The Rockettes—A Glittering New York Spectacular

The Rockettes—A Glittering New York Spectacular

When we hear the name Rockettes we think of the famous dancing company from early last century. Not just any dancer gets accepted into the Rockettes—one must have exceptional pose and balance, and fluidly follow the movements of the other dancers, so all appear to move as one. The great costume and dress designs are also another great reason to buy a ticket. The Rockettes are a famous dance company that was founded in 1925, and have been performing at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City since 1932. Each year, 500 women audition for the chance to be a star. This year’s show promises to dazzle and amaze with it’s “New York Spectacular” theme, with a variety of glittering and sparkling costumes made with crystals.

The story begins with three children becoming separated from their parents while on a trip to New York. New York’s most iconic sites come alive for them. The summer Rockettes wear unforgettable costumes, while dancing to a great soundtrack of classics, pop hits, and new compositions. In one number, the dancers are wearing black suits with long sleeved jackets and shorts, with large sparkling polka dots lit up with LED lights. Their black hats are also adorned with sparkles. In another set, the dancers are wearing 1920s-style flapper dance dresses in shimmery silver sparkles. As the dancers whirl, the fringe on their dresses moves with them, presenting a flashy and sparkly display. One of their sets called “Singin’ in the Rain” has the Rockettes performing in bright yellow raincoats with pink ruffles, and matching gumboots. Each Rockette dances with an open umbrella in hand that resembles a giant pink blossomed flower. The show even involves actual “rain”.
The show takes the kids through a variety of famous landmarks in New York: Grand Central Terminal, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wall Street, Central Park, and more. It’s a reworking of last year’s Rockettes Spring Spectacular, but with some differences to attract revisits from their loyal audience.

The Rockettes were choreographed by Mia Michaels from So You Think You Can Dance. The show was written by Douglas Carter Beane and the costumes were designed by Emilio Sosa. Emilio is also known as Esosa, and he’s been nominated for many awards for his costume sewing designs, and has been on Project Runway, and designed for many other Broadway shows. He also worked on the costumes for last spring’s New York Spectacular. In the past, the Rockettes’ costumes have been known to be adorned with Swarovski crystals, some of the best and most glittering faux gems. During their 2012 show, one of their costumes had over 3000 Swarovski crystals on it. The Rockettes’ New York Spectacular is a glittery pageant, full of music, dance, sets, costume and dress designs. With so much to see, don’t expect a lot of story line at one of their —it’s mostly visual—but go for the enjoyment of a world-class show full of amazing dancers and incredible costumes.


Cirque du Soleil and Swarovski Costume Collaboration

Cirque du Soleil and Swarovski Costume Collaboration

Cirque du Soleil has some of the most unique costumes in the theatre circuit, so when they collaborate with the Swarovski crystal company in costume sewing and design, you know there are going to be some amazing costume creations. Every Cirque du Soleil show has continued to amaze and charm audiences. These are stage productions that encompass smaller stages, often done under tents or smaller Las Vegas venues. A show has little dialogue, choosing to show rather than tell the story. And this is why a collaboration with Swarovski has been so exciting.

Many people know that Swarovski has a line of beautiful clear colourless crystals yet they forget that their crystal line also has bright colourful gems too. If you picture a Cirque du Soleil show, most people think of unusual and yet colourful costumes. Swarovski crystals were used for one of the costumes worn during the showing of Amaluna. This was a white dress worn during the Peacock Dance. This dress comprised two pieces, a bustier and a skirt. The bustier was made from a stretch nylon tulle to enable the dancer to move fluidly. The bustier was encrusted with white beaded lace that was covered in Swarovski crystals. The dress itself was made of nearly sixty metres of white non-stretch nylon tulle. The dress was constructed with a tail made from sun ray pleats and white peacock feather designs. This skirt was also covered in white lace and was covered in Swarovski crystals. The combined dress alone was covered in over 6500 Swarovski crystals.

Cirque du Soleil’s show Totem also featured an incredible costume that while simple, still packed an amazing wow factor for the audience. This costume began as a dark blue silhouette fully covering

Marina-&-Svetlana-Tsodikova Cirque Du solei-Totem
Marina & Svetlana-Tsodikova costumes made with 4,000 Swarovski crystals.

the male performer. Crystals were then attached in amazing patterns, much like resembling tattoos on the body. When the acrobat performed in his costume, the crystals would shine and sparkle in the light as he turned and rotated. For such a simple costume, it certainly stunned the eyes.

Swarovski has even been helping costume design students in the creation of costume designs. At École supérieure de mode (ESM) students were given the opportunity to redesign popular costumes from the Cirque du Soleil shows. Swarovski believes in supporting emerging fashion talents. Teams were formed, and they transformed past Cirque du Soleil costumers into new designs by using fabric and crystals together. Their aim was to reuse garments for sustainable living and to transform old materials into new forms.

Students made purses and bags from the old costumes. One notable design was a lot like a kaleidoscope from childhood, which is one of the notable themes that could come from a Cirque du Soleil show. The Swarovski company was impressed by the talents discovered from the ESM school.

Swarovski continues to enforce their commitment to sustainability through creativity and education. It will be exciting to see what other types of Cirque du Soleil collaborations they have throughout the remainder of 2016. Let your costume made also with Swarovski crystals!
Get in touch with us and we will design and create your perfect Swarovski Costume!!

Distinctive Costumes Designs on the Eurovision Song Contest Final 2016

Distinctive Costumes Designs on the Eurovision Song Contest Final 2016

Eurovision has been going strong since the mid-20th century. Each participating country sends their best singer to the competition. They try to not make it about politics, but with around 42 countries competing each year, you never know what may happen. This year, the finals were held in Stockholm, Sweden, and Jamala from Ukraine was the winner. The special guest of the Eurovision awards was Justin Timberlake, who was not competing, but only presenting his newest song to Europe with a live band.

Not only are the singers the best that each country has to offer, there are also some amazing and outlandish costumes to be seen on stage. Many performers had costumes that were encrusted with Swarovski crystals, known for their bright and everlasting sparkling properties.

The female host of the show, Petra Mede , wore a stunning gold dress made with Swarovski crystals. It had long sleeves, and a drooping cowl neck that tapered down her right shoulder, with a split down the front to her ankles. The entire surface of her dress was fully encrusted with small Swarovski crystals.Eurovision+Song+Contest+2016


With a stroke of brilliance to allow the performers to sparkle, the opening ceremony costumes didn’t compete, but were made of white paper and they were truly amazing. They turned models into large paper lanterns that resembled everything from panda bears to multi-armed octupi.peaper_outfit-eurovision-2016


Some of the most notable costumes were presented from countries in Europe.
Hovi Star from Israel had a unique costume which was pure black, and the stage helped to enhance the theme. The performer stood out as a black silhouette against a sparkling crystal night sky.israel_eurovision_2016


Poli’s costume from Bulgari was a futuristic black and white creation. At first it merely appeared that she had strips of cloth for stockings and sleeves, but during the last chorus, her dress lit up the stage with its many LED lights.bulgari_eurovision


Germany must have had one of the most unusual competitor’s costumes. Jamie-Lee Kriewitch wore a dress reminiscent of Japanese Lolita style, complete with a hat that was covered with tiny colourful toys. Her dress had a short but full circular blue skirt, with the bodice in white with ribbons.germany_eurovision_2016


Australia’s Dami Im sung her Sound of Silence entry atop a large black box with sparkling gems, while wearing a knee-length white dress embedded with clear Swarovski crystals. The dress had a short sleeve on one side, open in the front, and no sleeve on the other side.australia_eurovision_2016


Nina Kralijic represented Croatia and wore an interesting silver and white V-necked gown with a shawl, and a long cascading waterfall of ruffles.croatia_eurovision

Iveta Mukuchyan from Armenia wore a tight fitting long sleeved bodysuit consisting of think black sparkling cable-tie styled straps over a sheer beige fabric.


Eurovision is about a lot more than which country has the best singer—the finale is about a full evening of the world’s best superstars, and how they can shine and sparkle in their beautiful costumes.

Get the perfect costume or dress made by Costume Design Plans:

Jennifer Lopez Sparkles with Swarovski in All I Have

Jennifer Lopez Sparkles with Swarovski in All I Have

This year Jennifer Lopez will be lighting up Vegas with a three year splashy show at The Axis, Planet Hollywood, in Las Vegas Nevada. The first month of her show sold out, with eleven more months on the way. In her promotional poster, she is seen wearing a skeleton-like halter top with rags-like skirt, and both are entrusted with glittering Swarovski crystals. Jennifer Lopez always seeks the unusual in her costumes, while remaining classy and unique.


This is just one of the costumes she’ll be wearing at the show. Apparently her costume designers have made lavish use of over 260,000 Swarovski crystals. While many showstoppers such as Madonna may wear two or three glittery costumes for their tour, Jennifer Lopez has chosen to adorn most of her costumes with these jewels—after all Las Vegas is all about glitz and glamour.

Versace costume design made with 260,000 Swarovski crystals

With a three year contract in Vegas, it will be exciting to see the additional changes that she promises to make to the show to keep it fresh for those who wish to revisit her performance, as well as to see how her costumes keep up with all the action. In one set she wears the traditional showgirl costume under a white fox fur coat lined with satin. The bodice and miniskirt of the outfit are minimal, and encrusted with hundreds of Swarovski crystals. Even her bodysuit is glittering with crystals. For JLo’s performances, apparently she has so many outfits changes that people’s eyes can’t take it all in. Another notable costume is a long sleeved body suit, leaving the legs bare. The bodysuit is encrusted with blue and dark green gems, perhaps like a flower, and there are several strings of gems hanging down to make a “skirt”.

In one outfit she hides beneath a Chinese-inspired hat while being fully covered in gold sparkly diamond fabric that is also encrusted with jewels. J.Lo had her parade of glittery fashions beauty-jennifer-lopez-3created by the top fashion designers of today. Versace, Zuhair Murad, Nicolas Jebran, and Michael Costello were all responsible for her fabulous costumes.
Jennifer wore a variety of different clothing at the show, each embellished with a variety of different coloured Swarovski crystals. There were bikinis, a cape, gowns, and bodysuits. An awful lot of crystals have embellished her costumes, and a lot of labour went into making them. For just her Versace costumes, it took two months to make them all, and about 1400 hours to attach the crystals. Besides her costumes, over 75,000 Swarovski crystals were also used to decorate the stage set.
They were used in the making of nine different set pieces.There’s something about crystals that screams “superstar”. Swarovski crystals will outshine any other type of crystal due to their craftsmanship, cut and last-long durability that promises to last as long as the life of the costume. For the woman who is wishing to glamourize her costumes, Swarovski crystals is the best choice in beautiful, lavish costume making. Choice Swarovski rhinestone also for your costume or dress. Check out in our SWAROVSKI SHOP or choose our costume sewing service to design & create your dream costume!

The Successful Entertainers – The Coolest Magician on Earth

The Successful Entertainers – The Coolest Magician on Earth

 “Many times, it’s the costume that changes everything”

Rudy Coby also known as “Labman“, is an American comedic magician. He is a member of the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. In the early 1990s, Coby appeared in several small theatrical live shows, and on broadcast television. He is known for delivering eclectic and original comedic performances, of which stage magic plays a large part. He also works closely with rock musician and film director Marilyn Manson. (Source wikipedia)

Interwiev made by Sebastian & Kristina during the performance in TRIKSTARS show in Kuala Lumpur!trikstars_rudy

Kristina:         How you become a magician and why?

Rudy Coby:         I used to draw comic books when I was a kid and make super 8 movies and I loved it. I used to do the special effects. That was my first rudy_coby01love.And then I saw Alice Cooper, a musician on TV and he cut his head off. I asked my mom what that was about and she told me it was magic and she bought me a magic kit. I was nine years old and I didn’t even open my other presents. I loved it so much! That’s why I’ve been doing it for over 40 years. I won bunch of magical awards like “My Local Society American Magician”award, things like that.  I came upon the idea of making my magic look like my comic books because my comic books never let me down. They were always fine. I threw away all of the card tricks, all the step that looked like normal magic and then I’ve concentrating of making my magic looked exactly like my comic book. First, I didn’t have the character. Instead of having cards and the same props or linking rings, I could do all that magic. I’ve done all that which I think you need to do to become a really good magician. You have to learn the classics. You have to know the rules before you can break them. But even though I was really good at doing card tricks, I realized that any card trick to a normal person looks like a card trick. It doesn’t matter if your grandpa is showing it to you when you’re a kid or David Blaine’s doing on TV. A card trick is a card trick. That’s why people will walk up to professional and offer to show them a card trick because they think they’re in the same business as the magician. I consciously took everything and look like any other magicians props out of my house and then put rubber arms and legs, special effects thing weird, props and had my comic books litter around and toy and then try to do magic that looked like the things I loved when I was nine years old.

Kristina:          When was your first paid performance?

Rudy:                   I was 10 years old. I’ve been in magic for one year and I was doing magic for the kids in my neighbourhood. All the kids were four years old or five years old. I felt like an adult doing tricks and this lady hired me because she know I was a magician. She hired me. I came dead serious. I was wearing a black turtleneck sweater because I love James Bond when I was really little. I had a black turtleneck sweater, all dressed in black, very serious. I started performing my very serious magic and the kids weren’t paying attention so I stopped the show. Five minutes and I said, “You don’t deserve to see magic.” I walked out. I stormed out. The lady beg me to come back and I said, “No, not until they’re mature enough to appreciate it.” And that’s kind the way I feel the audience is down. I always had a chip on my shoulder about that. I really do, even now. I think it’s the greatest art form there is Opera and dance and all these other art forms get the respect but magic outdoes any of them. Magic is a theatrical art but with equal parts. It’s just funny that one discipline – dance is respected as an art where another discipline magic isn’t respected at all, even now. Which is mostly our fault for doing bad magic.

Kristina:         How did you came up with your Hairstyle?

Rudy:                   I looked pretty normal up until I was about 20 years old. I was shy, I was tall, 6 foot 4. Even though I was not a normal kid but I would go and do these things for like GQ magazine. I thought that was going to be a close-up perform. I was working on stage magic and close up magic in the same rudycoby1time but it made my living doing close-ups. I was on a track to become like a Las Vegas close up. I get all these sort of exclusive fancy pants gig where they would dress me in tuxido i look like James Bond. They styled my hair. And then when I started doing my stage act, I came up with the four-legs act. I had the costume but on my head, still looked normal. My body looked comically but my head kind of had a normal haircut. I just tried to make my head looked as cartoony as the rest of my act.  One day, accidentally blew dry the hair the wrong way and it looked weird and it was an accident. I think sometimes the best think happened are accidents. For example, I wasn’t raised with a lot of money. My first idea for the four-legged man act was – I saw him sort of mysterious like a spy character. So that’s why he has sunglasses. And that’s why that Peter Gunn music, it’s a spy music. I thought it’s be black trench coat, black pants. But when I went to do the act – I was working in a hospital putting myself to college. I didn’t have money to buy a new trench coat and new clothes, new suit and few pairs of pants. I went to the hospital laundry and I stole a lamb coat in two pairs and surgeon’s scrub pants and shirt.. It made it weirder and more of a cartoon than I even anticipate.

Kristina:          Why the sun glasess?

David Bowie, for whatever reason, he changed my life.
In the early 80s I was at the Madison Square Garden and I didn’t have a ticket to go see him. I was outside and I only had a hundred bucks, which is a lot, early 80s or something. I was walking around outside and one guy was trying to sell a ticket for a thousand dollars. Finally, the show is starting so

David Bowie sings in concert during his Serious Moonlight Tour in 1983. Cracked Actor is a song written by David Bowie.

the guy said, “How much do you have?” I was like, “I had $120.” Every penny I had I gave it to him for the ticket. It was in the third row. Third row at Madison Square Garden was 25,000 people. As soon as the show starts I jumped right in front. It’s just me and Chinese girls. That concert changed my life for one reason. He has this song called the “Cracked Actor”  he brings out a skull. He put sunglasses on and he sings to a skull, like sort of Hamlet. All lights go down and you’re seeing this skull and it was the coolest thing I had ever seen in my life. It was a pair of sunglasses and a skull. I was 17 years or something. I used to worry about growing old. I thought I was a huge failure because I thought I was getting old, “Oh my god I’m going to be 18 next year.” And really, it was affecting me. But then I saw David Bowie on stage and he was the oldest person in that room. Anyone in this room will change places with that guy. Age makes no difference.  You know how old he was? Thirty-seven. That night I went home, threw away all my magic. I gave all my magic way everything and I’d never done a show since, without sunglasses on.


Kristina:         What do you think what is important in a magic act?

Rudy:                   That’s a really hard question to answer because we can talk for five or six hours about that.  Most magicians don’t care what’s important. But what’s important in magic is, for me, the same thing when I drew comic books when I was four years old. Basically what that was about was, it’s imparting my world of view. That sounds self-important but that’s exactly what it is. When I go see George Lucas’ “Star Wars”, you’re looking into his mind. When you see a Steven Spielberg movie, you’re seeing his mind, his world. You go to Disneyland, it’s a good example. You walk. You’re walking the streets created by that guy. When you walk into a theatre and you’re seeing the “Rudy Coby Show”, from the moment you walk in, it feels like a different place. And that’s not me bragging, that’s just a fact. If you go see Penn & Teller or you go see David Copperfield or you go see David Bowie, those are my idols when I was a kid. I wanted to do this because I saw Alice Cooper cut off his head on the stage. He created this world that was better than the comic books  I worked with Marilyn Manson for 10 years. People all the time said, “Oh that was cool. That must be incredible working with such a big rock star.” And “No, he was excited to work with me. He came to me because he was excited to put magic in his show.” I don’t have Marilyn Manson music in my show. I don’t say that to brag. I’m saying that just to tell people. If you look up to people like David Bowie or to Marilyn Manson, Marilyn Manson wanted to put magic in his show. That shows you the high art of what magic is. He is the most dangerous performer there is, literally… I’m not joking around …even on stage but he still sees magic a dangerous thing. David Bowie started off as a mime. He went to mime school in France. You could say he’s a mime. My favorite performer is Steve Martin. They started off as a magician. Magic is important and it’s cool and it’s the greatest art on Earth.

Kristina:          How important is the costume & costume designs for entertainers or magicians?

Rudy:                   The costume it’s one of the most important thing. It says “Because when you walk on stage, that’s what you’re seeing.” If you’re in a huge arena, rudy_4legsthey can’t even see your face. They’re seeing that graphic representation of what you look like as soon as you walk on stage. That’s what I learned from watching David Bowie, the great rock artist. It’s like a comic book. You’re a comic book in a panel when you walk on the stage. To me, it’s 50%. Your audio, your music and it’s 50% the visual. It’s funny. I’ve watched different performers trying to find their character for years and years. And many times, it’s the costume that changes everything. Like Kevin James is a good example. I’ve known him for years, a dear friend. But 20 years ago when he first did it, he didn’t know what his image was on stage. He was exactly the same magic, exactly the same. It was finding which costume looked correct on his body. That’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for what gets across of the character and the feeling we’re trying to impart to the audience. But it’s a never ending struggle, never ending struggle. It’s amazing how everything about that choice changes everything the audience perceive. Whether your shoulder pads are really big or they’re small or what fabric it’s made out of because it tells everything about the character. I can’t tell you how many times a magician walk on stage and I will hate them immediately because of their jacket. Because it’s the most important.  About David Copperfield, people think of him as sort of classic magician but he’s certainly not that. He’s a very graphic look. It’s a white shirt with black pants but it’s a certain white shirt. He has a cartoon physique on stage because of his wardrobe choice. I think it’s incredibly important!

Kristina:        What is the secret to create a succesful magic act?

Rudy:                   I do a lecture where I basically tell people – I do it just to big international magic event. I tell them that anyone of them can travel the world tomorrow if they had a three minute act that’s strong. That’s all you need. You don’t need hour show. You could travel the world tomorrow. You could be on TV shows all over the world – just three minutes. I’m trying to make it sound simple to inspire them. There’s only two requirements. There’s only two things in any act – it’s character and material. But you have to have strong character and original material. That makes a little more difficult. For magicians, your tricks have to be original and your character has to be strong. It’s very, very simple. But you take a lifetime trying to discover it. It’s basically, for me, I’ll give you the short version. If you want to become a strong performer as far as a magician, you have to know how to do everything. You’ve had to perform in front of as many audiences as you can. That means doing free shows in prisons, in mental institutions, birthday parties – everything. But that’s going to get good. Because you have to do thousands of shows before you even have a personality on stage! I tell people all the time, don’t try to learn all the newest trick. Go back to basics. Take the linking rings, the cut and restored rope – those basic things, do it in hospitals and prisons.Until you could do those basic tricks with an original slant and sudden you’re doing the linking rings with a different personality. You’re not using stack lines. You find yourself, your personality on the stage. That’s when you get a personality. You have to have a personality on stage. Lot of people – and I get to trouble for saying names ,I tried to not do that – could use that lesson now!!!

Kristina:          What do you like most to be an entertainer?

Rudy:                   I like to travel.

It was Channing Pollock, the most famous dove magician who’s Lance Burton’s inspiration. He gave me incredible advice. I think Marvin Roy, Mr. Electric said the same similar thing. But he said basically, “Being a magician, you get to live the life of a millionaire without actually being a millionaire.” And It’s true. I’ve gone to a hundred different countries. We’ve dined with royalty. I have met the biggest stars in the world. I’m doing what I love since I was nine years old. There’s nothing better than that. We don’t have real jobs and we get to travel the world for free. But no, they pay us a lot of money and they get us free food. But we got to grow up to be what we always dream to be. Whenever I have people working in my show, like assistant staff, travel sometimes are pain in the ass especially now. But When people in my show start getting cynical, Ahhhh“We got to get to the airport two hours earlier Ahhhh ….you’re immediately fired because I don’t want that around me. If people don’t appreciate the gift that we’re given by living the sort of fantasy life, they don’t deserve it!

Kristina:          What was your biggest success and your biggest failure in your career?

Rudy:                   My biggest success was my first US TV special where they called me “The Coolest magician on Earth.” It’s on my website. Just because when I was a kid, I saw Doug Henning on TV, I saw David Copperfield on TV – that was what I dream of, to have my own TV special. Rudy Coby, the coolest magician on Earth. In 1995, it’s 20 year anniversary. Twenty years exactly. The funny thing about that was the name of that show, I hate it. That was suggested by the producer .He literally was offering me my TV special in the room. He was the Vice President or the President at the network Fox televiosion in America .He goes, “We can call it “Rudy Coby, the coolest magician on Earth”. If you know me, you know I hate that because I don’t want to be called “the magician” at all. Him saying, that I knew every magician in the world would hate it. I start hating the title. But then when it came out, I loved it because the magicians did hate it. Because it is a comic book title. It’s such a bold-faced lie that is awesome. But I’ve had people get incredibly mad at me. “You’re not the coolest magician on Earth,” and I’ll be like, “Whoa, why?” They were like, “David Copperfield is.” My second TV show which people can also say, I did a whole routine where David Copperfield comes on stage and challenges me because I called myself “Coolest Magician on Earth”. That’s one of my proudest routines I’ve ever done also. When David Copperfield lost but I did it with a respect. That’s what I mean. It’s like sometimes your enemies give you the greatest idea.
My biggest failure – there’s been moments in my life where there’s failures “I don’t look at failure as that anymore.” Because very few people are willing to take a chance at failing at something and going on a show and then not going good ,trying something new in front of an audience and you shit the bed on stage in front of people. You give your enemies because they are – people are jealous in our business. They want you to fail. So You never want to give your enemies a reason to gloat and to go “Haha,” that was horrible. But you know what? If I wasn’t willing to walk on the stage and be willing to fail utterly and completely, then I wouldn’t have had the great successes I’ve had.


Kristina:          If you could start over, would you choose the same path?

Rudy:                   Yes. Because there’s no way to get to where I am today by not taking that path. I was a shy kid. Literally, I had social anxiety disorder. I couldn’t go to parties. I was kind of a loner. I drew my comic books. Came from a strange household. There’s so many things that in life, if you could change them, you think you would change them. But my mom was literally a crazy person. But at the same time, maybe because she was crazy, she supported me having a crazy dream. Where, if I were to had the ideal dream mom, she would have said, “Stop playing with that magic stuff, what are you doing? Stop drawing your stupid comic book. Here, study to be a lawyer.”  All the way from the top, from Marilyn Manson to people you’ve never heard of. I would say that all great art comes from pain. It seems there’s nothing good comes from being happy all the time. You have to have a yearning in your heart.  All my favorite musician heroes even now seems like rudycoby02some of their best work was when they are going through tough times.  Sometimes you’ve got to have your heart broken. Because if you’re in love and you’re happy, you are not creating new stuff. You’re too busy with the love aspect. I wouldn’t change everything but of course, I wish I could change lots.

Kristina         What is your advice for the new generation?

Rudy:                   Watch performers that you love. Instead of copying them, find out what they were inspired by. Learn everything you can about your heroes, including what their inspirations like “Where did they come from?” One of my favorite books is Skywalking. It’s probably my favorite book. It’s about George Lucas. How he created Star Wars? You know what I mean? He was a super shy guy, shyer than I was as a kid. He went from a small town in California. He created this empire, this dream world. Instead of trying to do a Star Wars act or copying him and make a Star Wars movie, like other directors have, I learned every night about how that dream came to be from the page to being this big flick. Sometimes, you’ll meet someone you’d admire and their inspiration is totally different. If you ever get to meet your hero and get occasion to go to their house, here’s a secret thing: Look at their bookshelf. Their bookshelf will tell you everything they know. And if they don’t own books – that tells you everything you need to know.


Madonna’s Costumes Light Up with Swarovski Crystals

Madonna’s Costumes Light Up with Swarovski Crystals

Swarovski crystals are the industry leader in jewellery, decorative art, and in costume making. Not only do they have intense sparkle, they are available in a myriad of beautiful colours, and are extremely durable. They’re made from crystal glass, not plastic, so they’ll maintain their intense sparkle over the years.

Madonna is a performer who combines musical talent with her dancing and performance expertise. Often her costumes are intricate, with many details and tiny Swarovski crystals.
Her costumes are often intricate, and can take many months to design and create. As a performance artist, she’s spent much of her adult lifetime focussing on the perfect show and her costumes show

For Mandonna’s Rebel Heart tour was used 2.500.000 Swarovski Crystals

it too. Each set on stage has her wearing a different outfit. Some are outrageous and minimal, while others are vibrant and elegant.
Madonna never wears her costumes past the season, yet they must be made for a lifetime. A good costume must last through several performances, and then it can be placed into a special museum where people can admire it at any time. Swarovski crystals will look as wonderful a decade from now as they do today. They won’t tarnish, fade or have peeling foil backs. Professional performers such as Madonna hire a team that who’ll create a theatre or show costume with only the finest of materials.
Madonna wore a beautiful black and gold 20s style dress during one of the Rebel Heart performances in 2015. This flapper-style dress was made by Moschino and she also wore a pair of long fringed gloves to go with it. She sung “Material Girl” while wearing it. What was notable about this dress was that it was entrusted with hundreds of small crystals that cascaded down on fringe around the skirt of the dress. The fringe on her gloves was also covered with crystals, as was the bodice of her dress. She topped it off with matching jewellery.
Singers, musicians, dancers, circus performers, acrobats, and illusionists may also all need that perfect costume to wear on stage. Performers must only select from the best. Rentals and vintage are passé. Today, the professional performance artist, such as Madonna, has several costumes made for one show.
Costumes differ from regular partywear in that they have to incorporate many special needs into their construction. Add on top of that hundreds of rhinestones, and that can make for a heavy costume for Madonna to wear. Not only are there ways to ensure a broader range of movement for her dancing, but the costume must not rip or tear at any time. The crystals on a costume must also move with her performance, and never catch against the fabric.
You can see from Madonna’s Swarovski-crystal embellished costumes that a lot of work goes into creating her beautiful costumes. They must last throughout each of her tour performances. It will be exciting to see how many of her Rebel Heart Tour costumes will be available for show at museums around the world.

Shine like Madonna! Check out the varius Swarovski Crystals in our shop!


The Successful Entertainers – The World Chapions of Magic

The Successful Entertainers – The World Chapions of Magic

“You don’t get success just like that, the game of having success is long”

A few years ago Marcel and Aquila discovered to combine their talents, the art of magic with storytelling and strong visuals. This cooperation has transformed the way of performing magic drastically in the entertainment world. They are the first who created an illusion show with a logical storyline from begin till end. The illusions are not just tricks but the décor of the story. The showgirls have given place for mysterious characters. The illusionist is not the macho hero anymore but the protagonist in the story, in the case of Nightmares he plays the antihero. That’s why they have changed their artist and company name into MAGUS UTOPIA. A name that stands for a magical and imaginary world… (Source –

Interwiev made by Sebastian & Kristina during the performance in TRIKSTARS show in Kuala Lumpur!

Nightmears and Sebastian & Kristina -Trikstars/Kuala Lumpur

Marcel:               I am Marcel Kalisvaart. I’m 31 years old. I live in Holland together with Aquila, who’s going to introduce himself later, I built the company Magus Utopia.

Aquila:               I’m Aquila. I’m 27 years old. My background, I’m a designer and I’m working in magic world now for about six years. It’s been a lot of fun and inspiration.


Kristina:             How you became magicians and why?

Marcel:               I was 10 years old and I got a magic box from my father for Christmas, like most magicians and it just interested me. I thought it was so interesting to amaze people and I just kept doing it. I found out there was a magic shop nearby so I went there to buy my first professional trick. And then, they told there were like magic clubs. So I was like, “Oh, I definitely have to go there.” I called them right away and go to the magic club. There, I met magic friends and told me there were magic days and competitions. My interest always moved on and moved on. And then suddenly, I wanted to become and illusionist when I was 15 years old.   I started building something, and my father saw that and was like, “That looks really cool. I want to help you.” A toolmaker can do a lot of things with metal and wood so he helped me out in building things. Step by step, it started getting bigger and bigger.


Kristina:              And for you Aquila?

Aquila:                I’m not a magician but I work with magicians. My background is a designer so I’m a graphic designer. I met Marcel eight years ago and I had my own substitute and Marcel as well. Suddenly, I saw the show and I saw the show with other eyes – not like with magician’s eyes with the colors and lines and characters and stories. Suddenly, we started working together. We created Nightmares.

Kristna:         How did you come up with the idea for Nightmares?

Marcel:               It’s been a long time that I actually want to work with the story but I never actually knew how. I always wanted to work with characters, with logic and story but it’s always very difficult. I didn’t know how. I didn’t have the knowledge. Then, I met Aquila and I told him my ideas that I want work with a story. He used to make stories since he was a child. You were like 5 or 6?

Aquila:                Yeah, something like that.

Kristina:         Why the horror story? Because of Walking Dead?

The Nightmears

Aquila:               No not really. I’m dark from inside and Marcel as well. We have kind of a passion for the dark world and all like that. It’s also much more interesting because we have the bed (illusion box invented by Marcel) so wanted to have a dream. But a dream is like boring … you know… Fairy, flying and stuff. People don’t want to see that. People want to see… Adventure and problems.

Kristina:         What is important in a magic or Illusion act?

Marcel:              I think originality because originality brings you everywhere. Otherwise, they will say, “We’ve had that before.” Also, it has to be strong and visual,entertaining, very magical and strong effects.

Aquila           We mean like the effect is more like show presence. When you’re on stage, you have the x-factor. I also like to call it the sex-factor. It’s like the feeling you have that you want, “I want to buy them. I want to meet them because it’s so nice to look at that.” I call it sex-factor, actually.

The amazing costume designs!

Kristina:          How important is the costume and costume design in a illusion or any special act?

Aquila:               I think it’s very important because the way you’re going to present yourself. It’s about being original.

Originality is not copying. You can be inspired but not copying somebody else. I think it’s important how you present that because that’s the way the audience is going to get the real intention.

Kristina:             What is the secret to create a successful act?

Marcel:               I think it’s never successful right away. To create success, you have to really go through failure. You have to fail and learn and learn and then, there will come a time when you think, “Hey, I learned so many things and now it’s even more successful.” To create something successful, it’s very complex because it has to deal with so many things. It has to deal with originality; it has to deal with strong characters; has to deal with strong music, your timing.

Aquila:               So many things. Like a movie, you have a movie but the movie has a good story but maybe doesn’t have a good visual. Nowadays, we have a green screen. Maybe the movie has a very good visual but a very bad story. So, it’s a combination of everything.

Marcel:               And then, it has to deal with your own power because you also have to promote, you have to do your management. And you also have to think how you’re going to do your logistics, your promotion. It’s working on everything to become successful. I believe marketing is very important – have a good website, have good photos, video and also connections. Also, have respect for everybody. Don’t be fake,be nice have respect for other artists and for your employer…. It’s the whole process actually. You wont become successful right away…

Kristina:             How did you choose your characters, your dancers in the act?

Aguila:                We normally do auditions. Lately we had an audition, more like 50-60 dancers came from all part of Holland. We got requests from Argentina, from Spain, France as well…They have to have something special,good dance education and some experience in work field. Strong presence and expression is very important!

Kristina:            What do you like most to be an entertainer?

Aquila:               It’s very nice. You get to meet cool people like you guys and like new places and culture and also giving people hope when you’re doing your show. They actually step out of the reality of the world. And suddenly, you have a fantastic world in a show. I think that’s the thing that I like.

Marcel:               I really like to…I really like to inspire people. So many people after the show they’re like, “Wow! I enjoyed it so much.” Like Aquila said, I really hope that they also have a hope and they like, “Hey I also want to create or make something out of my life ”

Kristina:             What was your biggest success and your biggest failure in your career?

Marcel:               I had so many failures in my career. My biggest failure was sometimes financially. If you hire people and see, “Okay, this is not going to work.” It costs a lot of money…. , Business-wise, sometimes it was not always a success.


2012 – WORLD CHAMPION OF MAGIC (stage illusions) FISM official World Championships

But our biggest success when we won the World Chapions of Magic award in 2012 in Blackpool! The feeling was really good. We were thinking for years to compete and we really want to win it. We really want to come up with something new. You can only win it when you’re really, really original. On the championship was the first time we ever performed with Nightmares. That was very exciting. We didn’t know how the audience will react , Either they’re going to hate us or they’re going to love us. And we get standing ovation! And we won the prize! I was very proud. And one day after the World Championship, the whole Dutch Press was calling us, every big TV station, magazine… For the last three years, we’re working nonstop and even working with Double Team in China. Sometimes we have six shows in one day – three in China, three in Europe and it’s crazy. And sometimes three locations . We were in France but In the same night, we had a TV show in Germany.   And then, we were also performing in China.” Wow, we’re now like in three countrys with Nightmares.” We are very happy about that!

Krisitina:            If you could start over, would you choose the same path?

Marcel:               That’s difficult because now you know so many things… But I would choose the same because I’m very happy with my life.

Kristina:             What is your advice for the new generation?

Be original but let yourself be inspired

Marcel:               We also get lectured with the magic community and stuff. Our advice is always be original but let yourself be inspired. You can pick up ideas.You can get something completely new. It’s not impossible to create something completely new because everything is already done. Just let yourself be inspired, and be creative. Follow your passion! Don’t copy! That’s my advice because otherwise you will be always just a copy, and you never will be the same who you copied! Copying others just because to earn fast money is just cheap entertianment! I believe in investment. The more you invest, the more money you earn back. We had thousands of Euros in our props and costumes and people see it. They’re like, “Wow, your props and costumes, they look so amazing.” That’s why people are booking us. We get more work and we ask a little more fee to get our investment back from what we did. If you think small, and if you don’t invest, you stay small, and cheap act, and you also will be booked for cheap markets.

Aquila: Focus on yourself and really fight for it. Don’t give up. You have to learn from your failures. We believe that actually mistakes doesn’t exist but only lessons. Every time something bad happens, it’s just a lesson and try to learn from it! Have a plan!! Plan your future! That’s very important We’re working on a five-year plan. We know what we want in five years! You don’t get success just like that. It needs time.
The game of having success is long. That’s why you need a plan.

Visit the amaizing website from Magus Utopia: or like them on Facebook:


2013 – Best creativity and originality prize
China Circus Festival in Zhuhai

The Hans-Klok Award

2012 – WORLD CHAMPION OF MAGIC (stage illusions)
FISM official World Championships

2011 – Audience Award
Martin Hanson Winter Circus

2010 – Dutch Champion of Magic (Grand Prix)
NMU official Dutch Championships of Magic

2009 – International Jury Award
International Circus Festival Enschede, The Netherlands

2005 – Mandrake d’Or Award
Le Festival International de l’Illusion

2004 – Beijing Golden Dragon Magic Award
China Acrobats Association

2003 – Best illusionist Award
FISM official World Championships

2002 – Dutch Champion of Magic (Grand Prix)
NMU official Dutch Championships of Magic

2000 – Circus Herman Renz Trophy
Circus Herman Renz

1999 – 1st prize winner (junior)
NMU official Dutch Championships of Magic

1998 – 1st prize winner + audience award
NMU official Dutch Championships of Magic – Junior department

1997 – 1st prize winner + audience award
NMU official Dutch Championships of Magic – Junior department


The Successful Entertainers – The Wizardry of Phelston Jones

The Successful Entertainers – The Wizardry of Phelston Jones

“If you stay afraid, and you don’t go past the fear, this is failure. When you confront the fear, this is success.”

Phelston Jones captivates audiences with magic and comedy as he playfully picks the pockets of audiences, or seriousness with mesmerizing one-of-kind illusions, and with his dynamic energy audiences are treated to a visual feast fit for a king. He has performed from North Africa, Italy, South America, Canada, Australia, China, and Japan are just a few of the exotic locals to have welcomed him. In Monaco, the late H.R.H. Prince Rainier III graced the audience for Phelston’s command performance at the prestigious Monte Carlo Magic Stars gala. He sold out shows across USA, his home country, and well-known hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. NBC’s World’s Greatest Magic V, introduced the catch phrase for his performances.(Source Gypsy Moon – Dion & Randal Production)

Interwiev made by Sebastian & Kristina during the performance in TRIKSTARS show in Kuala Lumpur!

Kristina:             How you became a magician and why?

Phelstone Jones

Phelston:          How I became a magician? Cos I had no other choice. I created this occupation out of need. Not so much for passion, just because I needed something to get  to eat, plain and simple.And it was the quickest way for me to make a couple dollars, quick. We’re hungry. What do I do? I know a couple of tricks, learned in school. I did on the street, a hand movement, and I hear a coin go inside the hat. And you hear ‘clink’ and you get another one, ‘clink,’ ‘clink.’ Next thing you know, oh, ok, right, it’s not so bad. Then do it again, and people walk away and you start hearing, ‘clink, clink, clink.’ The first two ‘clinks’ give confidence but it really was to get something to eat, the first reason.But I really had my heart in Architecture. But if you’re not going to school, forget about it, it’s finished. So one thing led to another, snowball, snowball, snowball, bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger. Before you know it, you have full street act, 20-minute street act. Of course it gets more complicated.

Kristina:          And when you did you perform for the first time on stage?

Phelston:          Actually, the first show I did was a magic show. It was for my school. Every kid has couple of tricks. And what does he do at the end of the year, they always said, “Let’s put on a show! Come on, let’s do something. You have the guitar, You know how to dance….We are all artists, crazy artists in a school  “Ok, let’s do a show.” So everybody does— I did a couple of tricks in flash paper and that’s how we put on the first magic show together. It was just for fun! But when you have maybe a 1,500 to 2,000-seat auditorium, that can change a life. When you hear that applause, now it’s a new game. Now it’s ego. Now it’s arrogance. Now it’s pride. All the bad things come, that’s what happens.

Kristina:          When was your first paid show?

Phelston:         Pretty much like most people I don’t come from a circus family. My generation is the first and the first thing I did was I went to a nightclub, just a regular nightclub on my street.          Dionosus Club was a Greek Club. I just went up to the owner or the manager and said, “Do you do shows?” He says, “Yeah, what do you?” “I live on the block. I do magic.” Showed him a couple of tricks so, “Ok, maybe Friday. You come back Friday.” That was it.So I think the first gig I ever got, did a little thing with coins, cards, and he gave me like $80.00. I was on top of the world, $80.00. Crazy, I said, this is a way to make a living. But that was the first show. After that, that was it. That really kind of started it. Street performing did but so did the stage. All of a sudden, you have a way to make food, income. You can make food up here at that time. We were very poor. My mother was not the most responsible person so I had to figure out a way to make my own money right away and so that’s what I did.

Kristina:          How did you came up with the act that you’re doing now?

Phelston:          Oh, bits and pieces over the years. A little bit of this, you try this, you try that. I have maybe one hour of material all over the house but you put the best of this, and a little piece of that, and you put together what they ask for;  “I want a 15-minute show, 10-minute show.” You put together little bits and pieces as you go along.

The Great Magic Act!

It’s a lot of fun if it’s a challenge. If it’s your own material it can be a lot of fun. But you don’t get much support in the magic world. You have to kind of do it yourself. Not too many magicians support. It’s very competitive. Maybe you have friend or two but for the most part, you have to be a little kind of crazy side, a little creative. But I come from an art background so it was easy for me. Whether you’re making a painting, or doing magic trick, —it’s all the same; come from the same side of your head. That’s exactly where it’s coming from.

Kristina:          What is important in a magic act?

Phelston:          Oh man, it’s not one thing. I wished it was, it would be easier. But so many things are important. First and most important thing, you better have a passion for it. If you don’t have a passion for this, you’re only in it for money, you won’t last long, and you won’t make a lot of money. It has to be in your heart. That’s the most important thing; if you follow it for love, if you really love it, you’re going to be ok. Really love what you do.

Kristina:         How important is the costume & costume designs for a magician?

By Trikstas show in Kuala Lumpur

Phelston:          It should look clean and professional. Every artist; singer, dancer, ice skater, puppet guy, you have to invest in yourself. It’s like investing in yourself. It’s very important. Your presentation and your costume means everything especially if you’re going to make sure that you want the best venues, you want to work for the best contracts.Yeah, your presentation has to be top-notch, the best that you can think of, nothing less. And if you can’t afford it, do the best you can afford.

Kristina:          What is the secret to create the successful magic act?

Phelston:       There’s no secret. Just be dedicated. It’s not secret. Anybody can do it. The most important thing is you’ve got to love it. I think the thing is to love it and it has to be deep inside you.With love everything comes. If you love it, everything comes because you’re going to want to do good, You will want to make a good costume. You will want to make a good prop. You will want to study technique. But if you don’t have the seed, everything else is like a job.

Kristina:          What do you like most about being an entertainer?

Star Wars Premier – Sebastian & Kristina, Phelstone Jones, Adam Dion Bahoudian, Rudy Coby, Daniel Sylvester

Phelston:         Everything that comes with it. It’s exciting! It’s crazy, you travel, you get to meet crazy people like Kristina and Sebastian, and you get to be a part of these guys’ lives. Then you realize that you’re not the only cool person in the world. It’s just good to meet people. I love most about this, you get to travel and you meet other artists. Other artists, that’s a great reward. Of course, everything else comes with it. But when you meet other performers, creative like yourself… it’s like a network. It’s like global family. I never want to sound hokey but it’s true. You get a chance look at Rudy Coby, look at Silvester the Jester look at these guys, they’re brilliant. How are you going to get a chance to have dinner or to watch the Star Wars premiere here in Malaysia with people like these? You go and you have—you brainstorming ideas. It validates your own life, that’s the cleanest way I can think of answer like that.

Kristina:          What was your biggest failure and biggest success in your career?

Phelston:          As long as you’re doing what you do with magic, with your performance, if you’re a singer, if you’re a dancer, whatever it is, it is success. If you’re doing it, you’re success, it’s not a failure. Failure to me is when you want in your gut, you Costume design planshave this burning desire to do something, but the biggest failure is when you ignore this call. If this is a call and you are—you stay afraid, and you don’t go past the fear, this is failure. When you confront the fear, this is success. You are going into the mouth of the dragon and you’re going in, you’re fighting, and you find out, “Oh, there is no dragon. There’s no teeth. There’s nothing.” You find, “Oh, the fear is not the world, I’m the fear. You become the fear.” So the biggest failure for any performer I think is you become complacent. Complacent meaning you don’t move forward because you’re afraid. This is failure no matter what level, this is failure. It doesn’t have to be make a billion dollars, you have to just push yourself, now you are successful. But when you ignore this call, every time, small failure. They keep adding up; tiny failure, tiny failure, tiny… and it gets bigger.

My biggest success when they invited me to this very intersting program called “World’s Greatest Magic,” and they were using magicians, the best from all over the world, the best at this time. Gary Ouellet was the producer in United greatesmagicStates. It was the biggest TV show for magicians maybe in 30 years! Now this truly was a show, I’d been on many TV shows but this is the one I’d wanted to be on for so long. Already five episodes gone, and everybody said this will not last, maybe one more year, two more years then they’re going to close it. But the last year, just before the last year, it was magic five, I think I may have been the last one because I was “World’s Greatest Magic Five.”It was the last episode like this and they decided, they were looking, looking and I never applied for it before. And then I send something to the producer, I found out who was—where he was, and I said, “Listen, I understand you’re looking, you’re still looking for different acts.”, I get a call one week later, that fast. “When can you send another video?” “Immediately.” “Then we want to see interview with you.” Nobody’s doing my stuff. And they realize you’re the most original, one of the more original acts. And so they decided, ok, they’re going to take a chance. They videotape in Caesar’s in Las Vegas for this one. So right across the street from David Copperfield. Right down the street from Siegfried and Roy, you are right in the hub. This is for me the pinnacle, the top where you are accepted by your peers, by the best in the business is surround you. The best in the business all in two blocks on the entire planet, is in two blocks. So that to me was the highest, highest point. But even higher than that, highest point related to my business is my kids. Because that gives me the juice to go get anything. So that was the most successful part of my life, I would say the kids and then this institution for TV that was looking for the best and the most unique. That was the crest of my life so far.

Kristina:          If you could start over, would you choose the same path?


Phelston:         The first path I think if I start over, I wouldn’t be a magician. I probably would continue with scholarship for university that I got called Pratt Institute in New York City. I went to art school and then they gave me a scholarship to go to Cooper Union and Pratt Institute, most difficult art schools. Because my art and my architecture, my skills were so sharp at that time. And I didn’t take advantages, this is my biggest regret because it’s the time when I was on the street. And all my life I’m still regretting this that I didn’t take this degree. But somehow if I change the clock back to go back to art and then I would start another business, an art business to take care of my life, my soul inside. If I just had magic, it’s ok but I think I am originally a painter. And I cannot make a divorce with this painter. So I have to go back, and I am using this painting eyeball, the IIC? was my painting, I’m using in my other business; photography and advertising.

Phelston Photography and Advertising

And sometimes this is more successful than the magic, you know why? Because I make the formula follow the voice inside. How do I see it as a child? And sometimes, we’re all children growing, every last one, every girl, every guy, we are by-product of our youth. We have evolved from some experience we had as a child that molded us into young adults. It’s that experience that’s most magical!

Kristina:          What is your advice for the new generation?

Phelstone & The Fire

Phelston:        If you’re going to do it for the money, finish, go home, do something else. Be a banker, go Wall Street, be a real estate mogul because there are more ways to make money, and easier ways to make money. If it’s in your heart, and you really have to do it even if you know you’re going to starve and you must do whatever you’re going to do. You don’t harm anybody, because you feel that this is so burning, yes, follow it. Follow it and stick to it, don’t give up so easily. Stick with it. If it’s in your heart, you’re not going to want to. But if you’re doing it for, “I want the Lamborghini. If I want to buy a Rolex. If I want to…,” forget it. Go home. I think you have to come up with a story or a concept or something. Think, use your imagination. If you’re in this business, you have an imagination. Imagine something that you did when you were a kid. Try to imagine something that makes you so excited when you were young. Because when you are old, we are cynical. But maybe when you were young, you had stars in your eyes. Something moved you, follow this and try to be more honest with yourself inside your gut. This is where the child is, not child like in immature way but the child innocence. Something that made you think back why you went into the business. Why you saw this circus act and you went to the circus. So you went to see something, what happened inside you? What happened inside your belly? What happened? Try to tap into this and then you create from there. If you create from, “Oh, this is rational. This is logical. This is this, and that…,” I think you more limit yourself. Because the technique, you figure out, but the core, that has to come from some place. Some place inside you that is pure and innocent. This is us when we are children, follow this.


For the past twenty years, Phelston Jones has been obsessed with creating images, and he has taken thousands of incredible photographs throughout the world.  His originality and uncanny knack for snapping the shutter at the decisive moment has been sought in Norway, Australia, South Korea ,Thailand and Hong Kong for magazines, books, CDs and billboards.
Check out his amaizing photos:

Clikk here see the video of Phelston Jones Magic performance



The Successful Entertainers – The real live Cartoon

The Successful Entertainers – The real live Cartoon

“Magic is, to me, like the first miracle and man’s greatest achievement”

Daniel Sylvester Battagline, also known as Sylvester The Jester (born 1961), is an American magician, best known for playing a cartoon character who comes to life. He has had hundreds of stage and television appearances, He has performed in multiple Las Vegas shows including opening for The Amazing Johnathan, and appearing at Caesar’s Magical Empire. Sylvester the Jester has created numerous magic effects and gags, for his own act as well as for other performers. Effects performed in his act are self-fabricated, original designs intended to imitate classic American cartoons. (Source wikipedia)

Interwiev made by Sebastian & Kristina during the performance in TRIKSTARS show in Kuala Lumpur!


Kristina:              How you became magician and why?

Kristina:              How you became magician and why?

Daniel:               I really didn’t have much interest in magic when I was younger. I’d seen a couple of magicians before. But it didn’t spark my interest. But one day, I was really depressed, my mom had left permantly. And my dad, who was Usually like this crazy violent person was just sitting in his room and he was really depressed too. I was taking a shower that day and glanced over at the tile on the wall. It was cracked! I thought, “Oh, shit! my dad’s going to kill me.” Because no matter what went wrong I would always get blamed. But when I reach to touch it the crack moved! And suddenly I realized, “It wasn’t a crack at all, it’s just a hair.” This made my brain kind of explode because I a moment ago I was certain the tile was cracked. Then suddenly I my brain was spinning and I began to think like a magician. This concept of limited perception came into my head. The idea that when we look at something our brain imediately atempts to interpret the experience based on limited knowledge. And that led me to believe and to think about magic! Maybe that’s how magic works.. Its that we’re not certain about what we see so we make a quick decision but its wrong. Afterwards, I got out of the shower and took another look at that hair. But this time I looked at it from about an arm’s length and from that short distance the hair was invisible! And I said, “Wow, this must be how invisible thread works.” And I thought, ‘‘I guess it’s not really invisible, but under certain conditions you can’t see it. So I go scotch taped the hair to the Ace of Spades and I put it in the deck and I must have seen a rising card trick on the TV or something.. Anyway I just did this magic gesture around to cover the fact I wrapping the hair around my finger. I could make the card come out of the deck, move to right and left, and back down into the deck. And I thought, “Wow, is that cool?” Then I went downstairs do it to the old man, he was pretty depressed cause my mom split. So I said, “Hey dad, what’s your favorite card?” And he sais, “I don’t know… the Ace of Spades.”So it was just luck, right? And I go, “Watch!” And did this trick. And I made the card slowly come out the deck and then move to the right, go to the left, and then return to the deck. He gots this big smile and he sais, “You’re doing that with your thumb, aren’t you?” And then I turned around sideways and I did the same thing. And my dad just—he stood up at one point and then he just flops back down on his bed and says, “I have no idea how you’re doing that.” And this made my year—it was like the Grinch who stole Christmas. And his heart gets three times as big and that’s what happened to me. I felt that something had changed in me. And it was fantastic. I’d never experienced anything like that. Never got that kind of reaction from my dad let alone anybody else. And I said, “I’m going to keep doing this.” And I don’t even know what it was exactly, and suddenly I was interested in magic. I’d be interested in story of Houdini when I was a kid but just didn’t seemed like magic. But from that day on I started creating my own magic. And even inventing my own tricks out of junk lying around, and occasionally other people said, “Oh, have you ever seen this trick? Or that trick?” And so that’s how it all started off. The beginning it I

The beginning….

was just learning. That was 1975! A few weeks later I saw Magician Doug Henning on his first US TV Special.I continued to learn about magic, and read every book I could find on the subject, then when I was a sophmore in high school there was a talent show based on the old“gong show“ I auditioned with a few effecst I made and I won first prize. I was like, “Wow! I can’t believe this!” I started getting popular! And it wasn’t a big show or anything like that. But then the next year I won it again! And then I kept adding to my repertoire, more and more effects and routines. And did kind of a big one, big illusion, like a shadow box thing, produced my sister out of it. I got some steady work as a magician too. It was at a big resteraunt called Bronco Bear Creek. But after two years of that I decided I was going to move to California! That’s where my mom was. But I couldn’t get any much work as a magician. And this one guy said, “Well, I’ll hire you as a clown.” And I didn’t understand why.—so I decided, ok, I’ll try to be a clown. You know, it sounded stupid and I really didn’t want to do it. But it was a similar experience, like the crack in tile, I put this wig on… make-up a goofy costume and seddenly I’m someone I’ve never met! I was someone else! And I could be anything, do anything, say anything. And it just made me feel as if I‘d tapped in to some real power. It just took me out of the construct of me. I often talk about magic, how magic is based on constructs which is a simplified version of reality. But reality isn’t so simple. I’m not even sure we really see reality for what it is. Anyway that’s what happened with the clown thing; I put this clown suit and make up and it made me not see me anymore. That construct for me was some insane guy who would do anything. And that that guy was hilariously funny, which I had never been before. I could never remember jokes but when I became a clown I could create them on the spot. And I was really funny!

Then in 1988 a movie came out, “Who Frame Roger Rabbit.”

Who Frame Roger Rabbit.

And I remembered when I was a kid, my little brother and I used to watch cartoons and we loved them. And I thought, I’m going to do it, I’m going to try to be a cartoon. That’s somewhere between a magician and a clown. And I’d never seen anybody do it. And so I worked really hard in coming up with the right stuff. I was working at a dentist also. I’d been hired to do magic at a dentist office because it was huge, and you’ve got all of these people in there sitting around in pain. So I would just entertain them. And that’s when I invented my first sound effects vest. And I’d go over to kids there, I had one of those pretend hammers, and I go, “Ding!” on their head, “Your head’s broken, ding! Ding!” And have sounds. And they would just laugh. It was a great time. So then little by little I started building this cartoon character. And first time did it at the Magic Castle. And it went fairly well, some people really liked it but didn’t get the response I was hopping for. It was more like they were looking at me like I was the monolith from 2001. But then… Jim Carrey did the Mask in 1994, and overnight everything changed!

Jim Carrey-The Mask & Sylvester the Jester the real-life cartoon

People were calling me a genius. And others were calling me too! It all seem to happen……Overnight! It was like—because people didn’t have a model, they didn’t have a construct for what a real-life cartoon would be like. They felt uneasy, like what is this? But then when Carrey did his film everybody thought I copied off him. But I’d been doing it years before that movie ever came out! Suddenly, my character was valid, novel and unique. And Monique Nakachian (Tavel International Agency) called me and agents called me. And suddenly I was going all over the world. I’d never even left the United States ever before, and I was travelling around. And then I thought, “This is the greatest thing ever.” And then I had another agent too, he was sending me down to the South America, all the places in South; Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, and all these places like that. And local stuff too; television shows. And that’s pretty much how my character grew and became a successful guy. At least it was successful for me. That was the most success I ever had. I was being a cartoon! Thats norma1.

Kristina:       What you think, what is important in a magic act?

Daniel:      I think what’s important in a magic act is to take people out of their reality and to take them to some new, crazy place and give them the possibility, that same thing that felt when I saw this hair and then it turned out to be something else. And the same thing that I felt where I—when you see something and then you’re fascinated when you discover it’s much bigger, more fantastic than you ever thought. And I think that’s a magicians, or entertainer’s job is to make people feel like the world is a much bigger place they’ve got. It’s more fantastic. More wonderful. Because of course they don’t believe it necessarily that we’re doing real magic because they don’t know how we’re doing what we’re doing, that makes their brain kind of expand and constantly trying to figure out, “How could this be? How could he do that?” And that’s a wonderful thing!


Kristina:       How important is the costume and costume designs for a magician?

Daniel:       I don’t know. It depends on what kind of magician you are. I’ve seen

“the face of”

magicians wear just regular old clothes, and do very, very well. I think the costume is for the entertainers almost as much as it is for the audience! For me, I want to look in the mirror and not see me. I want to look in the mirror and see somebody that looked like a cartoon and so the costume was important. And tried a different things for a while and it evolved. It evolved into what it is now. And then yeah, so that’s how—your costume, you have to be able to do a lot of things in it too. So it’s more than just a costume, more than just dressing. It’s also part of the magic.


Kristina:              What is the secret to create the successful magic act?

Daniel:     Well, you have to work with the strengths you have. A lot of people are not unique. They’re not even original. So you have to look at—you have to try to grow, of course and it’depends on what limitations you have and what you want to pull off. Not everybody has the same skills. We all have different skills. We all have to learn—to use what we have the most standout and be unique in some ways. I was always an artist from the time I was a little kid. So I would draw, sculpt, make all kinds of things. I was always interested in mechanics too, and always do your absolute best. You have to do something original, do something new. Because that more than anything else, if people see something that they’ve never seen before, that works. As long as it’s entertaining, it’s not like you can explode into a million bits on the floor. You can, but you can only do that once.(laugh)


Kristina:           What do you like most to be an entertainer?

Daniel:        Oh, the girls. I just can’t keep them off me. (Laugh)
What I like best about it, I like travelling, meeting new people, trying to do my act in other places where they don’t even maybe understand English and see how well I could do it. I like the challenge of it. And I love making people feel what magic is all about to me. My tricks, a lot of them don’t even necessarily fool people like, “What the…?” They’re not like a mentalism trick. They’re like something just crazy and outrageous that they’ve never seen anybody do before. And I am also in that area, kind of specialized in something different, that was outside the regular magic periphery, whatever you call it.


Kristina:           What was your biggest success and your biggest failure in your career?


Daniel:           My biggest failure, I think, is as businessman. I just don’t get it. I don’t know how to—I’m afraid to ask for money a lot of times. I don’t think business-like way. I mean, my wife says, “You’re the worst business person—man.” I’m just terrible at that. And so I had to try Success-Failure-entertainerharder in the areas that I was good at. Just recently I raised my price and I was so scared. The Koreans called me and I asked them for a decent amount of money and they didn’t even blink an eye. And I was, “Oh, I can’t believe it. It was only three shows.”When I was a kid, I worked so hard, I was like my dad’s slave. I never got paid. Never got a dollar. Never got an allowance. Just work, work, work, work,

International Magic Festival in Monte Carlo

like a slave. So I never had that sense that my effort is worth something. I never had that most of my life. So that’s where my biggest failure is.My biggest success I think was in Monaco, in Monte Carlo winning the Baguette d’Or The Magic Festival in Monte Carlo 1998. I remember first they gave me this Junior Jurors Award which is all they took a vote from all the young people in the audience, and they voted for me. And I was so happy just to get that. I just thought, “This is great. ”It was maybe one of the last ones they had. And I got this award and I was standing there. And Princess Stephanie gave it to me. And then the next thing they’re saying is the champion award, the Baguette d’Or… and then they said my name again, and I almost cried—“That can’t be right.” And it was. And I’m standing there with these two giant awards in my hands—and all these other magicians were great magicians behind me who are in part of the show and that was probably my biggest success—I was absolutely thrilled by that.

Kristina:              If you could start over, would you choose the same path?

Daniel:                 That’s kind of a crazy question because I know where it led. I think that if I didn’t know, if I didn’t have any memory of what I had done, and I started all over again, I would probably end up in the same place. I would, I would do it again.


Kristina:             What is your advice for the new generation?

Daniel:                 Stay out of magic. (Laughs)

My main thing is to stay away from so much technology because—I often feel that

The Real Live Cartoon

technology is the opposite—magic is, to me, like the first miracle and man’s greatest achievement was some—probably autistic, cave person kneeling in the jungle, doing what the chimps do…spinning a stick between their hands trying to get meel of grubs out of a some dirt hole and suddenly the thing’s getting hot and starts to smoke then … fire. And they’re probably on their knees doing this, because this may be the origin of prayer. I think that the more ancient it seems the more magical it is. And that’s why I’m not—I mean, I use technology but I build it and make stuff like that. I’m not against using it, I’m against the audience seeing it, like certain big screen things and stuff like that. Because to me, it has to be real. You have to—the audience has to believe in it. The other thing is copying, I don’t like when people copy other people. And sometimes they do it, they just have the same exact idea. And then they have to look, did this person do it before me and then maybe changed? Because these things can happen by accident too, but that would be my biggest beef, to see so much of the same stuff again. Do not copy but also try to come up with something that nobody would think of. No matter how crazy it is, that’s going to make a splash because if the people haven’t see it before….
The presentation, that’s the tough part. You have to present something that is really new in a way that the audience doesn’t get scared or filled but that’s too strange. You have to present it in such a way that they’re on-board with you. That’s what the difficulty of doing new stuff, is that they’re not always on-board with you. The more you give them a construct, something they’ve seen before, the more they feel safe. To me, magic is exactly the opposite that. Magic takes you to that place that isn’t safe. But then you safely return to reality after, that’s what should be; that you take them to some fantastic place in their head or in this crazy world and then in the end they feel safe, and then they have to think about that magical place they went to for a while.

Visit the wild world of Sylvester the Jester for great products and merchandise!
*All magic props are hand made by Sylvester himself: Sylvester – Magic Product shop

Notable nominations

The Magic Castle’s Academy of Magical Arts, Los Angeles, California:

  • Lecturer of the Year: 2002, 2009
  • Parlour Performer of the Year: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004Sylvester-the-jester
  • Comedy Magician of the Year: 2003
  • Stage Magician of the Year: 1998, 1999


  • Baguette d’Or (Golden Wand), 1998, Monte Carlo Magic Stars, awarded by Princess Stéphanie of Monaco
  • Kid’s Choice, 1998, Junior Jury’s Grand Prix, Monte Carlo Magic Stars
  • Festival Favorite, 1998, International del Humor, Bogotá, Colombia
  • Gold Medal Champion, 1995, Pacific Coast Association of Magicians (PCAM), Santa Clara, California
  • Appreciation Award (50th Anniversary Special), 1996, International Brotherhood of Magicians
  • The S.C.A.M. Annual Comedy Magic Award, 2007, South Carolina Association of Magicians




Costumes for Entertainers & Performing Artists

Costumes for Entertainers & Performing Artists

By J C Sum.

As an entertainer, your costume or attire is part of the production value of your show. More importantly, it communicates the style, feel and character of your stage persona or the theme of the show.

Over my 18+ year career, I have gone through many costume changes. These were not just changes in the cutting or colour of a jacket but were completely different looks to represent the style of my show at a particular time.

It is very important to ensure your wardrobe is contemporary or original unless you are performing in a show with a specific theme. I generally would not be caught dead in a sequin jacket but I was costumed in one for a production show that had a 1960s theme so it was necessary to fit the overall image of the show.

Unless you are performing a period or themed act, are you still dressed in full sequin jackets or tailcoats? Or are you still stuck in the Matrix with long black trench coat and PVC pants? Do your costumes look outdated even though they have worked for you for years?

It is also very important that your costume fits the venue you are performing in. A nicely cut tuxedo with cummerbund will look great in a high-end casino, but if you are performing on a beach for a family show, it will look silly. Jeans with a belt chain and a skull T-shirt looks cool in a music or street festival but will look inappropriate at the awards ceremony at a corporate event.

Naturally, the same line of thinking must apply to your assistants or other talent working on stage with you.

Upon deciding on the style of attire and wardrobe for your show, the next step is to purchase or have your outfit made. There are five sources that you can tap on to get your attire for your show:

  • Professional Costumers
  • Fashion Designers
  • Designer Wear
  • Tailors or Seamstresses
  • Free-lancers

Professional Costumers

A professional costumer who has experience designing and fabricating performance costumes will have all the necessary equipment and experience to produce a costume that meets your needs. They are experts in designing stage wear and know how to make something look good on-stage. And that is the key word: ‘on stage’.

To the professional costumer, costumes are meant to look good on stage. Thus, when viewed up close, the costumes will definitely not look as good as designer or tailored outfits. They are also not made for comfort. However, professional costumes are whizzes at making great-looking stage costumes at affordable prices.

Many costumers may have catalogs of photos or ready-made costumes that you can buy or modify for your needs. You can also show them pictures of costumes that you like and ask them to use it as a reference and custom-design something for you.

Fashion Designers

Fashion designers are an interesting breed of people. There are usually highly artistic but all seem to have their own quirks. However, all of them pride themselves in creating fashion pieces that are unique and aesthetic (although beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

If you can find a fashion designer that fits your style, speak to them to see if they are interested to design and produce something for you. Just be warned that they usually work on their own timetable and not yours. Design fees can vary greatly between designers so make sure you check before committing to a project.

Designer Wear

If you are performing a modern contemporary show, you can purchase your clothes from a designer brand outlet. Good brands will have well-cut clothes that will make you look good. The cost of a good complete outfit with accessories can easily run into the thousands for branded stores.

This is the source of my current attire due to my performance style, current show formats and target audience. While I have switched between looks and material over the last 5 years, the one good thing about designer wear is that I will always be relatively “in fashion” and look contemporary.

Tailors or Seamstresses

A professional tailor or seamstress will be able to custom-make a suit to your needs with some kind of frills to make the outfit flashier. However, the general tailor is usually used to making standard suits and may not have the ability to produce a special costume that you have in mind. While they are experts in cutting and sewing, they may have little creative design beyond the standard suits.

You should bring photos of a costume you like as a reference or better yet, get a dress pattern that the tailor or seamstress can follow.

For female magicians and assistants, one professional resource for these dress patterns is this very website:


The advantages of employing the help of free-lance designers or fashion students are that they are likely to be less expensive and will be willing to work with you on every small detail. However, the trade-off is that they may not be as experienced.

While their designs may be artistic and fresh, they may not have experience on the small practical details of performance attire, such as the durability and ‘behaviour’ of different fabrics and materials. Another problem with free-lancers is that they may not have a full appreciation for deadline and schedules as they have other priorities and commitments.

All the best and look good for your next show!

Based in Singapore, J C Sum
Based in Singapore, J C Sum

Based in Singapore, J C Sum ( is an award-winning international illusionist & designer of original illusions with extensive international experience performing for corporate & special events, luxury cruise liners, theaters, showrooms and television.

His website educates entertainers on business, marketing and investing.