Illusionist Kunal Newar recently joined NewsX for a candid conversation as part of NewsX Influencer A-List. In the exclusive conversation, Kunal opened up about his decision to leave a corporate job to become an illusionist, his struggle of convincing his parents, his journey till now and much more. Read excerpts:

Speaking about his journey of performing magic, Kunal said, “I have been doing magic professionally since I came to Pune in 2012. I was initially focusing on my studies and I did my engineering. I am a B-Tech engineer in mechanical. After that, I got a placement in Pune so I came to Pune. When I was in my training period in the office, I had that memory of magic. In Pune, there was a local magic shop. I went to that shop and started learning from there. I started showing those tricks to my friends so they were really encouraging. After that, I started performing for my friends, local charitable organisations from the office. From that time, I actually started earning from performing magic. I moved to MP after that. I got a government job in a refinery. What happened was, at the time I was still working so I was doing magic as a hobby and doing a job. When I moved to MP, since refineries are in located in the outskirts, I got detached from magic. Since the work pressure was so much, I couldn’t perform and got depressed. I told my mom that it is not working out because I am getting depressed and I am not able to focus on my work. Everything that was on going on in my mind, was magic. I was not learning anything. That’s when I said that I am not going to do this job. When she asked me why, it is a very good job, it is a dream job, people work really hard for this job, I started convincing them that I cannot do it.”

When asked it was not just about convincing them but yourself to take that leap, he responded, “There was a huge risk involved because it was a dream job for everyone. It took time convincing them because parents are worried for their children. They see that their child is working in such a good organisation and suddenly wants to leave everything for performing tricks. I started convincing them and showed them profiles of people who are already successful in this art form. Even in India, we have some brilliant performers. I told them that they are working hard, doing good, earning from performing magic, entertaining people. It is just like any other work field. One day, I was really frustrated because they were still not convinced so I ran away from the company and came home.

“I told them that I don’t want to go back. They tried to convince me to go back and do it the proper way. I started performing in Guwahati for a few months. I got a stage show and invited my parents to come and see what I do. They came and saw the show. It was a terrible show because I was just starting out but for me, I was on the stage. It is different because you are performing for hundreds of people. For me, I was like a superstar so I performed with that attitude. For them and the people, it was really good. For me, it wasn’t that good. If I still see the video, it is really cringy. When I went home, my mom said, “Okay, you take it as a career. You have our support but go to your office and submit your proper resignation.” I did that and started performing. I performed for one year. All my friends were in Pune. We had come together and joined the company. They kept calling me and said that Mumbai is also nearby and it has a good reach. I came to Pune and I started performing full-time shows. I started with birthday shows and then I moved to weddings, corporates and television shows,” he added.

Watch the entire interview on NewsX YouTube: