Samba magic

CYRIL Takayama teams up with AXN once again and this time, he adds some samba to his magic.

The street magician became a star when clips of his magic acts in Japan went viral a few years ago. Following that, AXN produced a special series called Cyril Simply Magic which took the magician and his street magic around Southeast Asia, including Malaysia.

This was followed by another series called Cyril’s Family Vacations where he disguises himself as various members of his ‘family’ to perform his magic while holidaying in Hawaii.

In his third collaboration with AXN, Cyril amazes Brazilians and tourists alike with his samba magic in this new 30-minute-episode six-part series called Cyril: Rio Magic!.

With the 2014 Fifa World Cup just around the corner and the preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics underway, Rio is bursting with energy, and Cyril: Rio Magic! manages to capture the colours, sights and sounds of this vibrant city.

During a recent roundtable interview held in Kuala Lumpur, Cyril said he first started doing magic tricks when he was 10 years old.

Saying that magic chose him and not the other way round, Cyril added that even from young, his passion for it was renewed whenever he was feeling down because he has never been academically-inclined.

To demonstrate his passion, he turned a piece of tissue paper into an origami bird by merely letting the tissue float up and down in his hands during the interview session.

After that he took out a RM50 note and waving his hand up and down, he turned the note into a ring with the shiny number 50 mounted in the centre.

“This is my take on the Malaysian ring-git,” he said cheekily.

Cyril: Rio Magic! was produced in mid September last year. Why Rio?

He explained: “First of all, most of my TV specials have been filmed mostly in Southeast Asia or in the path of my flights such as Hawaii and the US.

“With the World Cup happening this year, I thought I should fly across the world and bring Brazil to my audience.

“I love performing magic for new crowds and new audiences. I performed something they had not seen before.”

Cyril said his shows have made him some cool friends and he loves the idea of performing in front of new audiences.

“My fans in Asia know me from the street magic I have performed. Last year, I challenged myself to put on prosthetics and makeup and portray members of my ‘family’ in Hawaii.”

Rio Magic! sees Cyril doing away with prosthetics. “I wanted to unmask myself and yet ‘mask’ myself to do something a little more unique and fun. I decided to go undercover without prosthetics.”

So, he donned various costumes, wigs and sunglasses to play local characters such as a coconut vendor, barista, a punk in the street and even a soccer player called Cyrildinio.

“It is a show where everyone can laugh with me and at me. It is a real magi-culous show. I created that word out of ‘magic’ and ‘ridiculous’.”

However, the biggest challenge Cyril faced was the language since he can’t speak a word of Portuguese. But that was not a problem since magic is a universal language in itself.

However, he did find it easier to do magic tricks for tourists than the locals, despite the fact that Brazilians are known to be fun-loving people.

“The locals were a little more difficult to engage. There are many TV shows in Brazil where they play pranks on people. The jokes are really extreme.

“So when we were filming and they saw something suspicious, they kept their distance. Once we broke through that barrier, it was quite fun.”

Cyril: Rio Magic! premieres on AXN (Astro channel 701) and AXN HD (Astro channel 721) on May 4 at 7.40pm.