Friday, December 24, 2010

Magic Contests

Several magic clubs have contests for magicians. Our magic club San Jose IBM ring 216 has 3 full competitions every year - one for walk-around magic, one for close up magic and one for stage magic. This year I participated in the close up competition. The winner is decided by the audience. Unfortunately this year there were very few non-magicians in the crowd - so it was mostly magicians voting for magicians. While there is nothing wrong with this per se, it does change the tone of the competition. I did pretty well in both my perormances (each performer did their show twice) but did not win. All of us did have a fantastic time. Our club was fortunate to have as many as eight talented magicians compete that evening.

If any reader of this blog is interested in attending a magic club meeting as my guest, please do send me an email at

Before we wrap up the year 2010, I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Multiple shows on the same day

This month I have had two weekends where I had to do two shows on the same day. I have done this several times before but usually the shows are far apart e.g. one show at noon and one at dinner time, But this month the shows were back to back i.e. I finished one show and immediately drove to the next one. Some of these shows were also quite far apart and hence this was an added challenge. I discovered that the shows needed to be about 2.5 hours apart if the shows were far away from each other and I had to pack quite efficiently after the first show in order to be able to do the second show effectively.

Now I bring a fair amount of stuff for my show since I believe in a large and visual show as opposed to entertaining out of a small box. I know I can entertain a crowd with a deck of cards but I also think the larger effects also have their place and kids just love large colorful effects like my popular Hippity Hop Rabbits. It is amazing how many kids have not seen this wonderful effect and absolutely love the ending. People also love the famous flower trick from India and that is also a large item that I have to pack and carry from show to show. I recently purchased a Lefler table and this makes the packing and hauling easier thought it is very heavy.

I can assure you that 20 years ago when I started doing magic there was no way I could do 2 entertaining shows (sometimes with slightly different effects) back to back but now that I have a streamlined show and effects for different age groups I can do this easily and I enjoy it. Today is the start of Fall (or autumn as they say in England and India) and I hope to do many shows in Fall and Winter.

By the way, we now have short video clips on my web-site - so do check out:

Monday, May 31, 2010

San Leandro Heritage Faire

Last Saturday, I had the good fortune of performing at the San Leandro Heritage Faire. My show was at 11:30 and the second item on the agenda. When they started the program at 11:00 a.m. there were very few people and I was a bit worried about the sparse attendance. But the people arrived and soon we had a healthy crowd. I performed my illusion show but it was a short program of 30-35 minutes. The conditions were difficult because it was outdoors and there was a very heavy breeze but show turned out to be a big hit.

There were several kids and adults and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. It was a long drive for me and I was glad my wife and my daughter Janani joined me. In fact, Janani participated in the show as my assistant and I suspended her in the air. Everyone loved that effect and many others too including Rocky Raccoon and Hippity Hop rabbits. I ended the show with the production of a huge bush of flowers and thus wrapped up another good show. Mary Lee Barr , the librarian there was very sweet to us and super organized - the whole function went off without a hitch!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Balloon Twisiting

It has been a while since I wrote and I thought about writing about balloon twisting. I am a largely self taught balloon twister and mostly do one balloon figures. But what is amazing to me is the joy balloons bring to the kids. If you make the figure with care and love, the kids absolutely love them. Most of my shows end with a long line of kids who stand in line patiently waiting for their balloon. Sometimes I twist one of each kind to show the children the figures that are the most popular and this is always a big hit for adults as well as kids.

If you are a magician, you should learn balloon twisting - it is not that hard. For the parents/adults/kids who want to learn I have a couple of tips. First and foremost - get high quality 260 balloons and a good sturdy hand pump. I use Qualatex balloons and I am very happy with them - I think most twisters use Qualatex. I also have a red hand pump made by Qualatex and it is great. Then you have to learn twisting and how to make things. For this the best way is to buy a beginner's DVD. I learnt from the Marvin Hardy video (also Qualatex) and then purchased many other videos/DVDs and also have many books on the subject. In fact most popular bookstores carry a few intro books and these are perfectly fine. You just have to read carefully and follow the instructions well. Don't forget to let a bit of air out before you tie the balloon - this will make the balloon a bit softer and easier to twist - don't overdo this though.

Another amazing fact - you may learn many figures and do many balloons but once a young boy asks for a sword and you make it, almost every other boy is going to ask for a sword :-) Fortunately this is not only popular but also quite easy to make. For girls there is no clear favorite though flower, swan, etc. are popular figures.

Until next time, happy magic. Spring is here and I hope to do many magic shows this spring and summer. if you see me somewhere, don't hesitate to ask me for a balloon figure.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Great start to 2010 at Chinmaya Mission San Jose

I just returned from performing a fun filled show at the new Chinmaya Mission facility in San Jose. There were 200 plus kids and adults and everyone watched the show with great enthusiasm. They laughed at all the jokes, were amazed by some of the magic and in general had a great time. As usual most kids loved the "lights" trick and the "flower" trick. Several of them also like the "rabbits" trick. It was great to see everyone so engaged in the show and truly having fun.

It was a great start to 2010 for me and I would like to wish all of you a very HAPPY and FUN FILLED NEW YEAR - 2010 !