Thirteen acts competed for the prize money of $1,000 in this year's Frisco's Got Talent 2, with magician Ashik Prakash earning the winning spot, after performing live before judges and an audience.
Second place went to pianist Jesse Keep and third place to singer/guitarist Haven Thomas. Both received $250.
"All the acts, especially the final ones, were very good, and I knew I had to do an act with a strong punch," recalls Ashik, a Frisco resident who by weekdays works as a software engineer and by weekends serves up jaw-dropping magic gigs.
The 40-year-old says he got mesmerized with magic about 10 years ago, after seeing an acquaintance perform as a professional magician for a Caribbean Cruise. "I used to play with cards a lot and my dad thought I was never going to get serious about a career or jobs," he quips.
However, Ashik's passion for illusion led him into performing the mentalism style of magic, which often focuses on expanding reality with explorations of psychology, suggestion and influence. He performed for friends, then birthdays, and eventually for special events, such as corporate cocktail parties, weddings and baby showers. "It's all about helping people have fun and making them smile," he explains.
For his FGT semifinal performance, he had the judges engage in a "Dream Date with a Celebrity" performance during which he predicted their answers for date, year, location and celebrity.
"I thought for the final round I needed to emotionally connect through my performance. So I demonstrated how I'd successfully predicted life milestones with one of my daughters at various ages, through the evidence of dated videos," he says.
FGT producer Jason Young hosted the talent event at the Nack Theater.
Last year’s winner of Frisco’s Got Talent, Amanda Reid, got signed to a new show on Apple TV. Ashik says Jason offered him his own standup show at the Nack Theater for some time in the future. He says he also has his sights on preparing an audition video for America's Got Talent.
"My type of magic depends on engagement and takes time to prepare. So, I'm really happy to have won locally, and I'm going to perfect three rounds of performances for hopeful AGT purposes," he says.