Abracadabra, here’s the Magic IG!

Everyone in RP knows about Replug, Dragon Boat, Soccer and Create. But there are small but interesting Interest Groups (IGs). NAADIAH BADIB stumbles upon some men who perform magic tricks.

Everyday I’m Shuffling: Magic IG’s Vice-President, Desmond Ho Hou Chun, showing one of the many ways to shuffle cards. (PHOTO: Nur Humaira Wahab)
Everyday I’m Shuffling: Magic IG’s Vice-President, Desmond Ho Hou Chun, showing one of the many ways to shuffle cards. (PHOTO: Nur Humaira Wahab)

While athletes are put through their paces for the POL-ITE games and dancers practise their routines in studios for the Reflections showcase, students from the Magic Interest Group master their tricks and moves with the help of their alumni in a small lecture room tucked in the corner of W3.

All their tricks, ranging from stage illusion and close-ups, were passed down from their alumni. The Magic IG has produced several members who have graduated to become part-time magicians. Every week, they would come down to their juniors’ practice and share their experiences.

“Learning from them (the alumni) helps us to know how to react and handle the situation if someone were to spoil or expose the trick,” said the Vice President of Magic IG, Desmond Ho Hou Chun, 20.

The group attends magic performances that allow them to meet other students of the same interest from other schools. Their bonds have allowed Singapore Polytechnic’s Magic members to frequent their practices and hold mini exchange programmes to learn from one another.

“It is motivating to have friends who share common interests as they not only provide support but help me to do better in my performances,” said Magic IG President , Ooi Zen Yen, 20.

With the help of DVDs, members constantly look out for ways to do better tricks. The facilitator-in-charge of Magic IG believes that the execution of a magic trick does not rely solely on props or their teacher, but the interaction between the performer and his audience.

“Magicians are similar to comedians. They perform simple tricks but because they are able to entertain their audience well, magic becomes secondary as the audience would be engaged in their energy and charisma on stage,” said Senior Lecturer for Centre for Educational Development Dr Loke Han Ying, 44.

A magician himself, Dr Loke formed the Magic IG back in 2003. What initially started as a small club has grown into a team of more than 30 members and they have performed for renowned companies like Toshiba and Kuriya.

Currently, the 11-year-old IG has several competition titles to its name. In June this year, they clinched both the first prize and the second-runner up positions in The Fantabulous Magic Challenge.

“Being the first polytechnic to set up Magic IG, we have exposure to more performances since the TRCC theatre provides us the venue for our solos,” Dr Loke said.

“I hope that this club can allow others to appreciate magic as an art and spread the message that this interest is indeed for everyone,” he added.