Arts Centre, Melbourne, is about to host one of the most amazing spectaculars you may ever see. A night promising the discovery of the Golden Age of magic when magicians ruled and magic was awe inspiring.

The show is inspired by the magicians of yesteryear, including the great Houdini, and will allow audiences to experience the spectacles that transformed stage entertainment over 100 years ago.

In the past, The Illusionists stage shows have featured a cast of amazing magicians, each with their own individual discipline The Illusionists 1903 is no different with a cast of world famous magicians who will be embodying the magical greats of the past.

Two of these are the husband and wife team of Mark and Jinger Kalin. Jinger is better known as The Conjuress and Mark becomes The Showman. The couple started working together in 1992 and the rest, as they say, is history. “Both of us were attracted to each other and each others talents and decided that we would be stronger forces combined then separate, ” explains Jinger, adding “the age ole’ expression “ The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts” expression applies here!”

As a young man Mark’s speciality was sleight-of-hand magic. He started exploring his passion at the age of 9, when he inadvertently stumbled onto a magic book at the library. At the age of 12, he started doing shows and at 19 he decided he wanted to get a tiger and go to Vegas. So he did! “I quit some big spectacular illusions, got permits through USDA and Fish & Game, bought a tiger. Added some sexy girls and costumes… and ended up in Vegas. I worked there for more than 10 years straight,” he says.

Marks’ inspiration began with his involvement with a magic club known as The Long Beach Mystics. “The focus was on performing, being original. A shared love of magic,” he says. “That club propelled me, inspired by the other magicians. Most were a bit older than me. Fellow members include Illusionists Dana Daniels (The Charlatan), Rick Thomas (The Immortal) and the shows writer and historian, Mike Caveney.”

The Kalin’s are known for large scale stage shows and have presented the largest stage illusion of all time – vanishing an American Airlines Jumbo Jet at the Reno Hilton! In 1998 they were voted Magicians of the Year, by the prestigious Academy of Magical Arts. Says Jinger about this honour: “The AMA award is the truest, most legitimate magic award out there. It is voted on by members of the Academy and your peers, similar to the OSCARS. So for us, it signified a monumental achievement in our careers.”

Harry Houdini said: “What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes.” However, to make the mind believe, the illusionist must work tirelessly on perfecting his craft. Time and dedicated effort goes into preparation, rehearsing and performance. Says Jinger: “I can tell you that every mistake that needs to happen must happen before an illusion is ready. And even after then, every performance is relevant to the learning process!”

Like most things, the world of magic is an ever changing process with continued success and viability being dependent on keeping up to date.

Mark agrees saying magic goes through cycles with certain illusions or styles coming into fashion and becoming popular. “David Copperfield brought grand illusion back in the 80’s and 90’s,” he says. “Street magic is the most recent addition introduced by David Blaine in the late 90’s. But magicians oftentimes fail to innovate and the public grows tired of the lack of originality or creativity. Magic falls from favor… until someone innovates again, captures the attention and imagination of the public, and the cycle starts again. For Jinger and I, reinvention has been key to staying current and relevant.”

The Illusionists 1903
January 2 – 10