The touch of an illusionist

Jun 20, 2012, 08:42 IST | Shakti Shetty

Cyril Takayama looks far younger than 38. Maybe that's part of his magic too. He's an American-Japanese magician but unlike others, he can claim to be magic's first cyber celebrity

After all, his never-conceptualised-before videos are a huge draw in the online world. And he perceives magic as an art form that brings happiness to others. On his maiden yet short visit to the country—not to mention the city—to promote his upcoming television show, Cyril spoke to CS and confessed that he doesn’t know much about Bollywood, let alone India! But somehow, he knows his fellow-magician PC Sorcar and has seen him perform online.

Who: Cyril Takayama
What: On magic being a part of his life
Where: At a hotel in the suburbs

Magical moments
At the age of seven, I saw a magician perform in Los Angeles and at that very moment, I decided that I want to be nothing else but a magician! I began learning from a proper teacher when I was 10. I’ve held two other jobs in my life but none of them lasted more than a week! Meeting new people, entertaining them is the most rewarding thing about my job. Also, watching them get surprised by your act, especially little kids because they think they are right even when they are wrong! And it’s funny as well as cute how they get confused and then go awwwwww.

Cyril, the perfectionist
The worst part of my job is probably that I don’t stop and keep practising a particular act again and again until I perfect it, no matter how long it takes. I might get tired but I won’t be at peace until I perfect a magic trick. The plan is to do something more impressive than my last act because people always want to see you better yourself. They don’t like repetition. It’s like a never-ending competition with your own self. So I constantly have to come up with new ideas. Improvisation is also an essential part of performance.

Magic’s a part of life
I played a magician once in a movie called Red Belt and I’d love to do more of that. It’s fun. Though real magic doesn’t work the way they show in cinema but my favourite magician-related films are The Prestige, The Illusionist and I’m a fan of Tony Curtis for his act in the classic Houdini. Television is there for me but magic will be a part of me till the day I die. Besides, in terms of career, I might retire as a magician and take up some other business venture as I grow older but I hope to keep performing till the end.

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