Homegrown illusionist Jeremy Pei captures the hearts and wows the minds of fans during his Redefine Magic: The Dream show.
|CN PHOTO: Koh Meng Kwang|
Some 150 adults, youth and kids gathered at Jubilee Hall, Raffles Hotel on Sep. 18 for an afternoon of magic, as Singaporean illusionist Jeremy Pei rolled out the fruit of a year’s worth of preparation during his worldwide Redefine Magic: The Dream show.
The show kicked off with a short video of Pei performing at various locations such as Variety Big Brother, a popular Taiwanese television show where only the best magicians get to perform.
One of Singapore’s most prolific magicians, Pei’s rise to fame has been nothing short of magical. He remembers being amazed by the tricks performed by his magician-father. He then went on to take the international magic community by storm, becoming the youngest magician in Singapore to win an international magic competition in Perth, Australia, at age 14. He is the only magician to have won the Singapore Association of Magicians’ “Magician of The Year” award thrice. Today, Pei travels all over the world to perform.
Some of the highlights during his show include penetrating through a steel plate, magically turning an egg into a real-life bird right before the audience’s eyes, getting a model safely out of the box (after inserting two huge funnels and a steel plate into the box), levitating a member of the audience and many more. But the trick that elicited the loudest exclamations of awe was the dream trick. Pei shared that prior to the event; he had dreamed about this day and wanted to see if it was as he had dreamed it. Using a Frisbee to select the participants from the audience, Pei got four different people to draw random pictures. Miraculously, at the end of it, Pei pulled out from a locked box, a paper with almost identical pictures.
Pei also invited fellow veteran magicians including Shoot Ogawa from Japan and Avery Chin from Malaysia to perform a few tricks on the show. Before the curtains came down, Pei shared with the audience about how a girl whom he visited at an orphanage touched his heart by giving him a paper rose to thank him for performing for them. That alone made him feel that all the effort he had put into learning magic was worthwhile.
City News catches up with Pei for a backstage chat.
What separates a great magician from a good one?
To me, a great magician develops his own personality and charisma to charm his audience; not by doing somebody else’s trick. When a magician is at ease with his own personality, showcasing his own character and exuding a genuine charisma in his performance, that’s when I guess you can call him a great magician.
How different is the current generation of magicians from the previous one?
Magicians have to cater to the current generation [to stay relevant] but personally, I don’t go, “Oh, it has to be something for this generation; it has to be rock or metal, or modern.” In fact, I do a lot of classic, traditional magic at my show, in my own style. Whether it’s making a cane appear or pulling out handkerchiefs, as long as people enjoy it, I think it serves the purpose. For me, I use magic as a tool to entertain rather than tell people “You’re here to watch me.” My magic is a tool to entertain, and the audience are my guests. That’s how I angle my show.
Where do you get inspiration for your tricks from?
I travel a lot; I attend a lot of magic conferences, and meet both local and foreign friends. Whenever we meet, we talk about magic and come up with new ideas. In fact, most of the ideas come when we brainstorm with other magicians. I also meet up with Nique Tan, my consultant, to brainstorm for new ideas. Even David Copperfield has a team of five or six consultants who are constantly thinking of magic tricks for him. I don’t believe that one person can do that many things. One person can’t put up a show like that—it’s a group effort.
Since magicians know the tricks behind all their magic shows, does real magic exist?
I do believe that real magic happens when you touch someone’s life using magic. When you share an encouraging message and make a difference in somebody’s life, that is magic to me. When they’ve seen the magic and it becomes something that they take away with them after the show, that is real magic. With magic—we want to tell a story. At the end of the day, if people are inspired after watching my show, I will feel that I have done my job.