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    Poof! The magic’s all gone, only to reappear online now

    Online birthdays and reality showsmagicians and mentalists in the city are having to pull out new tricks from their hats to tide over the Covid crisis. Ever since the country went into a lockdown mode, live magic shows have come to a standstill.

    But, the magicians are not lying low. They are innovating to keep the audience entertained. Recently, a number of reality shows croppped up online.

    Though magicians say that online shows are not as lucrative, the phase is helping them understand new ways to reach out.

    A birthday party organised recently with only family members in person and all other invitees online, was in for a special treat. Before the birthday cake was cut, the virtual invitees got to enjoy an online magic show.

    “This is the only way we can conduct magic shows till the situation improves.,” said magician Nagendra Prasad. Prasad has been performing magic shows for the last 38 years. “We used to perform at least 15 shows in a month. Now there is no demand and the remuneration has been halved.”

    According to estimates, there are around 200 magicians in the city.

    Some magicians are taking online classes where one trick is demonstrated each day. Arun Kumar Dutt, who has been into magic for 35 years, said magicians are conducting online interviews to create awareness on tricks. Nikhil Raj, who has been practising magic for the last 13 years, said his institute had to learn everything from the scratch to go online. “We run courses like junior magic course on weekends and conduct mentalist shows for families and corporates,” he said. Others, like Gururaj HG, didn’t do any shows, but used the time to pick up new skills.

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