Ankush Kirpalani is a 21-year-old senior studying international business. The Livingston, N.J. native looks to create a future for himself with the help from a little magic. Literally.
His first experience with magic was a family trip to the magic capital of the world: Las Vegas.
“My dad booked every magician under the sun, and I got really into it from there,” said Kirpalani. “I went to a magic shop and bought a lot of magic tricks. I stuck with it, but never really made it known until the age of 14 or 15.”
From the age of seven to 14, Kirpalani practiced the majority of his skills in front of a mirror. “I’d bring a few tricks here and there to school and show some friends in class,” said Kirpalani. “But otherwise it was mirror practice.”
The use of a mirror was essential for Kirpalani’s training. The second somebody else sees the trick from a view that isn’t covered, then the whole trick is ruined.
After the seven years of training, Kirpalani finally showed his parents. Both his mother and father, immigrants of India, were impressed with Kirpalani’s magic. They supported and encouraged him to pursue a future in magic.
Kirpalani has traveled to India various times in his life to show off his magic both at parties and on the streets. Because of the lack of modern magic, Kirpalani explains, his tricks are unique to the Eastern country.
“[India is] still doing a lot of classical magic, which is still phenomenal,” said Kirpalani.
The difference between modern and classical magic is the technology. While tools such as invisible thread are still used, a modern magician may have reels as small as microchips that can reel up thread. Kirpalani hopes his skills can be brought to India to those who’ve never witnessed the modern magic.
Even with his skills, there have been skeptics of Kirpalani’s magic. Three years ago back home, Kirpalani pulled off what he calls “My $10,000 Trick.” A wealthy gentleman made a bet with Kirpalani, testing the young magician’s skill. “If you can get a card into my friend’s shoe without touching it, I’ll give you $10,000,” said the man at the party. He took a check out and said, “Everyone here is my witness. I’ll do it right now.”
After an hour of preparation, Kirpalani made the card disappear from the deck and show up in the friend’s shoe. Right then and there, the man wrote out a check for $10,000 and gave it to Kirpalani. “I didn’t cash it obviously because I feel like that’s terrible,” said Kirpalani. “I put it on my wall as a motivational thing.”
Kirpalani’s skill has stretched around the globe, but he still displays his work on campus. Junior Diane Coon has witnessed some of Kirpalani’s magic first hand. It’s been through his magic that she’s gotten to know Kirpalani on a personal level.
“Kush is an awesome guy,” said Coon. “All around, he’s a great person.”
Along with performing here in the States and in India, Kirpalani looks to teach kids magic via classes and potentially a smart phone app.
“The reality is, magic’s the best with things that you already have given to you,” said Kirpalani. “It’s the best when you see a fork on the table and you say ‘check this out.’ I want to bring that aspect to kids.”
At the age of 21, Kirpalani’s magic career has just begun. Whether it’s for private shows or in the magic capital of the world, Kirpalani is set for a successful career. Along the way will be a wedding.
“He doesn’t know it yet,” said Coon. “He’ll be hired for my wedding.”