Magic, a word which is ubiquitous in the present, even in the past and will be in future too. It always fascinates people of any age; it doesn’t matter he/she belongs to which ethnic. However, we all grew up watching some of the best magicians in the world on television. To make this one of the best ways to entertain people, the Urban Shaman, an Entertainment hub endeavouring to keep alive the magic in the heart of fast metro life. In the context of the same, recently, we had an interaction with the founders of Urban Shaman, Janvion Rodrigues and Ian Fernandes. To know more about how they proliferate the love of people towards the magic in India while helping the world magicians and their talents.
1) First of all, we would like to know about the journey of yours?
Janvion is a Producer by profession. His forte is large scale, big budget productions. This includes Film, Advertising, Events, Theatre Shows, etc. In 2015, he was looking for something different, something new, unique and exciting to work on.
Ian is a Magician by profession. He started learning and performing magic over 13 years ago. Due to the lack of opportunity in India, he joined the cruise line and began working on board as a full-time magician. In 2015, he was back in Mumbai on vacation and wanted to explore Magic in India.
And that is how it all began.
2) How did you get passionate towards the Magic and decided to help this art?
Ian and Janvion have always loved Magic. While Ian is a professional Magician, Janvion is a magic hobbyist and enthusiast.
There was a great disparity between magic and the other performing arts like dance, stand up comedy, theatre, etc. We felt that magic could outshine these other performing arts in terms of mere audience enjoyment and interaction if it was just given the chance. That is when we decided that if there was no opportunity then we would have to create an opportunity for magicians in India.
3) Being an Event/Artist Management Company, what makes you different from
We are an Entertainment Company. Our skill in creating an environment where people can enjoy themselves and are in a great mood. All our content is Family friendly and thus can be enjoyed by young and old alike. Also, our content transcends barriers like language, physical disabilities, etc. For example, we have content that even a blind person would enjoy.
4) Nowadays to mitigate the humdrum, most of the people used to watch movies full of animation right on their phones. In such circumstances, what type of response you get in your events, especially in India?
There is no greater form of Entertainment than Magic. Till now I have yet to meet someone that dislikes magic. The audience absolutely loves us. At our events, we receive amazing responses. People laugh and clap and cheer. The audience removes their phones and wants to click pictures and shoot videos of the performance which they then upload on Social Media like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. They also love getting selfies with our Artists.
5) How does the Urban Shaman Magic collaborate to new or fresh artists? Is there any particular process of selection?
We are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting talent. The most important attributes that we look for in an Artist (besides talent obviously) is that they be persistent, hardworking, flexible and easy to work with and be open-minded about trying new things.
We usually work with the Artist first on a few small projects and only if we feel that they have the talent and other attributes that we desire do we represent them.
6) Besides, the recognition, what kind of other benefits an artist can get on the Urban Shaman magic’s platform?
Firstly, we are Artists ourselves so we understand the pain that the Artist go through. We work with all our Artists as partners and do what is best for them.
Secondly, we are Producers so we constantly help our Artists with our innovative ideas and other resources, helping them to grow in visibility, revenue and constantly improving their act.
We help them grow from unknown talented performers to Celebrities that are Household Names.
7) What kind of hurdles you are facing in India?
The Hurdles that we were facing initially was to educate the audience about Magic, Illusions and Mind Reading as it is not very common in India. When most people hear the word “Magic” they only think of Birthday Party Magicians and inferior quality magic and not the Las Vegas quality Magic that we produce.
8) What is a revenue model of Urban Shaman magic?
We are content producers. We create the impossible. We are continuously coming up with new and exciting ideas. These ideas could be used by brands, events, weddings, etc. We generate revenue by keeping a small management fee whenever we execute such a project.
9) Despite being a startup you have done some shows on the top occasions of the country. So, what is next, what are your plans for the future?
We have recently created a Magic & Illusion Show called “Indian Mystics”. The show is a 90-minute stage production which includes lights, sound and special effects. Many large Illusions will be performed for the first time in India.
We are also working on a high-quality magic television show and some large scale stunts. Neither of which have been done in India at the scale and quality that we intend.
Besides magic and Illusions, we also like to promote other Unusual Performing Arts. So if there is anyone out there that does something unusual we would love to hear from you.