The Magic Window-Cebu, Now You See Them
(Xavier Perez, TWMC magician- performing a card flourish)
We have all had a bit of magic from when we were children, be it from a party magician who shot confetti out of his sleeves or from a mysterious stage performer who pulled a bunny out of his hat. The Magic Window-Cebu (TMWC) brings back those images of magic from our childhood through a more refined, mind-blowing form of entertainment including, but not limited to, close-up magic, stage magic, deception, cardistry and mentalism.
TMWC is comprised of individuals with different specialties ranging from mentalism, cardistry, and close-up magic to more traditional tricks like the Cups and Balls Routine. Exclusivity in the TMWC may be a tendency because of their value for talent and for the thirst to learn.
TMWC’s three founding members, Thomas Pua (mentalist), Clint Imperial ( WAPS magic), and Aljen Araneta (deception artist), came across an internet café named The Magic Window, and immediately decided that the name was perfect for the magic group that they were trying to put together. It was fitting because like magic, we can see through a window but not the inner works of a house; because the former only lets us see what it wants us to see. They then added “Cebu” at the end of The Magic Window to touch base with the group’s origins.
TWMC has been running for more than two years now, and have managed to make a name for themselves in such a short span of time. The members of TWMC advertise themselves through various means: performing magic to perfect strangers, performing in school and outdoor events such as the UP Otakufest and TC Days 2014, and “gigs” at fine dining restaurants where they perform table magic to the diners. With their hard work and Pua’s initiative, TMWC have also performed in hotels like The Marriott Hotel and several other events as opening acts. This helps expose and spread interest for their art.
Aside from their live performances, TMWC also uploads videos on Youtube and on Facebook duly dubbed “Cebu Clip Sessions”; the subjects of which may vary from Pua’s mentalism tricks, Alel Hermoso’s table magic, stage magician Kim Madrazo’s coin tricks to Antino Art’s rhyming storytelling with cards.
Pua specializes in mentalism, a field of magic that involves feats of the mind. Mentalists appear to have high mental abilities because they are able to “predict” outcomes of human action and mind-reading. In mentalism, there are also feats of telekinesis, spoon-bending and if one is lucky enough, clairvoyance. Hypnosis is also under the umbrella of mentalism. Its practitioners are more commonly known as mentalists and are often called psychic entertainers.
TMWC has several Carolinian members, namely Xavier Perez, Anton Batiller, and Franz Ivan Dy. These three members specialize in close-up magic and card flourishing. Card flourishes are a visual display of skills with cards. It is designed to show off the manual dexterity of a flourisher.
However, not all flourishers are magicians and not all magicians are flourishers. There are people who learn how to flourish even with zero interest in magic. Flourishers usually separate themselves from the magic community. But these three magicians from TMWC have a lot of tricks up their sleeves – both literally and figuratively. If we are lucky enough, we might even catch them with their heads bent over designer cards, looking pensive and mysterious. Let us not hesitate asking them for a trick. They will be more than happy to accommodate us.
TMCW’s members range from professional performers to high school students who enjoy the art of magic. Their members may have differing reasons for learning the art, but they all understand the language magic speaks and the appeal that comes with it. The members usually hang out in coffee shops with various magic paraphernalia scattered on their table. TMCW used to meet weekly, but after its members started getting busier, its weekly sessions turned into monthly get-togethers. While the group is dormant now, its members are individually practicing their respective specialties
TMWC learns to criticize and self-criticize as they grow with each other. They hold group competitions. Once, Pua noticed that his members were learning modern magic so he decided to bring his group back to the roots of classical magic by holding a competition for TWMC. The members thrive through healthy competition, and they help each other out by sharing their tricks and tips. The members trade magic videos like gaming cards and they are in awe over magicians like a student lusts for good grades. As intent as TMWC is with perfecting their group and individual talents, they are a rambunctious group who constantly seems to prank each other. Videos of their very own members getting “Gatorbooted.” A Gatorboot is a “magic trick” exclusively reserved for fellow magicians. It starts off like every other seemingly harmless card trick. The performer then distracts his fellow magician from the original trick by asking him to pick up a card that he “accidentally” dropped. When the performer’s fellow magician’s head is vulnerable and open, he then throws the rest of the deck onto his fellow magician’s head. The victim then feels foolish for falling for such a trick. The members have a deep-rooted bond with each other since they have been together for years, through performance highs and lows with each other. Gatobooting is just one of the few activities that showcase TWMC’s way of having fun.
Magic brings about a unique form of joy. It stirs a child-like curiosity in us that leaves us wondering about how these absolutely normal people can make cards appear out of thin air. The Magic Window Cebu shows us that being normal and mundane will never be a hindrance from achieving plenty in one’s lifetime. If an ordinary person from The Magic Window Cebu can turn a deck of cards or a coin into an object of wonder, then the talents that we refuse to show can be objects that bring awe as well.