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A new bag of methods: How magicians are upping their online game

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Can somebody in Villivakkam learn your thoughts from Vishakapatnam? Meet the magicians who are now entertaining the world from their residing rooms

It is a Saturday night, and Arun the mentalist — or ATM, as he calls himself — has his eyes focussed on the digital camera. He is able to unleash one of his hottest methods on the 50-plus viewers who’ve turned up for his reside digital present on Zoom.

He writes on a chunk of paper, and locations it inside a bowl that everybody can see. He then requests volunteers from the viewers, and three — from totally different elements of the world, unrelated to one another — give solutions to a few questions: favorite vacation vacation spot, what they might eat there and the tough price of this dinner.

Minutes later, Arun opens that piece of paper and reveals the world that he had already predicted these solutions: the US, curd rice and $99, plus tax.

The viewers unmute themselves and clap in disbelief. From his modest Villivakkam residence in Chennai, Arun Loganathan grins broadly as he bows in acknowledgement.

Arun the mentalist
 

For Arun and plenty of of his friends within the magic-mentalist trade, the world has opened up online to witness their magic that unfolds in their drawing rooms.

When the pandemic and lockdown hit, most of the company world tailored to a rigorous WFH routine. But the transition was not so easy for magicians and performers, who thrive on the vitality and attract of the stage.

A new act

Delhi-based illusionist Karan Singh, who has been performing since 2008, used the lockdown to write down a new present: one which would come with new methods for online performances.

Karan Singh

Karan Singh  

“Writing a show generally takes six to eight months but due to the increased frequency of the performances during lockdown, I could do it in a few weeks,” he says. He has been presenting that, and doing magic movies in collaboration with comedians and influencers like Samay Raina, Tanmay Bhat and Bhuvan Bam for the previous months.

Karan believes that the pandemic has opened up a world of potentialities for performers. “It is a little difficult for magicians as they require a bigger space and props, but for mentalists who can read your mind and figure out your ATM pin or phone password, a corner of the house is enough,” says Karan, who provides that he’s going the additional mile to adapt to worldwide performances — he lately carried out at 3am IST for audiences within the US and the UK.

Mumbai-based Naman Anand is a comparatively new entrant within the magic area; he began his skilled profession with digital reveals earlier this 12 months, after a few years of dabbling in it as a interest. “During virtual shows, every person feels like they have a prized front-row seat,” says Naman.

Naman Anand

Naman Anand  

Nikhil Raj has been doing one thing related from Bengaluru; the illusionist has been attempting to include parts of comedy in his online reveals, which revolve round mentalism and conjuring. “In one of my initial shows, a member of the audience pointed out that I was doing tricks using props from my desk. Since then, I tell audiences to keep something ready in their house; objects like pen, paper and phone, and try to perform a trick using that,” provides Nikhil, who has been busy these previous few months, with over 35 digital classes.

Nikhil Raj

Nikhil Raj  

Preparation for such online reveals requires time, effort and cash. Arun took a trip to Ritchie Street, Chennai’s well-known electronics hub, to buy a pair of lights, a microphone and a inexperienced display screen. He transformed a component of his bed room to a studio containing a two-camera setup. “My home is my stage now,” beams Arun, who additionally tried a blindfold act nearly.

The wow issue

With such digital reveals being the new regular, how do magicians plan their future performances?

Addressing this query was the legendary magician David Copperfield, who spoke about numerous challenges on a latest Facebook Live hosted by Chennai-based standard magician SAC Vasanth. Vasanth, who has executed quite a few TV reveals involving magic, is likely to be standard for being the “man who predicted Garry Kasparov’s next move” however the previous couple of months sans reside stage reveals have been a problem.

A new bag of tricks: How magicians are upping their online game

“The transition was difficult,” he admits, “Even on a live stage, we are asked a hundred questions. On an online platform, we need to convince audiences. Believability is a big factor. David [Copperfield] stressed about the need to pick your genre of magic, and improve presentation skills.”

Vasanth appears to have cracked that; since March, he has executed greater than 30 digital reveals, most of them ticketed. “We keep it limited to 25 tickets, priced at ₹2,000 each for a one-hour show. The advantage is that everyone in the family can gather around the laptop and enjoy the show.” For such occasions, he does methods connecting all 25 folks — they every suppose of a quantity that provides as much as one grand quantity, which Vasanth reveals he had predicted on his Instagram web page a day earlier than!

He has additionally been doing particular reveals for corporations during which he incorporates parts from their line of work. For Saint Gobain workers, Vasanth inserted a prediction inside a chunk of glass, whereas for the employees of Nippon Paint, he labored out just a few particular methods utilizing color ideas. “I do miss the claps and interaction that happens during live stage shows, but we are still entertaining audiences. Magic is all about making people happy. That’s what matters.”

(With inputs from Aishwarya Upadhye)



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