Meet the magician who wowed Mukesh Ambani and Amitabh Bachchan with his tricks
Drummond Money-Coutts, the British magician, is a regular performer at high-profile weddings
Although the wedding season in India has been hit by the third wave, the celebrations haven’t stopped and one performer who continues to entertain guests at big fat Indian weddings is Drummond Money-Coutts aka DMC. The British magician is known for his cards act at most high-profile weddings. DMC is also known for his Netflix series Death by Magic that was released in 2018.
While the magician continues to travel across Europe, Middle East and India for shows, we caught up with him for a chat while he was in Goa earlier last week. He told us why his shows are a favourite with everyone from the Ambanis and Shahrukh Khan to Amitabh Bachchan, who are among his patrons. Excerpts from the interview:
You come from a family of bankers in the UK, why did you choose to be a magician? How has your journey been so far?
My father is a direct descendant of the Coutts and Co family that owns one of the oldest banks in London. When I was eight, my father took me to a magic shop that was held underneath the vaults of the headquarters of the bank. It’s the oldest shop in the UK. He bought a deck of cards and some books, and that’s when I learned that I could create a magical experience for other people, and that’s when everything changed. I was always fascinated with magic and mystery, and all the unusual things associated with it. My journey is like a musician, director, or actor – basically like an artiste. I am intrigued by the new aspects and elements of magic that I discover.
How different are your tricks from other magicians?
When you begin in magic you perform tricks that you have learned from other great magicians and tricks from the books. I performed it in a simple way and slowly as I got experienced, I started developing my own tricks and styles. I have put my stamp on them, and now I almost perform tricks that are exclusively mine. A few years ago, I developed a deck of letter cards. Every single card has a letter on it. With this deck, I perform many more meaningful tricks. It’s a much more impactful and powerful piece of magic. In technique it’s similar to traditional card acts but it is far more personal.
How much of it is science and logic?
It’s a combination of psychology, misdirection, timing, it’s many different ingredients. All of it could be achieved by anybody else in the world. It’s just about who could give the time to master these complicated techniques.
Tell us about the private shows you host at weddings.
Most of the shows I do are intimate shows for maximum 20 people, so people get to experience my magic up close. It’s not like I am performing for over a hundred people. Even though the third wave is here, it’s still okay because we are not filling up a theater, it’s more for small groups of families.
Which wedding has been the most memorable one?
There have been a few very special performances and one of them was the incredible evening at Antilia, the Ambani’s house in Mumbai. It was an engagement party. Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone were among the guests. I was going around and performing to small groups of people. I think it was about 4 am in the morning, and most of the guests had left. Mukesh Ambani had been a gracious host and was busy attending to guests. He hadn’t seen any of my magic, so he called me over and there were a few other distinguished guests. It was a private show in one of the beautiful balconies with lots of flowers. There were about 12 guests at the table and it was such a joy to perform for this table where even Amitabh Bachchan was seated. He was very astute and intelligent, and so well-versed in every subject, so it was a great challenge to perform for Big B. The way he watched my hands and observed, he was quite fascinated with it.
How different was the experience to shoot a magic show for Netflix?
We filmed eight episodes in five different countries. Death By Magic was a wild experience. It was a special experience but I also performed some death-defying stunts at the end of each episode. We had our share of accidents on the show. I had to see the medical team three times during the shoot of eight episodes. But fortunately, things didn’t get worse.