What's the point of all this
I've always loved telling people stories on how I started doing magic and what makes me consistently do it until now. Before people knew me as Indonesia's first playing card designer and a magic influencer on social media, I just a young kid from Jakarta Indonesia who loved messing with cards.
Back in elementary school, I remember my grandpa gave me a pop-up magic book, and it amazed me on how the illusions shown in the book really mesmerized my eyes. For me, that was one of many things that influence me doing magic. in 2001 when I graduated from elementary school, and I saw David Blaine's 1998 street magic on local tv and also got to see David Copperfield's show. But the way Blaine performed his tricks and how close he was to his audience made me think differently about magic. No big illusion, Just great presentation and amazing performance.
The first five years of my "magic hobbies" I just messed with my cards in my room. I was an introvert, and I didn't like to meet new people and socialize. Instead after school, I went home to practice how to spread cards, dribble cards and practising my double lift. I spent hours and hours practising for years and I think that's how I built my foundations for my card magic. Back then there was no magic community, magic store, nothing. I just practice from magic books that I bought at the local bookstore. Finally when I saved enough money I bought my first magic DVD! But at that time, my parents didn't like me doing magic, so they hid the DVD and told me that they wouldn't allow me to practice any longer. I had to keep practising by reading self-working magic books, watching some magic trailers online. Back then, the internet was a precious thing, so it took me quite a while to connect to the internet here in Indonesia.
A few years later, I went to Malaysia for my degree in graphic design, and I discovered a man by the name Derren Brown on youtube. This man changed the way I looked magic. I watched all of his shows online from Mind Control to his latest broadway show in 2018. I admired him so much, and he influenced me in a way that affected the way I perform magic. Magic for me is not about the tricks, sleight of hand, or visual the visuals. For me, it's about how you make your audience feel the whole magic experience that you offer. Yes, we do need to learn sleights, routines, and some captivating visuals to amaze your friends and family. Those are the things you can post on your Instagram to amaze your audience and gain followers. But is that it?
When it comes to professional work, magic its about the full experience. For me, the more you engage with the audience and let them "create" the miracle, the more impact you will give rather than it being the magician who creates the magic. I met some people who saw me at one of the events I performed at and they still remember the experience, not just the trick. Some audience members still kept the signed card in their wallet from a show years ago! For me, this is the most "magical thing".
Nowadays you can find inspiration from anywhere! Not only from magic and your magician friends. Some students usually asked me where to find ideas. I always tell them to watch movies, listen to music, talk to friends, and if you get the opportunity to travel abroad, please do so. In 2019 I travelled to a few countries in Asia to share my magic to the local community, and in return, they inspired me the most with their culture and different way of life. It was truly magic on its own. These experiences inspired me in both on my magic and my playing card design work.
Magic for me has been one of many ways to meet new people, and some of them are my closest friends. It has been a way for me to share a magical experience. And that's the point of all of this; Creating a magical experience. If you focus on the people around you, listen to music, watch movies, and be present, you will soon find the magic itself is not the vehicle that drives the experience. It is you and the people who are with you. If you focus on that, the magic you perform will be more amazing not just for your audience, but for you as well.
Follow Edo on Instagram: @EdoHuang.