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‘I thought MJ was faking it’

entertainment Updated: Jan 21, 2011 02:03 IST
Namya Sinha
Namya Sinha
Hindustan Times
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The tissue paper in his hands starts to rotate on its own — the very trick that got him thinking of a career in magic. But, American illusionist Franz Harary, in Delhi to perform at Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon, has more interesting stuff to share.

A close friend of the late King of Pop — Michael Jackson — he says that the two used to indulge in bizarre magic, and when he heard the news of Jackson’s death, he was sure it was an act, and thought to himself, “how could the son of a b**** do that without me!”

Harary, who says he owes his success to Jackson’s ‘Victory’ reunion tour in 1984, says MJ was a diehard magic enthusiast. “He loved it when we played with the psychology of the audience, and it was his vision that gave our illusions the artistic edge.” So, what brings him to India? “I want to bring Western magic to the 1.4 billion people here,” he says. Ask him how the Capital has taken to his practice, and he says the city audience is “very sophisticated.” “It was India that invented magic, 4,500 years back. Americans are pompous and they believe that they have answers for everything, whereas Indian people want to believe in something that is bigger than them,” he explains.

What about technology, which he uses generously in his acts? “Every show of mine has a 2% error record. What I do is so technologically up there, that something is bound to go wrong. But, as a performer, I make it look intentional, and that is what makes it exciting for the audience,” he signs off.