“A magician is an actor playing the part of a magician.” – Robert-Houdin February 27, 2013Posted by Kinetic Gal in Miscellanous.
Tags: j c sum quote, Magic, magic philosophy
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During my acting classes, Director Lim asked: “What’s the importance of acting? Why is what we are doing important?”
There were a multitude of answers, and the final answer was: Because it INFLUENCES people.
I love how that was put across to us. As an actor, one would have to bring the audience into their world. Temporarily, the outside the normal world is forgotten, we live in the world created by the actor. We eat, live, breath and feel what the character does, together with him/her. In a micro way, we can change an individual. In a macro way, we can change the world.
I can relate that somewhat to Magic. What do we as magicians aim to do? In a micro way, our aim is simple: we aim to entertain and amaze people. We aim to let people walk away from the performance feeling happy, that there is perhaps more wonderment in the world then what we have been experiencing in the mundane everyday-ness hum and drone of life.
In forensic science, Dr Locard (who formulated the Locard’s principle) would say: ”Every contact leaves a trace”. I believe: “Every performance leaves trace” too. I believe that in every performance, the performer brings something to the audience and takes away something. So does the audience. There is an exchange between the performer and the audience and at the end of it all, we all go away slightly different then when we started.
On a personal front this is what i think… that, in performing the impossible, one learns that nothing is impossible and in believing so, a new realm of the world opens up.
But if we were to look at it in a macro way, in a world where there’s a lot of pain and hardship around and way too much fighting, magic is distraction. It is a doorway, allowing people into a world where there’s wonder, not horror.
Idealistic as it seems, that’s my world of magic.
“… (magic) goes beyond just a moment but is the portal to an optimistic outlook on life, knowing that anything is possible.“ ~J C Sum
Pursuing Your Passion (Magic)… But Not before Education. February 25, 2013Posted by Kinetic Gal in Miscellanous.
Tags: education, magic news, thoughts on magic
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So I heard about some young magicians quitting school to do magic full time. I’ve been tempted to do that before too. But now, as a full time magician, with the knowledge of the industry and who things run (generally), I would never encourage any of the budding magicians to quit school to perform magic.
It isn’t like I’ve not been through the ‘study and work at the same time’ kind of life. To provide a clearer understanding, I started performing in University Year 1 in the now defunct Party Wizardz, and was at the same time simultaneously juggling operations for Magic Boutique, as well as crewing and part time work for Concept: Magic. Oh, and in case you might think I was in an ‘easy’ (or what my peers termed as “slack”) field of studies, I wasn’t. I was in a moderately demanding course, which was made slightly more demanding by choosing to take the degree at honours level. For the interested, I have an honours degree in Biological Sciences, and it took me four years. In year four, I took over as J C and Ning’s show co-ordinator, working with them almost full time, on top of my FYP, performances and Magic Boutique work.
Throughout my four years, I had friends asking me why I didn’t quit school to do magic. I was pushing myself really hard with no rest days on weekends and working and studying (and rehearsing) on weekdays. Technically, I was earning a comfortable salary (2-3K a month) during the weekends already. Presumably I could earn more if I were to quit school and turn full time. Even at times I wondered why I had to struggle so hard… sometimes performing 15 shows in a month on top of everything. But, after all of it, I would say I made the right decision.
Magic is an intellectual art form. For the audience to appreciate the magic, they must be able to think and process thoughts. Here’s an example, if I were to produce an item from an empty box, and my audience cannot think and understand that the box were empty to begin with and that there is no way to put something inside without their noticing, then there would be no magic. And since magic is an intellectual art form, to be able to fool an intellectual audience, it goes in a logical manner to say that the magician must have a certain level of intellect and expertise to perform magic at a high level. Now, I’m not saying that a higher educational degree guarantees that the person has a high level of intellect, not at all. But I’m saying that higher education to a certain degree still trains a person’s thinking and that might aid in pushing up the level of intellect.
Of course, you can quote me dozens of shrewd businessman/ founders or CEOs of huge companies who drop out of school. Are they not intellectual you might ask. (Sometimes I like to just point out that out of these people quoted, more than half actually drop out of a PRESTIGIOUS school like Cambridge/ Oxford etc. They actually qualified for these places in the first place!) Educational level once again, does not guarantee intellect but aids in building that. There are also hundreds of people who dropped out too. What is the success percentage?
Magic (or close-up magic in particular, as well as mentalism) requires a magician to be able to converse well. There is a saying in magic: Magic is all about COMMUNICATION. Again, a higher level of education does not necessarily mean you can speak eloquently. However, you do have more chances to converse and talk with people at a higher level required when you are in an educational institute and hence have a better go at building up better conversational skills. Presentations and talking to lecturers or even peers at this level improves your conversational skill and presenting skills. If one is not able to present a presentation where all the information is on the screen, how can one be expected to present magic when the vital information is ‘hidden’ and you have to do more than three different things at the same time?
I’m not the traditional kind of person who thinks a person must do a traditional route, have a degree, do what is deemed as a stable job, blah blah blah. Obviously not, since I’m not even in a traditional ‘stable’ or ‘conventional’ job. In Singapore, the education system is (to me) obviously flawed with unbalanced importance being placed on science vs arts etc. But there are still things that work. At a higher educational level, I do not believe that one will only be learning and absorbing the subject matter. If you are, I’m sorry, that’s not learning, but route learning and that’s not what education is about.
My point? Education is vital. If you were to want to do something at a high level, learning to think at a high level is important. I make no judgment of whether the decision to quit school and pursue (specifically) magic is good or bad to the individual. That will be something only the person-in-question can answer years down the road. But if you’re thinking and wondering whether to quit school to pursue your magic interest full time, I hope you take the time to consider and weigh out the pros and cons. Think not just of the present income, but of your future income. Remember, to have longevity in the industry, you need to not only be able to perform the things you do right now, but have the ability to push to do different things at a higher level. Do you have the training to do that? If you believe you do, do go ahead. If you don’t, perhaps you should seriously re-consider quitting school to pursue magic full time.
Oh and if I might add?
Sometimes you just have to sit down and be honest with yourself rather than listening to friends’ opinions to make a good judgement. (And by the way, being sincerely honest with oneself while being ignorant doesn’t do anything to help either, so do your research beforehand!)
Charity Shows and Events… In the Christmas spirit. December 17, 2012Posted by Kinetic Gal in Miscellanous.
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Well it’s almost Christmas. The last weekend was crazy with back to back parties, events and charity events.
Just like any other years, entertainers are flooded with charity enquiries near this time of the year. I love doing charity work, and believe that doing this can help bring some cheer to the less fortunate. I always do some form of charity shows during this period (and others too). However, throughout the year, i’ve seen some disturbing issues with people requesting for charity shows.
- Requests for charity shows which are highly dubious (not real charity!!)
- Requests for shows to be performed FOC (and expecting that the entertainers would do it no matter what)
- Requesting for shows but not respecting the performers and ignoring requirements that the entertainer/ magician needs
As a professional entertainer, the Christmas period is one of the main periods when we have to earn more (to cover slack periods!). Basically this is our salary and income. Hence, even if it is a charity event, please do offer some reimbursement for the entertainer. He/She is taking time for the event (=opportunity cost) and if you do not even offer reimbursement, the entertainer has to now dig into his/her own pocket to fork out extras.
Please, respect the entertainers. We are professionals in our line of work. Even at a charity rate, professionals will do the best show they can, but only if the requirements are met! It is not possible (for example) for a juggler to perform with a handheld microphone – for obvious reasons! If an entertainer has manage to slot in the performance for the event, try not to delay the performance timing. Keep in mind that he/she may have more shows to run.
To request for a show for a charity event, the following would be the best steps to take.
Firstly, if you’re not from the charity organization, do request for the organization to provide a short letter of invite on their letterhead. This lets all the entertainers know that the request is legit.
Next, enquire from the entertainers if they do provide a show at charity rates. If you have a budget, provide the budget for the entertainer. In this case, we can recommend people if it is really not possible to work the event at the given rate. Most entertainers will be happy to provide a discounted rate.
Finally, do make sure that all the requirements that can be met (or not) is communicated clearly. Although most charity events are run pro bono and hence there are usually last minute changes, do keep in mind that the entertainer has a schedule and try not to shift/ delay the timings too much!
For myself, i usually charge a special rate for charity shows. For occasional special charities, of which i really believe in the cause and would like to help out, i perform “free-of-charge”. By that, what do i mean?
Very simple: the charity organization/ company organizing the charity event still pays me a remuneration fee. However, at the end of the event, i would donate out the same amount back to the organization.
Why so troublesome, you might ask. Well, the remuneration makes it fair for all the entertainers out there. While i personally believe in the cause of the charity, i am keeping in mind my fellow entertainers. Since I believe in the charity cause, the donation comes from me! However, the remuneration keeps it fair to all parties.
People may or may not like my way and belief in doing charity shows, but, it has been very helpful and i’ve been able to select and perform for charities i believe in. In my little way, i enjoy these shows more because i’ve been really able to help.
What do you do on festive seasons? Do you do charity work too?
PS. Will be recording a radio interview about charity work for 88.3FM later. Hope to inspire more people to do their part for charity!
Review of BRAVE – by Gerard Lim November 28, 2012Posted by Kinetic Gal in Family Movie Review.
Tags: Movie reviews by Gerard Lim, Review of Brave
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Film Class: A
Had a high expectation of a Pixar film, and like most legacies, there’s bound to be a couple of hiccups. Brave ranks as one of the bottom Pixar films. I didn’t like the strong Scottish accent and I thought the storyline didn’t have much link to the movie title. There’s really nothing “Brave” about the cast or their actions.
Princess Merida is the only heir to her kingdom, and her parents want her to get married (to one of the sons from the other kingdoms). However, she wants freedom to make her own path in life, and made a pact with a witch. And the impulsive Princess soon realises the mistake she had done and must undo it before the next sunrise…
Merida’s unkempt orange hair felt like her test tube experiment went wrong, blew up and couldn’t be bothered to comb her hair after that. The way she so impulsively made a pact with a witch she had never met and how unrepentant she initially was really got on my nerves.
Perhaps one of the main reasons of me not liking the movie is because I simply didn’t like the lead actress. Even at the end, I still didn’t feel like I wanna be cheering her on.
The saving grace of the movie was the last scene, which was quite touching and forced my eyes to well up a bit… possibly of all the built up dissatisfied sentiments I had during my viewing. There was a “cuteness” factor as well, reminiscence of Goldilocks.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the next Pixar film is going to do justice to it’s “legacy”, if not I’ll just say “Goodbye Pixar, Heelllooo…. Dreamworks!”
Movie Reviews – New Reviewer in the House! November 28, 2012Posted by Kinetic Gal in Family Movie Review, Miscellanous.
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Since i’ve been so awesomely busy, my long time friend from University who has been reviewing movies for a long time agreed to have his reviews on family movies published here.
A quick introduction to my friend and reviewer Gerard Lim! He is also a magician hobbyist (pretty serious hobbyist, since he worked close-up before with us).
He doesn’t look so corporate-ish serious now, but here’s a quick photo:
Magical Winter Time! :) November 27, 2012Posted by Kinetic Gal in Miscellanous.
Tags: birthday parties, christmas parties, Christmas shows, closeup magic, Kinetic Gal updates, magic shows, party entertainment, Singapore birthday parties
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It’s winter time! Even in Singapore, we kind of have winter – it just rains incessantly! Before i continue with the other updates, i just wanna say Kinetic Gal is still open for Christmas Shows!! Call me if you still have events, before i get engaged fully! Mid Dec is crazy and i will be overseas from 3-9 Dec and 20-23 Dec, but there are still a couple of free days!
And also, Kinetic Gal talking with her friend to put together a crazy show for overseas production… We’ll keep you updated!
You might have been wondering why the blog has been so quiet! Has Kinetic Gal gone into hiding? Actually not, Kinetic Gal has been active and performing for many different events and even did illusion shows for Children’s Day that just passed in October! That’s right. If you don’t know, i do perform Singapore’s only kids illusion show (designed for the kids!). It was great loads of fun.
And other updates for the other months… In August and Sept i was in Genting to crew for J C and Ning. Outside of the alter ego Kinetic Gal, i’m also the backstage crew for top local illusionists in Singapore. Although i do not get to perform, all of these are great exposures for a magician. Having seen so many shows at top international level keeps my feet planted on the ground of my abilities and lets me see what the top pros can do (and how they do it!).
Pictures from Genting:
Oh man, i miss everyone!!
Besides Genting, i was in Japan too! That was pretty awesome as we got a short break. I had taken up photography so took some pictures for fun. Following is my favourite!
Recently i performed for SGH Corporate event, and also for IBM’s Annual Anniversary Event. Despite the crazy schedule, i manage to pull off performing the CD act. Now this CD act has been around for years… It’s there, but never performed before!
Yes, that’s really my hand on fire.
So what’s next?
Paris in a week’s time! Although it is for work, it is still after all, Paris! (Again!!) YAYZ. Paris here i come!!!
Oh, and a crazy other thing as well. Kinetic Gal will be totally on break in April 2013! Kinetic Gal/ Adeline/ whatever you call me, will be trekking to Mt Everest Base Camp. If that’s not having the craziest fun balls of time for life, i don’t know what that is!
Happy Hols everyone!!
Adeline in KL August 10, 2012Posted by Kinetic Gal in Miscellanous.
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Kinetic Gal went on a short haitus and went to KL for a balloon seminar.
I’m a great fan of David and Shana Brenion. So when they came to KL, i could not miss it, even amongst my incredibly crazy schedule.
I’ll be updating more photos and updates soon. Perhaps from Genting.. Time now is 2.21 AM and it’s time to head back home after crazy day!
Adeline is in Italy! April 24, 2012Posted by Kinetic Gal in Miscellanous.
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Adeline (aka Kinetic Gal) is in Italy for work right now and may be slow in responding! I’m working as crew for J C and Ning for their shows in Italy and will only be back on 11 May! Please do be patient with me and drop me emails if you need to contact me. Wifi is only available at the accommodation so do allow me some time to get back to you!
See you back in Singapore in mid -May!
Tips to Becoming a Top Magician! April 13, 2012Posted by Kinetic Gal in How-To Tips.
Tags: j c sum, Magic, magic babe ning, Singapore Magic
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If you ever secretly harboured hopes to becoming a magician… Here are some excellent tips from top illusionists J C Sum & ‘Magic Babe’ Ning on how to become a top magician!
Hahaha! This was an interview thing done by RazorTV recently during J C & Ning’s 3 Sides of Magic lecture in Singapore. If you watch part two on RazorTV, i’m actually interviewed in there too!
Anyway, i apologise for the lack of updates. We’ve been crazy busy and had days stretching to end at only 4am for almost a week in a row. I’ve yet to recover! Also… I’ll be in Italy from nxt week all the way up to mid-May! See you guys back then!
M for Magic Season 2 Episode 6! March 14, 2012Posted by Kinetic Gal in TV Show.
Tags: coin magic, M for Magic, matthew lee, polo mint magic, street magic
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My dear friend, Matthew Lee’s episode on M for Magic is out!
Check it out for some cool magic of him linking Polo Mints together… and some surprises with a coin and can! It’s pretty cool…
I’ve known Matthew for a long time now, and he’s a dear friend! I like talking magic with him, although sometimes our ideas don’t always match. Hahaha. Proves that people with differences can be friends!