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Posted at: Jul 12, 2018, 12:53 AM; last updated: Jul 12, 2018, 12:53 AM (IST)

Changing the tricks of their trade

Changing the tricks of their trade

Neha Saini

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 11

PC Sorcar, the country’s first and the most celebrated magician, introduced entertainment through magic on the Indian stage. Since then, magic acts have been fascinating a loyal audience, especially kids. But with the digital explosion, the charm to see a rabbit being pulled out the hat seems to have faded away.

“Of course, the kind of exposure everybody has due to Internet has effected the business. The number of audience might have decreased as people now do not prefer to watch live magic shows, rather watch online videos. But there is still lot of loyalists,” says OP Sharma, a veteran magician. “The element of surprise is lost when you watch videos of street magic on the Internet. But the business has managed to survive somehow,” he says.

Sharma, who has performed over 38,000 shows in India and overseas, is on a tour of Punjab with his crew and will perform live shows in the city. A mechanical engineer, who became India’s top magician, Sharma’s simple magic tricks have given way to complex, hard to master acts that require months of preparation.

“Changing times demand some innovative and new magical acts. Magic is mostly illusion and some art, which needs months of practice. Its real hard work that goes into one truly terrific magical act.” Up his sleeves, Sharma has some latest magical acts like making statue of liberty disappear or a dinosaur appear on stage. His son, Satya Prakash, who goes by the name OP Sharma Junior, also joins him on his tours along with a team of 60 performers.

“We just do not offer magic, but an entertaining show that has glamour, comedy and some interesting tricks to learn. The two-hour show has a lot of tricks to keep people hooked,” he stresses. The gradual pressure for survival, Sharma, says that young generation of magicians is eager to learn and change the game given some support from the government. “There are many youngsters who want to learn and pursue the profession but there are no certified institutes that teach magic. We get queries from girls, who want to join the profession.” He runs the Maya Mahal Magic Academy to teach amateur magicians.

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