BElieVE: Story Of An Indian Illusionist – Karan KhannaMay 8, 2018
The journey begins when the uncle of a 10-11 year old shy introverted Karan made him see David Blaine- an American illusionist’s tv special.
I was totally mind-blown and mesmerized with the special I really believed that whatever David did in the special like reading minds, bending coins and levitating was all don
e with supernatural means and that only could be done by Blaine myself.
For quite some days I had only one thought in mind which was of the American illusionist, the way he performed mind bending pieces of magic and how the audience reacted to him in the most amazing manner. I really wished I could learn this, I would sit in front of a glass trying to shatter it with my mind and believe power just like Blaine did, unfortunately after not succeeding for the 100th time I decided to give up and move on believing this was really impossible.
Some years passed and now I was in my 9th class in school, I was still pretty shy and introverted. I had a small group of friends with whom I was open to and other than that I kept to myself most of the time, specially with strangers.
One fateful day, I was flipping through tv channels and saw a person making a Frisbee float in air without any means of support, that guy turned out to be Criss Angel, another American illusionist. I was hit with the nostalgia of seeing David Blaine in my younger years and how amazing it was, seeing Criss Angel do all those amazing things just like David Blaine did, gave me hope, as now I thought that it must somehow be possible for me to learn these things as well.
All I could think of was magic 24/7 and 365 days, although I didn’t know any-way possible by which I could learn this, I still believed that it would happen. And as the saying goes “If you really believe strong enough in something the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it“().
I started telling all my classmates about David Blaine and Criss Angel and asked them to see there shows. Everybody was equally amazed and would talk all day about how these things could be possible until one day a guy came and said that my elder sister told him that she checked the internet and this is all video editing and paid actors and this could not be done live without the cameras. This devastated me, but I didn’t stop believing I wanted to prove the guy and my sister wrong and make my friends believe in magic again.
One fine day as if by magic, I found an old book on psychology and mind illusions in my house. I had no idea who’s book it could have been but it was in a stack of various other old discarded books. The book was about how people think, what they react to and why people do what they do. Book also took the example of magic and had a section as to how magicians and illusionists create a sense of wonder and astonishment and use the 5 senses to create the illusion of the 6th sense.
The book was eye-opening for me, as magic turned out to be neither supernatural nor was it video editing. I realized that magic is a very vast and beautiful art which uses various techniques such as psychology, sleight of hand, hypnosis, suggestion and showmanship etc. The book also taught a couple of magic demonstrations, one of which was levitating (flying) over 1 feet from the ground.
After practicing these effects 100’s of times, I was ready to show the guy and my sister how my heroes weren’t fake and actually amazing artists. I approached them and performed 2-3 mind tricks with them like guessing there thought of cards, numbers, tying my shoelaces without using my hands etc. The guy and my sister were amazed, but still skeptical until I held there hands and lifted(floated) from the ground slowly and steadily upto 1 feet. The kid and my sister ran away screaming that, I was the devil. I laughed and went home having no idea that this performance was about to change my life for GOOD.
The next day after school, half of the kids in school had gathered around the shy and introverted me, asking me to levitate as told to them by my sister and my classmate. At first, I was shocked but I began performing few tricks I had practiced and everybody reacted the same way they did in the David Blaine special all those years back.
I was mind blown and right then and there I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, all I could think of was magic 24/7 and 365 days.
I started finding ways to learn, master and polish the craft, it wasn’t easy to do, I started going out approaching random strangers performing magic for them, which was really difficult for me since I was extremely shy. But since I was so in love with it, the difficult parts didn’t matter, I performed everywhere I could, with whomever I could in every possible situation. And soon I started getting booked for shows (corporate shows and vip functions)
Now 11-12 years later as a 26-year-old, I have done 100’s of shows, performed for thousands, including A-list celebrities all over the world. I am more in love with my art than I ever was, and I perform and practice every single day. And the best thing is, I have actually inspired some youngsters to start with the art of magic just like David Blaine and Criss Angel did for me.
I feel very lucky to have my passion as a profession.