Dr Vyom Sharma is an Australian GP (Family Medicine/Primary Care Physician) and professional magician. He and his friends Luke Hocking and Alex de la Rambelje perform internationally as The Gentlemen of Deceit. From playing phone tricks on Kelly Osbourne on Australia’s Got Talent, to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival to events in Taiwan, Vyom juggles his magic work with his passion for General Practice. A graduate of Monash University, Vyom also speaks at events, including previous Australian Medical Association student conventions.
We sat down with Vyom prior to his recent Melbourne and current Sydney shows with The Gentlemen of Deceit, to learn about his journey. Tickets for the Sydney Opera House shows are still available here.
“I started in my first year of medical school. A fellow med student, Rob, was good at sleight of hand, so I started learning from him. The first three years were a period of intense learning, and doing 5-10 minute spots on stage.
The Gentlemen of Deceit performing one of their tricks. L-R: Alex de la Rambelje, Vyom Sharma, Luke Hocking. Pic courtesy of Dr Vyom Sharma
The hardest thing was doing it by myself. Medicine is difficult, but others are there too, and generate camaraderie during the course.
Whereas with Creative pursuits, your own path is incredibly unique. However, Melbourne has a very tight-knit Magic community.
I started working as a magician in restaurants. It was a good example of being thrown in the deep end! Years of rehearsal couldn’t have given me that experience. Then I got accepted into the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
You need the experience before doing the work.
We walked in as boys, and out as men. Then that led to my biggest challenge: producing my own standalone show, Seven Stories. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I took some bold, unconventional steps to get it ready.
Coming to magic late, you find you’re more willing to take risks, and I’m up for more challenges as a result.
There’s a solid chance of failure, but what matters is to fight your ego, and realise how badly you don’t want to fail.
Medicine is a very risk-averse profession. You’re looking at longterm goals while working your day-to-day. With Magic, there’s a very fine line between success and failure. There’s the risk of incredibly public humiliation in an instant.
Performing on stage helps you realise the disparity between how you view failure and what it actually feels like.
It’s very interesting to switch between one perspective of failure in Medicine and another in Performance. I think Medicine should teach that your decisions are only as good as the information you have available at the time. A lot of people in Medicine look back and regret. But we are far more in control (of our decisions and pathways) than we realise.
In Medicine, people tend to praise the success, not the attempt.
It’s like success is an algorithm, not about putting yourself out there (and giving it a go). This is the benefit of having an outside pursuit.
Being a magician has helped me be a better doctor. It helps with building rapport. And it’s hard to feel sorry for yourself at a show when you’re looking after someone in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) the next day.
I really enjoy listening to people.
And I enjoy being a GP. It’s a specialty which encompasses a bit of everything.”