What is future of magic here and why there are so few magicians in Nepal? I wanted to provide some commentary on this topic and also of the scene of woman magicians here too… often untouched topic! For this I contacted several prominent magicians male, female from all over Nepal. So Are there challenges that Nepali magicians encounter that their entertainment counterparts or not? If so, what are they?
Most magic shows are tasteless clownish acts here in nepal with a series of odd non-routined tricks shown at a speed of an express train, so they can boast of 50 items (as they call effects here) in 30 min, on their biz card!And strangely they get hired on this very basis…Who can show the most strange looking boxes and contraptions in so small time frame. So that clients ‘get back’ their investement and yes(!) the same magician gets hired for next time due to their SUPERB TIME MANAGENT with the most tricks in less time! So the problem with magic is a non exposure to world class magic scene here! Clients here don’t know the pleasure and a value of routined, scripted magic act… so I dont blame artists here… you get what u want to buy… simple! Garbage in garbage out!
Next I think in the entertainment community, the magician is not going to be taken more seriously in the beginning than the actors or comedians or singers here in Nepal.
Also It’s not uncommon for me to hear from a few female magicians here for themselves that they are pretty good, for a wasted talent. I usually advise them that taking into consideration whether the magician is male or female shouldn’t be an issue. We have to say ‘I am a magician’ first. The fact that I am a woman or a man is secondary. Most magic books are written for men. Not because the writers are trying to exclude women but because the writers are men and they are writing what they know. Tricks are designed using suit jackets and wallets and pant pockets. So if you’re a woman and want to do these tricks but don’t wear a suit or carry a wallet, you’ll have to figure out something else. Most patter is written for men. Again, not because the writers are trying to exclude women, they are just writing what they know. This shouldn’t matter in the long run because as an entertainer you should be able to make the trick your own, but in the beginning, it’s good to be able to work with patter that has been tested. And if it has a “male” feel to it, the women won’t be able to pull it off as well as their male counterparts.
But the scene here is still crazy for a female magician… The female magician almost needs to work from scratch when it comes to patter. I think female magicians are going to be hit on more than male magicians. They’ve had some inappropriate things said to them that if they were a man, wouldn’t have been said. I have seen a few ladies had men try to pull them down onto their lap and put their arms around their waist. What can magic organizations do to be more welcoming to female magicians? That’s a hard one for me because I don’t belong to any magic organization because WE DONT HAVE ANY HERE!! I’ve been performing for so long now and the local magic community personally, they are very welcoming for ladies than men, positevly… so now I like to focus on the advantages rather than the disadvantages. I think woman magicians can actually have an easier time with the general public here in NEPAL because I think women are more disarming than men in general. Not intending to say anything bad about men, mind you. Just saying that society allows women to be less confrontational and if that’s what they want their style to be then I think women can pull it off better just because we are women. I think women can flirt in ways that don’t come off creepy but if a male was to act that way… well … it comes off sort of creepy. I can touch people physically in ways that would be, maybe, crossing some boundaries if I was a man. It’s easier for them to be “sweet”. Men socially don’t get to be sweet. They have to be tough or edgy or fake con men or something like that! Now i would like to focus on what magic really is like here in nepal.
Nepali Magicians here take an easy way out.magic here is not a respectable art form but just an easy way to get some bucks due to its curiousity value.people everywhere love to be amazed and surprised,Nepal is no different…we all love to shell out for a different type of fun,that magic gives!In Nepal u rarely will see a good card or coin or cigarette manipulations like cyril or a pleasant cane dance or ball magic..which require hours or years of practise! Most magicians u see today are a by product of an infamous exposure show by masked magician,which keep telecast repeatedly here.Any kid who watched the show is now a MAGICIAN!They are more inclined to use props based shows than using manipulative dexterity..by that I mean 9 out of 10 magic shows u chance to watch here will be using all sort of mini boxes and bags and all!u wont be able to watch a decent card or coins trick but more of change bags or silk blendos or likes!
Another problem here is lack of a proper magic culture.we dont have magic clubs or even a magic craft shop or a local organisation! Magicians here work under mutual fear of exposure..If i have a show and a fellow magican must have free passes ,tickets for them and familes or i risk half of my show exposed right out side of the hall or theatre..if I experimented with a novel secret,i got to share or again i risk mindless guesses cum bickering around the local meetings.If i grab a deal there must be 5 other magicians ready to work on half the price i get!
Its really a strange mindset among fellow magicians that needs to be straightend out by mutual consent here in Nepal.
Now about the other aspects of magic in Nepal.
Recently a Netherland magic Consultant an old friend of mine and Magic Designer Erik Vesser visited Nepal and we had really great talk on future of magicians in Nepal. He said that as magic world over is expanding its horizon, in Nepal too its high time Magic 2.0 needs to be introduced. If it has to survive here as a viable carrer option for today’s generation and for future!it has to be incorporated in main stream biz and culture!so what is magic 2.0?? You can read that in the next text. We have to grow beyond the usual set of magic and start an era of grand illusions here.
We can’t survive anymore by pulling out rabbits out of bags..
We can’t survive anymore by changing a color of hanky by putting in a change bag…
We cant survive anymore by swallowing paper and bringing out blades.. we keep doing these over worn effects again and again and think people here are stupid enough to enjoy them!we have to evolve as has magic!we have to compete in world class talents that people can watch on youtube at home…facebook throws tons of links of super magicians..world has changed,magic has changed world over..nepali magic has got to change!
So here is how I think we can do that change.
First of all we should stop worrying about exposure, which stops us taking magic as carrier in Nepal. Here’s why?
There’s lots of talk that many of magic’s secrets are but a mouse click away. And in our technological age, these secrets aren’t just written explanations, they’re presented in full-motion video. This initially sounds awful and I understand why many magicians are riled about the public posting of secrets. To see what’s out there, I recently evaluated exposure videos on YouTube and concluded that there’s little to worry about. The majority of the exposure videos fell far short of being dangerous for a number of reasons that I’ll explain. For this exercise, I looked-up tricks that are well known to the lay public. I’m not going to name the tricks here because I don’t want to promote the videos. Also, note that in this story, I’m focusing on YouTube videos and not the topic of illegal copying and downloading of video, an entire different issue. Incompetence First off, to expose a magic trick, you have to be able to do it well to show what it looks like. Most of the exposure videos feature individuals who show little to no technical competence or experience with the tricks. As all magicians know, there’s a huge difference between understanding a magic secret and being able to convincingly perform the related trick. The technique is so poor in many of the exposure videos, I think that someone searching for a secret, in many cases, will think that the secret is for a simpler or different trick. Boring… In online exposure videos, there’s little or no attempt to make the effect entertaining. This is no surprise as the person exposing the trick has no investment in the technique, method or prop. As a result, watch most videos that promise to expose the secret of some magic classic, and you’ll find videos that are pure tedium to sit through and have no entertainment value. Perhaps even worse than exposing a trick’s secret is to make the trick boring. And who cares about the secret to a boring trick? I deplore the old and incorrect adage, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach,” when applied to the teaching profession. However, this adage is undeniably correct when applied to those who attempt to expose magic tricks. Clear and Present Danger? I’m not saying that online exposure videos are no danger to magic. There are a few videos that I came across that are rather devastating, but most of these were from television shows (probably copyright infringements), not from the masses of amateur videos. As we’ve learned from previous magic exposure, the revealing of secrets is far more devastating when it comes from within our own ranks. Our art of magic will always deal with exposure. For now, I’m convinced that online exposure is no more of a threat than anything in the past.
So now to to start, we can watch other magicians do their stuff. Masters of the art know what an audience wants to see, so we can pay attention to what types of tricks and what styles modern magicians use.we can use youtube and other resources and learn some magic. But we Do not, however, need to buy a beginner’s magic set (unless you’re a kid). Apply the stuff you learned from modern magicians and decide what type of act you want to do.
Get to know that there are 7 kinds: street, close up, parlor, stage, escape, mentalism, and grand illusions.
If you have the opportunity, try to get a magician to guide you. He might not reveal you any tricks, but he could give you tips on how to perform your first tricks like a pro. If you don’t have this advantage, try to learn from your mistakes as much as possible.
Over time, you will know what your audience wants most.
Have some tricks of your own. No one wants to see an unoriginal magic act being performed over and over. Of course, you should have some (or many) old and famous magic tricks in your act (such as the cups and balls). The public may enjoy some old classics (like the Miser’s Dream), but you should avoid certain old classics, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat (instead make it appear in a box).
Here’s how to think of your own original tricks (only do this if you understand the process and working of magic): Think of an idea that has never been done before. For example, make strings disappear from a guitar. Then, decide how you will accomplish the effect. Now, think of a way to make the trick convincing. Make some equipment, if necessary. You might even need duplicate object with which you’re working on. Once you’ve got all the parts planned out, start practicing the trick.
Develop a unique style of performing. Don’t steal others’ styles. You may take an old (dead) magician’s style and put a unique twist on it, but never take a modern magician’s style. It’s better to have unique style and perform previously performed tricks, rather than take someone else’s style and perform your own tricks.
Get organized. Before performing a show, be sure to rehearse it many times. You also might need to know how the room you perform in is designed. If you’re performing at a party at your friend’s house, that’s not really necessary. Just make sure there’s no one behind you. Your equipment should be made properly. Be sure to check, if everything works. Also, try to merge several tricks together to create a new effect. For example, after you turn a ball into a tissue, make a coin appear out of the tissue; then, make the coin go through your hand…
Make your own equipment. If you can’t produce your own equipment, ask some of your friends to do it for you, or go to a magic store or website and buy the equipment. Also, you might consider making people to help you as your assistants during your tricks (You already gave away the secret of many tricks to them, so why not make them part of the show?).
Get a good costume. A traditional costume for magician is a black jacket, a red formal vest that goes under it, and a pair of black pants that go with the jacket. The jacket should have many little pockets on its inside for storage of secret coins, cards, balls, etc. The vest should have big pockets on the inside so you can make big objects, such as plates, disappear/ appear. And pants should have two pockets, one on each side. The pocket should be long and made under the folded part of the pants. Also consider using the same basic outline of the costume to create a more modern one. One thing is certain you should dress a little nicer than the people you will be performing for.
Improve the flexibility of your arms, fingers and hands. Start with coin manipulation. It’s easiest to master, but is still hard. Anyway, back to coin manipulation. Learn how to palm the coin on your hand. Find a spot in your palm where the coin will stick the most even if you open/close your hand, or turn it upside down.
Then, learn creating illusions (like pretending to put an object in your other hand when really its still located in the first hand). After mastering coin manipulation, you can move on to ball manipulation and, finally, card manipulation.
Make it fun! Develop some artistic talent and sense of humor. Try to narrate or tell a story with your tricks. Be very humorous and funny (unless your style is to be mysterious or serious). If your magic act is boring, no one would want to watch it. Remember to tell some jokes every once in a while that relate to the trick. You might also want music playing during your act, just to make it more exciting. Sound effects would be cool too. But do not make an act with only music and no talking..