Translated by WINNIE CHOOI
Sin Chew Daily
Black art has brought Zhang Guang Ming and Zhang Ying Hui together . The duo, at their very young age, coordinate well with mutual understanding even as they do not have much stage experience. Yet, their performances have often won big applause from the audience.
Apart from the current offers to perform locally or overseas such as in Indonesia and Singapore, they would also travel from Melaka to Kuala Lumpur from time to time to learn new magic skills from a couple, Mark Yong and Pinky Loo, in order to further advance their skills for more enthralling stage offerings.
Joining magic club
Melaka-born Guang Ming made some inquiries at the shop selling magic props out of curiosity when a classmate of him shared some magic props with him in the classroom. He found that the shop also recruited learners besides selling magic props. So, Guang Ming spent RM300 to become a member of the magic club.
Besides getting five magic props after becoming a member, Guang Ming was also taught how to use the props, and from there he has slowly developed his interest in magic.
"Learning magic is easy and I often do magic tricks in front of my classmates. As a result, some of my school mates would ask me to perform magic tricks for them.
"It has indeed transformed my attitude from that of an introverted boy and expanded my circle of friends," he said.
Guang Ming was flattered when the school's vice principal invited him to perform magic at the principal's retirement ceremony having learned about his skills.
"That was my first stage performance in front of so many people. I was very nervous but I tried my best to perform on the stage and thankfully I did not disappoint them."
Since that first performance, Guang Ming started to get invitations from other schools to perform magic tricks.
Along with increased stage performing opportunities, Guang Ming has also become bolder in stage performances. Two years later, he was invited to take part in a magic competition held in Subang Parade.
"In view of my stage-performing experiences and my aspiration to advance in the magic field, I accepted the offer to perform alone on the stage but the outcome was somewhat disappointing," he added.
Luckily, Guang Ming did not lose his spirit because of his failure, instead he has tried to accept criticisms and reviews from the judges, and realised his shortcomings vis-à-vis other participants.
"Due to my less-than-ideal results at primary school, I began to have the idea of dropping out from school after high school. They were against it but were eventually willing to let me decide on my own future," he said.
Ying Hui once thought of becoming a make-up artist until she came across Guang Ming's three-colour chain rope magic, which triggered her passion for magic.
Since the love sparks began with Guang Ming, Ying Hui started to develop her interest in magic after spending much time together with Guang Ming and managed to pick up some magic tricks from him.
"After a year of learning, I got to know Malaysia's first mask changing female by chance and became a student of her. So far I have been able to show eight consecutive changing masks," said Ying Hui.
She said her first stage performance with Guang Ming was at Chinese High School, Batu Pahat.
Having practised and performed together for two years, both Guang Ming and Ying Hui have developed mutual understanding and are able to bring up some truly marvellous magic performances.
The most unforgettable moment for Ying Hui was her performance at Foon Yew High School in Johor Bahru last year, when she had to stand on the stage in front of a packed auditorium. As for Guang Ming, his most unforgettable moment was when he took part in the final contest of "Sunny Teenagers" in Melaka, when his ill mother showed up to lend him her support.
Guang Ming admitted that the contest was the first ever support shown by his mother in person.
Moving towards their dreams in magic performing, Guang Ming has created different magic tricks for his future performances to attract the audience or judges during competitions.
"During the contest, creativity counts as it would reflect the performer's unique style."
Ying Hui, meanwhile, has set Pinky Loo as her role model to enhance her mask-changing speed and master the skill to perfection, like her mentor.