Thursday, June 26, 2014

Magic and mirth mesh in AXN series

(May 30, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

“The most important thing as an illusionist is to always keep the magic real,” said Japan-based magician Cyril, in a phone interview on his latest AXN series, “Cyril: Rio Magic.”

“[I have never forgotten] how magic made me feel the first time… that’s the feeling I have to always remember to pass on to others,” elaborated the street magician, who was born and raised in Los Angeles.
Cyril became interested in the craft at a young age, and was trained during his teen years at Hollywood’s Magic Castle, which counts professional and established illusionists among its roster.

His previous mini-series, “Cyril’s Family Vacation,” brought him to Hawaii, where he masqueraded as various “family members” who performed magic for unwary spectators.

“Rio Magic” (Sundays, 8:30 p.m.) will be “a bit different,” disguise-wise.

“In this season, the disguise inspiration was not [that] pre-planned,” he revealed. “I went to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the producers had prepared a closetful of different types of wardrobe that were very local-based. We kinda played dress-up and figured out what the next characters would be… the intention was to blend in and go local.”

It was harder than usual because of the language barrier (he did not know Portuguese), but he nevertheless enjoyed mingling with cooperative Brazilians.

“I had a lot of fun coming up with different characters… I played a coconut vendor; I dressed up as a hippie character, one of my favorites—he has no care in the world,” he recounted. 

“Also, Brazil is known for delicious coffee. I wanted to play a barista—the character I created was basically my interpretation of [one]. When in Brazil, you gotta have soccer, so I created a crazy soccer fan character, too. And there was a fruit market, so I challenged myself to play a vendor!”

Cyril, 40, is currently planning his first international tour, which will begin near the end of 2014. He expressed interest in bringing his “magic storytelling” to the Philippines, which he visited in 2012, when he promoted “Family Vacation.”

According to the fan-favorite magician, he was influenced by many performers. “But I would have to say that the biggest name in magic [when I was growing up] was David Copperfield. He has always been one of my heroes and he’s really evolved through nearly three decades of magic. It’s inspiring to see someone like him keep the magic strong and real,” he said.

“Magic has evolved. When I was growing up, it was a very rare art form. You had to go to a special venue, in Las Vegas, or you’d have to be lucky enough to have a magic show travel through your city. But nowadays, magic has become more recognized. You don’t actually have to go to a theater to see it. The magicians are now coming to the audience, in everyday situations.”

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