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Abracadabra

What is present-day magic all about? Simple costumes and a host of good tricks, says Vasanth.


FOR SOMEONE who took to magic just as a hobby, graduation as a full-time "magician" has been a rather interesting story. From lecturer to singer to magician, that's S A C Vasanth for you. He was teaching at a college in Chennai and his obsession for magic saw him quitting his job.

"I got interested after watching the performance of magician Jammu. Then, I learnt the tricks of the trade," he says. "What started as a hobby nine years ago has now become a profession for me." Did he have any problems in switching over to magic from a secure job?

"It is not a question of security. The innate talents in a person have to come out. I thought I should do something that interested me. So, I took up this profession. But, I am basically a track singer," he states.

Since then, he has performed in about 500 magic shows. Vasanth does shows mainly for product promos and launches. He has also been conducting shows in hotels on a contract basis. "There is a wrong notion that magic is only meant for kids. It is also for adults and can be used for other purposes. In some foreign countries there are exclusive magic theatres. It is a serious profession there."

This magician has a different idea about magic. "When you bring a box, people think there will be something inside it. You should be able to do magic even with an empty hand," he contends. And, he demonstrates how.

Long overcoats, glittering costumes and a hat have invariably come to be associated with magicians. However, Vasanth doesn't quite believe that one needs to wear costumes to perform. "There has been a change in the trend now. Magicians have started wearing simple coats and blazers."

The dividing line between magic and a trick is very thin, he says. "All (magic) is basically a trick. But, a trick is done to fool you. Anyone can do it. But, magic can be performed only by magicians," he believes. "Ultimately, everything depends on presentation. If you present a trick in the right form, it becomes magic."

Says Vasanth: "Magic is actually a combination of tricks, illusions and hypnotism. When I demonstrate something, people should believe it. When you are able to produce the "Oh! and Wow!" effect, it is proof of your success."

M. ALLIRAJAN

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