Magic And Leadership: The Common Traits

Nakul Shenoy writes about the deep connection between managers and magicians and ponders on some of the common traits that are integral to both their success

A couple of years back, I had the unique opportunity to present a keynote address with the India head of a global corporate, addressing the challenges faced by leaders of the company. After detailed discussions for a few weeks, we successfully collaborated and jointly presented a magical keynote, delivering a unique motivational message to the company’s senior managers: “WE ARE ALL MAGICIANS!”

In working towards this presentation and in the time since that well-received talk, I have been pondering on the interlinkages between the characteristics of a magician and a leader. In this article, I share some of my basic thoughts on the connection between these two roles and hope to elaborate on some of these and other traits further another day.

Magic is all about creativity and making the impossible possible. Many a time, it is about using one law of science in a creative way to seemingly disprove another. For example, an optical illusion may be used to show that a solid pencil has suddenly turned soft and rubbery. A similar treatment is utilised to levitate a person in the air, in an effort to break the law of gravity as we know it. Handling unexpected challenges and creatively addressing problems with out-of-the-box solutions are second nature for good leaders.

There is a huge team of thinkers, inventors, script writers, directors, artistes, and the like, working with the magician here, but it is the magician who has the task of bringing it all together in a seamless and natural way. The success of the show is directly proportional to how well a job the performer does to bring it all together.

We all know of David Copperfield or even our own PC Sorcar. They are best known as illusionists. These magicians are the face of their shows — with hundreds of people working together, many in the background, to help achieve the wonderful illusions that we see on stage. Their magic team is what makes most of the amazing effects possible. The team toils and works to precision, making things perfect and appear effortless on stage.

In some acts, the magician just faces the audience and only needs do the magical moves & gestures for the magic to happen. Pretty much like managers and leaders are the public face of their teams for good and bad, and only as good as their teams make them to be.

Magicians are known to be innovative and courageous. Some magicians have done so much more with these important leadership traits. Harry Houdini took on so many death-defying challenges that the act of escape itself became synonymous with his name. Even today, when somebody does an impossible escape, we say ‘he did a Houdini’.

Magicians also have to be exceptionally creative, to constantly stay ahead of the curve and relevant. Houdini himself did everything from card magic to escapes, from movies to being one of the first to fly an airplane — all in his quest of staying special. Performers like Derek DelGaudio are today pushing the bar consistently and creating new unbelievable experiences for their audiences. 

Being humble and likeable is an important trait for leaders, but all the more for the magician. Much as the showman needs to flaunt his traits, he needs to portray humility — for stepping on toes has not helped anybody. The secrets of magic are protected by the community and when a magician Val Valentino started sharing these on TV, hidden behind a mask, he was quickly found and boycotted from the magic fraternity. His career more or less died, despite the show that aired internationally on TV.

In today’s dog-eat-dog world, leaders need immense perseverance in excelling at what they do. What better parallel than David Blaine — a modern day miracle man and the greatest endurance artist of our time. Blaine stood on a pillar for eight days, stayed buried in the ground for a week, was entombed in ice for three days, and most recently performed a death-defying bullet catch. The character of risk taking is best embodied by Houdini and Blaine.

Speaking of taking risks and catching bullets, I am reminded of the great vaudevillian magician Chung Ling Soo, who is most known today for having died on stage when something went horribly wrong with his world-famous bullet catch act. In reality, this Chinese magician with an elaborate oriental show was an Englishman by name William Robinson.

In his stage show, Chung Ling Soo produced a large fish bowl, which appeared seemingly out of nowhere. To be able to perform this miracle, he needed to suspend that large heavy fish bowl between his knees, which made walking on stage rather difficult. To disguise this secret of one of his signature effects, Chung Ling Soo went around his normal daily life walking like a cripple. This wonderful story even inspired a scene in the movie The Prestige.

On a similar note, leaders strive to inspire their teams and people in general. They too try to stay in character — representing good morals — and instil confidence among their colleagues and peers. Magicians also need to be likeable and effective communicators, think differently, and deliver the impossible. Not too different from effective leaders!

Juan Tamariz has an interesting book for magicians called ‘Five Points in Magic’ where he shares how each of the five sense play a role in making and perceiving magic. A good magician is not only keeping a close eye on all that he is doing, but also observing and controlling his audiences to ensure they enjoy the magic to the best possibility.

The best example for this is Derren Brown, who — being a magician, mentalist and hypnotist — is a master at communication. He can read minds, predict what people are going to do, and even control them to do exactly what he wants them to do. Derren is a master at winning against the odds, always. Not to forget the hearts. Leaders too need to consistently win against the odds and leverage their learning from various disciplines and manage their multi-layered relations with the team, clients and higher-ups.

In summary, the traits that make or break a magician are the same ones that make a leader / manager successful. I like to see these characteristics as the 6Cs, 3Ps and an H, being:

  • Character
  • Courage
  • Connect (Awareness)
  • Creativity
  • Cooperation (Teamwork)
  • Communication
  • Passion
  • Purpose (Direction)
  • Perseverance
  • Humility

At their work, leaders and managers are expected to pull rabbits out of their hats all the time, delivering quality output in impossible timelines. And the challenges and constraints they encounter in their jobs are no less than performing the most complicated tight-rope walks. They are the real-life magicians.

Note: First published by Nakul Shenoy at Medium.com on August 23, 2017.

The Social Experience of Media

Social Media has well and truly arrived to rule the minds and digital lives of our people, having evolved to be the primary source of information and emerging as the de-facto mode of communication. Be it Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat or the time-tested blogs — the average netizen is spending an increasing amount of time seeing, reading and posting mundane, everyday updates on various social media platforms.

We are all creating information (and knowledge) at unprecedented levels, surpassing the traditional modes of media and communication many times over. Personal posts via social media tools far outnumber the messages people send each other via email, sms, or the ancient and more-romanticised mode of pen-on-paper. There are many youngsters, especially in the college-going age, who have never used email and rely completely on social media tools. Also, the rampant use of social media has further greyed-out the line between posts for personal and public consumption — mostly in the guise of the all-encompassing term called “social media friends”.

Yet, the golden age of social media is just at its nascent stage — with continued technological innovations making internet and smart devices accessible to a hitherto digitally-dormant populace. With each passing day, more people across the country and the globe are being digitally empowered — and coming in contact with a new world that seemingly has no borders; where news is reported by anybody and accessed by thousands (if not millions of people) within a few seconds. The ever-increasing popularity of social media tools has enabled people in the most impoverished and politically-troubled areas of the world to reach out to the conscience of global citizens, even as it has challenged the traditional news-media organisations to think out-of-the-box and stay relevant.

These developments have a darker side too, for it is now increasingly difficult to gauge the veracity of information that makes its way into our phones and lives, or to understand the political intent or ideology that is driving these social stories. As much as we have emerged in a digitally-connected social world, a few rather important questions repeatedly hit us day in and out: Who is sending this news and what does it mean for me? How much of this information is true? What is the guarantee that this is not yet another scam? Is this story something I should act on immediately or just file away as ideological propaganda?

Answering these difficult questions via technological innovations and safeguarding the interests of netizens (particularly the new and novice social users) is where the internet and social media industry is headed next. Robust, easy-to-use and accessible user interfaces will continue to pave the path for higher adoption and prove to be the game-changers to revolutionise the social experience of media. Meanwhile, continue to change the world one tweet at a time!

Note: First published in the Social Media >> people >> voices >> powerbook in April 2017 by @DEFIndia for Social Media for Empowerment Awards 2017.
First published online by Nakul Shenoy at Medium.com on May 24, 2017.

Bangalore Mirror: The Logic Of Magic

By Barkha Kumari
Apr 16, 2017

A brotherhood of magicians meets to polish their craft, and tell people how much there is to magic than card tricks and children’s birthday parties

Magicians never reveal their secrets, they say. Except to each other, that is. This is how to keep magic interesting for spectators. As long as illusion and mystery shrouds it the trade will survive. The secrets, therefore, must remain within the practising circles. Magicians swap secrets based on trust – so they know ideas won’t be copied, or adapted, without permission.

But plagiarism need not be fretted about at the Magic Invitational, a brotherhood of 20-odd illusionists, mind-readers, conjurers, clowns and shadow players. This lot are not the dabblers you remember from a child’s birthday party, they are pros with decades of experience. They meet to learn from and update each other. They push the envelope for magic, too, which is why their last gathering was opened up to amateurs. “If one magician rises, the fraternity will too,” believes its founder, Nakul Shenoy, a mind reader.

Meeting isn’t always easy, though. Barring a handful of members, most live beyond Bengaluru’s city limits. Plus, their calendars are blocked with revenue-generating public and corporate shows. Since their inception in 2009, the group has only ever met in full force about four times. Smaller gatherings of five to six magicians are easier to organise as and when members visit town. They also stay in touch online in a non-heirachical way – peers, mentors and critics altogether – “we are an informal group, a bunch of friends, and we have no plans to form a formal association. The moment hierarchies are drawn, the real purpose of why we are a group takes a backseat,” Shenoy believes.

Flashback

It all began after Shenoy’s trips to Las Vegas between 2006 and 2009. The 39-year-old was invited to be part of a closed group of 20 international magicians, “we discussed our half-baked ideas and the mechanics of our acts. When I came out of the room I realised some of the magicians I’d just met were legends – names I had only read in books; a few were even underground artists – and here they were discussing their secrets openly. There is no dearth of clubs for amateur magicians in India, but what about professionals? Where can we go to upgrade our skills?” says Shenoy. The first Magic Invitational meet-up took place in February 2009 with a dozen of his magician mates. Other members came in via referrals as ethics and etiquette took shape, facilitated by the existing lot. “I have a selfish agenda behind Magic Invitational, of course. I would like to be surrounded by top-notch performers and pick their brains.”

The making

At the meetups, the members demonstrate new tricks, ask for feedback, discuss ways to improvise an act or overcome a glitch, or exchange news from the world of magic — basically talk shop. If you don’t like criticism, stay away. Shenoy says, “a few members left because we ripped their acts apart. We give honest or blunt feedback. How else will we be of any value?”

A frequently pondered topic is presenting a character the audience can relate to and fall in love with. Millionaire illusionist, David Copperfield, for instance, are a package deal of more than mind-boggling, eye-duping, jaw-dropping acts. He weaves them around his own biography. So stagecraft and characterisation are as important for magicians as they are for actors, says Mumbai-based Tejas Malode who is a pupil at the forum. This is why the Invitational invites actors, lighting directors, musicians, and choreographers to chip in and help them become entertainers – use sound, lights, mime, footwork and goofy moves to their advantage. Malode says, “acting involves many techniques. Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan are in different leagues to, say, Arshad Warsi or Tusshar Kapoor – because they own their techniques and bring their personalities to stage.”

They have learned to survive competition offstage, and market themselves, sell your show to event managers or corporate houses. “Illusionists, conjurers, mind-benders are all nothing but magicians; but these labels do matter. They are your USP,” explains Shenoy. Sessions have also explored Internet fame. “I used to wonder how so many videos went viral. Now I know there are ways to make them do that,” says escapalogist and shadow play artist, the Indian Houdini, Prahlad Acharya.

Show time

And yet, members admit that it’s often difficult to pull audiences to their shows. Easy access to online entertainment poses a big challenge. The other obstacle is the perception of magicians. “When you ask somebody in India ‘Have you seen a magic show?’, they might say, ‘Yes, I saw it when I was 15’. And that becomes their first and last magic outing. That’s the struggle: how do we convince people that all shows are different, one magician is different from another, and that one magician can do different tricks? Like the movies, each show is a different experience.” Plus, an escape from realism we all need from time to time.

Economic Times: Modern magic makes for a lucrative career, say performers

Nakul Shenoy on stage at Prerna Confluence, Mangalore 2015

By Ipsita Basu

Aug 10, 2016

“Think of two shapes within each other. Think what colour each of them is.”

Pause. “Is it a yellow triangle, within an orange circle?” asks Aakarsh Bhat, to a baffled woman seated across the table from him. Next, he engages her in card tricks. A three of hearts has an arrow through it, a selected card changes colour and one even comes out of his pocket, with her signature on it. As the lady gathers her wits, Bhat, 29, an illusionist, leaves her with the souvenir of the signed card.

Welcome to the world of magic, sans the shiny costumes and comical theatrics on stage.Increasingly being engaged by restaurants, corporates, at conferences, bachelor parties and weddings, the new-age magicians in the city are much in demand. Their tricks include concepts on illusions, mentalism and mind reading, sleight of hand, among others.

Entertainers like Bhat are selftaught. He quit his conventional career to take this up as a fulltime profession. Why not, when opportunities are many and pay cheques for a proficient performer ranges from Rs 10,000 to Rs 2 lakh a show.

Stage or corporate acts usually last 45 minutes to an hour, while close up shows in a restaurant or a closed venue could vary from two to four hours.

Mind-reader and author of the book `Smart Course in Magic’, Nakul Shenoy , 38, has been performing for over a decade now. He juggles a consulting career along with his passion for mind reading. A communications professional and entrepreneur, his skills have extended into acts that involve thought leadership, product research and user experience. A second book titled `Make Magic to Life’ is on its way next year.” Since there are so many performers now, reinventing, customising, and being impromptu are important factors to stand out and keep one’s brand going,” says he. The seasoned performer and corporate speaker takes an annual trip to Las Vegas to connect with fellow magicians and reskill.

Secrecy being at the core of the profession, modern magicians have tightly-bound, invite-only groups where trade secrets are shared carefully. In some instances, popular acts or tricks can also be bought or traded within a community , for a price.

Allan Louie, 29, worked as an animator before taking to closeup magic, illusion and mentalism tricks. He currently performs in public, corporate shows and in popular restaurants in the city . Louie is glad that his passion could translate into a profession. In the last six months of performing in Bengaluru, Louie says, he has hardly bumped into 50 repeat customers.

“There are so many people out there to be entertained as Bengaluru is a growing city.Sometimes I do magic for random people, so that word gets around about my performances. I feel blessed to do what I love to do and make money out of it,” Louie adds.

Article reproduced from Modern magic makes for a lucrative career, say performers – Economic Times: ET Panache.

The Hindu Business Line: Abracadabra

By Sibi Arasu

April 24, 2015

Mind reader and magician Nakul Shenoy’s book goes beyond just textbook tricks

Nakul Shenoy, 37, discovered Mandrake the Magician at the age of five. Since then he has been trying to get up close and personal with his idol. Growing up in Udupi, Karnataka, performance spaces were few and far between but Shenoy kept practising magic and did his first big show at the age of 15. In 2010 he decided to take it up as a full-fledged profession and hasn’t looked back since.

With his first book now available in stores, he reveals that magic is much, much more than party tricks.

Tell us about you and Mandrake?

So, Mandrake is a fabled story, as we all know. As a young kid, at about age five, I used to pester my mom to basically read Mandrake out loud for me. I was fascinated by this character. He could make anyone see what he wanted them to see.

The moment you say Mandrake, a couple of things come to mind. There’s one strip where these guys are pointing pistols at him, and he says, ‘Those aren’t bananas are they?’ And the guys have bananas in their hands instead of pistols. It’s an imagery that’s so brilliant. And it caught my young imagination.

What is magic, according to you?

To me magic is about wonder, about creating an experience that stays with you. Sadly, most of the magic we see is just tricks or a puzzle. How you do the trick is secondary. How did he/she make that happen or how did the magician know what the audience is thinking is a feeling that registers with them. Someone watching magic will never get over this.

Tell us your favourite trick.

For 10-odd years, I have been performing as a mind reader. It was way back in 2002, when I started calling myself a mind reader and not a magician. Everything I do now is about the power of the mind, it has been about me being able to read somebody’s mind and being able to influence and transverse thoughts.

What sets this book apart?

Most magic books are about the trick and the method. About what you do and how you do it. This book is essentially about the performance. So it actually goes a little beyond the magic. It is a magic book, yes, but it will help anybody who is into speaking, performance, or presentations.

Article reproduced from Abracadabra – The Hindu Business Line

Nakul Shenoy’s Entertaining Act on Magic of Social Media

By Monica S.

JULY 3, 2015.

 

Nakul Shenoy entertaining at Social Conclave, Bangalore 2015
Nakul Shenoy entertaining at Social Conclave, Bangalore 2015

 

Nakul Shenoy’s event was strategically moved to after lunch and it worked! Though Nakul shared some of his insights on social media, and his own life journey that started with LiveJournal.com, the fact that he’s a magician, hypnotist and mind reader pretty much led our expectations.

He had us mesmerized (and freaked out per Manasi) with his mind games – he actually guessed a random word a guy picked up from a random book on a random page! He was able to come up with the name of a place one guy wrote down on a piece of paper in a sealed envelope! We were stupefied and more than just impressed! Hat’s off to you, Nakul!

One thing he said about brand presence on social stays with me: Whether you are there or not, others are going to talk about you.

Here is an Audio Interview with Nakul Shenoy: Social with The Mind Reader, Omni Channel Consultant & Professor

 

Reproduced from Social Media Day 2015, Bangalore – My Experience and Takeaways by Monica S (July 3, 2015)

Prajavani: ಜಾದೂ ಕೃತಿಕಾರನ ಹೊಳಹು

ಸಂದರ್ಶನ: ಸುಮಲತಾ ಎನ್

4 Apr, 2015

ಅತಿ ಚಿಕ್ಕ ವಯಸ್ಸಿಗೇ ಜಾದೂಕಲೆಯತ್ತ ಆಕರ್ಷಿತರಾದ ಉಡುಪಿ ಮೂಲದ ನಕುಲ್ ಶೆಣೈ ಅವರು ‘ಮೈಂಡ್‌ ರೀಡಿಂಗ್‌’ನಲ್ಲಿ ಸಿದ್ಧಹಸ್ತರು. ತಮ್ಮ ಹದಿನೈದನೇ ವಯಸ್ಸಿಗೇ ಮೊದಲ ಜಾದೂ ಪ್ರದರ್ಶನ ನೀಡಿದ ನಕುಲ್, ಸಂವಹನ ವಿಷಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಸ್ನಾತಕೋತ್ತರ ಪದವಿ ಪಡೆದು ಸುಮಾರು 14 ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಕಾಲ ಐಟಿ ಉದ್ಯೋಗದೊಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್‌ ಕಲೆಯನ್ನೂ ಬೆಳೆಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಬಂದರು.

ಅತಿ ಚಿಕ್ಕ ವಯಸ್ಸಿಗೇ ಜಾದೂಕಲೆಯತ್ತ ಆಕರ್ಷಿತರಾದ ಉಡುಪಿ ಮೂಲದ ನಕುಲ್ ಶೆಣೈ ಅವರು ‘ಮೈಂಡ್‌ ರೀಡಿಂಗ್‌’ನಲ್ಲಿ ಸಿದ್ಧಹಸ್ತರು. ತಮ್ಮ ಹದಿನೈದನೇ ವಯಸ್ಸಿಗೇ ಮೊದಲ ಜಾದೂ ಪ್ರದರ್ಶನ ನೀಡಿದ ನಕುಲ್, ಸಂವಹನ ವಿಷಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಸ್ನಾತಕೋತ್ತರ ಪದವಿ ಪಡೆದು ಸುಮಾರು 14 ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಕಾಲ ಐಟಿ ಉದ್ಯೋಗದೊಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್‌ ಕಲೆಯನ್ನೂ ಬೆಳೆಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಬಂದರು.

ಇದೀಗ ಜಾದೂ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿನ ತಮ್ಮ ಇಪ್ಪತ್ತು ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಅನುಭವದೊಂದಿಗೆ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್‌ ಕಲೆಗೆ ಅಗತ್ಯವಾದ ಕೆಲವು ಮೂಲ ಅಂಶಗಳನ್ನು ತಮ್ಮ ‘ಸ್ಮಾರ್ಟ್‌ ಕೋರ್ಸ್‌ ಇನ್‌ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್’ ಎಂಬ ಪುಸ್ತಕದ ಮೂಲಕ ತೆರೆದಿಟ್ಟಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

** ನಿಮ್ಮ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ‘ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್’ ಎಂದರೆ ಏನು?
ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಎಂದರೆ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್. ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಬೇರೆ ಪದವೇ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಅದರ ಅರ್ಥ ಅದರಲ್ಲೇ ಇದೆ. ಕಲೆಯ ಉತ್ತುಂಗ ಮಟ್ಟವನ್ನೇ ‘ಜಾದೂ’ ಎನ್ನಬಹುದು. ಕಲ್ಪನಾತೀತ, ಮನರಂಜನೆ, ತಂತ್ರಗಳಿಂದ ನೋಡುಗರಲ್ಲಿ ಅಚ್ಚರಿಯ ಅನುಭವ ಮೂಡಿಸುವುದೇ ಈ ಜಾದೂ ಕಲೆ.

**ಜಾದೂಕಲೆಗೆ ಬರಲು ನಿಮಗೆ ಸ್ಫೂರ್ತಿ ಏನು?
ನಾನು ಐದು ವರ್ಷದವನಿದ್ದಾಗ ‘ಮಾಂಡ್ರೇಕ್‌ ದಿ ಮೆಜೀಷಿಯನ್’ ಕಾಮಿಕ್ ಪುಸ್ತಕದ ಚಿತ್ರಗಳನ್ನು ನೋಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದೆ. ಆಗಿನಿಂದಲೇ ನನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಆಸಕ್ತಿ ಹುಟ್ಟಿಕೊಂಡಿತ್ತು.  ಎಂಟನೇ ವಯಸ್ಸಿನಿಂದ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಕಲಿಯಲು ಆರಂಭಿಸಿದೆ. ‘ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಕಿಡ್ಸ್‌’ನಂಥ ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳನ್ನು ಓದುತ್ತಿದ್ದೆ. ಅದೇ ನನಗೆ ಸ್ಫೂರ್ತಿ. ಹದಿನೈದು ವರ್ಷದವನಿದ್ದಾಗ ಉಡುಪಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮೊದಲ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಶೋ ನೀಡಿದ್ದು.

**ನಿಮ್ಮ ಜಾದೂಕಲೆಗೆ ಮನೆಯವರ ಬೆಂಬಲ ಹೇಗಿತ್ತು?
ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಪ್ರೋತ್ಸಾಹ ಕೊಟ್ಟರು. ತಂದೆ ಬಾಂಬೆಯಿಂದ ‘ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಕಿಟ್‌’ ತಂದುಕೊಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು. ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ‘ಲರ್ನ್ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್’ ಎಂಬ ಪುಸ್ತಕವಿತ್ತು. ಅದನ್ನು ಯಾವಾಗಲೂ ಓದುತ್ತಿದ್ದೆ. ಈ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಅಂಶಗಳೇ ನನ್ನನ್ನು ಜಾದೂಗಾರನನ್ನಾಗಿ ರೂಪಿಸಿದ್ದು.

**‘ಸ್ಮಾರ್ಟ್ ಕೋರ್ಸ್ ಇನ್ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್’ ಬರೆಯಲು ಪ್ರೇರಣೆ ಏನು?
ನಾನು ಚಿಕ್ಕವನಾಗಿದ್ದಾಗ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್‌ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಅಷ್ಟು ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಮುಂಬೈನ ಅಂಗಡಿಯೊಂದ ರಿಂದ ಅಪ್ಪ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ತಂದುಕೊಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು. ಈಗ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಕುರಿತು ತುಂಬಾ ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳಿವೆ.  ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಎಂದರೇನು, ಅದರ ರಹಸ್ಯ, ತಂತ್ರಗಳು, ಹೇಗೆ ಮಾಡಬೇಕು ಎಂಬ ಕುರಿತು ಮಾಹಿತಿ ಇರುತ್ತವೆ. ಜಾದೂ ಅನ್ನು ಒಂದು ತಂತ್ರದಂತೆ ನೋಡುವ ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳಿವೆ. ಆದರೆ ಜಾದೂಕಲೆಗೆ ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಬೇಕಿರುವ ಕೆಲ ಮೂಲ ಅಂಶಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ  ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳಿಲ್ಲ.   ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಜಾದೂ ಕಲೆಯನ್ನು ಒಂದು ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಪ್ರದರ್ಶನದಂತೆ ತೋರಲು ಇರುವ ಕಲೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಇದೇ ಕೊರತೆಯನ್ನೇ ಮೂಲವಾಗಿಟ್ಟುಕೊಂಡು ಪ್ರಾಯೋಗಿಕ ಕಲಿಕೆಯಂತೆ ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡುವ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಬರೆಯುವಲ್ಲಿ ತೊಡಗಿಕೊಂಡೆ. ಅದಕ್ಕೇ ಈ ಪುಸ್ತಕಕ್ಕೆ ‘ಸ್ಮಾರ್ಟ್‌ ಕೋರ್ಸ್ ಇನ್ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್’ ಎಂದು ಹೆಸರಿಟ್ಟೆ.

**ಈ ಪುಸ್ತಕದ ಉದ್ದೇಶವೇನು?
ಇದು ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯ ಜನರಿಗೆ, ಜಾದೂಕಲೆ ಕಲಿಯಬೇಕು ಎಂದುಕೊಂಡವರಿಗೆ ಹಾಗೂ ಜಾದೂ ಅಭ್ಯಾಸನಿರತರಿಗೆ ತುಂಬಾ ಅನುಕೂಲ.   ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯರಿಗೂ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಎಂದರೆ ಏನು ಎನ್ನುವುದು ತಿಳಿದಿರಬೇಕು. ಅದೇ ಈ ಪುಸ್ತಕದ ಉದ್ದೇಶ.

**‘ಸ್ಮಾರ್ಟ್‌ ಕೋರ್ಸ್‌ ಇನ್‌ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್’ ಪುಸ್ತಕದ ಕುರಿತು…
ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಬರೆಯಲು ಒಂದು ವರ್ಷ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡ್ದೇನೆ. ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಕಲೆಯ ಒಟ್ಟಾರೆ ನೋಟವನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡಿದೆ. ಹದಿನೈದು ಅಧ್ಯಾಯ ಗಳಿವೆ. ಭಾರತೀಯ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಕುರಿತ ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳು ಅಂತರರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ಮಟ್ಟದಲ್ಲಿ ಗುರುತಿಸಿಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದು ಕಡಿಮೆ. ಆದ್ದರಿಂದ ಈ ಪುಸ್ತಕವನ್ನು ವಿಶ್ವದ ಅತಿ ಪ್ರಸಿದ್ಧ ಜಾದೂಗಾರರೊಂದಿಗೆ ಸೇರಿ ಹೊರತಂದೆ. ಪುಸ್ತಕದ ಪ್ರಸ್ತಾವವನ್ನು ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್‌ನ ಇತಿಹಾಸ ತಜ್ಞ ಡಾ.ಪೀಟರ್ ಲೆಮೆಂಟ್ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದಾರೆ.  ಮೈಕಲ್ ವೆಬರ್ ಅವರ ಪರಿಚಯ ನುಡಿ ಇಲ್ಲಿದೆ.  ‘ಹಾರ್ಪರ್ ಕಾಲಿನ್ಸ್’ ಈ ಪುಸ್ತಕವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಕಟಿಸಿದೆ.

**ವಿದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಭಾರತದಲ್ಲಿ ಜಾದೂ ಕಲೆಗಿರುವ ಮಾನ್ಯತೆ ಏನು?
ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಕಳಪೆ, ಉತ್ತಮ ಎನ್ನುವಂತೆ ಅಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ಇರುತ್ತದೆ. ಆದರೆ ಭಾರತೀಯರಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು ತಪ್ಪು ಕಲ್ಪನೆ ಹಾಗೇ ಉಳಿದುಕೊಂಡಿದೆ. ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಅನ್ನು ಮಾಟ–ಮಂತ್ರ ಎಂದು ತಿಳಿದುಕೊಂಡವರಲ್ಲಿ ಶಿಕ್ಷಿತರೂ ಇದ್ದಾರೆ.  ವಿದೇಶಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಜಾದೂ ಅನ್ನು ಕಲೆ ಎಂಬಂತೆ ಆಸ್ವಾದಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ, ಹೊಗಳುತ್ತಾರೆ.

**ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್‌ನಿಂದ ವೈಯಕ್ತಿಕವಾಗಿ ಕಲಿತದ್ದು?
ನಾನು ಮೊದಲ ಮ್ಯಾಜಿಕ್ ಶೋ ನೀಡುವ ಮುನ್ನ ವೇದಿಕೆ ಹತ್ತಿದವನೇ ಅಲ್ಲ. ಹಿಂದೆ ಎರಡು ಬಾರಿ ವೇದಿಕೆವರೆಗೂ ಹೋಗಿ ವಾಪಸ್ ಓಡಿ ಬಂದಿದ್ದೆ. ಈ ಕಲೆ ನನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಆತ್ಮವಿಶ್ವಾಸ ತುಂಬಿತು. ಈಗ ಐನೂರಕ್ಕೂ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಕಾರ್ಪೊರೇಟ್‌ ಶೋಗಳನ್ನು ನೀಡಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಅಮೆರಿಕ, ಯುರೋಪ್ ಹೀಗೆ ವಿದೇಶಗಳಲ್ಲೂ ಶೋ ನೀಡಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಈ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿನ ಗಣ್ಯರ ಪರಿಚಯವೂ ಆಯಿತು.

**ಮುಂಬರುವ ಜಾದೂಗಾರರಿಗೆ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಸಲಹೆ?
ಈ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದು ಕೆಲವು ವರ್ಷಗಳ ನಂತರ ಬಂದ ಉದ್ದೇಶವನ್ನೇ ಮರೆತು ಯಾಂತ್ರಿಕವಾಗಿಬಿಡುತ್ತೇವೆ. ಹಾಗಾಗಬಾರದು ಎನ್ನುವುದೇ ನನ್ನ ಸಲಹೆ.  ಅಚ್ಚರಿಯ ಅನುಭವವನ್ನು ನೋಡುಗರಿಗೆ ನೀಡಬೇಕು. ಅದು ಜಾದೂಕಲೆಯ ಮೂಲ ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ನೆನಪಿನಲ್ಲಿಟ್ಟುಕೊಂಡು ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡಬೇಕು.

Article reproduced from ಜಾದೂ ಕೃತಿಕಾರನ ಹೊಳಹು – Prajavani

The Telegraph: Paperback Pickings

March 20 , 2015

SMART COURSE IN MAGIC: SECRETS, STAGING, TRICKS, TIPS (Collins, Rs 299) by Nakul Shenoy offers a crash course to help you “teach yourself magic”. This books will strike a chord with anyone who grew up at a time when magic shows were an immensely exciting prospect, either at birthday parties or in a full-fledged show, and who recognize that the demand for magicians and their acts has declined drastically in present times. The book makes an admirable attempt to prove that magic can be a fulfilling pursuit both for budding magicians and for those who seek to be entertained.

Article reproduced from Paperback Pickings – The Telegraph.

Bangalore Mirror: Reading Room

Mar 3, 2015

There are magic tricks to be learnt, a crafty murderer to be nailed and beautiful verses to be savoured

Weekend of abracadabra

This little book should keep you entertained over the weekend. A Collins publication, Smart Course In Magic — Secrets. Staging. Tricks. Tips by Nakul Shenoy, India’s premier performers, will keep you enthralled, even if you are the skeptical kind. It is a simple and effective off-the-shelf course that teaches the craft focusing on the theory of performance and presentation. You can learn card tricks, coin tricks, mind-reading with cards, card-to-pocket trick and many more. The book will set you on a path to develop the ability to convince people — amaze and entertain.

Inheritance

She was easily the most endearing rebel who defied categorisation. Kamala Das Selected Poems by Penguin can be a nostalgic read for Das’ fans and for those who yearn for a poetry in a world filled with prose. A major poet in English, Kamala Das’s taboo-breaking work explores themes of love and betrayal, the corporeal and the spiritual, while celebrating female sexuality and remaining deeply rooted in the poet’s ancestral tradition and landscape. Selected poems from her previously published six volumes of poetry and few unpublished works find place in this edition. It offers a unified perspective on her poetic achievement.

Cat & Mouse Game

Malice (published by Hachette) authored by Keigo Higashino, also known as the Japanese Stieg Larsson, is an intricate and thrilling read. Acclaimed bestselling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is brutally murdered in his home on the night before he’s planning to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, in a locked room, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock-solid alibis. Or so it seems. Police Detective Kaga suspects the best friend’s statement. Kaga finds evidence which shows that the two friends’ relationship was very different than they claimed. It is a brilliant telling of a cat and mouse game.

The Hindu: Young World: NEW on the Rack

JUNE 19, 2015

Smart Course in Magic by Nakul Shenoy, Collins, Rs. 299

A simple and effective off-the-shelf course that teaches the craft as it should be taught: focusing on the theory of performance on the theory of performance and presentation. Whether you want to take up magic as a hobby or improve your skills as a professional performer, this book will set you on your way.

Article reproduced from New On The Rack: Smart Course In Magic –The Hindu: Young World