Dream job: iPad magician

Written by
Graham Turner

Alexander Yuen, 32
Illusionist and ‘iPad magician’

How did you come to do what you do?

My business partner was a programmer and he created a couple of magic apps for the iPad. I really enjoyed the visual aspect of magic on the tablet, so I took it upon myself to learn programming and pushed on from there!

Describe one of your showpiece tricks…

One trick I’ve created is actually a tribute to the greatest innovator of all time, Thomas Edison. I begin the performance by talking about his life and showing images of him on my iPad. As I explain his innovations, I take a glass of milk and pour it on to the screen, which shows an image of a light bulb. As the glass empties, the light bulb magically gets filled. The milk on the screen then disappears in a puff of smoke and a lit lamp next to me goes off. I unscrew the bulb and milk pours out of it.

Old-school magicians say ‘a magician never reveals his secrets’. Do you have an updated saying like ‘a magician never reveals his software’?

That’s a good one! Perhaps it should be like ‘an iPad magician never sells his created apps on the App Store’. I think the old adage of ‘a magician never reveals his secrets’ is still as relevant today as it was back then regardless of the medium of magic. The core essence of magic, amazement and the experience of astonishment is timeless.

How do people generally react when you tell them what you do?

When I was younger, some of my peers would be fascinated by the idea of pursuing a non-conventional career. It’s better now since I’m doing a lot more international shows in Hong Kong, India and even Egypt. I think my friends are proud of me for being able to take the less trodden path.

Follow Yuen on his Instagram for snippets of his mind-boggling tricks.

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