HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014
Wizard of tricks
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 04, 2012
First Published: 17:28 IST(4/12/2012)
Last Updated: 17:32 IST(4/12/2012)
Tricks of trade: Magic is much more than pulling the proverbial rabbit out of a hat or turning one ball into two. This profession has a lot to offer provided you are patient enough to pick up good skills and create an exceptional magic routine

The lowdown

Magic, when seen from a broader perspective, has a lot to offer. If we go beyond the narrow definition of magic, we will see it’s much more than pulling the proverbial rabbit out of a hat or turning one ball into two. Magic is a combination of science and various art forms. It refers to entertainment in which the performer does magical tricks using various methods which include music, facial expressions, gestures, verbal communication, choreography etc. The most common tricks are close up magic and stand-up/conjuring magic, which require skillful hand movements. Another kind of magic is illusion, which involves tricks with the aid of elaborate equipment, escape acts, in which magicians make apparently impossible escapes. Mentalism involves mind reading tricks and prediction of future events. Magicians like to make their performance interactive, involving the audience and calling one or two of them on stage to play tricks on them

There is no ‘scheduled time table’ for magic. “We practice a trick until we reach a certain level of perfection. Then, we practice the same at intervals found suitable. We think about new ideas while doing our daily routine work. So, we are into magic all the time,” says Professor Shankar from Gili Gili Magic

The payoff
There are no income slabs for entry, middle or senior levels in the profession of magic. The pay scale of a magician depends on how well a show is presented, the skills of a magician, the knowledge of magic he/she has and, most importantly, how the audience accepts him/her. Moreover, if a magician customises a show creatively, most organising companies will be ready to pay a hefty amount for it. The income of a magician can be anywhere between Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 3 lakh a month

* Positive thinking
* Patience to practice hard
* Self belief
* Showmanship
* He/she should have a good presence of mind and be prepared for all types of reactions from the audience
* Ability to present even a simple thing in a most effective manner

Getting there
Knowledge is the key to success so try to acquire more knowledge about the profession. There are many categories of magic like — close up magic, conjuring, sleight of hands, stage illusion, optical illusions, mentalism magic, fusion magic, etc. One should have knowledge of all these categories before launching oneself as a magician. It is always good to train with an established magician

Institutes and URLs
* Indian Brotherhood of Magicians (Regd.), managed by Magician Sumit - New Delhi
* The Sorcar Magic University, managed by PC Sorcar (Jr) - Kolkata
* Kismat Magic Institute, managed by Magician Rajat Sharma - Howrah
* Prasanthi Counselling & HRD Center, managed by Magician Pattabhiram, Hyderabad

Pros and cons
* Enormous self-satisfaction
* You will get name, fame and money, provided you are good at your work
* You need capital for shows and equipment
* You will get to travel a lot

Magicians should enjoy their performance, in order to make it entertaining for the audience -- Professor Shankar, magician from Gili Gili Magic who has staged over 5500 shows all over India, the Middle East, USA, UK, Germany and Switzerland

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