Acknowledged with MAGIC in his name, Karan Singh Magic is India’s leading Psychological Illusionist who lives to experience the satisfaction of startling a live crowd. An unequivocal storyteller, he is known to keep the audience hooked at the edge of their seats with astonishing tricks under his sleeves. A performer who creates illusions for the sole purpose of entertainment, Karan claims to use the audience as his only prop and loves piquing their curiosity to borderline maddening levels. As judgmental as it sounds, the ten seconds between the volunteer leaving his seat and coming up on stage is when Karan knows what trick would leave him stunned.
Having said all that what describes him the best, we interacted with him to find out more about his fascinating life and know what’s on his mind!
Magicians usually say that their passion for magic has been instigated through a childhood encounter. Was it the same for you?
I think my passion for magic was instigated through multiple encounters as opposed to just one. I’d gone for a summer camp when I was 11 where I met a magician who taught me my first two tricks. Watching those is what got me hooked as a kid however knowing only two tricks and doing them over and over again did make my passion die down a little bit over time. When I was 15, my uncle (chacha) did a hobbyist trick on my mother which absolutely blew me away and the curiosity of me wanting to know how it’s done and him refusing to tell me is what really got me going again and I’ve never really looked back since.
Which is the first trick you attempted while growing up?
The first trick I ever learned was a silly little trick which made a coin disappear. Looking back it really wasn’t that good but I absolutely loved it and showed it to everyone I knew for 2 years.
What is the best part about performing magic?
For me, I’ve always loved the spotlight and being on stage and just interacting with people is by far the most fulfilling bit about magic. I get to meet thousands of people a year and interact with them, make them smile, make them think and give them an entertaining evening. I hope beyond hope that if someone sees a show of mine and comes in sad, he or she leaves with a smile on their face or is distracted from whatever is happening in their lives for those 90 minutes. Nothing is more satisfying than that feeling.
How difficult is it to involve live audience in your act?
It is difficult because every single person functions differently and you never know what they might do or say on stage which might lead the show in an entirely new direction however that for me is by far the most fun part of the show. Unlike other art forms, this show becomes more about the people than anything else. They are on stage, they are living the moment, they are the show and I take the backseat and just orchestrate all of it. I think it makes for an experience for them and for me as well every single night as every show becomes unique because of the difference in people involved.
Tell us about the best corporate events that you have been a part of so far?
When I got into magic, I always had passions aside from it. One of them was Steve Jobs and his life story. So it was always a dream to perform for Apple. One that I’ve lived multiple times. Apart from that, I’ll always have a soft spot for Pepsi, they gave me shows when no one was willing to encourage this new form of magic that I wanted to bring to India.
How was your experience while performing with internationally renowned magicians like Darren Brown and Penn & Teller?
Performing for Derren Brown was an experience as surreal as any. Ever since I got into magic, Derren Brown is all I wanted to be like. In fact a lot of magicians do think I try to clone him, which I admit I did when I started of so getting to perform for him was a dream beyond anything else. It’s been half a decade since it happened but I still have to pinch myself to ensure it wasn’t a dream. And when I did the trick on him, there was a moment where he says, “I have no idea how you do that.” That changed my life completely.
Penn & Teller on the other hand was a vastly different experience. Performing for them and attempting to fool them over the years has become something of magic’s noble prize because of their show “Fool Us.” So when I did have the opportunity to meet them backstage at their show and do a trick, I went all out and did my best work. I managed to fox Penn but Teller being the brilliant brainy bandwagon of magic caught me out.
Tell us more about your show themed Illusionati?
Illusionati I think remains the most interesting show for me that I’ve ever done. I’ve only ever performed it once and to a relatively small audience. It’s not the most entertaining of shows, but one that’ll leave you thinking for days. It’s a show revolving around the Illuminati and the 9/11 conspiracy theory. Alongside runs a story of a group of magicians called “Illusionati” running the world for the good. All of it comes together towards the end and instead of finishing with a bang like most my tricks, it ends with a question. A question that makes people think for days. I’ve narrated the story to some of the biggest names in magic over the years and none of them said they would dare to do it and that the show was far ahead of its times. So I think if I do perform it again, it’ll be at least 4-5 years from now.
Any word of advice you would like to give to the fresh new talents looking to break into the Magic world?
Yes! Perform, get a stage. Get an audience in your living room. Get an audience in your playground. Get them at a dinner party. Just find people to perform for. Don’t be scared that they will figure out what you’re doing or compare you to anyone. Don’t be afraid of failing, just go out and do it. And keep doing it, it’s all that matters. I know you won’t find a lot of stages, but I’m trying to start open mics dedicated just to magic and mentalism and should anyone ever want to perform, just drop me a message on my page and we’ll get you a stage. The country has an audience for you.