MMF 2023 Performer Spotlight: Baenedict Thiveanathan
Baenedict Thiveanathan is no stranger to Melbourne, magic or festivals; having previously performed at Adelaide Fringe and been a regular visitor to Melbourne. A keen storyteller with a very magical flair, Baenedict hopes we can all join him in “Taming An Eclipse”. Read on to discover more.
- Tell us about your show title – it’s quite enigmatic! What can audiences expect?
I’ve always loved being absorbed by captivating tales and wish to give my audience that experience as well. This is a show filled with fascinating stories that will hopefully have people’s imaginations running wild. One day while discussing the show with my good friend Brandon (who co-wrote the show with me) he came up with the name “Taming An Eclipse”. The title points to the central story told in the show and I get goosebumps whenever I share that story on stage. We love the title because it very efficiently conveys the grand and folklore-esque theme of the show.
2. Tell us about yourself and your magical background.
I grew up in Singapore and moved to Adelaide in 2019. I still am based in Adelaide but often travel interstate (especially to Melbourne) for shows! I started out in magic, like most magicians, with cards and close-up magic and never really performed full shows. Over the years as I matured as a person and performer, I found myself having something to say and often have a feeling or experience to convey. I learned that the most efficient way to do so is by having my own show, and being able to control aspects like lighting, music, environment and a longer run time for the show. That way, I can develop and share something more in depth and build an impactful experience for my audience. I now specialise in both close-up and stage magic and have also written, consulted, and performed in various shows both in Australia and in Singapore, which has been a lot of fun!
One of my primary drivers is to portray magic in the best light possible. Magic is more than just colourful clothes, dancing girls, silly jokes, rabbits, and top hats. Magic is a powerful art form with a rich history and I wish to convey that through my performances. I want people to leave my show with a newfound appreciation and love for magic.
3. Why should audiences come and see your show at the Melbourne Magic Festival this year?
I think my show is truly unique! Magic shows often just hit you with a steady stream of tricks… I think that can be fun, but it can also limit the potential of magic. In these cases, even when performed well it is often limited to just the feelings of wonder and astonishment. I think magic has the potential to do more than just astonish. My show attempts to explore the unexplored. Wonder and astonishment is the heart of magic, but on top of that, I hope that my show allows for the experience of a wider range of emotions; maybe an opportunity for you to tilt your head in the appreciation of a moment of innocence or maybe feel discomfort and slight fear at the possibilities of using knowledge and powers for evil. In “Taming an Eclipse”, storytelling is a huge part of it. I hope to create something unique and special by combining both storytelling and magic. It’s hard to describe it but I hope people do come experience it for themselves.
4. Do you have a favourite magician / someone you look up to in magic (if so, who is it)?
Teller (from Penn and Teller) is one of my favourite magicians. I think his magic is just beautiful. Also, he manages to tell stories and perform beautiful magic without saying a single word! I’m not good enough to do that, so I’ll stick to speaking for now hahaha..
5. What are you most looking forward to at the 2023 Melbourne Magic Festival?
It’s my fist Melbourne Magic Festival and I’m excited to be part of something that so wonderfully shares magic with the public. Apart from performing my show, I’m excited to meet friends, magicians, and just have a good time. I love watching magic too, so I’m definitely looking forward to catching as many shows as I can!
If you’re keen to attend one of the most curiously titled shows within the 2023 Melbourne Magic Festival, check out “Taming An Eclipse” and get tickets here.