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Youth - Prateek Sahay On Magic


Prateek Sahay is a 10th grader at the Acton- Boxborough High school. He recently performed magic at the Peabody Museum to a live audience. Here are his impressions on why he loves magic.

Prateek Sahay:

I love being a magician.  A magician is someone who has mastered the manipulation of objects to such an extent that they seem to defy the laws of physics, like I have!  My best moments while performing magic to an audience are when kids are overpowered by the defying logic of the tricks and truly come to believe in the power of the sorcery.  They make my magic alive and real!

Not very long ago I was just as mesmerized by magic as all those little kids are.  Then, I met a magician after a show in the Rockies several years ago who got me started with a nifty trick.  He gave me a special coloring book.  By repeatedly using a magic wand on the book, I learned to make the pictures in the book disappear, reappear, and become colored, again and again!

Since then, I have been expanding my arsenal of magic tricks. Some of them involve playing cards.  In one cool trick, I combine two extraordinary elements.  First, I correctly point out a card that a member of the audience has randomly picked and inserted back in the deck.  Then, I look at and show the top card in the deck, and give it to the audience member. Then, I make those two cards switch places!  This always leaves the audience mystified, and the volunteers almost always checks their hands, deep in thought.

Another trick a lot of people like is the "Flying Card," where I take the ‘sleeping’ Queen of Hearts out of my pocket and wake it up with the help of the audience.  Then I throw the ‘dancing and prancing’ queen into the audience but she always spins back to me. When people say I am using a string or magnets, I pass the card around the audience for investigation.

Prior to performing at the Peabody Essex Museum, I had done a few small shows among friends and neighbors, and on friends at school.  Doing shows in front of families at PEM was a real treat for me.  It was challenging to perform in front of such a large audience and I was nervous at times.  But  I developed an elaborate story that weaved through the magic tricks and kept the audience riveted.  I found a new appreciation for the art of showmanship – performance is as much about skill as it is about the art of gab and entertainment. I don't get nervous any more.

I have always thought of myself as ‘the engineer.’  I love playing badminton, volunteering at the library and the  Boston Science Museum and Acton Science Discovery Museum, doing Yoga, and developing business ideas for the Tie Young Entrepreneurs competition.  What excites me the most, however, is building complex engineering structures and intelligent vehicles.  And now I know why I enjoy magic so much. ai love the way the tricks seem to contradict the fundamentals of science and logic upon which I base my robots and machines upon.  The best part about performing magic is that you keep improving the tricks so they work better for you, and making any trick more complicated is always more fun!

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