Do you believe in Magic? If you do, your thoughts and even dreams can become a reality. All you have to do is believe and you can make them happen. One student from Dongguk University (DU) has made his dream come true with magic.
Yoon Keun Young, a student in the Dept. of Japanese Language and Literature has been doing magic for quite a while. From doing magic he realized a dream that he thought was important. His dream was to make an alliance with other universities’ magic clubs in Korea and with other universities’ students in Asia. His love and passion for magic made him create an alliance with other universities’ magic clubs called S.K.U.M. (The Society of Korean University Magic). This was the first ever magic society alliance of universities in Korea.
Yoon Keun-Young first started doing magic during his senior year in high school. Ever since, he has continued to learn magic and show new tricks to people. When he first entered DU in 2002, he joined the magic club called MASIC which means “meeting of the family that loves magic.” In the year 2003 he became the president of the club for one year. From 2003 to 2004 he participated in several amateur contests in Korea and Japan. He did quite well, winning 2nd in the stage part of the Lotte Department Amateur Magic Contest stage part, 1st in the National Contest for stage of the Korea Magic Education Association, 3rd in the Korea Cup Convention in the stage part, and the Symposium Best acting prize in the S.A.M. Japan World Magic Contest.
His participation in those contests and his fluency in speaking Japanese gave him many opportunities to meet many amateurs and pros in magic. At the S.A.M. Japan World Magic Contest, he made friends with members of the Kyoto University magic club. From them he learned about the Japanese University Magic Alliances among different schools throughout Japan. Those alliances have existed for 50 years in Japan. Sometimes professional magicians are lectured by amateurs who are university students. They are talented and have high levels of skill. Many university members later become professional magicians.
Before last year Korea had had no alliance between universities what so ever. However, on April 8 2004, Korea made its first alliance, called S.K.U.M. through the efforts of Yoon Keun Young who became president of the alliance for one year. To strengthen the alliance, the first step was to get as many schools throughout the country involved as possible. Two of the first schools to join the alliance were Sogang University and Inha University. As the months passed, more and more schools joined the alliance including Korea Univ., Seoul Nat. Univ. of Education, Dongyang Technical College, Univ. of Seoul, Anyang Univ., Ewha Women’s Univ., and Sungshin Women’s Univ. Currently a total of ten schools are part of S.K.U.M.
S.K.U.M.’s goal has been to begin a new history for University students doing magic. Many Korean amateurs had usually followed the styles of magic of the popular stage magician Lee Eun Kyol and close-up magician Choi Hyun Woo. Because students were used to seeing one particular style of magic, including acts, music, style of tricks, and certain performing styles they could not develop as much. Korean amateurs did not make their own creative styles of magic tricks; they copied or followed what others did. There have been many ways to find out how tricks are done online, but not many performance styles were shown other than the styles of the two magicians. By exchanging information and techniques with other students, S.K.U.M. members can learn new things, improve their weaknesses, and share their strong points.
To foster exchanges among members in Korea, a meeting is held once a month and Leadership Trainings are held every summer and winter vacation. They make future plans, learn and exchange magic tricks, and exchange information on each other’s school magic club operations.
The meetings help students to improve themselves, and they also stimulate interest among University student amateurs, and contribute to and develop Korean magic industry.
After developing in Korea, S.K.U.M. expanded beyond Korea’s borders. They formed an international exchange alliance MASIA (Magic Assembly of Students in Asia), with Japan and Taiwan.
Camps are held twice every year in winter and summer. The programs called MASIA camp, are held in Korea and Japan alternately. In order to participate, a member needs to prepare a magic trick routine. One’s skill level is unimportant; all one needs is love, passion, and a routine to share with others.
This program teaches students much. They learn how other magic clubs operate and function, and they see different performance styles. Each country has its own style of performing. The Korean style of performing, for example, is very fast combining a lot of speed and high tempo music. The Japanese performance style, however, is very slow and calm. Members learn and experience new types of magic performances and tricks.
In addition members develop friendships. As all share love and passion for magic; age, gender, nationality, culture, and language do not matter.
On the last day of camp, students give a free performance. The audiences enjoy it while the students improve themselves. The shows spread magic to many, especially teenagers and children. And cultivate their dreams to become magicians.
The establishment of S.K.U.M. and MASIA is quite significant. People having more influence and money in the magic industry had tried to establish international exchange programs but they failed to do so. But within just two years of their existence, S.K.U.M. accomplished what others could not do. Students with not much more than passion for their dream can make things happen.
“It is true that magic is trickery but the tricks make people happy. If you believe in what you hear and see as miracles, dreams and fantasy do come true. Do not be suspicious. Open your mind and believe. Not only will magic entertain you, but it can give you hope and joy.” Says, Keun Young Yoon.
Modesto Tumacder Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org
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