--It's Feb. 25, loud music is booming, a full house is chattering away and filling the Torp Theater with a hurricane of energy. Then, all of the sudden, Norman Ng bursts onto stage, smiling bright and ready to perform.
What is it exactly that Ng will be doing? Magic of course. Before you get ready to sigh and yawn, know that Ng isn't the typical magician we're all used to. His philosophies on magic are far different than that of shock magicians like Chris Angel or the slick tuxedo wearing gimmicks of the Las Vegas magic scene.
"Most guys in Vegas are too flashy and guys like David Blaine are douchey," said Ng jokingly after a well-received performance at Central Connecticut State University.
So what kind of magician is Ng? Well, first off, he's a good one. The audience had nothing but enthusiasm for the young performer. If members of the audience didn't have their jaws dropped in amazement at his illusions, they were laughing at his hilarious stories and improvised jokes.
"I would say that 70 percent of my tricks are original, the script however is all me, 100 percent. I write all of my own material," Ng said. "That's because for me it's all about relatability. Some of my script is about my life; it's easier for the audience to get into it when you share yourself with them. What I'm going for is conversational magic, I like to get the audience as involved as possible."
Ng accomplished involvement right at the beginning of his act by offering up some cold, hard cash to audience members in exchange for assisting him in his tricks. He did the same later on in his on-stage game show.
Participation also seemed high because the audience really seemed to like him. There's a certain amount of charm in his act that other magicians lack. He injects many stories about his life and his own personal interests into his act.
"I'm an artist. My art comes all from me, my story. The best way to derive emotions from people is to relate to them. That's why I have the stories about Maine and the restaurant chain and hockey," Ng said.
As most artists know, doing what you love isn't always an easy gig. Most people entering a career in the arts face tough times, old and young.
"It's wasn't easy. Right out of school, when I was 18, I moved out to California with only $500 in my pocket and started my own entertainment company. I was living in Oakland, in poverty," Ng said. "I would recommend magic as a career to people who have a passion for it, but let me says this, it's hard. There are under 20 magicians who make a good living touring and doing what I do."
Ng knew how to work the crowd. It seemed like making people happy was the most important thing in the world to him. There's a certain type of passion we attach to soul-singers and actors, people who perform for a living. Even comedians can often times capture our hearts. Rarely would you think that a magician puts every once of his heart and soul into a performance. On Ng's face can see it from when the lights go out to when the lights go on. Instead of exiting, leaving his crowd satisfied and separate from him, he dives into the audience instead, offering answers to their questions and spending as much time as possible talking to them. Someone this passionate has a mission, and Ng's is clear, unlike the tricks behind his illusions.
"The new wave of magic is coming. It's got to be brought back, magic is cool. So spread the word, because it's my mission to help make it mainstream again. I want people to be inspired by magic," Ng said. "After all, making someone truly amazed is what magic is all about."
For more information about Ng and his magic visit normanmagic.com.