Discussions with mentalists are always a fascinating read. Many of them are forthright about the science behind their craft, and Karan Singh is one such performer. But even though it sounds so simple to hear him explain it, the result of his mentalism is still astonishing. 

Singh spoke with GQ India about his star-studded performances, which have included guessing Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s ATM pin code. He talked about how his act relies on concepts such as body language and the power of suggestion, and charted a few notable anecdotes from his journey to becoming a magician.

“When you get into magic, you feel that you’ll do fantastic things,” he said. “But at the core is often a very silly secret.” That outlook led him to hone his skills in showmanship. That has helped him become one of the best-known mentalists in India at just 26 years old.

Singh said mentalism is a newer field for Indian magicians. Local performers across the magic spectrum are making strides to get more recognition for magic as an art form, and the GQ India article offers a compelling look at India’s overall magic scene. Read the whole feature here.

Keep in mind that Singh is more than just a mentalist, and he’s amassed a lot of experience in a relatively short career. Check out his suggestions for tricks that every new magician should learn.

Did you get to go to The Session in London earlier this month? If you did, I’m very jealous. If you didn’t, you can start living it vicariously. We’re starting to see some videos from attendees of the event, put on by Vanishing Inc., posted to YouTube.

One such showreel comes from Arnulfur Hakonarson, a magician out of Iceland. He recorded a lovely video of his time in the UK. That clip at the top features the card tricks of Karan Singh.

James Grossman Magic has a longer video up with some highlights from his time at the convention. Sadly the video description doesn’t have the names of all performers, but fortunately many of them are wearing prominent name badges if you want to further investigate the practitioners of your favorite bits.

And remember, this weekend has two other magic conventions for you stateside readers. Vanishing Inc is getting right back in the saddle with MagiFest, happening in Columbus from January 25-27. (GeniiOnline will be there, come give us a shout!) Or if you’re more coastal, drop by the shows happening as part of the Fog City Magic Fest in San Francisco.

Delhi-based “psychological illusionist” Karan Singh has some advice for anyone with an interest in learning magic: try it for two years before you ask anyone to teach you anything. As he told the Hindustan Times, magic takes a lot of time and effort to learn well, so the right move is to do your homework before deciding if you want to pursue it seriously. He suggests three specific tricks that every budding magician should master before seeking out a magical mentor, but also emphasizes that tracking down their secrets is part of the journey. 

Singh also says that it’s helpful to learn kinds of magic that you don’t necessarily plan on performing, to broaden your understanding of what you bring to the world of magic. “Making things disappear is something that’s never excited me, but I learned that,” he explains in the video. “But I don’t regret it in any way, because it’s something that I learned. I learned that’s not where I belong. I learned that my kind of magic has to be away from all of that.”