A Dream of Magic


A handsome Chinese gentleman steps up to a passing stranger and asks if he can have a little of their time. He asks to borrow their possessions and enacts a magic trick that shocks or awes them and leaves them puzzling over their sense of reality, questioning all they’ve ever known.

Yif reminds me of all the Derren Brown I used to watch on Youtube. Like Derren, Yif achieves ‘magic’ which seems completely impossible. Yet while Derren at many occasions explains his tricks, though it doesn’t mean that we are able to catch him at it nonetheless, Yif remains a mystery to me.

This is mostly because it seems that in many of his videos, the angle seems not to matter to Yif. He does not seem as concerned about ensuring that the audience stand in a certain direction, as the magicians you commonly see are said to do. Yif takes great pains to show us his hands had nothing hidden within and picks items from his ‘subject’ as well as allowing them to take part — a staple for most magicians, I admit.

You know it must somehow be a trick because all you know of science tells you that things couldn’t possibly work that way, yet at the same time which has been accomplished seems so impossible it absolutely must be magic.

Regardless of how this seeming magic is achieved, one can only wonder at how much time must have been spent developing these skills, not only the slight of hand but also the showmanship and the quiet charisma that comes with it. Yif looks young. Perhaps for a Asian person, that might not mean much as many say that Asians look younger than they are.

How does one arrive at magic as an occupation? Magic is a dream for him, not one I can explain because he has many videos I have not watched. Magic is something he loves and ‘probably would die without’. I wonder if there’s anything like that for me?

I can’t help but admire people who have a dream and follow their dreams. It’s a bad habit to dwell on negativity, but I recently remembered how I’d been discouraged from my ‘dreams’ in the past and wondered why I had forgotten them at all. In primary school I had wanted to be a cameraman, an author or an illustrator. My parents all dismissed these as jobs that were thankless and did not make much money. In high school I had wanted to go for medicine or nursing, even entertained a career in the police force, but my parents said it was too dangerous, you had to take night shifts, it was dirty, it was too hard and I wouldn’t be able to do it. What was I left with?

The thing to take away though, is that it’s never too late for dreams. I love film and I want to take part in something, though perhaps I’ll never be the cameraman I wanted to be. But it’s taking that first step that counts, right?

Whenever we see magic, we all seem to have a preoccupation with it. Are we trying to figure out what the trick behind it is, or are we simply awe struck that something has happened that we cannot understand? I think as more naturally negative individuals we will more often than not firstly try to think of ways in which this must be a trick, even if we can’t conceive how it must have happened, though at the end of the day it doesn’t matter so long as he got there.

(Interestingly that’s not what we think of things like murder, is it? When you apply one situation’s logic to another situation, certain reasoning doesn’t always seem to make sense.)

Sometimes it’s okay to have mysteries though. That’s life, and we never know where we’ll go next. Yif is a quiet and humble person yet can inspire awe in others, so perhaps anyone can. Perhaps one day I’ll end up on the doorstep of AFTRS after all and seek out a different adventure.