Tag Archives: magic

My favorite Magic Wand, ever!!!

As some of you may know, a quirky hobby of mine is collecting magic wands. Like the old-school top hat, distinguished wands represent a legacy of magic. My humble collection consists of wooden wands, plastic wands, Harry Potter wands… and even stylized wands that could “magically” blast light out from it’s tip, that I created and soldiered myself!

All that said, some wands don’t last. I’ve bought locally crafted wooden wands that start to warp and bend after some time, because the makers didn’t treat the wood properly… plus the high humidity and heat here in sunny Singapore really doesn’t help.

That’s why I was particularly impressed with the supremely well-made magic wands Michael Myatt of USA personally handcrafts. For his popular 2-part wands, Michael usually works with high-quality wood and metal but the special wand he made for me is a wildly gorgeous hot pink acrylic with beautiful white swirls, complete with elegant black tips.

It was love at first sight :) I really love my exotic looking wand… Thank you Michael!

Magicians and wand collectors really ought to check out his website, Moonlight Magic Productions. Michael and his team of other talented artisans also make matching coin boxes and other interesting accessories. IMHO, the pictures don’t do the actual products justice. IT’s obvious to me that the folks at Moonlight Magic are a passionate bunch who do their work with pride.

I recently used my brand new wand as a magic prop in the recent cover photoshoot for Guardian magazine (due out in Jan 2012) and even the photographer & stylist were commenting on how stylish it looked! They fitted me into a gorgeous pink dress from a UK designer, and here’s me playing Tinkerbell. Hee hee.

I’ll blog more about the magazine cover photo shoot in a bit… It hits all Guardian outlets nationwide in Jan 2012, and there’s apparently going to be a lifesize cut-out of me too! Now if I can only make my “clones” multi-task so I can chillax! Haha… Click here for pictures J C took while at the cover photo shoot.

Ta for now, more later!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Chinese New Year!!!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!!! May this (y)ear of the Rabbit be a great one for you :)

The above animation is very very first attempt at doing a little stop animation clip. I used a Playmobil toy my friend Desi gave me for Christmas, as well as, a handful of dry pasta alphabets I had in my kitchen *grin*

Feel free to comment what you think, but meanwhile, I have an important announcement for magicians & magic enthusiasts…

OUR MAGIC BOUTIQUE MEGA SALE STARTS ON THE 2ND DAY OF CNY – 4th FEB 2011!!!!

Trust me, this is something you’d surely kick yourself if you missed because we have the latest magic goodies going at a steal. We have the newest magic effects + instructional DVDs on everything – street magic, mentalism, stage magic, illusions, card magic, close up, you name it!

As usual, first come, first serve. So do visit Magic Boutique soonest to reserve your loot! This is our way of spread the Lunar New Year cheer ;) Thus far all our mega sales have been huge successes because they are genuine. Great products at unmatchable prices. We hope to continue the tradition.

PS: While I prepare for my upcoming travel adventure, I’m going to keep all things separate blog-wise, and so for the time being…

For all magic related stuff & what J C & I have been up to, please see Backstage Business. My on-stage partner has brilliant updates and pictures, and blogs regularly. Join our J C Sum & ‘Magic Babe’ Ning Facebook fan page if you haven’t already… There you’ll get the latest news and updates :)

Magic reviews still continue at www.sexymagicreviews.wordpress.com – check it out if you haven’t already, we’ve had many magicians coming to us sharing that they found the written reviews very helpful & insightful *grin*

Anyway… as for my upcoming travel adventure book project with the BFF that will be published in Fall 2012 by Marshall Cavendish International, do bookmark Adventures of 2 Girls :)

The 2 of us girls are currently busy with preparations that will see us spending the first 3 months in a backpacking road-trip in Canada/USA, followed by a Summer in Paris where I will be studying the fine art of French patisserie in Le Cordon Bleu. The last 3 months before we come back to Singapore, is going to be a surprise…

Link up with Pam & yours truly on our Adventures of 2 Girls on Facebook too! We’re currently seeking sponsors, so if you’d like to be an angel, please give a shout!!!

PPS: Just in case you’re wondering if this is the end of Magic Babe, it is not. Sorry to disappoint ;) Magic Boutique still continues under the very capable hands of Kinetic Gal aka Adeline Ng and team.

And you’ll be seeing a lot of me during my “absence”… More on that later. J C & I and the Concept:Magic team have been busy working on some projects that we can’t talk about… just yet ;) Ta for now, more later!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Last day of 2010…

Heya folks.

It’s the last few hours of the year before 2011 greets us after the stroke of midnight. Has it been an awesome year for you? Someone wise once told me it’s not the number of years that count but really, the life you had in those years given. Food for thought, eh.

Anyway. J C made a great blog post here about all the amazing projects we’ve done for 2010. Everything is in chronological order, with pictures and videos and details. Do check it out :)

Personally, 2010 has been a truly brilliant year and I’ve learnt so much. I got to make new friends who are truly precious gems, experience new places and different things, and also served to inspire people and help them blossom and be better, somehow in my own quirky way.

That is actually the most important to me, because it gives purpose to my existence here on Earth, so I’m really very thankful to be able to give back this way.

The year for me has been a pretty crazy roller-coaster ride of sorts, but I’ve always been a firm believer or “everything happens for a reason” but I’ve been very blessed and will continue to believe in the greater good and also in paying it forward, whenever I can.

I think 2011 is going to teach me new things. To be more brave and courageous. To be more open to crazy unknown challenges. To simply live life and love all the adventures (the good and the bad!) that will come.

This unpredictable magician who believes in living life to the fullest has something massively insane up her sleeve and will reveal it shortly, in due time ;) It’s going to be something that will shock some.

The very first clue about this will have to be something from Eleanor “Do one thing every day that scares you” Roosevelt. She wisely shared:

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”

Okay so maybe that may be a bit vague… More hints and clues to follow, but meanwhile, do enjoy the very last day of 2010 and celebrate it with the ones who matter.

Wishing you a fantastic year ahead where 2011 will be the most awesome yet,

Ning

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Magic Boutique MEGA SALE now on!

Heya folks!

Yesterday was really busy – we had stage shows at different venues, and it was quite the rush because of traffic… but I definitely had fun. Also helps that I work with a bunch of truly amazing people, and last evening, our illusion show at Clarke Quay saw us working with Daniel Ong & Adrian Pang (Club Med ambassador).

Which reminds me. Did you catch the grand finale of The Amazing Race Asia (season 4) on AXN Asia? :)

J C & I represented Singapore when filming for the popular reality show and the series creators approached us to come up with a magic + escapology challenge for the last few remaining contestants for the final lap!

We played judges as well, passing or failing the competing teams from the different Asian countries. The filming happened earlier in July and it was a riot *grin* It was all fun of course, and J C & I are glad to be a part of it!

It’s a pity we had a conflict of schedule so we had to turn down the show’s producers when they asked if J C & I could again, present and create another challenge for the current season of Amazing Race Australia. Would have been really fun but year-end is just our busiest time ever!!!

The Amazing Race Asia is one of my favorite TV shows. In fact, here’s a little known fact…

I actually auditioned for the very first season of Amazing Race Asia with my University classmate, Natasha Kim Bounaparte, because the two of us girls both LOVE to travel and we thought it’d be really cool to do this together.

However, the contestants picked to represent Singapore turned out to be local actress Melody Chen and her bestfriend instead. But Nats & I had a wicked time anyway… I think she still has our funny audition video, where we were up to our hilarious antics and all. Hah!

So it was kinda funny to me anyways, when I found myself playing judge for the last episode of the current season’s Amazing Race Asia, with the cameras in my face while J C & I were judging the contestants at St James, performing the magic and escapology sequence we taught them. Life sure is surreal!

Anyways!

I’ve got a special announcement for everyone, in case you haven’t already seen it on TwitterFacebook J C Sum & ‘Magic Babe’ Ning fan page and the on-going ads on Facebook…

(Can you see my Egyptian ankh tattoo peeking out, on the nape of my neck?)

THE

LATEST

MAGIC BOUTIQUE

MEGA SALE

IS NOW

ON!!!

Well actually it started last evening, at around 6pm. Many excellent magic effects are going away at AWESOME PRICES and as always… it’s all 100% original magic products, no rip-offs or copies whatsoever.

With Magic Boutique, you can be rest assured about quality & integrity, because we are professionals with pride. We decided to have this latest Magic Boutique mega sale right now, to sincerely thank our loyal supporters since it’s the Christmas season!

You’ll find really great steals at the Magic Boutique mega sale, but do act fast because it works on a first come first serve basis, as per all our past mega sales.

They have all been a fabulous success simply because they are nothing but real, genuine sales. Solid good magic at rock-bottom discounted prices, no crappy magic products at insincere prices ;)

Magicians and magic enthusiasts would be happy to find awesome gems from well-known magic creators like: Matsuda, Yigal Mesika, Mel Mellers, Franz Harary, Paul Osbourne, Andrew Mayne, Peter Eggnik, Bob Farmer, Cameron Francis, David Forrest, Mickael Chatelain, Etienne Pradier, Aaron Fisher, Michael Vincent, Devin Knight, Richard Osterlind, Kenton Knepper, Wayne Dobson, Ben Harris, Patrick G Redford, Andrew Gerard, Pieras Fitikides, Gene Anderson, Paul Romhany, Simon Lovell, Criss Angel and more!!!

At Magic Boutique, we know what makes you happy ♥

See the newest, coolest magic effects at the craziest prices now HERE!

Please note the T&Cs. This mega sale ends on 15 Dec 2010 at one minute before midnight (Singapore time). Full details in the link above ;) Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Bits of wisdom…

Yesterday on Facebook, I mentioned that I really love this insightful quote by Alan Cohen:

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”

I shared this brilliant piece of wisdom online and almost instantly, many different people from all walks of life came forward to “like” it and most subsequently shared it with their friends on Facebook too, because they also loved it and found it extremely meaningful.

This clever quote completely stood out for me because it was simply genius that may be relevantly  applied to many, many things.

For yourself. In life. In work. In magic.

As you’re aware, J C & I have always been advocates of originality – and it’s not just talk, we do walk the talk.

Through the years, we’ve done unique mega illusions like teleporting 3 people across the Singapore River in 2.5 seconds, teleporting a Volkswagen car cross country, teleporting up a skyscraper in mere seconds, breaking world records, successfully predicting the local lottery, and this 12th December will see us elevating 5 people and making them vanish.

Classics are brilliant when done well and enhanced, but when a performer approaches it as a craft, doing it exactly how it’s been done originally from decades ago… nothing is actually done to elevate magic as an art.

So depending on your target audience: i.e. industry insiders/ peers OR real life audience who pay the moolah, you really need to clarify your objectives and goals. Peer recognition/ adulation for specific things they prefer and hold dear (like technical handling of difficult sleights, etc) OR completely blowing the minds of your captive audience (not with a gun literally, but, were they totally entertained).

Vibrant creative scenes see constant injections of revitalizing change and new modifications to make things fresh.  This is both important and vital, for obvious reasons. So why are most magicians still adopting the laid-back, old-fashioned “why fix  it if it isn’t broken” approach? People still peg us to the cheesy outfits like top hats and tailcoats because there are magicians out there who still wear them and want to be taken seriously (not talking about kid’s entertainers here) though it’s the year 2010.

Experts on creativity commonly conclude that it is more often than not, always about the catalytic fusion of ideas to make something new, a clever incorporation or improvement of existing concepts, plus the obvious daring to stick your neck out to be different from the norm.

Music: Would industry successes like Lady Gaga be as wildly popular if she wasn’t as wacky and attention seeking with her antics? How many professional singers today simply only sing? Talent and techniques are a given, but in today’s current standards of showbiz, a pro has to really stand out and be noticed. It’s no good simply being able to sing and dance well anymore. You need to get with it. The times have changed.

Dance: There’s so much more variety than just ballet – there’s modern dance, which is artistically expressive. And I know several classically trained ballet dancers who prefer to dance Modern. In fact, at the recent gala premiere of Riverdance at Marina Bay Sands which I was invited to, I noticed that the popular show has also evolved since it last came to Singapore. It’s more contemporary, yet still retains its “classical” Riverdance roots. But the audience also went wild with the funky New York tap dancing numbers and the sizzling Flamenco acts, that the show producers cleverly weaved in.

Art: There are so many different types of styles and the scene is kept vibrant because successful artists dare to re-invent and change to suit the modern day context of life. As students, apprentice artists may make copies of works done by their teachers. But when they are ready to be their own persons, they show their own unique creations to the world. Also, there’s so many different mediums too – it’s this constant evolution and richness in originality that keeps it all alive!

Fashion: Yes, there are the cult classics like LBDs (little black dresses – an important piece of any modern day woman’s basic essentials) but this multi-billion dollar industry is constantly evolving and the best fashion designers and brands in the fast-paced industry are the ones who dare dream the wildest and put action to thought. Folks who’ve seen or read ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ would understand how this industry is far more powerful than most people understand or give it credit for.

Magic: …Ah, before I start on this topic that’s very close to my heart, let me again share Alan Cohen’s quote…

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”

I look towards the great success stories in magic for inspiration and at times, clarity when I am feeling down. Contemporary successful magicians like David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Cyril Takayama, Lu Chen… they all have something in common.

They embrace the new. They perform current magic that are meaningful to today’s savvy audience who are a lot wiser now, in this Internet age. Their brand of magic is very well-received because it is refreshingly different. These guys are at the forefront of where they are in their solid careers. They are confident about themselves and simply strive for the best.

In other words, they’ve all followed Cohen’s advice and it’s worked exceedingly well for them.

They do not stick to the “same ole” classic routines or acts that everyone else does (since like from a long time ago when things weren’t cliche yet, or obvious, or over-done), that glaringly no longer resonate with the jaded audience of 2010. They are not stagnant in their growth, and they are absolutely not afraid to change because they acknowledge the fact that intelligent improvements only serve as positive updates. They are also not insecure and small minded.

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”

So chew on it…  Be you a young magician or aspiring magic star. Or simply just someone who desires a better future… How can these wise, poignant words help you improve aspects you want to better, or to overcome?

When you decide you’re ready for positive change, push on and don’t look back. Ignore detractors who will try to pull you down because of personal/ professional jealousy. Tall poppy syndrome AKA crab mentality exist when the mediocre are insecure, and don’t have the guts or capability to do what you have taken up.

I sincerely wish you all the best in your journey ahead ;) Carpe diem, my friend…

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Abridged.

It’s 6am and I’m up, blogging. My only companion being my comforting mug of steaming hot chocolate and marshmallows. The world outside my window still seems asleep.

I must apologize for the unusually long absence, but there have been so many things happening in my life recently that’s like a storm.

Unexpected, sometimes beautiful, in a crazy way. It’s made me reflective, somewhat.

As usual work has been busy, which is good, but all that aside, I also experienced a death in the family.

My aunt was only in her 40s when she passed away from heart failure. No one saw it coming, especially when she was at the prime of her life.

I have very fond memories of my aunt Loura. I couldn’t have been more than 12 when she asked me one evening after dinner, at my grandmother’s house, if I’d started my periods yet.

It quite surprised me, because everyone else was mostly very Asian in their values and these things weren’t usually openly discussed. But she was the youngest aunt (in terms of age) and I’d always seen her as the most modern and Westernized.

My cheeky aunt then shared her funny experiences of “surprise” and we giggled about it. I remember going away feeling a lot better about myself, though I didn’t quite understand then, the changes that were going through my body.

I had no clue that the gawky insecure teenager I was, would some day blossom today into who people know  as Magic Babe :)

Aunt Loura’s sudden passing honestly left me numb in shock. My father had shared the sad news and I immediately reached out to my grieving cousins, the older of the two having just got out of NS not too long ago & his younger brother still schooling. Like stoic young men, they took it bravely well. Still, I know we will all miss her dearly.

So it was apt later when Pam brought me to the Esplanade to watch POOP by the Fingerplayers. The BFF & I enjoyed ourselves tremendously and the entire venue was brought down to sniffles. The title is misleading somewhat to the uninitiated but you’d understand its title after experiencing the poignant play about love, life and death.

It made me reflective again, about the delicate truth on how a single death in a family can impact all the others left behind, and how everything changes. POOP was great, and I’m so very proud of the wonderful local talents we have. The production was cleverly “simple” but so touching because it really connected with the audience. Everyone I saw, left the theater red-eyed or sniffling.

Anyway, I had a very good experience in Jakarta for the ‘live’ TV performance for RCTI’s Duel Mahakarya Magician. It was the highest watched show, with a staggering 20 million viewers on that night itself – with the numbers escalating sharply after re-runs were screened.

I had a good time with my wonderful team, and met many professional magicians from Jakarta and overseas, some whom I still keep very close contact with :) The only dampener of the trip was that my bag got stolen from my private dressing room. I didn’t mind too much the items that could be easily replaced by going to a store, but it was the things given to me by friends, that had sentimental value.

But I’m all over that incident already. Perhaps the thief really needed the money and in context, I probably have been more blessed than her this lifetime as I’ve experienced so much and am cared for by so many wonderful people. Besides, the most important thing was that my passport was in our hotel suite, so it wasn’t too big a deal.

Coming back to Singapore, we had a series of shows, some of the most memorable one (to me), being an illusion show at Expo for a crowd of 2,500 guests. There were nuns in the crowd, and I’d expected them to be aghast with my sexy red corset and dangerous knife twirling, but they really enjoyed themselves.

One of them actually reminded me of an Asian Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act, not because she had dark shades on, but she was just very jolly and warm… not at all like the stern, harsh Catholic nuns the movies portray.

I spent my primary & secondary education in a methodist school (Methodist Girls School, to be exact- the same school Mrs Lee Kuan Yew came from… may her recently departed soul rest in peace), not a convent school, so I never had the experience of being taught by nuns. But I imagine me being me (back then), I’d probably have them praying about me and my antics every day. Heh.

During the F1 Grand Prix season, we also helped make American singing sensation Missy Elliot appear and disappear magically on stage & I finally met Franz Harary, a friend of J C’s from way back, and it was certainly an experience.

Anyway, do see J C’s regularly updated blog for full write-ups on all gigs and such we’ve been up to. Also, we’ve been running fun contests on Facebook – check out http://www.facebook.com/jcsum.magicbabening

If you didn’t already know (follow us on Facebook!), J C & I will be doing an all-new mega illusion at year end. Our 8th mega illusion,“The Aerial Exit”, is an unique mega illusion in the air and will be the grand finale of the 2010 ”Explore Singapore” campaign by the National Heritage Board.

Both J C & yours truly of course, are really honored to be chosen as the faces of this year’s campaign. Like I mentioned before, I just want to help raise the bar of magic here in this part of the world. J C & I have some public shows coming up, so do watch out for those! You will soon see publicity for these exciting events splashed all around Singapore ;)

Oh yes, speaking about media and publicity… I’d wish to thank the wonderful team of FHM again for putting me once again for the third year running, in their latest 100 sexiest women in the world list *grin* It comes as a lovely birthday gift, yet again. My FHM cover issue came out exactly a year ago, in Oct 2009.

FYI, J C & I were featured in TNP last weekend and this Thursday sees my exclusive interview published in The New Paper, and again this Sunday in the Straits Times… sorry, The Sunday Times :) The photoshoot for these exclusive newspaper interviews went well, I had a really awesome photographer, so I’m excited how the prints will come out themselves *grin*

Anyways. Our Magic Boutique mega sale is going SWELL since it started weeks ago :) Thanks for the overwhelming support once again, it’s heartening to see how so many new magic enthusiasts have sprung up in this little red dot. We’ve created a magic review blogsite at www.sexymagicreviews.wordpress.com …do check it out for shrewd reviews and more.

By the way, I should highlight that there’s someone pretending to be me in Facebook – using my pictures and everything. I found it quite amusing, especially when s/he writes in Indonesian English :) Just so you know… my personal Facebook account is already maxed out, so please, do join the J C Sum & ‘Magic Babe’ Ning one instead!

Last week, I was invited to the UNIFEM charity gala at Capella Singapore, and made the acquaintance of several wonderful people. I’m really excited that next year, all the United Nations awareness and charity projects involving women, would be collapsed into one entity- UN WOMAN. Note, it’s not un-woman but UN Woman *wry grin* Stay tuned for more information, I do whole-heartedly belief in what they are doing.

Another awesome event that I’m really looking forward to is this: Our local International Brotherhood of Magicians (Ring 115) is organizing a one-day mini convention on Sunday, 24 October 2010 at the NTUC Auditorium :) The gala show line-up features local and overseas magicians and illusionists including J C & yours truly. You can check out details of the magic convention and buy tickets of the gala Show here.

Be seeing you there ;)

Ta for now, more later…

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Flying to Jakarta for our ‘live’ TV gig this weekend…

RCTI's Duel Mahakarya Magician!

If you haven’t yet joined our J C Sum & ‘Magic Babe’ Ning Facebook page, please do :) We have regular giveaways and you’d also be kept updated with our latest news!

My personal Magic Babe Ning Facebook page unfortunately, is all full… completely maxed out to the allocated 5000 friends, so please join our other account *grin*

Anyways!

This weekend the Concept:Magic team flies out to Indonesia and we’ll be there for a couple of days for a ‘live’ taping for RCTI television network’s TV special “Duel Mahakarya Magician”.

J C & yours truly will be featured alongside other international magic stars like Peter Marvey (USA), Omar Pasha (Middle East) and Marc Spellman (UK) on 23 Aug 2010 and it’s a magic duel between us and Indonesia’s top magic stars!

I’m really thrilled because I get to travel to Indonesia again (I really loved Bali) and I’m looking forward to meeting up with these guys. My dear friend Deddy Corbuzier especially (the tall, strapping macho guy on the extreme left of the poster), who we spent time with some weeks ago when he was in Singapore for a bit.

The Indonesian magic celebrity had shared that he walked into a magic shop here in Singapore and realized the guys had blatantly pirated his magic effects and were retailing bootleg copies on their shelves. So obviously, this creator doesn’t get a single cent for all his efforts… It’s really tragic :(

One thing I like about Deddy is that we have so many things in common. He’s a Wingchun practitioner, who taught women how to use it for self-defense (tadah – brownie points for him! :)) so besides discussing about the magic scene (just like us, Deddy gets a lot of sh*t from political, vicious competitors and jealous magicians), we were talking about martial arts and the works for quite a bit, since he found out that I was into KAPAP (face to face combat) as well.

I think it’s fabulous that the popular RCTI network is so interested in having J C & myself over for their television special. We will be the first Singaporeans involved *grin* Will blog more about “Duel Mahakarya Magician” in a bit…

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized