Thirawat Kongnukul, a 12-year-old Thai boy, has been waving his magic wand and winning awards in contests in Thailand and abroad.
In August he won second prize in South Korea at the Busan International Magic Festival. And in July he took second prize at the IBM Magic Convention 2013 in Arizona in the United States, in the 7 to 17 year-olds, even though he was competing against mostly older contestants. He wowed the judges with his “Smart Magic” show.
Even at his young age, he has already won 15 awards from magic contests in Thailand and beyond.
“I hope I can become a world champion one day,” Thirawat said.
He has taken classes from one of Thailand’s most famous magicians, Sombat Chitmankongkul, also known as “Mamada Thailand.”
“I noticed his great potential right from his first class with me,” said Sombat. He noted that Thirawat was better at memorising and imitating actions than most other children his age.
“He’s very good with classic acts or those moves with balls, cards, and finger stalls,” said Sombat. Thirawat began magic lessons when he was just seven years old.
“The cost is quite high, but I am willing to pay because I want to support my son in what he does well,” his mother said.
Thirawat’s impressive skills have certainly paid off.
Thirawat is in 7th grade, and has to travel a long way to get to the International Academy of Magic where he practices under the supervision of Mamada Thailand.
Sometimes his practice sessions last up to eight hours. “But my efforts have been rewarded. The awards have filled me with pride and happiness,” he says.