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The Mind Heist: The Ultimate Social Magic Experiment

Happy 2012 everyone!

I trust you’re having a fantastic start to the year, with exciting possibilities and golden opportunities greeting you :) If you missed our NYE performance on Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde (France’s most popular variety show that’s been running for 14 years now and still going very strong), you can watch it here:

60 million viewers around the world tune into it and we’ve been asked to come back this year by the TV producers… Really awesome that we can make Singapore proud again! And speaking of which…

On the days leading up to The Mind Heist, I’ve been extremely strict with myself in all the necessarily preparations for this mind experiment happening this Saturday that sees J C & yours truly attempting to set a world record for reading the minds of 100 different people in 1 sitting.

So that means more healthy food with lots of water, more meditation, more yoga and absolutely no alcohol, no late nights and no sex (I just leave that space blank on application forms).

As I poke on my keyboard, I have to admit that I’m feeling completely whacked out and exhausted. Don’t get me wrong now. This girl is still deeply excited about this never-been-done-before stunt which will take place at Sinema Old School. It’s just the mental and physical fatigue from all the intensive mind training, that’s getting to me.

However, I’ll definitely do my utmost BEST, simply because I want to do my country proud & I don’t believe in making excuses. You know… It’s incredible but us two Singaporeans, received the sincere blessings from Mr Vanni Pule, international president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Sign ups online for The Mind Heist have been encouraging, though plenty of people shared that they were highly afraid of getting their thoughts read by us, but were content to simply witness our mind heisting process. Hmph. Wusses!!! ;)

But seriously, I’m deeply moved and very appreciative of all the sincere support we’ve got from people not just here in Singapore, but from all over the world too… from Taiwan, to France, England, America, Australia, Spain, India, Canada, Israel, Malaysia, Middle East… it’s extremely touching! THANK YOU EVERYONE :) The event as you know, will be streamed live on the internet in real time, so anyone anywhere will be able to join in!

The media (magic and mainstream) has also been nothing but super with event pre-publicity for The Mind Heist. In fact, several have even arranged for their plucky reporters to be part of the 100 in this mind experiment.

Just yesterday, we were on 987FM’s highly popular Muttons on the Move, with radio DJs Justin Ang & Vernon A:

If you missed us on the airwaves yesterday, here’s the video of us mind-heisting both JA & Vernon in the 987FM studio!

We’re also featured in an exclusive interview on the OMY lifestyle news portal:

As well as, on 4-pages of popular online news and entertainment portal, xinMSN:

ShinMin Daily News also published our story on their newspaper:

We were meant to be on 91.3FM this morning but our dear friend radio DJ Rod Monteiro was rushed to the hospital yesterday after getting a mild stroke while on air. Highly unexpected and very worrying, because Rod is such an active sporty guy. It’s shocking for me because I was just texting my friend yesterday. Please pray for his speedy recovery!

Oh yes…

J C & I will be on Channel News Asia‘s AMlive on Friday 8AM, so do tune in. Something very wicked this way comes ;) And prior to that, we’ll be on Class95’s CarTunes with popular radio DJs Jean Danker & Bobby Tonelli at 6:30pm tomorrow (Thursday). Also, look out for our exclusive interview in the TODAY newspaper coming out very shortly.

A shout out of thanks to our friend Nicholas Chee, founder of Sinema Old School, for this picture taken with his smart phone. They’ve completely dressed up the place for us, mucho kudos to the passionate Sinema TV team.

We’re gonna make history this Saturday, Singapore!!!

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The Magic Pilgrim is back…

HELLO WORLD!!!!! Namaste! Bonjour! Kuzu zangpo! Aloha! Assalamou Alykoum! Ciao! Tsonga! 

These are just a handful of greetings I’d learnt during my 9 non-stop months of constant traveling for a book project with the BFF; we certainly had many adventures together – some funny, others nerve-wrecking, but what doesn’t kill you certainly makes you stronger (like learning never to store your trusty laptop with all your written drafts in your check-in luggage in Madagascar).

Pam & I really both missed our loved ones in Singapore, it’s not easy when people you care about are miles away, so I’m truly glad to be finally back HOME because truly, there’s just no other place quite like it :)

Reflectively, I know I’ve certainly changed a lot during the time away from home. It’s been an insightful inner journey for me too, not just a physical one. The girl whose blog you’re reading, is no longer the same person who left 9 months ago. I am grateful for the many “teachers” I’ve met along the way, who have so generously taught me in their own ways, how to open my heart and live… not just to merely exist.

Our book chronicals the adventures of two BFFs (Best Friends Forever) comes out next year just before Christmas, so do look out for it :) International literary giant, Marshall Cavendish International (Asia), is our publisher.

Honestly, I’m really excited because ever since I was a child, I’d dreamt of being a writer… much like one of my favorite women authors Anais Nin, who cleverly stated that “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.”

So like everything else that I’m passionate about in my life, this Libra girl is going to make sure she does her very best and balances everything on her plate well. And geez, is it one big heavy plate!

Coming back to my 2nd home, the Concept:Magic studio, was comforting despite already knowing what’s in store for me for the next quarter and a half :) I’d just touched down yesterday in Changi International Airport, and this morning already saw me engaging in intensive rehearsals for…

*brace yourselves*

…Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde!!!!

Yes, my stage partner J C Sum & I with our team will be flying to Paris next week for the TV taping of the popular French magic gala show, which broadcasts in all French speaking countries and then some. Our episode screens on New Year’s Eve, and those with cable in Singapore can also tune in to watch it on TV5 Monde!

It certainly is a great honor, and I’m deeply grateful and humbled to be one half of the performing team that can make Singapore proud since this is the first time the producers of this long-running hit magic television show has arranged for Singaporean local talent over! Truly, I hope our country will have the opportunity to have more homegrown magic stars over in the near future… We’re really much more than just a little red dot ;)

Anyway, do stay tuned to our blogs, ‘cos J C & I have more super exciting news to share with all of y’all very soon. There’s some truly cool magic projects we have that once again, we really hope to infuse more positive power to our local performing community and empower more up-and-coming magicians/ enthusiasts.

Ta for now, more later!

Back and so ready to rock, roll, teleport and then some…

Ning

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My all original HONEY LEMON PASSION FRUIT marshmallow recipe

“Ning, this is what Heaven tastes like. You’ve managed to catch whiffs of Heaven and infused in into the most melt-in-your-mouth marshmallow ever.

My mom-in-law had the first bite – and said “Now THIS is gourmet marshmallow.” You gotta tell me how you got the flavouring!

And as per Pam’s request, I tried it with a white wine (not bad) and Baileys (REALLY GOOD). But I really like it solo. More please! (PS I’ve rationed everyone to just 2… and the rest are for me!).” – Theresa Tan, co-founder of Nanz Inc / ex-editor of Female, Elle & Vanilla magazine.

I’m quite pleased with the results of my latest creation… my very own homemade marshmallow recipe of honey-lemon passion fruit, which seemed to go down very well with the lucky food tasters who have sampled the yummilicious treats :)

The consistency of this delicious fresh batch is springier (but not tough, which is important, because tough equals what most off-the-shelves marshmallows are like) than my first attempt and the flavors are completely different.

The fruity smell is what I’d describe as “flirty and light” and it permeates the air when you open the container/ bag. The exotic taste explodes on your tongue in little shivers of bliss after biting into the soft, fluffy marshmallow.

Some gave feedback that it was still a bit sweet for them, but they were in the 50 – 60+ age group. The 95% majority (kids, teens and adults below 50) said they loved the flavor and shared that the sweetness balance of the honey-lemon passion fruit marshmallows was just nice. Perfect!

Aesthetically there’s some improvement, having been cut better than my virgin attempt earlier this week of making pure Maple-Vanilla marshmallows, and besides the texture, the shade of white is different too.

Note to self: Get decent pizza cutters. It took me far longer than anticipated to cut them up better, because I still used my pair of trusty kitchen scissors – haven’t the time to get the pizza cutter I last blogged about!

Interesting, my “tofu inspired” maple-vanilla ones were still rated better to dunk in with strong black coffee, while the honey-lemon passion fruit ones were unanimously agreed upon to be perfect for relishing solo.

Again, there’s no pictures from me again because yours truly was quite eager to distribute them (truly love their wonderfully FRESH taste, unbeatable when compared to the brands retailed at supermarkets) to my loved ones for their sampling and review.

Here’s a couple from different friends :)

J C Sum: “Had the best homemade marshmallows in the world from Ning! Metled in hot chocolate! Be envious… very envious…”

Mang (in response to Pam): “It’s good huh! All my friends who tried it today gave ‘em the thumbs-up and had seconds… And thirds! ;)”

It was really cool because a surprisingly ego-boosting number of people came up on Facebook, asking for my homemade marshmallow recipe and also, if I took orders *grin*

I’m truly so sorry to disappoint but we professional magicians don’t divulge our secrets and Magic Babe won’t be selling her sweet treats anytime soon :P Perhaps one day in the future when I open my own little Patisserie after coming back from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris!

However, I do know some folks here who teach baking workshops… Not marshmallow making of course, but on scrumptious cakes and the yummy lot. More on that later, I promise!

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Gigs aside, updates in a nutshell…

1) Met Tony Brook aka Darkstone for a wonderful 3-hour lunch in town earlier today after our IBM Ring 115 President hooked us up over the weekend. The man’s such a sweetheart, really glad to be able to meet this knowledgeable magic veteran and consultant… we’ll be catching up this evening again before he flies off tomorrow morning.

We took several pictures on his camera, so I look forward to receiving them via email once he sends ‘em… we didn’t talk about just magic and show business per se.

Like yours truly, Tony’s also very much into martial arts… having learnt Wing Chun from a student of the legendary Ip Man, teacher of the late Bruce Lee. So we had a nice conversation about the Tao philosophies of martial arts too, besides the action…

2) Baked batches of DELISH double chocolate chunk cookies yesterday and really loved the process. I’m proudest of this latest batch of cookies to be honest, IMHO these sinful treats taste the best so far… my chocolate chip cookies coming a close second, followed by my peanut butter cookies.

I truly enjoyed it (despite getting a little burn on my right hand because I got careless using the hot oven)… It makes me so very happy to know the people dear to me actually enjoy my creations and are even asking fore more! What a great vote of confidence :)

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll take some time off in the near future to go to the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France for pâtisserie courses *grin* Anyone keen to be a sponsor?

3) Accompanied the BFF for a wonderful ride on the beautiful Orient Express luxury train on Saturday, along with plenty of glamorous well-dressed folks in dresses, suits and ties, the works… We came back to Singapore (the historic Keppel Road Railway Station) after midnight, and it was such a magical experience.

They treated us VIPs very well indeed – everything was well taken care of. Our food was great, as was the service in general (for entertainment there was a pianist & a fortune-teller on board… the latter amused me because he was using an iPhone app, besides his deck of cards). LOL! In general, the Malaysian fortune-teller gave everyone his business card after their reading and asked them to get in touch if they had any queries… but he didn’t give one to me, probably because I was asking him some really tough questions, being so weary of cold-readers!

Anyways… The Orient Express is a fully air-conditioned train and it was very comfy. We took some pictures in the Presidential Suites (very nice WC, complete with a shower!) and at their open-air observation deck near the bar, where we made friends with some of the other invited VIP guests there… media folks from Luxury Insider, Expat Living, etc.

I think it’s a really novel place to bring a date or to just simply experience this novelty with a group of close friends. Just make sure to dress up for the occasion because everyone was in their finest… the Orient Express is definitely not your typical train!

4) Brought my family out to celebrate Mom’s birthday at Chalk @ Old School, Mt Sophia. I refused to give them any hints or clues as to where we were going for lunch because I wanted it to be a surprise for the birthday girl, so Mom was absolutely thrilled when I drove us to where Methodist Girls School used to be.

Like me and my sisters, Mom also graduated from MGS so she was happy to see how the grounds at Mount Sophia was still so different but yet very much the same. The well-known 99 steps were still there and apparently the restaurant was located where the science labs used to be.

The owner Marcus was there, so it was nice to say “hi” again… as always, the service was excellent & the food wonderful. I’m glad Mom enjoyed herself and that we all managed to be there, despite our individual crazy schedules.

5) Spent Friday night with the Queenies :)

I love my girlfriends and it’s just awesome when we’re able to enjoy each others company and basically catch up on anything and everything! I’m so very proud of all of them extremely capable girls *grin* Anyways we feasted (spicy fish head curry… YUMS!) at the surprisingly good Hooked on Heads before adjourning for sweet dessert at Icekimos, drinking lotsa refreshingly cool Coke Zero while we were at that!

As always, I was very sad to leave Spanky, Jas & Nats (Kris is with the other half holidaying in Japan) but we’ll be meeting soon… I can’t wait!!!

6) Went for the SCCPS-POCC blogger’s event at House @ Dempsey, where we ambassadors (the very talented actress/singer/host Karen Tan & I) shared our true stories with Singapore’s top bloggers (and their BFFs) present, while Dr Lisa Wong, President of SCCPS, shared factual findings and statistics with everyone.

This Thursday sees the offical Power Over Cervical Cancer media conference in the heart of town, when we announce the official launch of the newly revamped POCC.sg website amongst other things.

I sincerely hope this is something people share with people, because there’s nothing more powerful than word of mouth. Cervical cancer is the top 6 cancer here that strikes women and it can actually be PREVENTED. There are vaccinations one can go for, besides going for regular pap smear checks.

Now, I’ve always been a great believer of women empowerment – so it’s tragic if women actually know about it, but don’t take any preventive measures to protect themselves. See POCC.sg later this week for more information – there are in fact some places here that give subsidized rates for the vaccinations, so it’s worth a check out… and bring your BFF/ sister/ coll/ neighbor while you’re at that!

7) Did my mid-week photoshoot as a featured personality for Coke Zero’s new campaign… and it was fun!!!

You may have read about it on J C’s blog Backstage Business :) Here’s some pictures he took “backstage” during the studio shoot. Look out for it in 8 days magazine shortly!

8 ) The Urban Circus comes to town this 30 May!

Okaaay… so you already knew that ;) Ticket sales have been doing extremely well, so I’d strongly encourage you to buy them quickly… online at my Magic Boutique, rather than banking on door sales on the day itself.

The talents have been working very hard at it, and it’s gonna be a BLAST! Magic, manipulation, illusions, fire eatting aside, we also have a belly dancer amongst other things. J C Sum plays the role of the show’s producer, while yours truly will be your ring mistress for the evening ;)

Single tickets sell at $15 each, while group bookings of 4 cost only $10 each! Click here for more details… no strings attached. You see… Our main objectives are to bring variety arts to the heartlands anyway, and to give these young up and coming local talents a chance at showing off their chops. The show’s less than a week away, so grab your tickets fast!

9) Met up with Irene Ang early last week for drinks at her pub, Toca Me :)

While most people may recognize her as “Rosie” in PCK, the talented comedienne is in fact a serious thinker in real life… Very much like the brilliant Stephen Chow actually. Hmmmm.

She had her baptism over the weekend, and I’m glad for her. In fact, hearing how passionate the tough cookie is about the stuff that really matters, just makes me happy. I’m glad we’ve got people like her in this world. While she’s a very savvy business woman, Irene doesn’t let money blind or bind her – she’s got a big, strong heart and a very amazing sense of community spirit. We need more people like her.

Anyway. The feisty FLY founder is a real inspiration… always has, actually. I’m really glad we managed to meet up, despite both our busy hectic schedules.

10) The BFF scored us tix to Southbridge Jazz @ 7atenine (formerly known as Jazz@Southbridge), to catch Cherryl “Scat Cat” Hayes in action!

I’d been very busy with various gigs, so it was a very nice winding down session… good jazz music at a cozy place, with delish food and drinks. The BFF had interviewed the singer on her talk show the other day, and the PR people later sent invites… I’m glad we made time for it after work, because you know the cliche… music soothes the savage beast ;)

Righty… that’s all for now. We’ve been busy working 16 hour days – it feels like forever since I’ve actually watched a movie at the cinema. But I feel really fulfilled, and I’m so blessed to be surrounded by wonderful people who just radiate positive energy.

Will blog soon, ta for now more later!

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