My name is Alexander Yuen, and I do iPad Magic. I design, customize and code the magic into the iPad. Currently based in Singapore but I travel frequently to showcase my iPad Magic in Asia. My most recent international engagements were in Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
What inspired you to use the iPad as an unique selling point?
Presenting magic on the iPad gives a technological edge to magic. The magic becomes much more visual and relatable to the audiences. With coding expertise, you can programme the iPad to simulate a lot of magic effects.
I got involved in M for Magic because it was a great platform to showcase my sleight of hand magic. And of course, I was very eager to showcase my work as a young magician back then.
How do you differentiate yourself from other renowned iPad Magicians such as Keelan Leyser and Simon Pierro?
I think these magicians are fantastic in their own right. I would say that my iPad magic tends to be more heavy in sleight of hand and in terms of presentation, I like to create magic that is more relatable and easily understood.
Who inspire you to be a magician?
When I was 15, my friend showed me a card trick in school, I was amazed beyond words. After school, I rushed to the nearest library and borrowed all the magic books I could find, and here I am. So technically, you could say that it was my 15 year old friend who inspired me to be a magician.
But my other inspirations are Tommy Wonder, Charlie Caper, Tom Stone and Jim Cellini.
Who is the most famous person you have ever performed for?
On the top of my mind, it is Emeritus Senior Minister, Goh Chok Tong. Imagine this, I was in a room with him (back then Senior Minister) and 4 bodyguards next to him. Standing next to him, and doing a card trick. I should say, I did the magic routine really slowly, because any sudden movement might trigger suspicion, and the bodyguards. :p
How many shows do you do a year?
It varies, but last year I did a total of 126 shows, out of which 32 were customized.
Your largest ever show?
Tough one because I don’t do physically very large shows. But the largest in terms of scale and complexity has to be the one for Singtel in which I designed a sequence to launch their virus protection app. I created a simulation on my iPad to showcase what it would be like to be infected and how Singtel’s app would remove it.
How did you normally prepare for your shows?
This is going to sound really weird… but I usually play The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s track) before I start my show. I would feel hyped and powerful… and also with the Force.
What is the largest and heaviest item you have ever make it appear from the iPad?
Haha, oh my gosh, please tell me this isn’t a lead in for a “yo mama” joke.
In all seriousness, a pomelo for Chinese New Year last year.
Have you ever been exposed before? What was the incident and how did you react to it?
I’ve been challenged before by spectators, and I always find that a warm smile would disarm them. Though, there was one incident where a spectator snatched my iPad and look at the app I was using for the magic and tried to search for it in the App Store. But…. little did he know that all my apps are programmed by me and not available anywhere else 😉
Any technical glitches happen before? How did you salvage the situation?
Fortunately, no technical iPad glitches so far. I test all my apps several times to make sure there are no bugs. Phew
If you are not the iPad Magician today, what would you be?
Wow… I think there are 2 parts to this question. So if I were an iPad Magician today, I would actually love to be a traveling magician. Traveling with a rucksack and a table and doing magic in a street theatre form as and when I felt like on the streets.
And if I weren’t a magician, I would be a university lecturer. I was kind of on my way to be that some years back. But that’s another story.
Any simple iPad tricks we can all learn?
There are some fairly simple iPad apps on the App Store, go search it! It is fun to do and quite easy on sleight of hand!