Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why Can't I Be As Cool As You? - Be Yourself

Look around you. If you're a teenager or in your early twenties, every second or third friend of yours will have a passion for one thing or the other. You might have a singer as a friend, a dancer, a person who plays an instrument, it's hard not to know someone in a band and if you're aware of things around you, it's next to impossible NOT to know a photographer these days. It's hard to log onto Facebook and not have someone asking you to like their photography page. Now I have nothing against any form of art or passion, but some people are unfortunately going the "I can do this too" way.
So for the last four or five months, ever since I started doing some big shows and started gaining respect from some people around me, I've been asked one question over and over again, "How did you follow your passion for Magic and made it into a profession?" And the answer might surprise some of you.
For those of you who've seen me perform, might have noticed that I prefer wearing casuals or semi formals while I'm performing and not a hat and a tuxedo. Why? Because wearing a hat and a tuxedo doesn't make me a magician. Neither does having 10 chains hanging around my neck like Criss Angel or sounding stoned like David Blaine. Nor does cutting girls in half or making them fly make me a Magician. Being myself, makes me a Magician.
The same way I don't need hats, tuxedos or chains to become a Magician, you don't need to grow your hair and have slouched shoulders and piercings all over your body to be in a metal band. You don't need to have a "XYZ Photography" page to call yourself a photographer, in fact one the best photographers I know (Divya Naraynan) doesn't have a photography page. 
In simple terms, you don't need to do what others are doing. Because if you do what others do, you'll forever remain a part of the "Others." Be yourself and trust me, the others will want to be like you. 
And that's not just if you're a performer, that's for your life too. You don't need to like a particular song because everyone likes it, and if you say that you don't like it, you fear that people will make fun of you. You don't need to like to go out and party just because the so called "Cool kids" do that night after night. It's the cool kids that forever end up being a part of the others. Trust me, I was never a cool kid.
And that does it for my pointless balderdash for the day. I really hope that some of you really take some inspiration out of it, and actually start being more of yourself regardless of the fact if people like you or not. Be it in your performance, be it in your life., wherever it may be, take off that mask of being someone else and Be Yourself.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

His Name Is Khan - And He's Not Just An Actor

I was four and a half years old when my parents took me to see a movie called Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, little did I know then, that this was going to go on to become one of the biggest blockbusters in Indian movie history. Me being four years old, Kajol dancing in a towel in the beginning of the movie din't entice me at all, it was the lead actor in that movie, he had a weird hypnotic quality about him that just made a lot of people like him, his name was, Shah Rukh Khan.
And today on his birthday, I'd just like to point out that he's one of the three biggest inspirations in my life and here's wishing him a massive Happy Birthday, "Kahin na kahin, lakho karodo log khush hain, kyuki tum khush ho."
Ever since DDLJ up till Jab Tak Hai Jaan, I haven't seen a single more electrifying performer in our country of over a billion people and I doubt I will for many many years to come. He's the one who defined the term, "Superstar" in India. And here's a little fact, 1.5 billion people know Tom Cruise, 3.1 billion people know Shahrukh Khan, that's reason enough to be inspired by him.
Now when I say that Shahrukh is one of the biggest inspirations in my life, a lot of girls go, "Awwwwwww", and almost all guys  go, "Urgghhhhh, gay!" But why does a magician idolize a movie star? Well to me, like the title says, "He's not just an actor."
Shah Rukh inspires me not because of his movies or his acting, he can do the same step of spreading his arms in every movie and I wouldn't care, I like him because of his unbelievably awesome presence and showmanship. If there's a filmfare awards show where Shah Rukh is the compere, that episode has more ratings than any other, if he comes on Kaun Banega Crorepati, that episode is viewed by more people than any other episode, if he comes on Koffee with Karan, that episode is the most awesome episode of the season. His humor, his wit, his spontaneity matches no one in the industry, heck, it matches no one in India. 
A lot of people see Shah Rukh as arrogant, rude and pompous. Well, he may be all of that to people he doesn't like, but he showers the people he knows with love. Ask almost any person whose worked with him, they'll say he's their favorite co-star, he's a master at something called Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP something that even I practice in Magic. He knows almost everything about anything! Try and speak to him once! He may be self obsessed or self centered, but he's the one person in whom people love to see that trait.
To the King, the Badshah, the real Don of Bollywood, a massive shout out for your birthday! Shah Rukh, if you're reading this, you may smoke more than half of India's teenagers put together but you're still the most awesome showman India has, you can spread your arms in every movie in the same style and people still love it, you can just look at a person and the way you pierce them with your stare can make them fall in love with your personality, you just standing on stage can leave people awe-struck
Hope you continue doing that forever and ever, and by the way....My Name Is Karan, and I hope, that one day, I can be half the showman you are.