Updates from America!

Greetings from America!

Decided to post some updates as i am at the halfway point of my “tour”, turns out this is going to be a long post :)

America has been awesome so far, I have completed shows in Chicago, New York and New Mexico and currently in Las Vegas awaiting my next performance.

First show always takes some nerves and i felt a bit of that on my first at the Magic Chicago Show, but all was good and it was an honour performing alongside Bill Cook and George A. Bradley.Managed to watch a great show “Cerebral Sorcery” by Francis Menotti and David london which set me off thinking of many ideas as well.

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The highlight in Chicago was being able to perform at the Chicago Magic Lounge, which was originally not part of the plan! I was just there to check out the place. And WOW,the exquisite, magical venue just breathes magic. If there is a place that is competing with magic castle to be the mecca of magic, this is it. I was asked to do a short bar set on the Thursday that i was visiting and the response was so well that the owner asked me back on Saturday to work the tables! There was so much magic history in Chicago that i learnt about in those few days, i wish i had more time! Going from a visitor to performing at the bar and doing the tables today, and hanging out with the guys at the backroom for an old style Chicago magic session, Chicago was a great experience.

Here are some photos from the lounge:

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Part of my bar set:

New York was interesting, the city of business and happenings. I performed on the Monday Night Magic Show as a special guest alongside an extraordinary cast including Peter Samuelson, Alex Boyce and Todd Robbins who was the host for the night. Performing in theatres has taught me a lot in terms of staging and technicalities of theatre , as we do not have many theatres back home that we can easily have regular magic shows, as of course watching the other magicians take the stage with their acts. I only had a couple of days in New York, so i mainly visited Times Square and The Statue of Liberty, and Tannen’s magic shop! Tannen’s is one of the best magic shops around, i managed to catch up with Magick Baley and hang around the shop to soak in the New York Magic Scene. I also managed to watch one of the deepest and most mind-blowing magic show i have seen. “In and of Itself” by Derek Delgaudio. In fact, it is so much more than a magic show. All i can is, if you get a chance to be in a city where the show is on, do not hesitate, GO FOR IT.

Here are some photos from New York:

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I only had 4 days in New York and flew down to New Mexico, Albuquerque.

My host at Albuquerque was Max Krause, he is a creator in magic and i managed to see many of his creations in action. Max owns a magic shop and theatre of his own and i performed 2 close up shows and 2 stage shows over my weekend there. Albuquerque is a small city but a beautiful one. The shows we had were intimate and a really fun crowd.

Some photos of the shop:

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And many thanks to Max for the hospitality!

And right now, i am looking forward to the rest of the trip and adventure!

Till next time, magically yours,
Ming Da

Reflections on Europe

Hi everybody!

Alas, the time for me to return home is near.

The Amsterdam Magic Show was a huge success with the tickets selling out before the day and standing tickets were even sold. I was honored to be on the line-up with fellow dutch and international magicians: Aljaž Šon, Arthur Gerards, Quintus De Paarse Goochelaar, Alex Blackwood, Timon Krause, Fritz Alkemade, Ryan Millar. We had such a fun international crowd (Saudia Arabia, Norway) and because we streamed the show live, people from South Africa and Czech Republic could see the show as well! My part of the show went very well and i had people coming up to me to shake my hand and tell me they enjoyed mine the most. Happy and humbled at the same time, very thankful for this opportunity.

Here are some photos from the show:
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The last of my performances happened at the Illusions Magic Bar in Bristol and what an experience it was. Illusions is like a cross between a club and bar. It has a corner for bands and a DJ where music is blasted out for the guests to listen and a mini dance-floor in front of it.

At another corner is the elevated platform stage for the the close up magic show. It is custom-made from an actual poker table and it is a beauty!

Illusions Bar Table: Every close up magician’s dream table
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Illusions Bar House Rules:

Performing at Illusions has been a big learning experience for me as a performer. Over the 3 days, i had to impress skeptics, deal with drunk and rowdy people, and learn how to work to get tips. One of the experiences was quite funny: I remember a guy who brought his wife up to watch my show and the wife was obviously not interested and did not bother to keep it in as well. Throughout the first 2 tricks that i did, she refused to be cooperative and was complaining to her husband that he dragged her up for the show. I knew i had to do something and i said: ‘ Look, the rest of the people here are here to enjoy the show, if you do not want to watch, no one is forcing you and you can leave anytime.’ She was stunned for a moment and kept quiet. It was then that i did my favorite trick with a lime and she was amazed and smiled and clapped. I have to say: That was a satisfying experience :)

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As Singapore does not have a tipping culture, it was also my first time doing banter and trying to get tips. And i absolutely love it. I shall not say how much i got for tips but let’s just say that i could eat comfortably for the 3 days just from the tips that i earned on the table, excluding my fee. Many people came to me after my sets and told me they really enjoyed and were impressed by my show. There were also regulars at the bar that told me they have been there before and my show was the best they have seen there. All these coming from the English public means a lot to me. I remember one group that was screaming to the bar manager: ‘ What is Ming doing here at Illusions?! HE should be at f—ing Las Vegas!’

There were also people who asked about my performance fee for overseas shows and were interested in booking me…so if things go on well: I will be back sooner than i thought! :) Thanks to Mark Bennett, owner and creator of Illusions Magic Bar for arranging everything!

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Being the first Singaporean magician to perform at Illusions, i have my own picture frame that will be up on the bar wall too!

Testimonial from Mark Bennett, owner and creator of Illusions Magic Bar:

“Hi Ming, Just wanted to say thanks and what a privilege to have you tread our boards at Illusions Magic Bar, many famous magicians have worked here from Paul Daniels to Paul Zenon and John Archer and I can say for someone who has never experienced a bar like this you took to it like a duck to water. especially the TIPS!!! I’m glad you enjoyed your experience with us and we hope to see you again soon.”

During my time in the UK and Europe, i also had the privilege to work with and watch many other magicians and make some friends. i have seen so many different kinds of magic: wonderful storytelling magic, silent acts on stage, stand up magic, great visual creations just for eye candy, bar magic done right. I have also learnt a lot from the magicians that i have talked to and spent time with. And all these add to my overall experience as a performer and gives me a broader perspective. Many thanks to everybody that i met and made me feel welcome and given me opportunities over here!

And big thanks to Brendan Rodrigues, The Magician of the year 2016 at The British Magic Circle, for sending me this:

I will be back 😉

Magically yours,
Ming Da