People in India have been known to enjoy magical tricks and performances for centuries. With modern day distractions like the video games, cell phones and social media, one often wonders if the art of magical performance and illusion has become a dying art.
We bring to you some of the most popular young magicians in the country who are determined to keep the art of magic alive and kicking. Be it stage performances, risky stunts or even TV shows, these young guns are sure to cast a spell over you.
For Neel Madhav, a chance meeting with the legendary magician Jason Randall in the United States changed his life. The 22-year-old even has his own magic show called You Got Magic with Neel Madhav that airs on NDTV Good Times channel. “We were in the mystical Rann of Kutch, shooting an episode for the show and I instantly fell in love with the vastness of the pristine white desert.I came up with the idea of doing a disappearing act standing all alone in the middle of the desert. My team loved the idea and that’s when we got down to planning the trick and it was only after hours and hours of preparation and practice that the trick was ready. Thankfully, it all happened smoothly and the positive reactions the made it all worth it,” he shares.
Illusionist Suhani Shah always knew that she was destined to do something different in life. She had her first stage show at the tender age of seven. She believes that Indian magicians have a long way to go if they want to compete with the gadget wizardry and social media today. “Indian magicians should leverage technology for their tricks to keep gadget-obsessed audiences engaged and entertained. We just have to move beyond the Indian Magic Rope trick,” she says. She also stresses that the beauty of the act lies in the presentation of the performance rather than the trick itself.
Rajesh admits that he wasn’t a big fan of magic performances earlier because he found the tricks to be old-fashioned and boring. But everything changed after he watched a video featuring the popular street magician Cris Angel. Kumar loves to challenge himself by trying out stunts that one considers to be risky. “I even fractured my arm when performing a particularly dangerous stunt called ‘Jaws of Death’ at the India’s Got Talent reality show this year,” he recalls.
Philip, who started doing magical performances from the age of 12, reveals that his trick of multiplying currency notes is such a hit among children that many of them sneak in backstage to beg him to teach them how to do it. He feels that magic shows are different from other forms of entertainment as they require one’s complete attention. “Tricks involving audience participation are the most challenging but they also tend to get the best reactions,” he opines.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that magic runs in Ugesh Sarcar’s veins. After all, he is the son of the world-renowned magical performer Prof. M. C. Sarcar, who was even presented with the title of the ‘Crown Magic Prince of India’ by the Late Lal Bahadur Shastri. “When I was very young, I would assist my dad in his stage performances. That was when I decided that I would be the next biggest name in magic,” he shares.