Saturday, December 16, 2006

Darren's Card Revelations 2

Filmed a vid sometimes ago and took the minimum time to edit it and now it's here. My 2nd vid in card revelation. Enjoy!

P/s: The vid quality might be compromised due to that it's compressed to 1/10 its original size to ensure the good flow in running. Apologies for that!=)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Dunhill's "Project Blaine"

Here it is, the major event in my schedule, the "Project Blaine" presented by Dunhill. The project's name is indeed a flattering one. HEHE. I'm happy that they used my idol's name, or if it's that they think i'm by any means comparable to him, i'll be euphoric to death. Ha. Alright come back to the event, it's a four-night performance taking place in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, 2 nights for each place. Honestly this was my very first time to visit Eash M'sia, and I must say that this is a superb trip, or I should say it's somethin better than a trip! Everything from flights to accommodation to food is bourned by the company, all i have to do was just to perform!=)

Something to highlight is the hotel that i stayed in..Shangri-La's resort in KK. Man that's an ultimate experience to me..the room was luxuriously decorated and the sea view was just..breathtaking. Nothing could be better than just sitting there and relax for the whole afternoon.

My first time to really watch the sunset. Managed to catch a shot of that=)

My performance is mainly in the local night clubs. Performed to averagely 2 outlets per night. In KK I went to Razz Ma Tazz, Cocoon, Upperstar and The Loft; in Kuching I went to BarZing, Zen Bistro, MC3, Terminal 1 and Soho. I'm not a frequent club-goer but I do feel that the night life here is very vibrant, esp. in Kuching. Met some really great crowds there and had lots of fun. Gained new experiences and also developed quite a number of new routines for my card magic!=)

I'm amazed by how fine are the handicrafts made in East M'sia. Truly masterpieces. Bought some souvenirs on the last day=)

Some of the landmarks and street view in Kuching.

Hilton, another very satisfying stay in Kuching.

Took the chance to visit my good friend Wei Siong who's currently working in Hospital Kuching. Had a good breakfast as well as a long chat about work, magic and everything. Later on he also brought me to his workplace and met some of my other colleagues Andrew and good to see them so long after graduation!=)

Flied back on Sunday. Can't help to take a shot of the beautiful horizon. I'm definitely gonna miss the experience and places!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Staedtler Roadshow

If one day while you are shopping somewhere, a Harry Potter/Zorro/Batman-like magician wants to show you some magic with Staedtler stationery, yes it could be me. Ha. This is a roadshow presented to you by Staedtler, the leading stationery brand, throughout the whole west M'sia starting from mid Nov till the end of Dec. It's gonna take place in 18+ major shopping centers during every weekends. So, be prepared to be amazed by what an ordinary stationery can do!=)

I'm allocated to Jusco Maluri but I'll only be able to perform for two weeks as my work is starting by mid Dec. I think this show is by all means a challenging one due to that: a. Kids are the main target audience; b. Gotta perform to shoppers and passer-bys while dressing like Harry Potter; c. I was told not to do too much cards. Hmm that's almost like killing me! But things turned out fine..i took the chance to practise my coin, rubberband, rope and ring magic..and I found that children really like the colouring book and the magic wand!=)

And finally, a pic with some of the magicians taking part. My very good magic buddies. Some are not in the pic though..Robin, Edwin, Lai, Eric etc. To conclude the event, we certainly had great fun out of it!=)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Standard Chartered Branch Open Day Celebration

I'm back from a 3-day show! It was about the open day of 4 new branches of Standard Chartered Bank in Melaka, Penang Autocity, Kajang and Kepong respectively. This grand opening took place from 11th to 13th Nov and was really an exciting one for me as I also took this chance as a mini-vacation=p. The journey was pretty hectic though, started on the very first day itself.
The first day event officially started at 11am but we gotta be there at 8 something to set up. Everything went alright and my job was to do walkabout closeup magic to customers, bank staffs and also the VIPs. Beside magic there was also Lion dance and clowns' entertainment. It finished at about 3pm and we jumped on the car again and departed to Penang. I think that was the most tiring part as we really spent awfully long time in car throughout the 3 days. But thanks to Jerry, he's such an incredible driver..he basically knows every single place in M'sia and the most unbelievable thing is we never found him yawns while driving. Respect him!=) And he also stopped us at Ipoh while on the way back from North, to have the best local delicacy, Ho Fan and chicken rice. Nice!

Pic with the bank staffs in Melaka. I realized don't I just look like one of the staffs too?=)

Some snapshots on spectators' reaction. Magic is such an entertaining art! And this is also my primary amaze and to bring joy to people=)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

OCBC Bank Mystical Carnival '06

Having turned down a few offers in Oct due to exam preparation, now i'm finally free for shows again! This month is gonna be really exciting. First in the schedule is this, the Mystical Carnival 2006 by OCBC Bank, held on 10th Nov in Hyatt Saujana Subang Resort. This carnival was exclusively for OCBC Bank staffs, and it sort of resembles the Masquerade party that I did for Digi, as the guests were required to wear fun and colourful attire. However, I found only small bunch of people wearing that whereas most of the rest esp. ladies still dress up nicely & elegant..made it more like a ballroom dinner=)

Looking at the theme and you should know this is a night involving mystical arts. Beside magic that i was performing, some booths were set up for Zodiac Sign fortune-telling by Simpson and Palm & Face Reading by Phoenic. I missed the chance to interact with them as each of us was really busy on that night. Hopefully will see them again in future events..i actually have deep interest in those two fields as well!=)

The sweet-looking gal holding the card fan in the middle is Candice, the relationship manager of OCBC. Quite surprised to know that she's from Chinese High School as well and her father is a specialist in Hosp. JB!

Pictures with spectators. As I said, the world is quite small sometimes. The guy in white sweater is my sister's good friend and he's just joined OCBC. He truly enjoyed the magic!=)

Time past really fast that night and i actually felt like staying to perform more. Really enjoyed the night and met a lot of wonderful people there as well!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Done my Step 2 CK!

Finally done my exam, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge on 2nd Nov at Prometric center in Sheraton Hotel. Think this time i did slightly better than the last, though the duration of preparation is more or less the same (2 months), time is comparatively more adequate this time as in without having to juggle with the clinical works like what happened for my Step 1, which took up half of my study time and energy. Those days were just awfully tiring!

USMLE Step 2 consists of 2 parts, clinical knowledge (CK) and clinical skill (CS). CK tests knowledge of applicant primarily on Internal Med, and others such as surgery, Obs & Gyne, paediatrics, ortho, psychiatry, EENT and medical ethics. The scope doesn't differ much with what i've learnt but some particular topics require more emphases such as alcohol dependence, sexually-transmitted diseases, and especially the legal and social aspects of US medicine, which seem relatively new to me. Disease management wise in some parts is also quite different to ours too, esp. the diagnostic investigation and treatment. So the exam took a total of 9 hours, including 45 mins of break (and that also includes my lunch time), for a total of 370 questions divided in 8 blocks..well i guess it's not hard at all to imagine how brain-draining it is. There's only averagely 1.3 min for each ques, which is all a clinical scenario from patient's history to examination findings, then lab result for interpretation, and asked for diagnosis or next step of management. First few blocks were still ok for me, but my brain energy dropped at a significant speed from 4th block onwards. I think I experienced multiple episodes of acute paroxysmal brain death during the last blocks. It's really, really a torture mentally as well as physically (had back pain after prolonged sitting)!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Next Stop: Hospital Taiping

Finally got my offer letter, the postman came at about 9am just before I was going out. When I saw it's such a thick one and was from Ministry of Health, I knew this is gonna be it. Having tachycardia while opening it, and HOORAY! I'm posted to hospital of my first choice - Hosp. Taiping! It'll be where I spend 12 to 18 months doing my housemanship, the first, as well as the most dreadful phase of a medical career. Supposed to start on 1st Nov but i'm gonna defer it to somewhere mid December i think. To settle some shows & stuffs before i get ready!

Brendan & I, doing some cool display=)

Something big was also going on in the same day, yup MMF Gathering 21st Oct! Held in Magical Theatre Restaurant (MTR) in Sunway Pyramid. It started at 1pm and most of the members came on time. I'm particularly satisfied with the venue and also the flow of the gathering this time..we started with speech by MTR host and MMF founder Brendan, followed by individual performances by all members. Various routines were done, and it seems that everyone came really well prepared. Good job everyone! Though there was a number of new faces, they have done it so well and I'm really glad for them. After that we did small group jamming sessions and that was the peak performing moments i guess. I had a fantastic session with Kamil, Robin, Eric, David & Brendan. These guys are the coolest ppl!

Performing my card routines - Aces revelations & Follow the leader

Group pic. Guess it's more like a class photo with Robin sitting like a headmaster hehe.
Overall the gathering was terrific. MTR is a perfect venue for us and MMF gathering has never been so great. I left at about 8pm with my hands almost get paralysed. Some went straight to watch movie "The Prestige" whereas one table of hardcore members was still there jamming. I heard they jammed till MTR closed at 12am, and continued in someone's house till early morning. Ha that's what i call the true spirit of magic! Look forward to the next gathering and hopefully i'll still be able to join you all! MMF rockz!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Carlsberg Temptation Night

This was the second get-together party by Carlsberg, held on 15th Sept in a restaurant called Cafe Citron, somewhere near KLCC. I was invited by a new agent this time, but in the phone she told me, "My client has seen you performing before and he specifically asked me to call for your performance again." Sounds so mysterious. I purposely drove there earlier as I wasn't so sure about the location and, yes, it was a rainy night again! I've now almost developed a phobia towards raining night..i guess this is some kinda post-traumatic stress disorder after the incident last time.

But thank goodness the place was found without much hassle. The first impression of the restaurant was quite good. It seems to be modified from a banglo and has a big garden with it. Can be a pretty good choice for a romantic date or even things like garden parties. I met up with my agent, and i saw one familiar face --Stanley! He gave a cunning smile, "Yo Darren, now you know who got you here!" Aha now I realized who's that mysterious client. I didn't know that Stanley has switched from Dunhill to Carlsberg now. Nice! And it's great to see some other old faces too..Jeffrey, Melinda & Michelle (the funniest twins EVER!) etc..made it more like a gathering night for us!=)

This is Jeff..a super nice guy who loves to see the levitating card!

VIPs of the night..entertained them exclusively for almost an hour..

The night was great and I left at 12 something. Everyone has enjoyed it soo much. Nice food plus free flow of beer in such a cool ambience. Definitely a memorable event!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

DiGi Transmorfo Night

Did a show for Digi on 25th Aug, approximately one week after my convo. Was excited about it as the show was big, and it was a masquerade party in the DiGi's new Hq in Subang Industrial Park. This was the second time i worked with DiGi, which the first time was during the X Games Asia 2006 in Sunway Lagoon.

So for this DiGi party, i called David for helping as they needed a pair of magicians (cardician & mentalist can work quite well) for that night. We didn't use the provided costumes due to some reasons (okay, it looks funny) and i suggested we get our hair done by the peekaboo saloon crew instead. Then the outcome..hmm not to say i dun like it but..well it's a good try. But i prefer to have my original one hehe=)

The Peekaboo saloon crew.

This party was definitely more fun than those i performed in previously. Ppl dresses up in all sorts of costumes e.g. little mermaid (by a guy!), trans-sexual, Mr.Sumo, Elvis, slayer in Scream, just to name a few of my favs. Performers are many too, beside us there are clowns, gorgeous dancers, fire-eaters & fortuneteller. Quite a number of them i've already met in X games. I remember talking to the fortuneteller last time and he looked at his Tarot cards and said, "You're not gonna be a m'sian citizen for long. You're going either US, UK or Aus soon after graduated and work there for couple of years and prob will stay there permanently." Exactly my plan. Freaky. But it seems did not work for my fren David though.

So we performed to the ppl, mainly indoor as it was raining super heavily and all the outdoor activities were on hold. We even entertained the dancers and saloon crew in the staff room. Time flied and we left at 10 over when the event almost ends. I was following David's car back to get out of Shah Alam area. Things went well until we reached the tunnel. I saw David's car suddenly just skidded and seemed out of control. Ya you guessed it, my car followed and hit his! The road was just unusually slippery and my brake was totally nonfunctioning. And ya, there came the most magical moment of the night, the tow truck ppl just appeared almost instantly from nowhere to offer us service!..which made us suspect that this might not be an uncomplicated accident. But car was sent to workshop for repair. SAD plus angry. What a bad ending of the night..gotta drive really carefully at night next time and watch out for traps! But minus the accident, the party night was a nice performing experience afterall. Look forward to the next show!

With the Ladies.

The clowns that night were some of the best clowns i've ever met!

Nice bunch of people. I'll see ya'all again!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

X Games Asia 2006

Was called to perform in X Games Asia 2006 in Sunway Lagoon..which was held from 12th to 14th in May. A consecutive 3-day performance is kinda impossible for my usual schedule but after i's nicely within my one-week mid-sem BINGO! This experience is pretty's still walkaround magic but it was beside a beach! The feeling was so as the view (hehe). It's fun working with Digi crew..very friendly & outgoing. I was trying my new effect "The phone call card" there and it seems to create huge impacts. I was kept askin to do it again. It went something like this:

Me: "Pick a card pls..any card."

Spectator picked one and returned, and they shuffled the deck.
I looked into their eyes, trying to read what their card is, then my handphone rang. I passed them my phone while it's still ringing, they looked at it and would all go "WTH! How did you do that??"
The screen was showing: "Four of Hearts (their card) is calling..."
-It's definitely one of my fav effects now!=)-

As for the X games, I wasn't really a big fans of it but after watchin it for 3 days, i hav totally changed my view. These sports are so cool! I enjoyed the stunt bike and speed climbing the's just awesome!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Two Stories and a Funny Pic

Came across these two little stories kinda long time ago..think they're meaningful and worth sharing. And also a funny pic..which gave me a good laugh.

#1: A man asked his father-in-law, "Many people praised you for a successful marriage. Could you please share with me your secret?" The father-in-law answered with a smile, "Never criticise your wife for her shortcomings or when she does something wrong. Always bear in mind that because of her shortcomings and weaknesses, she could not find a better husband than you."

#2: A woman and her millionaire husband visited their construction site. A worker who wore a helmet saw her and shouted, "Hi, Emily! Remember me? We used to date in the secondary school." On the way home, her millionaire husband teased her, "Luckily you married me. Otherwise you will be the wife of a construction worker." She answered, "You should appreciate that you married me. Otherwise, he will be the millionaire and not you."

The weather forecasting stone. Funny.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Magic Class Graduation

I think the last memorable thing before I came to Batu Pahat was the TzuChi Magic class graduation ceremony. Talking about TzuChi, I joined this organization few years back after participating in one activity "Caring day for the lonely elder" in Singapore. That was the first time I heard of it, and was deeply inspired by it. It is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization founded by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in Taiwan and has been contributing to social and community services, medical care, education and humanism (the Four Missions). To date, it has become an international organization with over 5 million supporters and over 30,000 commissioners around the globe.

Three young volunteers. Jing, Teng Yee & I.

Tzu Chi Foundation in KL is located in Bukit Bintang, just opposite of YTL headquarters building. Here Jing Si library and education center is next to each other. Various classes are provided to public here..Yoga, cooking, flower arrangement, tea etc, and magic was newly added. This was the first magic course provided by the center, and it's planned and conducted by me. A total of 10 classes, with teaching of basic skills and knowledge of card, coin, rubberband and some impromptu magic. The fees collected were fully donated to the foundation. The response was very encouraging, with about 15 students ranging from 7 year-old kid to working adults..hence it's rather challenging, and surprisingly female students made up half of the class! Nevertheless things worked well and they all fulfilled, and some even performed better than my expectation. Seeing their 'graduation' was indeed gratifying. Never thought that i'd be given such an opportunity to teach to a class of students. On the graduation day i gave a short speech on my feelings and expectations, hoping they can do good with what they have learnt, esp in helping TzuChi on charity visits to nursing homes, orphanages and bring joy and entertainment to everyone! Wish them good luck and all the best!

Performed my favourite rope magic on stage (above) and close up card magic to the audience (below).

 With students: Felix, Sheng Wei & Gary

Two of the female students: I-Fun & Maggie. If you could recognize, I Fun actually starred in the movie Third Generation (DongLiang's sister)!=)

Friday, April 14, 2006

KENT, Pure Magic & Dunhill Shows

Think it's been quite some time I didn't update my blog..hmm let's just make a summary of what happened in these few months..before my memories fade! Where should I start..hmm first of all MMF had its second gathering at Fish&Co in Sunway Pyramid. Needless to say, this was another successful one and was merrier than the 1st. The highlight of the day would be Baalan was invited to perform to our next table for a b'day girl and the response was marvelous. Good job for him!

Like this pic so much. Everyone's so cool!

One week after the gathering I did a walk-around magic for KENT's launching party in Volvo Showroom with Brendan on 19th Nov..that was an awesome night. Brendan, a fellow cardician from Melaka, founder of MMF, also helped me to shoot a short video (or view below) of my performance..luv that vid to the max! Thanks to his vid-making skill.

Taken with..what should i call him..the Electric man? He's one of the dancers of that's very cool when he's 'switched on'.

 Then was helping out in the 'Pure Magic' night by TV3 and 8TV in Berjaya Times Square Hotel..with David, Robin and Eric on 2nd Dec..had lotss of fun! Had the chance of meeting some celebrities as well..but too bad I had to leave early that night to cover the job in the Magical Theatre Restaurant..long story=( Then two weeks after that i was called to do a table magic show for Dunhill's Christmas party in Alexis restaurant..the ppl i met there were really, really nice, esp. Stanley, Jeffrey, Joanne etc..we became good frens after the show!=)

With Eric, Robin, Vision & David in 'Pure Magic' night.

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