A 'close-up magician' has audience in awe

DUBAI — Magic! The magician astonishes, and awes. The astonished audience erupts. But the laughter is sheepish. In their minds, the question: How did he do it? Or, did we see something that wasn't there? A sleight of the hand? May be. Illusion? Could be. There's no answer that comes pat, on the dot.

By Sushil Kutty

Published: Sun 14 Aug 2005, 10:14 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:13 PM

Magic has come a long way since the Indian rope trick. And pulling rabbits out of a hat is old hat, now. Making the credit card go round and round the magician's torso is quite the 'in' item these days. Ask those who make a beeline to The Viceroy in the Four Points by Sheraton in Bur Dubai on Tuesday evenings, and they would talk in astonished whispers how plastic money went around in a whirl round the wizard - Felipe Scherson.

Scherson is from Santiago, Chile. His business card says he is a 'Close-up Magician'. He doesn't astonish the world from a stage. He does it standing right next to you. At times he comes down on his knees to do the trick on you. He makes you part of the act.

"Close-up magic," says Felipe, "Is interactive magic. The close-up magician moves through the audience. There is no need to erect a stage."

For Felipe, magic is the power of astonishment. "Experiencing the impossible creates diverse emotions. Among these are amazement, curiosity, humour and mainly astonishment. Magic is bringing out emotions that reach beyond language, borders, culture, beliefs and values," says Felipe.

Scherson is 28. He started learning magic rather "late" in life, from the age of 19. And he learnt it from books. Not for him the Guru, the teacher, who would have taught his apprentice a stock number of tricks and left it at that. "I learnt my magic from books, and then I practised, and practised till I perfected my magic."

He says his magic is not sleight of hand or "tricks". Scherson creates an illusion to astonish the audience, and he does it effortlessly and instantly. Like punching a hole in a coin with a burning cigarette. Your eyes see the cigarette go through metal like knife cuts through butter. Moments later the coin is in your palm minus the hole, and quite the whole! Another few moments later, the coin has disappeared from the palm, and is sitting on your shoulder!!

Felipe can make currency notes and playing cards levitate, credit cards do his bidding, and dirhams turn into dollars. Right there in front of your astonished eyes. The power of astonishment. Close-up!

Want to see him in action, log on to www.felipescherson.com. It is quite a video.

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