Best In Singapore lists the 12 best magicians in Singapore and I am glad to be selected as one of them!
Do check out their post as it contains information that will help you to compare different Singapore magicians and mentalists (from children performers, to illusionists, to corporate performers).
Singapore Corporate Mentalist Custom Show for Harvey Norman
Harvey Norman celebrated their 17th Anniversary at their Flagship store at Millenia Walk. I was hired to perform two mentalism shows and I had to incorporate their theme and custom messages into the show for their customers.
Here's one example. The message was "Think Sofas? Think Harvey Norman." I incorporated the message into a prediction-style effect. I had a list of 50 items found in Harvey Norman. 5 different members of the audience shouted out a number from 1-10 while an audience member on stage helped to add the numbers up to get a totaled up number between 1-50. The audience member on stage then helped to read out different products on the list to make sure that they were all different. Then the audience member on stage read out the product that was at the totaled up number. She says, "Sofa!" I then reveal the prediction that has been in my hands all along. It reads, "Think Sofas? Think Harvey Norman."
I also had many other routines that featured their various products and slogans. Incorporating them into predictions, mind-reading effects and psychological influence-style effects was very fun. I even had one person freely think of any item they wanted in Harvey Norman. When I guessed it correctly, she was lost for words and looked pretty spooked out.
To end it off, the audience helped to mix a bunch of envelopes numbered 1-8. Their series of 'free' choices they made however was actually under my influence. Each of them took out the piece of paper from their envelope and it formed the statement "Enjoy Harvey Norman's 17th Anniversary At Millenia Walk." What a great image to end the show!
If you are looking to have a corporate entertainer create a custom show for you, look no further. Frederick can incorporate your theme, message, product and services into his unique mentalism and magic show!
How to Choose a Magician or Mentalist in Singapore
1. Type of Performer
The first thing to do is to decide whether you like to hire a magician or a mentalist, or someone who can do both. Magicians do more visual stuff. They make things float, disappear, transform, and so forth. Mentalists create the illusion of mind reading, psychological influence and lie-detection. You can read more here.
Next, do you need a performer that caters to children, adults, or both? A large number of magicians are children’s magicians. In contrast, other magicians and mentalists specialize in performing for adults. Always check with the performer whether they best cater to adults or children. You can also see how they dress and their pictures to get a rough idea.
Next, some performers specialize in close-up or walk-around settings while others specialize in parlor or stage settings. Close-up and walk-around performers tend to select less angle sensitive tricks and have to use small and light props that can be carried around easily. Stage performers can handle angle sensitive tricks better and can use many larger props. Both types also manage the audience differently and the presentations are different. To note, there are quite a number of magicians and mentalists who can do both (and excel in both).
Q: So what kind of performer is Frederick?
A: Frederick specializes in mentalism and also does some magic. He caters only to adults. He is best for parlor or stage settings though he can easily adapt to close-up and walkaround settings as well.
2. Determine your Budget
You should determine your budget. This will help you to narrow down your choices to performers that fit within your budget. After all, there’s no point in trying to compare so many performers if they do not even fit your budget. To note, many magicians and mentalists do not like to put their prices online. You have to contact them for a quotation before you can filter out those beyond your budget.
Does cheaper pricing means lousier performances? This is a common line of thought. In fact, some mentalists and magicians claim that performers who charge low prices or fees are not professional and do not perform well. This is NOT true. Prices are determined by the performer. Someone who just started can simply choose to put high prices, while someone who is a long time performer can choose to put low prices. The choosing of pricing depends on a number of factors for the performer that mainly has to do with their business strategy. Pricing does not necessarily correspond to their skill level or experience.
For a sample of Frederick's prices, see here.
3. Meeting the Performer.
In choosing a performer, it is best to actually meet the performer and ask to see a trick. This will give you a sense of what the performer is like. This may however be hard to determine if you’re looking for a performer to cater to a stage or parlor setting.
Frederick makes it a point to try to go down and talk to the client to better plan his show to meet the needs of the client better. He can also demonstrate something in person.
4. See Pictures and Videos
Pictures and videos on the performer’s website can give you a rough sense of places they have performed and the kind of things they perform. Videos are more informative than pictures as you can see how the performer talks and performs. Also you can also see how engaged the audience is from videos.
Take the pictures and videos however with a pinch of salt. Performers filter out the best ones to display, so it might not be reflective of their usual performances.
5. See Testimonial or Reviews
Do not decide based on testimonials or reviews on a performer’s website. These are usually always good. After all, when a performer asks a client for a review, clients usually give good reviews. Performers then post the best reviews on their website.
Instead, see third party websites like Facebook and Google reviews. Still, take reviews with a pinch of salt. They can be rather subjective.
5. Should you decide based on Awards?
I think one should not decide whether to hire a magician or mentalist based on whether the magician or mentalist is an award winning one unless you are familiar with the award. There are many performers with so-called awards. Some of these so-called competitions have barely any participants. Also, competitions among magicians are usually judged based on a certain “magician” criteria. For example, in some competitions, the higher the level of difficulty of sleight of hand, the better the magician is. Such competitions do not test how well the magician entertains a lay audience in various events.
A Singapore Corporate Mentalist's Experience
A 3rd party company, which was helping to promote Domino's pizzas' launch of its new desserts, contacted me to help them in their media run. The media run consisted of their team going to different media outlets (including influencers and content creators) to let them try Domino's pizza and its new desserts. They also provided a media release and talked with the media outlets more on what Domino's was launching.
I had 2 tricks specially prepared for this. The first routine involves a custom designed deck of cards (as seen in the picture). To note, credits go to my designer who only had 1 day to do this. During the routine, the spectator is shown the deck of dessert cards, showing many different Singaporean desserts. Then, the spectator *freely* chooses a card and thinks of the chosen dessert. I then reveal the dessert they have in mind. Using my special skills, I ensured that the spectator always chose one of domino's three desserts (Cinnamon churros, Churros choc dip duo and the Blueberry cheesecake lava cake). I ended off with something like "I knew you were thinking of cinnamon churros, this is why we brought some for you to try today."
The second routine was to get a spectator to think of a frustration they had. I then revealed the frustration they had in mind. I ended off with something like "We always have many frustrations in life, but screw it, just have Domino's desserts!"
These tricks helped to make the experience more memorable for the media outlets, helped to warm up the media outlets to the team, and helped to bring across the message they wanted.
It was really fun for me to get to see the different media outlets and meet new people. Most of them also enjoyed the short tricks. The best reaction I got was from a lady from mothership. After reading her mind, she was so shocked that she even teared up and couldn't compose herself for a whole minute! She just couldn't believe that I knew her frustration. It was also funny to see how Elliot from Tree Potatoes afraid to have his mind read.
I hope to do more corporate mentalism stuff. So if you have a project in mind and would like a corporate mentalist to help out, do contact me! :)
Catch Me If You Can! (Esplanade Performance)
Hey all, I will be performing at Esplanade's Flipside Festival 2018! Come check out the show for free!
Date: 1 June (Fri) & 2 June (Sat) 2018
Timing: Friday 10.30pm, Saturday 9pm & 10.30pm
Location: Esplanade Concourse
Note: The 1030pm shows on both days are the same. The 9pm show on 2 June will be unique.
You can RSVP on Facebook or Eventbrite.
Mentalist Frederick Choo plays detective with an audience full of suspects. Will you be able to keep a poker face and deceive the investigator? Using a mix of magic and psychology, Frederick creates mental illusions that both astound and confound audiences.
Frederick is a Singapore mentalist who has honed his craft since 2014, creating unique, never-seen-before routines. In his highly interactive shows, he demonstrates abilities of lie-detection, mind reading and psychological influence. He also includes magic to cater to visual audiences in his show. One of his specialties is Rubik’s Cube magic as he was a professional Speedcuber. He can read up to 10 minds simultaneously, plays icebreaker games such as “2 truths 1 lie” at walk-around events, and even enables members of the audience to read minds. A show by Frederick is bound to have you perplexed yet spellbound.
What is the difference between a Singapore Mentalist and Magician?
I present myself primarily as a mentalist and secondarily as a magician. Often, this leaves people asking "What is mentalism?" and "how does mentalism differ from magic?" Below, I highlight some of the main differences.
These are what I considers to be the main differences between mentalism and magic. There are others who may highlight many more things to show how magic and mentalism differ. Some others also take other forms of psychic-like effects to be part of mentalism. For example, they may do readings, divination, talking to the dead, etc. I stay away from these kind of 'mentalism.'
Frederick is primarily a Singapore Mentalist but also a Singapore Magician. He incorporates the best of both worlds into his show. This makes him highly unique and helps to cater to different kinds of audiences. Contact him now!
Rubik's Cube Magician Singapore
Looking for a Rubik’s Cube Magician in Singapore? Look no further! Prior to going into magic, Frederick has been solving the Rubik’s cube and various other puzzles since young. He has came in 2nd place for the Rubik’s Cube One-Handed category in the Singapore Open 2008 Competition, with an average of 28.42 seconds. His official records for the Singapore Open 2009 Competition can also be found on the world cube association page. Even now, with little practice, he can still solve the Rubik’s Cube in about 20 seconds!
Frederick even has had his own business making and selling competition level Rubik’s cubes and similar puzzles. He has even been featured in the Sunday Times. (Picture below)
Now, this professional speedcuber combines his love of the Rubik’s cube with magic. He has learnt from famous Rubik’s Cube magicians such as Steven Brundage, Takamitsu Usui, Axel Hecklau, Henry Harrius, Karl Hein and Kev G. You might have seen some of these people perform Rubik's cube magic on TV shows like America’s got talent, Penn and Teller’s Fool Us and many various talk shows.
Now instead, of watching Frederick speed solve the cube in 20 seconds or one handed, Frederick uses magic to solve the Rubik’s cube instantly! Frederick even combines this with Rubik’s cube cards to create further magic. Sometimes, he even invites one person to join him on stage and then magically gives the person the ability to also solve the cube. This makes him highly entertaining and unique!
Frederick is primarily a Singapore mentalist, but he is also a Singapore magician who specializes in some forms of magic such as Rubik’s cube magic. So what are you waiting for? Check out this Rubik’s Cube Magician in Singapore!
Booking an Entertainer? What should be in their contract?
People have asked me what live performers and entertainers usually include in their contract. Let me break it down.
1. Performer’s information and the client’s information.
Usually this includes the name, company, address, and contact details. Some contracts only have the company name. However, including the client’s name is important as it shows who in the company is responsible for the agreement.
2. Performance Details
Performance details usually contain information like date, time, location and duration. Some performers also include other details here such as logistics that the client will provide.
Riders are extra terms to be fulfilled that are attached to the contract. Usually this has to do with the client providing things to the performer. Some examples are the client providing specific meals, providing extra tickets, granting permission to collect tips after a show, granting parking access, providing certain logistics, providing a dressing room, or even agreeing to give a video testimonial and leaving a review on their website.
Be careful to check these as famous celebrities have requested ridiculous things in the past. See here for example.
4. Payment Details
Payment details usually do not just list the amount but also include the payment methods. For example, the payment methods I accept are cash, cheque, bank transfer, and paypal (paypal has an extra 3% charge).
Deposits are also mentioned. Many entertainers have a non-refundable deposit of 50% of the amount to confirm the booking and require the remaining 50% prior to the show. 50% is the industry standard for most forms of entertainment.
Also, performers usually add in a surcharge if the performance starts later than the scheduled time (eg. 15 minutes late). This is usually 10-20% of the amount and can increase over the amount of time that their performance is delayed.
Why is there a non-refundable deposit? When performers are booked, they cannot accept other clients. They also have to put in time (and resources) to prepare for the performance. So the 50% deposit is to cover their costs in case of loss of work and resources.
5. Cancellation and Force Majeure
A “force majeure” refers to an act, event, cause, or occurrence that causes a party to be unable to fulfill their obligations of the contract, which is not within their reasonable control. This includes weather, illness, epidemics, riots, fire, acts of God and so forth.
In such cases, many entertainers still keep the non-refundable deposit and allow the client to reschedule. Some other entertainers (like me) choose to instead return the deposit.
Some entertainers allow cancellation anytime prior to the show but will keep the deposit. Others return some amount of the deposit.
So these are usually the terms in a contract or agreement with an entertainer for live performances. However, each contract differs, so do check them out carefully and know your obligations.
4 Reasons to Book a Singapore Mentalist or Magician for Your Event
There are many forms of entertainment in Singapore. Magic is one of them. Here, I present to you four reasons why you should book a Singapore mentalist or magician for your event. I briefly compare them to other forms of entertainment.
1. Make Your Event Memorable!
Would you remember the live band playing in the background of your party or would you remember the mind reader who could detect your friend's lies? Most would say the latter! Mentalism and magic attract attention, amaze people and leaves them with a good memory. This is because magic and mentalism are both a special and unique art. In fact, most people who see live magic tend to talk about it. So, your event won't just be remembered, it will talked about it for years to come.
2. Take Awesome Pictures!
Many times when we take pictures, we have to force unnatural smiles or make awkward body positions. With mentalism and magic, you'll get natural pictures with a great variety of reactions. People will be laughing, amazed, smiling, and so forth. Just get your photographer to tag along!
3. High Entertainment Value for Guests!
Many forms of entertainment still leave guests bored or feeling awkward. In fact, many forms of entertainment only caters to a subset of people. For example, having a jazz band play music in the background only appeals to jazz lovers. In contrast, mentalism and magic tends to entertain and amaze almost everyone. It has a universal appeal. Mentalism tends to work better for intelligent audiences while magic fits those who are visual audiences. Let your guests experience the impossible and be amazed!
4. Break the Ice
A mentalist or magician can help to break the ice and get people interacting with one another. Mentalism routines involve the audiences and get them talking. Imagine the mentalist guessing the name of someone's best friend or a phobia someone has! This will leave people with things to talk about later. Some mentalists (cough... me) may even do routines as part of a game. For example, a mentalist (cough... me again) can play a game of two truths and one lie and the mentalist will demonstrate his ability to detect lies.
So what are you waiting for? Book Frederick, the Singapore Mentalist and Magician today!
Pre-show work is a common method used by many magicians and mentalists. Pre-show work broadly refers to work prior to the show that would allow the performer to gain or force information, which the performer can use during the show as part of an effect.
Here’s one example. Before the show, the mentalist mingles around with people who are going to see the show. The mentalist approaches Jane and asks her to think of a two digit number. Then as the mentalist looks away, he asks Jane to write down the number on a piece of paper so that she cannot change her mind. The paper is folded up and safely left in Jane’s pocket. The mentalist turns back and guesses “33.” Jane however says that it is wrong. He says, “Nevermind, we’ll try again later. If I call on you later during the show, think of this two digit number.” Secretly though, the mentalist has obtained her two digit number by using an accomplice who peeked at the information from behind while Jane was writing it down. Now during the show, he can call on Jane to think of a two digit number and reveal it. This method is highly deceptive.
Among those who use pre-show work, there are two groups. The first group openly declare their pre-show work. For example, the mentalist may call up Jane during the show and say, “Earlier, before the show, I asked Jane to think of a two digit number. I couldn’t get her number, but now I am going to try again.” Here, the audience now knows what there were things going on before the show which they did not see.
A second group of mentalists never reveals that there was any pre-show work. For example during the show, the mentalist can say the following to Jane: “Now, I want you to think of a two digit number for me. Can I first confirm that I never asked you to think of a specific number? Yes? You made up this number freely right? And this number, now, exists in your mind right?” Jane will say yes to all of this. To the audience, it seems like Jane just thought of a two digit number that only exists in her head. So pre-show work can be hidden from the audience, adding a layer of deception.
There are other kinds of pre-show methods like stalking someone’s Facebook to gain information, or forcing information (eg. asking someone to flip to a page of a gimmicked book and remember the first word on that page which actually repeats on every page). This allows the performer to reveal a lot of information during the show and would seem impossible. The audience cannot back trace this because they have not seen the full process.
Among mentalists, pre-show raises ethical issues, especially when it comes to hiding the fact that pre-show work was done. Ethical issues aside, some mentalists like it and some don’t.
Moral of the story: Now that you have a basic grasp what pre-show is, you know what may be going on whenever a magician or mentalist talks to you before the show. But be nice and don’t go around exposing him/her of course.
Note: Frederick Mentalism: The Singapore Mentalist does NOT use pre-show work.
Social Engineering?: Written By a Mentalist in Singapore (who was an Information Security Scholar)
Mentalists detect lies, use psychological influence and use other information gathering techniques to know what’s on your mind. They use it for your entertainment, to create the illusion of mind reading. No harm there right?
Today however, I want to talk about a group of people who use similar techniques, BUT they are the bad guys. In the world of information security, the term ‘social engineering’ refers to techniques used on people to get them to diverge information, usually about themselves, the company they work for, or even customer information. Often these bad guys use some form of psychological manipulation, exploit human weaknesses and use various information gathering techniques.
In social engineering, the attacker contacts the victim tries to get information. For example, the attacker can pretend to be from DBS and call you regarding a problem with your credit card. He then asks for you to verify your secret PIN code at the back of your card. This of course is a very simplified case. Attackers go to great lengths to make everything look legitimate. Another common scam is when you receive an email or message to click on a link. You go to a page that looks completely legitimate. But if you look closely at the top of your browser, you might see a url like “https://www.faacebook.io”. If it’s not obvious, Facebook is spelt wrongly, and should end with a .com. So this is a fake website, where the attacker lures you in order for you to key in your username and password.
To make things worse, there is reverse social engineering. In social engineering, attackers contact the victim. In reverse social engineering, the victim is the one who contacts the attacker for information instead. Here’s an example. First, an attacker sabotages a system to cause an error (such as using a virus). This causes the user to seek help. Second, the attacker advertises herself. For example, the attacker might have given out a fake business card weeks beforehand or even input calling information into the error message. Lastly, the attacker waits for the victim to contact her and then assists the victim while also getting more information.
The reason why reverse social engineering is so powerful is because the victim is not suspicious of the attacker. When a victim establishes contact with the attacker, it is because the victim believes the attacker has a certain identity and often believes that the attacker is in a good position to provide assistance. For example, if someone directly calls a victim and asks for the victim’s login details, this would seem suspicious to most victims. Victims would check the person’s identity. If instead, the victim is looking for help and finds a helpdesk number to call, the victim would be less suspicious and more willing to share information. No one calls a helpdesk and then tries to verify the person’s identity first. Hence, trust is established if attackers successfully manage to get victims to initiate contact.
It is really difficult to protect yourself. So always check the url of websites, verify the identity of people, avoid diverging information over the phone or email, only go to reliable sources and follow the best practices set out by your company. There’s plenty more advice online on how to protect yourself, so do check them out!
-Written by Frederick, a mentalist in Singapore.