The Grandmaster Asia TV show in Indonesia

Hi all!

I was in Jakarta , Indonesia, last week recording a TV Show called ” The GrandMaster Asia” that will air on Indonesia SCTV on 1st December.

This is my first time performing on such a LARGE TV magic Show production and it definitely was an eye opener, nothing like what i see locally. The calibre of performers and acts were just mindblowing and i got to be honest, i was not ready for it. Look at the stage!

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The performers came from different parts of Asia: Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Brunei and Thailand. Many were multi-award winning magicians internationally, and to watch their acts in action was simply amazing. So how did i do? Honestly, i was very nervous when i was on stage and when saw the judges. I would say that my first 2 performances were not up to my standard but i found my confidence and direction slowly after.

This made me wish we had more shows like these in Singapore to allow local artists to be able to get on a big stage and perform to gain experience that would be valuable when we go to a bigger international stage.

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Had a great time with these bunch of great magicians! i learnt so much from each one of them and the judges.
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I will be back next week! Really grateful for the opportunity and the friendship made during this time, can’t wait to see them again :)

Stay tuned for more news!

Magically yours,
Ming Da

Magic dinner Show and other updates

Hi Everyone!

As Eugene Burger once said ” Close up magic is a form without a venue”, referring to a lack of venues (other than cocktail receptions and restaurants table hopping, maybe parties) for the full charm and artistry of formal close up magic to be experienced by the audience. And today i made one up.

As one growing up watching L and L magic tapes and watching performances at the magic castle from a faraway land, it always made me envious of the idea of a close up show, which is almost hardly seen here. Performing in America opened my eyes to the world of dinner theatres and i decided to bring this back to Singapore.

First Edition of an Evening of Magic collaboration with Cafe Football Singapore. Show is named "Magic After Hours" for the venue.

First Edition of an Evening of Magic collaboration with Cafe Football Singapore. Show is named “Magic After Hours” for the venue.

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In September, we did it. A three course dinner and full evening entertainment, we had a sell out show on the 6th of September ,other than 2 that had last minute things that came up. And everyone loved the show and are asking when is the next show.

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Many thanks to Cafe Football Singapore for the support and help, Shushannah Lee Derrick Goh for helping with the organising and Simon Tan for always having faith in my magic. And Nigel Lew and Dylan Tay for being part of it :)
I dreamt of a big dream on a small stage, and the dream came true.

We will be having the next show on 11th Oct, and seats can be reserved here:
Magic After Hours

Some other updates:

October will be really busy, preparing for a Halloween show at the end of the month. Tomorrow i will be doing some filming with LOVE 97.2 Radio for their facebook content again :)

The busy end of the year season is here! Looking forward to what lies in front!

Till next time..

Magically yours,
Ming Da

A Magic Dinner Show- An Evening of Magic

Treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind intimate dinner and show. “An Evening of Magic” is the ultimate entertainment experience weaving rarely seen feats of world-class magic and thoughtful sleight of mind. Enjoy a multi-course meal and with your VIP ticket, as you experience more magic and behold the full experience of a showman. An Evening of Magic is a perfect way to celebrate a special occasion or simply enjoy an elegant evening out with your friends and family. You’re in for an entertaining evening of fascinating mysteries.

First Edition of an Evening of Magic collaboration with Cafe Football Singapore. Show is named "Magic After Hours" for the venue.

First Edition of an Evening of Magic collaboration with Cafe Football Singapore. Show is named “Magic After Hours” for the venue.

The show:

Typically, Magic is a demonstration. Especially if it’s on stage or television, it is not an experience for the audience unless they can literally become a part of it.

“An Evening of Magic” is held at a high end restaurant, bringing the magic to the audience, allowing them to emotionally and physically be involved with the magic. Magic is almost never presented in a theatrical setting or a full evening show in Singapore. The power and beauty of a theatrical presentation combined with magic up close and personal will make this a refreshing and magical experience for the guests, one of its kind in Singapore.

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“An Evening of Magic” is an evening of personal and intimate magic theatre; it is a fun, interactive and mind blogging show, done in a classy and tasteful way.

 
 
 
This is not a show with top hat and rabbits, this is a show for the sophisticated audience.

By transforming a venue into a close up room, the Intimacy of a close up room provides a personal experience that simply can’t be found in larger venues and one that makes the whole audience a part of the magic.

 
 

The show can cater to small groups of 10 people, to bigger groups if 40. For smaller groups, it can be held in a private room, for larger groups a bigger room can be used.

Some sample show highlights:

Please contact Ming Da if you are a venue interested in collaborating for this concept or you would like to book out a show for your event.

Happy Guests for the Show and Performers

Happy Guests for the Show and Performers

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Common Mistakes People make when hiring a magician

Hi all,
Its the time of the year. Your end of year event/Dnd/party/celebration is here. You have looked at what entertainment options you have and finally have decided to hire a magician. Great! But wait…what now? How do you know which magician to choose?

Here are some common mistakes that people make when hiring a magician:

1) Leaving entertainment budget to the last

Price is a factor when hiring a performer, otherwise you will hire David Copperfield or Criss Angel to come and perform for your event. However, many event planners place too much emphasis on price and not enough emphasis on the overall impact the entertainer will have on their event.

Is the highest priced performer always the best? No. On the other hand, hiring the cheapest entertainer may not be the best way to go either. Magicians, comedians and other performers are often perceived as “all the same”. So, the event planner tries to find the lowest priced performer.
The fact is, that each performer is unique! Like in any other professions, there are entertainers who are great, some who are good, some okay, and some who should never be allowed on stage! Fees for entertainers are usually based on reputation, popularity, scale of presentation and over all talent and skill. But overall, it is important to note, as with anything in life, “You often, get what
you pay for!” You need to base your decision on the performer who will best fulfil your needs and help you to achieve your desired outcomes.

Decide what your budget range is early, do not leave it to the last thing remaining on your budget.Then go on and check out a couple of performers in that budget range. Choose several that catch your eye or seem to fit your event the best. And finally, choose the best person regardless of price. If your budget is so small that you cannot find an excellent performer, DO NOT HIRE ANYONE. It is far better to have no entertainer than it is to hire someone who is not going to give a good performance. Save your money and wait until you can afford someone who is outstanding and going to make your event outstanding.

When it comes to me, i always hold fast to this principle:
Always over-deliver, exceed expectations, go the extra mile; so that my bookers will feel that they get more than whatever value they are paying for.

Performing at The Chicago Magic Lounge

Performing at The Chicago Magic Lounge

2) Assuming That Going Through An Entertainment Agency
Will Guarantee Good Entertainment

Many event planners feel that they are better off hiring performers from an agency instead of hiring performers on their own. Firstly, let me say that there are many good and reputable agencies that I work with on a regular basis. In fact, if you want to hire entertainers through an agency, i can recommend you some. The following information is intended to help you avoid disreputable agencies. While it is true that calling an agency and letting them do the work is a lot easier than doing it yourself, there is no assurance that you are going to get the performer or entertainer that is perfect for your event. Agencies have a list of entertainers in different price ranges. Their first concern is to book the highest priced performer so they’ll get a bigger commission. It’s for this reason that they always ask you what your budget is. If you tell them that you have a $5,000 budget they will look to book an entertainer in that price range. This may not be the best person for your event, but because they can earn the most out of it, the agency books them.

3)Booking solely on testimonials

Testimonials are an important factor and tool when hiring any entertainer. However, it is not necessarily the volume of the reviews, as much as the content of the reviews and whether the reviews are genuine. The truth is that many entertainers make up their own testimonials and totally lie about their
credentials. Finding out the truth is very easy. Ask the performer to give you copies of some of the actual testimonial letters they received and not just the quotes from these letters. (I have for mine, in case you are wondering) If the entertainer/performer can’t produce at least some of the actual letters, you have your answer. Another ploy that entertainers pull on unsuspecting event planners is to claim that they have performed for people and at places they never really have. If a performer claims to have performed on a well-known television program, simply ask to see a video clip or picture.

If they don’t have it… well, you know.

Photo from the Singapore American Embassy 4th of July Independence Day Gala Event

Photo from the Singapore American Embassy 4th of July Independence Day Gala Event

4)Booking solely on demo video

A demo video is another helpful tool when choosing an entertainer, but it is not the most important thing. What a demo video is good for is getting a sense of the entertainer’s style and personality. And, whether the entertainer will be a good fit for your event or audience. The problem with basing your decision solely on someone’s demo video is the fact that anyone can make themselves look good on video through editing and retake after retake. The ideal situation will be to set up a meeting and to meet the performer in person, and perhaps get a sense of how he/she is like in person and how he carries himself.

5) Booking too long a duration OR the one with the most props

This, once again is a common pitfall. Especially in Singapore. People tend to have this idea that “If i am paying ‘X’ amount, i want to get the longest time out of it or a “tricks per minute” kind of mentality. This is not the best because magicians are NOT ATM machines, where you put in a certain amount and expect ‘X’ number of tricks. In fact, a great magician should be able to work a crowd with a standard set of tricks that plays to different crowds. An amateur on the other hand, tends to switch around material, jumping from one new trick to another. A true professional commands a room not JUST by his tricks, but by his presence. When i am doing roving magic for events, i prepare more tricks in advance but most of the times i tend to perform the same set for different groups and occasionally specials for VIPs. But the whole room can hear the laughter and reactions from different groups as i go from one end to another.

The same thing goes for stage magic. Scheduling too long of a show is a mistake many event planners make. It’s important to remember that it is not like people are going to the movies and want to see a two-hour show. In many cases, attendees will have been in meetings all day and will be tired. Even if your event is “dinner only”, your guests will have been sitting for at least 45 minutes before the show starts. If you add a cocktail hour, an awards presentation, and/or a speech from the company CEO, the length of the event increases dramatically. Some performers bring a whole lot of props for shows (with the exception of illusionists as that is required of them), chances are they are hiding behind their props.

Know what you want as a event planner. Do you want just a silent act? Where the magic is purely visual without talking. Or do you want an interactive stand up act, where the magic has audience participation. Usually, a mixture of both would be ideal, but then again, every event has its requirement.

There you have it! 5 common mistakes people make when hiring a magician for their event. Of course, there are other factors that you might want to consider as well depending on your event. But at least you have a guideline to start with now :)

Magically yours,
Ming Da

Top 75 Magic Blogs

Its my pleasure to share this news that this blog has been nominated “Top 75 Magic Blogs” on the internet by feedspot.

You can check out the link here: feedspot

To be exact this blog is ranked number 61 :)

Here is the virtual ‘medal’

Thanks to feedspot for the ranking and thank you to every one of you that actually takes the time to read this blog :) Look forward to better blog posts!

Magically yours,
Ming Da

Performance clips and photos from America!

Hi all!

Photos and videos of my performances from America are here! Here you go!

Las Vegas, The Wonderground:

Magic Monday LA:

Looking at these videos brings back memories…missing the time there!

And some photos from Vegas:

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Look forward to being back in America again in the future :)

Magically yours,
Ming Da

End of the trip… start of a new journey

So i am sitting here at my desk in my hotel, and tomorrow i have an early long flight to catch back home to Singapore. Have some time to do some reflections before getting down to packing up.

How can i describe this trip? Magical. Unbelievable.

I still can remember having this plan in my mind last year:

    I want to perform in America.

That was it. I am not the best, i am not famous, i don’t have the most original creations, or the best new moves. But i knew there was only one me, and i believed that was enough.

I didn’t tell many people, especially local magicians, because i was afraid to be judged. I was scared to be said to be “thinking too highly of himself” But i took the leap of faith. I listened to the small still voice in my heart.I researched, looked for places that i wanted to perform and emailed the places. Some were open, some were not. Of course i do not blame them. “Who’s this guy? A guy nobody knows, wanting to performing in the great America, how can we trust that hes good enough?” They didn’t say that of course, but i knew that was what they were thinking.

But some were open, some gave me their faith, and i think i did not disappoint them. Looking back at the trip and places i have performed…how unreal is this! I have met people i have only heard of, seen on magic tapes, seen their name only in a magic book…Legends from a far away land. And fast forward to now, i have met some, talked to some, sat on the same table to session, and even performed with some! And many who i can really now say are my friends. How crazy is this.

Here are some photos from Vegas where i performed at The Wonderground Cabaret:

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California Magic Dinner Show, where the show was sold out!

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The Bay Area Dinner Show:
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And finally Magic Monday LA:

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It has been an incredible journey, nothing short of amazing. I am leaving this place with ideas to work on, acts to practise and showcase one day, new goals to be achieved in the future, new business ideas to start when i am back home and most importantly memories that will last me a lifetime, friendship in magic that makes this craft and passion and hopefully art that i pursue so much worth it.

This is the end of the trip, but a start of a even greater journey i’m going to take. America, i will be back, wait for me.

Magically yours,
Ming Da