Magician Philip, that’s his stage name, uses magic as a medium to convey his messages to society. He takes his magic very seriously even while being a fulltime programmer. We were curious enough to ask him a few questions.
What got you interested in magic?
When I was 12 years old, I happened to attend the show of the famous magician Samraj. I got so inspired and forced my parents to buy a book of magic tricks that was sold at the counter. Very soon, I performed my first magic show at a school function which turned out to be runaway success and I became a star overnight. My magic performances became quite popular in my small town and I started getting opportunities at schools, clubs and parties.
Where did you learn it? Did it take long?
I started learning with books and self-trials. The turning point of my passion was when I discovered the Magic Academy in Kerala, run by another famous magician Gopinath Muthukad. I regularly attended various courses and camps at the Magic Academy, which sharpened my skills and techniques. Even after 15 years, I still consider myself as a student of magic and learn new things every day.
What do you get out of it? At any point did you think it was silly?
It is not an easy question to answer. To start with, it instilled and improved my self-confidence, public speaking skills, showmanship, concentration and ability to engage with a small or large crowd with ease. Recognition and celebrity status came as a byproduct.
You never have the real passion for magic, if you ever thought it was silly. Magicians with a passion are very serious about their business and so do I. Magic is also an art like many others.
Is being a magician a serious career option?
Unlike in the past, there are lots of schools of magic, institutions and academies now in India. I can say, magic is definitely getting much popularity in our country these days. Several national and regional channels are now showcasing reality shows in magic as well.
I believe, it is up to the people themselves to decide whether they want to make their passion full or part time
My Guru once said, ‘Magic is enjoyed by kids of age from 7 to 70’. As long as we have these kids, magic will always shine and grow.
Tell us about The Dream of Gandhi-ji magical journey? Why such a journey?
The ‘’Dream of Gandhi-ji – The Magic with a Mission’’ was an unique magical journey covering many parts of South India. The main objective of the journey was to spread Mahatma Gandhi-ji’s principles like peace, religious harmony, equality and nonviolence among the people. The journey covered South Indian States Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The journey started on October 2, 2010 from Bangalore and ended on January 30, 2011. I performed in schools, colleges and orphanages in many cities and villages. I got an immense positive response from the crowd and the media.
I always end my show with a religious harmony message. Couple of years back two kids came backstage after the show. They said they were not aware of the importance of religious harmony and in their class they do have religious discrimination, where kids from different religion would not talk with each other. I was quite shocked by hearing those words from 10 year old kids. Then I decided I have to do something for it and composed a show focusing on importance of religious harmony, peace, non violence and equality.
Well, we do not know what’s going to be next, as of now I would like to continue performing magic as my passion. During my college days friends used to say I’m married to magic and computer programming, probably that’s the reason I cannot leave one for the other. Being an artist, I understand I got immense social responsibilities and commitments. I have already composed couple of shows which you can expect on stage in couple of months.