I was interested in magic since I was about 5 years old! Recently, I found an old diary and promise to myself that I will become a magician and make others happy so here I am living my dreams and fulfilling my dreams!
I was invited to perform for the Ansan Street Festival in 2008. I was only the magician act and it was the first time I perform on the streets. Coming from Singapore and being in a small Korean town, I got a shock to see so many people watching my show! I think the whole town came to watch my show or something so the reactions were amazing!
It was not easy route to take. Being a magician is a business! I love creating and performing magic but this is not everything! I have to be the magician, the director, the marketing, the producer, the admin, etc. There are business aspects of things which I have to learn and manage. There is so much to learn along the way. For instance, during the SARS period, there was practically no business for me for months. That was when my friend introduced me to a post-graduation programme in NTU about entrepreneur. I applied for the scholarship and got it and this has helped me so much.
Language is never my strong point so there was once a kid corrected my ‘three’. I said ‘tree’. I seriously didn’t know the difference then and it was really embarrassing; corrected by a child! So immediately went for a speech class to help improve myself.
I am always working on my magic 24/7 frankly.
I am always thinking about magic, reading about magic, etc. I carry a book around to write down about my magic ideas and my Iphone has a lot of these concepts too.
Yes, I always think so. Magic is NOT just about secrets. Magic is a multi-disciplinary art and study in which covers psychology, theatre, science, math, art, language, etc. This may seem very harsh: A lot of magicians don’t have enough training before they jumped into magic. The reason I took psychology and theatre in university was for my magic and to improve it. I took part in a play last year so I can improve my magic. After doing the play, despite sacrificing a lot of income, I am so grateful and glad that I did that because I realise I still have so much to learn. I improved in my stage presence and speech so much in the several months of training. I am always training and reading to improve myself because I want to give my best for my audience.
If a magician is in it for the money, then he is in the wrong trade. A lot of passion is needed because magic is really difficult to master. A good magician is someone who can amaze everyone and react to the crowd. Magic show is after all a live show so a good magician must adapt to his audience and make them emotionally react (whether it is surprise, laughter, sadness, etc.) and make the audience remember the magician and the magic. I have adults coming up to me and asking if I am Mr Bottle and telling me that I perform for them 13 years ago and this makes me really happy.
I like to look at new things and these gives me inspiration for my magic. For instance, I like to visit Toys fair to see the latest innovative toys in the market and these may give me inspiration to create my next magic. I like to watch all kinds of shows, visit the museums and read books on all type of subjects. I am like a kid, just curious about anything, which is why I love to travel.
Most people would think my most impressive magic must be a big illusion. Actually, I get the most reaction from my close-up magic, especially my sponge rabbit magic. A lot of people think these rabbits have a life of their own, especially since the magic happens in the audience’s hand. I have received like $50-100 tips a couple of times because of that!
Most of my costumes are custom-made! So I hardly buy the designer clothes off the shelves. The most expensive costume which I made is about $700.
There are many famous celebrities who are magicians or interested in magic. Some examples are Oscar host, Neil Patrick Harris, Muhammad Ali the boxer, whom I was lucky to meet in USA as well as George W Bush. Another interesting example is Georges Méliès, a magician who was an innovator in special effects in films.
Yes! I always if one believe in magic, this give you the positive energy to enable you to do a lot of things that one may think is impossible. Let me tell you this story: Once upon a time, there was a very shy child. So shy that he did not dare to talk to anyone in school. One day, his father bought a bottle of magic for him. "In it, is a potion that will make you grow brave and strong." Every morning, he would open the bottle for some magic. Day by day, he begins to make more friends. One day, he saw his good friend cornered by Billy, the big bully. Believing he chased Billy away. Many years later, he discovered that the bottle was actually an empty bottle. Believing in the magic has changed his life. This child is none other than Mr Bottle the Magician, who believes that nothing is impossible.