Srinidhi Vasudevan captivates everyone not just with her personality but with magic too! DEEPTHA SREEDHAR
As I sat down at Srinidhi’s house to catch up with her, I suddenly saw someone at the entrance walking on stilts and ran out to see who it was! I was greeted by Srinidhi Vasudevan, the magician! “Welcome home! This is my signature style of entering into shows,” says the19-year-old who is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Electronic Media, as she steps down for a chat with NXg...
When did you start performing magic?
I started when I was seven. Basically, my father is a magician and thus out of curiosity I asked him to teach me. I gave my first performance when I was in Std V, during a Children’s Day programme at Bharath Matriculation School. Following that, I started performing at various family functions and other get-togethers. Gradually, event organisers spotted my talent and that’s how my professional stint kick-started.
Apart from your father, did you learn magic from anyone?
My dad is my only teacher. These days, a lot of videos are available online for expert-level training. I also read a lot of books and perform tricks from them.
What are the different kinds of magic that you perform and what are your special tricks?
There are three kinds of magic— conjuring, illusion and close-up magic. I perform the first two. Conjuring includes the basic flower/paper magic tricks and illusion requires a larger space to perform. Besides, magicians do not talk while performing. But my uniqueness is that I talk a lot! Apart from that, in terms of magic, I always enter using a stilt, the long sticks. I use knives and cut my hands, let the blood flow out! Plus, I ride a motorbike blindfolded. Another daring stunt that I perform is cutting through the audience’s neck with a sharp sword. My stilt entry which is a big hit with kids, is now my signature entry!
Your memorable achievements and awards…
I won the Tamil Nadu Outstanding Young Girl Magician award called the ‘Bala Swarna Jwala’ award from the hands of the TN Governor in 2007. I recently performed at a show in Kuwait. I have performed at various companies like Britannia and TVS, and many schools across Chennai.
How do you balance between studies and your shows?
Luckily I study in an arts college and hence my classes end by one o clock. Be it a party or get-togethers, most of them are organised during evenings only. So I have a lot of time in between to get back home, rehearse the tricks or even complete my college work.
Also, my course is more practical than theory, an added advantage for someone like me! I perform and practise for shows only during the weekends. So, there is not much of a trouble balancing the two.
How does the future look for independent magicians in the country?
Experts like P.C. Sorcar are well established and hence have taken up magic full time. I will definitely not take up magic as a career, as I cannot earn a living out of it. Magic was something that started as my hobby and slowly my hobby helped me earn and thus I came into shows. I feel that magic can be taken up as a full-time profession only by those who are financially sound. For beginners like me, it will be difficult.
Also, I am more inclined towards carving a niche for myself in the field of media rather than magic. Moreover, it is difficult to get established as an independent magician because of two main things: Lack of proper tutors or trainers who can pass on the legacy; magic is mostly a family profession or business of sorts where a father, son and grandson keep up a family tradition. Secondly, the growing popularity of other forms of entertainment is also a major factor.