool, ‘proud to be self-obsessed’ magician, hypnotist and mind reader.Mind you, he isn’t a run-ofthe-mill magician; he’s someone who has mixed psychology with magic and has thus become the ‘pioneer’ of this art in India. Recently in Chandigarh to perform at Chandigarh University, Karan says, "British illusionist Derren Brown’s performances are similar to mine. Other than that, you’d rarely find anyone doing what I do. My aim has always been to change people’s perception about magic."
His willingness to explore different aspects of magic surfaced at a very young age. “At the age of 11, I joined a summer camp at Tirthan where I learnt magic tricks. Soon, I was bored of them, which lead to some research on Google, YouTube and random DVDs. When I was 15, I went on a family trip to Boston, where I attended a show by a man who used to prepare magic tricks for American magician David Blaine. Then on, I knew I had to do something different. Today, what I do is a magic, psychology, misdirection and showmanship mixed with a bit of hypnosis, to present an illusion,” he shares.
Talking about how his shows are different than others’, this young lad, who completed his BCom last year, says, “Most magic shows are about cutting girls, producing flowers etc. But, for me, my audiences are my props. There is always a storyline to my show, with a beginning, an end and a connection in between.”
On December 24, 2013, Karan conducted his ‘largest-ever show’ called Venexis, which was touted as India’s largest one-man mind-reading show, at FICCI Auditorium, New Delhi. It was attended by 700 people.
“Only Russell Peter manages to perform and hold so many people’s attention all by himself,” says Karan, who performed at various corporate events and cities across India, besides performing in six other countries. Besides having been a speaker at TEDxITMU, Gurgaon 2011, and TEDxManipalU 2012, Karan has made a few appearances on NDTV’s Cell Guru for host Rajiv Makhni.
He’s clear about one thing though: “I don’t do it for money. It’s all fun and games for me. For my first show, I got paid Rs 1,000 for five hours. Eventually, the money increased and time decreased. For a 30-minute show now, I get Rs 30,000. From Rs 1,000 for five hours to Rs 1,000 for one minute!”