I have tricks up my sleeve no one in the world has seen before- Illusionist Karan Singh
He might just be sitting next to you in your metro ride and could know your deepest darkest secrets. He elevates magic to a next level and calls it mind reading. Karan Singh, a mind reader, a hypnotist who has mixed traditional magic tricks with psychology and human behaviour has been mesmerising his audience since 2003, he believes that the days where stereotype attached to magic of cutting people in half and making scantily clad women disappear have now long gone. He belongs to a new era of magic which has more to do with mind tricks. In an exclusive interview EE he talks about his eccentric profession and life as a magician.
Q1- How easy is it to make a living from a profession like magic in India?
Magic is something that has been a part of India’s ethos for years. From levitating yogis to fakirs lying on beds of nails to the ever famous Indian rope trick. As a result of which, there’s always an audience for magic. That being said, it has by no means been easy, the stereotype attached to magic has always been about cutting people in half and making scantly clad women disappear. The kind that I do is more to do with the mind so to get people interested in that and then to be willing to pay to see it hasn’t been easy but it’s completely worth it.
Q2- Talk about your experience in performing with internationally renowned magicians like Darren Brown and Penn & Teller?
The first time I performed for Darren Brown, I messed up the trick. At that time, he could have gone on to speak to somebody else, but he was kind enough to ask me to do it again, I nailed the trick this time around and had tears of happiness when he said, “I have no idea how you did that.” Between Penn & Teller however, Teller especially is the modern encyclopedia of magic. I did a trick for both of them, it fooled Penn quite badly, Teller however figured it out. At the end, Teller signed his tie for me, a tie which was integral part of the ending of their show. That now rests in my room along with other memorabilia.
Q3- What are the new magic techniques that you have developed for the audiences this year?
There are tricks and stories which I have been working on for the last two years. Due to the nature of the ideas, I obviously can’t share them here, however I’m doing an invite only show on the 10th of March in Delhi where I try out these things.
Q4- Tell us about the best events that you have been a part of so far?
For me, my first “big” show for a corporate was for Pepsi. It was their global board meet and Indra Nooyi was also in the country. I had 15 minutes to perform on stage at the end of which I could feel that my life was about to change for the good. Apart from that at the end of 2016, I was invited to perform at Aamir Khan’s farm in Panchgani for his New Year Party. It was my first official show at a Bollywood party and that really was a lovely experience for me and it got me a lot of shows subsequently. Apart from that performing for Apple has also been a dream that I always had and have had the fortune to do a couple of shows for them.
Q5- Which are some interesting events you have performed at and which are the event agencies you have loved working with?
An event agency is the heart and soul of a corporate show and they can really make or break a show. Kestone Integrated Marketing Services and Concepts and Solutions Event Services are two agencies I’ve done a lot of shows with and it’s always been a pleasure to work with both of them.
Q6- Tell us more about your show themed Illusionati?
The show Illusionati is based around the attacks of September the 11th, 2001 and the conspiracies surrounding it. Being such a sensitive topic, it’s the show I’ve done the most research on. The conspiracy theory revolves around the Illuminati and the control they supposedly have over the world for the “Greater good.” A parallel story talks about the “Illusionati” a group of magicians in the 1980s who did research for the greater good of people by helping them in getting their basic necessities met. The show ended with a story about “Who can we trust around us?” as opposed to a trick. It’s a show I hold really close to my heart.
Q7- Where do you see this profession heading for you in the next 5 years? What are your future plans?
India is going through a comedy boom as we speak. This has lead to a lot of alternative entertainment art forms getting attention in the country, magic being one of them. Over the next 5 years, I hope and wish to make a show which can tour around the sub-continent, getting people aware of this new form of magic.
Around The World