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

The Hindu: Looking Beyond Abracadabra

By Allan Moses Rodricks. 

February 08, 2015.

City-based wizard Nakul Shenoy, enlarges on his belief of magic being about performance rather than tricks, with a book.

For mind reader, magician and hypnotist based in Bengaluru, Nakul Shenoy, the secret to magic lies in the performance, not a series of tricks. To facilitate this notion, the enterprising thinker and performer has brought out a book Smart Course In Magic, (HarperCollins Publishers India) that dwells on confidence-building and connecting the essence of magic with performance rather than mere tricks.

The book, a conceptual game-changer in the learning of magic attempts to break down the elements of performance through classic tricks in an effective off-the-shelf course that can also be used in workshops by aspiring magicians and seasoned performers alike. Sharing the concept behind the first-of-its-kind book in India, Nakul explains that there are hundreds of books out there that teach you tricks, but none teach you performance. “My book barely has any tricks — surprising for a magic book. This is a book that teaches performance.”

Looking back, the budding 37-year-old entertainer recalls that it was his fascination for books that really started him off on his journey into magic. “Mandrake the Magician was a comic book series that inspired me when I was five. My first magic kit had a guide book. And coming to Bangalore from my home in Udupi, I used to hunt for books in stores. So books have always been part of my venture into magic. While I did move from the traditional card and rope magic to mind reading, the basics remain the same. With my communication background, I wanted to write, which is my passion, and the idea of the book came out. HarperCollins were thrilled to publish a magic book and a couple of my international mentors were happy to give a foreword and introduction. I still can’t believe it’s out,” he says with a beaming smile.

Nakul elaborates that he wanted to bring out a book for the general public and not just magicians. “Once you are into magic, you do get books, but there are hardly any on performances. This book prepares you for higher thinking. The few books that exist, dwell on trick, method and magic, which is a really bad way of looking at it. This one looks at the various aspects of magic. Most shows lack the emotional connect. This book facilitates anyone to pick it up and try their hand at performing magic. It is my small contribution to society.”

Is the book going to have a sequel? “On magic? I’m not too sure at this point. It’s not your end-all book. This is a brilliant start in your journey of magic. I’m 20 years in the field and I’m still learning. Giving stories, situations and plots, it’s an open ended book. I don’t know if there is a smarter course in magic,” he laughs. Nakul hopes people will take back from the book that “magic is art, science and communication. There is a psychology in every act and magic should connect.”

To aspiring magicians out there, he says: “Go out there and do it. You can change and touch lives in a way no one else can. But, before you go, practice and rehearse. Everything changes with a real performance. I personally am someone who never thought I’ll get here, but here I am now. Make sure you leave your audience in amazement and wonder.”

In a country like India, is it a good time to be a fulltime magician? “Yes,” affirms Nakul. “In fact, it’s a good time to be fulltime anything. The world is opening up. I used to be in the corporate sector myself. It’s good to do things in your own time, think and plan your life out.”

With the internet laying out all the answers in the open, is it all the more challenging for a magician now? Nakul agrees. “The world has changed. People can go online and Google how a trick is done. My advice is to personalise what you perform. Capture them in the story so much that they forget to analyse. The moment someone is thinking, he is looking at the trick as a puzzle and is challenged to solve it. Magic should leave people in amazement and wonder. In fact, the same magic has existed – only the aspect has been reinvented. The classic cutting a lady in half has been reinvented innumerable times. Exposures do hurt but most often they push the bar further. In the long run, it helps.” Visit www.nakulshenoy.com for more details.

Reproduced from The Hindu: Looking Beyond Abracadabra by Allan Moses Rodricks (February 08, 2015)

New Indian Express: Where a Magical Partnership Began

By Shilpa Kappur Vasudevan.

November 10, 2014.

‘Mind reader’ Nakul Shenoy rewinds to the magic of his undergrad and postgrad days, where he discovered his calling in life.

Nakul Shenoy prefers to call himself a mind reader and occupies himself by spreading the magic among straight-jacketed corporate executives. “Right from childhood I was fascinated by the world of magic and my aim in life was to take after the iconic comic character, Mandrake the magician,” he says. He successfully managed to convert his childhood interest into his occupation.

Nakul, a graduate in Commerce from MGM College (1998), Udipi, did his Master’s in Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication (2000). He says that his magic is different from the usual vanishing tricks and he banks on a combination of psychology, hypnosis, memory, coercion, influence and the like to get into the mind of the audience.

He is thankful for his UG days, for this was when he “used the opportunities to get on stage to perform magical tricks. I was also engaged in creating public awareness on social issues using magic as a medium. This, in fact, formed the premise for my Master’s thesis,” he says. But it was during his PG days that he gained focus. “I did not waste time loitering around. Since I pursued journalism, I started observing people around and the issues they faced, read a lot of books and, in short, linked everything to my studies. It was a wonderful phase, as I merged theory and practicals. I even bagged two of the four gold medals the department got.”

Though his in-your-face attitude got him into a spot of bother during those days, it is only the lovely times spent with his professors that he remembers now. “My writing evolved a lot under the late Dean of Print, AR Ramesh, at Manipal. As much as we shared a great rapport, we had our share of differences as well. Sometimes, I used to point-blank refuse to do a story the way he wanted it and used to argue that “this is how I see it”. Whatever little journalism I engaged in, the credit goes to him.”

Nakul’s fondness for his teachers is predictable as he goes on a spree of anecdotes. “I remember this particular incident from my UG days. Someone in the audience played a prank and the blame fell on me. The professors refused to believe my version. I was taken to the Principal, Shreesha Acharya to apologise, which I was not willing to do. The way the principal handled the situation still moves him. “Nakul is not capable of such wrongdoing”, the principal said. Those words still ring in my ears. Needless to say, it reduced me to tears,” he says.

Nakul as a motivational speaker, uses anecdotes from his own life in his talks. “I still speak about my UG Professor, TK Mohan, at my presentations. Anybody who studied at MGM knows that Prof Mohan used to call out for attendance only on the first day. After which, regardless of where you sat, all he had to do was take a quick glance around the room to know who was missing!”

College was also the time when he encountered real magic, when cupid struck him and his PG classmate Vishakha Dey. They have three boys.

Reproduced from The New Indian Express: Where a Magical Partnership Began by Shilpa Kappur Vasudevan (10 November 2014).