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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Oslen & Kel: meet the modern Asian Siegfried and Roy

Illusionists Oslen, a finalist on Canada’s Got Talent  in 2012, and award-winning Kel team-up for a three-night run of what they promise to be a Vegas-style magic show at South Vancouver’s Metro Theatre.

In this Q&A, we find out more from both illusionists as they prepare for Magique – A Magic Spectacular.

Q[/dropcap] Most magicians became interested in magic at a young age – do you remember the first time you wanted to be a magician?

Oslen: Yes I remember my first time I wanted to be a magician, it was at an early age of eight when I first saw my first live magic show at the PNE on the Kids World stage. After watching that magic performance I told my dad I wanted to be a magician.

Kel: I do wish I was younger than when I started.  I was 17 when I decided that I was going to be a magician.

Q[/dropcap] What was it about magic that excited you?

Oslen: The mystery.

Kel: Magic speaks in a way that transcends all language barriers.   It doesn’t matter if you are having a fantastic day, a terrible day, stressed or worried.   Magic can put a smile on anyone’s face at literally anytime.  It is a gift that has been given to me sharing this gift to everyone is what excites me.

Q[/dropcap] Do you remember your first trick?

Oslen: Yes, I do and I still perform it in my show. I took at magic class when I was very young. Because of the way it made me feel, it inspired me to keep it in my show.

Kel: I still do.  It’s a card trick I learned from my first book.  I still perform it today but with many improvements over time.

Q[/dropcap] Are you more a David Copperfield or David Blaine kind of guy?

Oslen: 110% David Copperfield kind of guy.

Kel: David Copperfield.  Best show in Vegas.

Q[/dropcap] How much time do you spend perfecting your magic?

Oslen: It varies, sometimes I can pick up pieces instantaneously and sometimes it takes me years to perfect a piece. My mind is on magic all the time.

Kel: This is constantly ongoing so it’s difficult to say exactly how much.  During my younger years,  I remember spending three hours a day practicing, reading books, brainstorming.  These days, it’s much more about rehearsal.

Q[/dropcap] Magic depends largely on mystery, does the possibility of your secrets being revealed ever play on your mind during a show?

Oslen: No, it doesn’t play on my mind because while magic does depend largely on mystery, that is not the only thing that makes a good show.  Its about personality of the performer and the way the magic is executed.

Kel: It’s true that Magic does largely depend on the mystery and secrets being revealed do come into play.  However the true secret of being a great magician is to move the audience in an emotional way through a great performance in an entertaining manner.   Too much focus on “tricking” or “deceiving” the audience will lead to skepticism which is not the direction we wish to go toward.

Q[/dropcap] How did the two of you come to work together?

Oslen: We have known each other for a very long time, but we had a mutual friend that produced a magic show and we were both in it. That was the very first time we worked together in the same show. I used him in my act and went from there.

Kel: Oslen and I become friends for many years, but we really came together when my student Pauline Kong had produced a sold out show at the Michael J. Fox theatre in 2014 where we found working together was a good fit.

Q[/dropcap] Do you share in performing the tricks on stage in Magique?

Oslen: Yes, we perform many tricks together, we are like the modern Asian Siegfried and Roy.

Kel: Absolutely.  We have solo pieces that showcase our individuality and we have duo pieces as well that we work together on.

Q[/dropcap] Is it easier to work with a partner on stage rather than a solo show?

Oslen: Honestly no, it’s much easier working alone. However, we can offer something different by working together.

Kel: It is definitely easier to work solo however, I’d like to clarify that we have a whole team of stage crew, dancers, and technicians that all work together to produce the best show possible

Q[/dropcap] Do you dream of your own Vegas show?

Oslen: Yes, since I was a kid.

Kel: Absolutely.  It’s where the best of the best play and many of our role models are there.

Magique – A Magic Spectacular plays Metro Theatre (1370 SW Marine Dr, Vancouver) April 21-23. Visit for tickets and information.

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