07 Oct 2015 18:03 IST

Soon, hunt for the world’s greatest magician to begin

International Magicians Society to host event next year

The search for the world’s greatest magician/illusionist will begin soon. It will involve going to over 100 countries where the art is practised, says Tony Hassini, Chairman and CEO of the International Magicians Society, US.

The winner will not only get the recognition, but also a $1-million award. A popular Las Vegas Casino is to sponsor the hunt and formally announce it in early 2016, 76-year old Cyprus-born Hassini told BusinessLine here.

At present, the greatest, acclaimed magician is David Copperfield, who is a consummate artiste, said Hassini, who was in India, presenting the Merlin Award, the Oscars of the magicians’ world. The IMS, with over 37,000 members worldwide, is the largest magic organisation recorded by the Guinness Records.

Interestingly, in the repertoire of tricks of David Copperfield, the best known are making the Statue of Liberty disappear and walking through the Great Wall of China.

“My visit to India, the country where magic and mystery took birth, is to look for talented magicians who could quality for this recognition,” said Hassini, with a toss of his curly, black flowing mane. The man with a sharp sense of humour proudly recalled his early learning with P C Sorcar Sr., one of India’s greatest magicians.

Hassini presented the Merlin Award of IMS to Samala Venu, well-known magician from Hyderabad, who won it for the second year in a row in the city on September 30. A week earlier, in Mumbai, Hassini gave the award to Zenia Bhumgara, a college student as the ‘Best female, teenage magician in India’.

Hassini, who started his own ‘magic’ journey at the age of 16, has battled dyslexia and hearing problems to etch his name among the best in business. He is best known for making the skull float and popularising Burger King.

Magic Olympics

“I plan to organise a Magic Olympics in India in the next 1-2 years. It will be a gathering of the best of magicians and illusionists and I am talking to people here,” he said.

To the budding magicians out to perform on stage, he had a quick demo and advice: “When you produce the white pigeon from nowhere, do not quickly toss it into the audience in your enthusiasm, flip it straight up in front of you so that the act is captured well by all the cameras in front and appreciated by the people in the front rows.”