There are many talented students at Minnesota State University, Mankato, covering a wide range of areas of expertise. We have talented athletes, talented musicians, talented artists, talented researchers, talented writers, and at least one talented magician. That’s Asif Uddin, a sophomore from Chittagong, Bangladesh studying electrical engineering.
Asif’s fascination with magic tricks began six years ago when he began perfecting his skills taking unofficial lessons on the internet, watching countless video demonstrations on YouTube. It took one special incident, however, to make him decide that he really wanted to dedicate himself to magic tricks.
“One day I just went to my mom and showed her one trick and it just awed her,” he says. “She was mind-blown. And from that moment I knew I needed to do this.”
Since then his abilities have been improving every day, he adds. What began as a simple interest fed by some research on the internet has led Asif to perform shows for large audiences. Last fall he performed at the International Student Association’s wildly popular World’s Got Talent contest, where he earned the Best Social Message Award. He also performed at this year’s International Festival and put on a charity show at the Ecumen Pathstone retirement community.
Like any good magician, Asif keeps the secrets to his tricks guarded.
“Sometimes I do teach people the small tricks, but the hard ones I keep for myself,” he says.
While he specializes in card tricks, he’s also mastered tricks using hoops, rubber bands, and various small objects. Though many of his tricks are learned, he is also a magic innovator, having invented a few of his own. He often goes out on campus, demonstrating his tricks to students.
Asif has also built up a strong presence online. His Facebook page “Magician Asif” has accumulated over five thousand likes. He can be found on YouTube at his “Asif Magistry” channel. One of his videos – “Inceptic Magic, Episode 1” – was featured on the official MSU Facebook page.
He doesn’t plan, however, to turn his talent into a career.
“I do it as a hobby, a passion. I do it to make people smile,” he explains. “I know that if I can give them a small moment of happiness, I know they will remember me for the rest of their life. I don’t do it for money, I just do it because people like it and I can see that moment of joy in their face. That’s what makes my day better.”
He also adds that it is a way for him to represent his home country of Bangladesh.
Perhaps one day we will be talking not only about the Great Houdini, but also the Great Uddin.