BENGALURU: A 29-year-old Mangaluru-born illusionist has more than tricks up his sleeves now. Aakarsh S Bhat, who goes by the stage name Axe, was honoured with his first award as the ‘Illusionist of the Year, Karnataka 2016’, from Brands Academy and presented by retired cricketer Syed Kirmani, on Saturday.
He will also be debuting in an upcoming Tollywood movie titled Anjali Paapa as an antagonist. Shooting of the movie is on.
The globally renowned corporate illusionist is known to make things appear and disappear, and amuse. His spontaneous humour is an added fascination. It is not your conventional ‘Abracadabra’ trick, but he mixes art, science and psychology to create an illusion and many spectators, including Usha Uthup, Malaika Arora Khan and Guru Kiran have been rendered speechless with his performance.
“Deception is the foundation of magic so when you are practicing the art you should be smart enough to divert a person's attention through humour or body language,” he said. He started reading magic books at the age of 10 because magic, spirituality and the unknown always fascinated him.
At 16, he was an ardent follower of David Blaine's show on AXN and decided to seriously pursue this as a hobby.
“I suffered from a lack of self confidence while growing up. I never thought I was good enough,” he says. “Magic helped me overcome those insecurities. I was very happy when people started recognising me as a magician.”
Ninety per cent of Aakarsh's magic tricks are adapted from books while the remaining 10 per cent is a combination of tricks he learnt from online tutorial videos and fellow magicians in the United States.
In 2009, he was a software engineer at a Mangaluru firm, where he was not paid well. His education loan was unpaid and growing. When he switched to magic, family members were horrified, saying magic won’t feed him. His first award, which came last Saturday, proves the naysayers wrong.