Suhani Shah is an Indian magician, mentalist and public speaker who… wew, yeah. Okay. This is a thirty minute bit and it’s all shot in portrait mode. Yeah, it causes me physical pain to see that as well. Shah tries to fix the issue multiple times, but for some no-doubt-horrible reason, radio host MJ Uday thinks that it’s acceptable to shoot vertical video. It is not. Ever.
But on the plus side, the extended vertical space does allow Shah to show off her hair, which, as she points out, is actually quite nice. So, no, she doesn’t wear her trademark hat because she’s going bald.
Skip to five minutes in for the first trick.
Clinical hypnotherapist, author, mentalist, viral video star and all-round magical wunderkind, Suhani Shah, will be performing live shows in Goa, India, in April.
We’ve already gone over Shah’s shtick in detail here, but the long and short of it is that she’s been performing since she was a kid, is a superb mentalist and is pretty much the most well-known woman in India’s magic scene. Stand Up Magic is the show she performs when she’s not doing TED talks or corporate events. To quote the booking company:
“In this magical milieu, the audiences attempt to uncover the secret as Suhani Shah pulls random information from audience members’ minds from their hometowns to their wishes and hopes, predicts the lottery numbers, figures out the name of the person you’re thinking about, unlocks your phone, identifies your ATM pin and even talk to the spirits.”
Shah will be playing three shows total on the weekend starting April 14th – one on Saturday and two on Sunday. Tickets are on sale now, but are selling out fast.
According her profile in The India Times, Suhani Shah is the only female magician in India. I’m not sure if that’s entirely true, but she is certainly the most successful. Her career on the stage started at age seven and continues to this day, but she’s also a clinical hypnotherapist, corporate trainer, author and counselor. She’s given several TED talks on the interplay between magic and psychology. One of her videos on Facebook, in which she guesses the names of people’s secret crushes, has garnered over 11 million views.
Shah’s touring abroad required her to be home-schooled, yet despite her hectic schedule, she still excelled in her academic and sporting pursuits:
“I had a diploma in computers before I the age of 10, and have represented the state in swimming championships,” she said. “While I love my science, technology and sport immensely, I would choose the stage every time I had a choice.”
So why magic? “Because everybody chooses everything else,” she answers. That contrarian streak is a huge influence on her work. India’s magicians of old were staunch traditionalists, all glittery capes, gold laced turbans and rabbits in hats. Shah initially imitated those acts – early photos of her feature enough glitter and eyeliner to bring David Bowie back from the dead – but she quickly developed a taste for the less fanciful arena of mentalism.
“Because that is what I have been doing in my shows for a while now,” she explains. “Just you, me and a conversation – no props and I will tell you what you’re thinking.”