Manas Tayal is a one-stop-shop for magic and plenty of laughs
Stand-up comedy has become the flavour of the year but when Manas Tayal takes the stage this Saturday, expect something magical, quite literally. For the uninitiated, Tayal, better known as Magic Manas, is a performance artiste who is known to seamlessly blend magic with comedy in his acts. “It’s somewhat like David Blaine meets Mr Bean,” quips Tayal. “The idea is to astonish as well as amuse,” he adds.
The Delhi boy enrolled in engineering in 2004. “But YouTube launched in 2005 and I got addicted to the video-sharing web and through it, got introduced to the magic of David Blaine. To say that I fell in love with magic would be an understatement — I was obsessed!” This meant Tayal would spend entire nights surfing the Internet, learning magic tricks. “It also meant I would be too sleepy during the day to attend my college lectures. I flunked my exams, not once, but twice,” laughs Tayal.
So, after two years, he packed his bags and went home where his parents insisted he enroll for an MBA course. “However, history repeated itself and I failed again. But this time instead of facing my parents, I ran off and took a train to Mumbai.” The year was 2008 and the date 26/11.
“I was supposed to get off at CST but we were asked to get off at Andheri. The telephone networks were down and we had no clue what was happening. The Maximum City greeted me with empty roads and an eerie calm. I learnt about the terror attacks on television,” recollects the 30-year-old.
Initially, Tayal dabbled in theatre. “I joined AllMyTea Productions, founded by Shweta Tripathi of Masaan fame. Simultaneously I started making cold calls to various places, asking for an opportunity to do my own gigs. I got a call from a cruise liner catering to US and Australia and joined the crew as a magician in 2008.” But the job did not last long as he had to return to India due to a personal crises. “The initial months where daunting, but life moved on and I started participating in open-mic sessions in Delhi. I would perform solo as well as opening acts. Slowly my acts started garnering interest and I began to get noticed.”
This year, he has done almost 50-odd shows. However, he points out that creating an act for an Indian audience is far easier as the concept of ‘comedy magic’ is still in its nascent stage. “In Australia and the US, it is quite popular and hence it is difficult to please the audience,” says Tayal, who spends at least four hours each day to learn and brush up his tricks, which consist mostly of card, rope and stilt acts. “I don’t have showgirls in my show, nor animals. Both for very different reasons though,” he laughs out.
Where: Canvas Laugh Club, 3rd Floor, Palladium Mall, High Street Phoenix, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel
When: Nov 14, 6 pm
Entry: Rs 600