We talk to three of the magicians appearing at Dubai World Trade Centre
With the group of magicians performing their spectacular tricks at the Dubai World Trade Centre until September 7, we decided to catch up with three of them to find out exactly what’s behind their characters.
The act? A triumph of energy over talent. Or to describe it more, sneaky sleight-of-hand flying upon the wings of irreverent comedy.
Favourite moment? Any trick that directly involves an audience member is always my favourite. You can’t beat a look of shock on an unsuspecting person in the audience.
Why choose this career? At the age of seven, I saw my first magician performing. That was it. I knew I had to make audiences feel the same sense of wonder that the magician made me feel.
Who was your inspiration? Fred Kaps, a Dutch magician. He died in the ’80s but his legacy is felt by every magician in the world.
What would you say to someone who wishes to follow in your footsteps? Where would you tell them to start? I’d tell them to become a shoe salesman instead. You get to look at lots of feet. It’s much better than showbusiness.
Is there a pressure to continually evolve your act? My act stays the same for the most part. My speciality is dealing with different audience members at every show. I never know who it’s going to be or how they’re going to react. I have to be ready for anything – even a knife fight.
How does it feel to be putting on your show in Dubai? I’m very excited as I’ve never been in this region of the world before. I think I’ll do very well. I predict that I’ll be voted in as the next president of the UAE.
Jinger-Leigh Kalin, The Enchantress
The act? Enchanting… should I say more?
Favourite moment? Kevin James’ Rose trick. I love when magic is seen through the eyes of a child.
Why choose this career? I started as an actress/dancer/performer, specialising in live theatrical performances. It was a natural progression to illusions. I knew it was what I was meant to do within the first month and that was over 20 years ago.
Who was your inspiration? I would have to say I really enjoyed watching Doug Henning as a child.
What would you say to someone who wishes to follow in your footsteps? Where would you tell them to start? There is no one right or wrong way. My best advice would be to follow your heart and try to achieve a sense of wonder for your audience. Magic is best expressed through emotion. If you can allow someone to truly feel something that’s real magic.
Is there a pressure to continually evolve your act? Bigger is not always better. And yes, the pressure is always there to push the limits as it is with other areas of life. The seven illusionists assembled together for this show are, no doubt, the leaders in their field. How does it feel to be putting on your show in Dubai? Exciting!
Philip Escoffey, The Mentalist
The act? Understated and, I hope, intriguing as well.
Favourite moment? I love all the things that I don’t do myself. Of course I have a favourite but I can’t possibly say. I have to hang out with all of them.
Why choose this career? In about 1999 when I was just turning 30, I decided that reading people’s minds at fancy parties was a nice way to earn a living. I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve made it.
Who was your inspiration? Chan Canasta (a mentalist who performed in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s). He had a charm and class, which was very inspiring.
What would you say to someone who wishes to follow in your footsteps? Where would you tell them to start? I’m not a big fan of competition so I’d probably get them to read a book on balloon animals. That should stop them in their tracks. If they’re really serious, I think that there’s a lot of truth in the idea that the more interesting and interested you are as a person, the more engaging any performance becomes.
Is there a pressure to continually evolve your act? I was once told to do something so complicated that no one would ever copy it. That was good advice. Performing mentalism to such large audiences has presented challenges but it’s pushed me to come up with some of my most original stuff.
How does it feel to be putting on your show in Dubai? Very exciting. I came to Dubai once about ten years ago and it will be good to get to see a little more. Dhs250-Dhs2,500. Until September 7. Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.theillusionistsdubai.com (056 133 3268).