While we were on our virtual and very hypothetical trip to Singapore to interview Harapan Ong, we had to make one more stop. Avi Yap is the next guest in our How I Found My Magic series.
Avi Yap is a highly talented and skilled magician from Singapore. He is best known for his visual coin magic and is also a fantastic card magician. He has many successful and popular releases under his belt, with Monarch possibly being the best-known.
Monarch is a hyper-visual coin matrix where everything happens instantly. He also created an effect called Nomad Ring, in which a coin transforms into a ring and vice versa. His most recent release is Threaded, Avi’s take on the classic Charming Chinese Challenge.
Fun fact. Avi held a lecture in our store in Prague last year. It was the first time he saw snow. It was amazing to see the excitement in his eyes.
What made you start with magic? Was it the wonders, curiosity, getting to know the secrets, or something else?
Haha, it’s the classic sob story that almost all magicians have, but it’s true. Well, I used to be a national athlete, and when I was in preparation for the world championships, I had an injury that basically caused temporary paralysis from the waist down. Being bedridden, my friend from school came to visit and showed me a simple card trick in hopes of cheering me up. The good news is it did what he wished. I was hooked and obsessed!
I became a lot more positive and was looking forward to every new day of learning more magic. Bad news, I think it gave me a bad incurable disease called magician’s syndrome! Laughs! I became so obsessed with magic that I wouldn’t do anything else. So I guess yes, wonders, curiosity, and everything was part of the package, but magic literally was the light for me when I was at my darkest.
How did you find yourself specializing in coin magic? What fascinates you about it the most?
Well, I actually like card magic more. HAHAHA, but it’s true. The only reason why I specialize in coin magic is that there are too many genius card magicians out there! It's scary! HAHAHA! But yeah, for some reason, my coin magic seems to get better reactions than my card magic. But I guess there is a very organic feel to coin magic that has its own unique beauty.
Was there any other type of magic you tried to pursue or explored in the past? If yes, what made you go with coin magic instead?
Well, I started magic during the peak of the Dan and Dave craze, so naturally, I was very into highly visual card magic, and I was, in fact, known as a card move monkey before I was known as the “coin guy"! Fun fact: My first-ever published trick was a card trick! It’s the epitome of Dan and Dave-inspired card magic.
Who are your “magic heroes,” people you admire most, and why?
They say never meet your heroes, but in my case, I’ve met them, and they have all turned out to be better than I could have imagined! Not only the magic but as a human being. Chris Kenner and Homer Liwag are at the top of my list, and I got the chance to meet and hang out with them when I was in Vegas. Every moment was surreal.
We spent hours just talking about magic, photography, which was our common interest, and bad jokes. Over the course of 10 days, Chris proved to me why he is the nicest and kindest human being on earth.
Why did magic stick with you for that long?
A big reason is because of how I started magic. As mentioned, it was quite literally the light that set my life back on track. But after doing it for a long time, more than the original reason, which was no doubt a big reason, I’ve come to realize what it allows me to do, or rather bring to the people around me. The realization of having the ability to give the feeling of wonder and happiness to others is what kept me in magic for this long and will continue for a long, long time.
What keeps you inspired after the years?
I honestly believe that the best way to stay inspired over the years is the ability to self-inspire. For me I consider myself a technician more than a magician; I am always in the constant pursuit of finding ways to improve old routines. To be cleaner, to be more visual, to remove unnecessary movements, to create more impossible moments.
Those are what continue to always keep me on my toes, and I always work on routines I once thought were perfect! I am not the type that can sit down and be creative, so I tend to do a lot of strolls. On the one hand, it’s for my photography, but on the other hand, it’s where I always get inspiration. It comes from everywhere!
If you could give one tip to your younger self, what would it be?
I don’t actually have tips for my younger self cause I believe all the mistakes that I have made on the way are what contributed to what I have become now. And the mistakes that I will make in the future will continue to help me grow! So I guess all I will say is, have fun, drink more whisky, and drink more whisky. Hahahahaha, maybe scratch the last part? Cause that’s my secret to all the coin magic I’ve been doing!
Avi is a fantastic magician and an even better human. His kindness, honesty, and humor shine through his answers. We hope you enjoyed this interview.
Who would you like us to interview next? Let us know!