A year 2 political science undergraduate at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore, Anderson is a young man with a stunning portfolio of all kinds of magic tricks up in his sleeves. Always ready to display his stunts, Digital Senior sits down with Anderson to find out more about the man behind a repertoire of magic!
What sparked your interest in magic?
I was first exposed to magic at the tender age of 10, when one of my classmates showed me a magic trick and that piqued my interest in magic. I was very interested to know how my friend did the magic trick. Following that, I went online to find out more about magic tricks and began learning them. Since then, I was captivated by the beauty of magic and fell in love with magic. Upon familiarising myself with the basics of magic, I enjoyed performing magic tricks immensely.
Who is your favourite magician?
My favourite magician is definitely David Copperfield – that goes without saying!
When I was younger, I used to watch him on the television series and I really liked it a lot, I would always imagine – what would it be like if I was a magician?
The idea of becoming a magician was pretty cool because not many people get the opportunity to do amazing things. I inspire to be just like him one day!
What do you do to keep yourself updated with the latest magic news or tricks?
For a start, I frequent the National Library regularly to read magic books by Mark Wilson. I would then perform in front of my family members (they were glad to be my guinea pigs!) and they would provide feedback on my performance. I valued their comments tremendously as I saw that as room for improvement. Gradually, I started performing magic tricks on strangers and realised that this helped build up my confidence and public speaking skills. On top of that, I was inspired by street magician David Lane who gave me the added motivation to bring my magic out to the streets.
During my time in National Service, I was also reading up on magic books diligently and did a couple of performances as well. It was only recently that I stated to delve deeper into the literature of magic or what they call – the art of magic. I do make it a point to upgrade my knowledge and skills in magic. Most recently, I was very fortunate to have been referred to Meta Illusions by a schoolmate from Nanyang Junior College. Now, I have a mentor who guides me along in my personal growth and development. He also happens to be an alumni from NUS. Being in Meta Illusions has provided me with many more opportunities and platform to grow both as a performer and a magician.
What learning points have you taken away from your magic endeavour?
In my journey as a magician, I slowly discovered that magic was not about the tricks itself, but rather about the interaction between the magician and his audience. It is an art to know how to bridge the gap between two individuals. Performing magic was also about the connection, and how you are able to make the other person smile at your tricks. Typically, there is a stereotype that sees magic as some sort of a deception or lie, and this is a stereotype I want to break away from. I hope to be able to change that perception of magic into something that is interactive, fun, classy and intellectual.
Apart from becoming a better performer, magic has helped to hone my public speaking ability as I had to speak fluently when performing to strangers. I used to have stage fright but it has lessened over time as I developed and magic helped to buffer and reduce the symptoms and anxieties.
What are your other endeavours outside of magic?
I played the Guzheng from primary school all the way into my Junior College (JC) days. I was also smitten with the history subject. Evidently, time was of the essence, having to juggle both studies and co-curricular activities. I was also actively involved in the bi-annual Singapore Youth Festival where we won numerous gold with honours award. There came a time when I was at a crossroads having to decide which path to pursue – developing my musical talent in China or stay put and grow as a professional magician. Eventually, I chose magic over music and gave up the opportunity to venture into China.
How do you see yourself as a person in the magic industry?
Part of me wants to be a full-time magician (it’s my dream and goal) but I understand that it is going to be a very difficult journey. I can promise you that a profession in magic is not for the faint-hearted. There are so many barriers to it and it is not very stable a profession. Thus, my other plans include becoming a Foreign Service Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after graduation, or go on to pursue higher studies in the law fraternity. For now, I am keeping my options wide open.
Any word of advice to younger undergraduates who are still looking for their path in life?
Whatever you do, pursue your dreams, do your best and give your best. You may face obstacles along the way, the path may not be a smooth sailing one or even face failure, but just keep going at it, don’t give up and success will come.
Don’t be afraid to break conventions. Follow your dreams and eventually you’ll make it big.
(Photo credits to Anderson Chua)