Cyril Takayama had a tough childhood. After dropping out of school (in the US) at a young age, the American-Japanese magician struggled for months to make ends meet after he landed in Tokyo. Was it a challenge to concentrate on a profession as happy and entertaining as magic after that tumultuous past?
“Actually, having the ability to do magic really gave me something to focus on and helped me get through those tough days. Even to this day, no matter how hard something is, no one can take my magic away from me,” he says.
Today, 38-year-old Takayama is considered one of the world’s greatest illusionists. His is hardly the common road to stardom; probably that’s why he was dubbed ‘magic’s first cyber celebrity’. “Well, that was several years ago,” he clarifies, explaining, “I guess I was the first magician whose videos went viral on the web.”
You can soon see the illusionist on TV once again with the premiere of AXN’s Cyril’s Family Vacation: Hawaii Edition (From June 17 at 8.30 pm). Before that, on June 14, he will be in Mumbai to perform a public stunt, the details of which are currently under wraps. He says about the show: “The magic revolves around my family, who I take on vacation to Hawaii. I can’t tell you much, but my grandma… can literally walk on water!”
This will be Takayama’s first India visit. Ask if he’s heard of or seen any Indian magic and he says, “Unfortunately not. I would love to see some traditional magic. Especially, I would love to see the famous Indian rope trick where the boy climbs a rope to the end.”