More the merrier for this magician

City talk | Terence Chang 8 Mar 2018

The Rubik's Cube puzzle is solved by twisting and turning its faces.

However, Carson Leung simply put a cube inside an empty paper bag, shook it a couple of times, and pulled it out with the puzzle all solved.

It was magical literally as Leung was giving a performance as a magician.

I had tea with him after the show, and listened to him talk about life as a professional magician.

"My child's teacher was amazed to learn that his father's occupation is that of a 'magician.'

"Children all love to watch magic shows, or they even want to learn some tricks and aspire to become magicians someday.

"But if you really want to make a living as a magician, you need an adventurous spirit.

"I've been a professional magician for eight years. I haven't managed to pull a big house out of the bag, but we are getting by.

"When you perform magic, you need to communicate. There is really such a thing as a magic touch. I watch audience responses closely.

"At the end of my show, I want to see in their eyes that I have successfully piqued their curiosity.

"You want the audience to want more, so each show should not be longer than 15 to 20 minutes.

"It would be a failure if your show is very long and the audience loses interest," he said.

I asked him about performing magic on the streets.

He said it would be alright if you are doing that to promote a television show.

However, making a living as a street performer isn't a good idea.

Leung said that a magician must charge a reasonable fee for his performance.

Performing for free or undercharging would set a bad example in the industry unless you are doing it for charity.

He said it's ideal to perform at a cozy venue in front of an audience of less than 200.

But he had also done shows at large events with audiences as many as up to 1,000.

On those occasions, he tried his very best to make his show enjoyable.

A magician should be able to capture the attention of the audience within a minute from the start of the show.

It is also important to know how to build up atmosphere and properly pace his acts.

Terence Chang Cheuk-cheung is the retired headmaster of Diocesan Boys School

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