Lots of people ask me about The Magic Circle and want to know what really goes on behind those big wooden doors. Here are a few of the questions I often get asked:
1. Can anyone join?
No. You have to be an established magician and have to pass an interview and audition stage to be granted membership.
2. Where do you meet?
The club meets at their headquarters in Euston, London. I only get time to go once every three or four months so am certainly not a regular.
3. What happens when the club meet?
To be truthful, it’s mainly just a bunch of old guys sitting around drinking coffee. However, there are also shows and lectures by popular magicians each week. I have a small group of friends that are also professional magicians so we normally share war stories over a pint or two and share the tricks that we’ve been performing since we last met.
4. Who started the club?
The Magic Circle was founded by 23 amateur and professional magicians. The first meeting was at the Green Man pub in Soho, but meetings were later in a room at St George’s Hall in Langham Place, where famous magicians David Devant and John Nevil Maskelyne were regularly seen. This was back in 1905; things have moved on a lot since then!
5. When did you join?
I joined a couple of years ago, when I was living in London. A few years prior to that, I was a member of the junior version of the society and was awarded their close-up magician of the year trophy. To join The Magic Circle I performed close-up magic for about fifty magicians, which was a lot of fun.
Here are ten facts that you probably didn’t already know about magicians:
1. The most famous member of the Magic Circle is Prince Charles. He joined the club in 1975 after performing the famous Cups & Balls trick for members.
2. The fastest magician alive is Eldon Wigton who performed 225 tricks in 2 minutes for a World Record attempt in 1991. I met him while performing in Ohio and he told me that one day he plans to break his own record!
3. At least fifteen magicians have died from performing the famous bullet catch illusion (including Chung Ling Soo, pictured below). Crazy. Dead. Fools.
4. The largest magic club in the world (International Brotherhood of Magicians) has close to 25,000 members.
5. Reginald Scot wrote the book The Discovery of Witchcraft in 1584 to prove that magic was not real. The book was his protest against witches that were hung because they were suspected of being the “real deal”.
6. Matthew Buchinger (self portrait on the right), a popular 18th century magician was born without arms or legs and was just 29 inches tall. He was a magician, calligrapher and musician who played the flute, trumpet, and more. He even managed to find the time to father eleven children. Clever dick.
7. Harry Houdini chose his stage stage name as a mark of respect to the father of modern magic, Robert-Houdin.
8. The phrase “died on stage” was taken to the extreme by Coulew of Lorraine in 1613 when he was clubbed to death by an angry audience member using one of his own props!
9. The only magicians to have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are Harry Houdini and David Copperfield.
10. Magicians are good inventors. For example, English stage magician John Nevil Maskelyne invented the pay toilet and his grandfather, Jasper Maskelyne invented the typewriter keyboard.
Over the years television producers have felt it acceptable to expose magicians’ secrets. Normally, here’s what happens:
1. The television show exposes the secret.
2. Magicians go crazy.
3. The press pick up on it and make a big deal about it.
Whether that happens with The Gadget Show’s recent exposure of magic, time will only tell. I’m not going to go crazy because it was all a little far fetched!
If you saw the show, let me clarify that magicians don’t need to spend £40,000 to perform a card trick. Everything performed on the show can be created using genuine sleight of hand and skill.
It’s worth stating that when you hire a professional close-up magician like myself, you can be sure that you’re hiring someone funny, with fantastic presentational skills and the ability to perform genuine sleight of hand magic. Sure; those gadgets are cool; but we really don’t require them … and I hope to have the opportunity to show you that one day!
This week, Blackpool is host to the world’s biggest conference of magicians. Never before have so many magicians gathered in one place. There are thousands of close-up magicians, wedding magicians, table magicians and even stage magicians and illusionists; all there to learn, share and perform magic.
Conferences like this are essentially a magician’s version of an office party. Magicians from all over the globe travel to meet up with old friends and share the tricks that they’ve been working on since they last met.
My highlight is always the close-up magician competition where about a dozen close-up magicians battle for the big prize. As a professional close-up magician myself, it’s always interesting to see other close-up magicians perform what they believe to be their strongest magic.
I’m still contactable throughout the weekend, so if you’d like to discuss hiring me to perform magic at your event, feel free to drop me an email or give me a call.
One of the questions that I get asked the most (other than “Can you make my wife disappear”) is whether I’m a member of the famous Magic Circle. The answer is: yes!
The Magic Circle is a famous magic club with only a few thousand members throughout the world. It was founded by a group of magicians in 1905 and has been going strong ever since. It is now the most famous association for magicians in the world.
Nowadays, we’re based in London (our headquarters are in Euston) where we meet to discuss and improve the art of magic. We’ve got a library that holds millions of mysteries in thousands of books that were written especially for magicians. We’ve got a museum, a theatre and my favourite place … a bar!
To join, I had to give an audition (performing in front of a group of the country’s best magicians; who unanimously voted me into the club) and give my word not to willfully disclose magic secrets other than to bona fide students of magic. To date, I’ve kept that promise.
Being a member of the Magic Circle is a way of confirming that I am a good, entertaining magician. I was even recently featured by the club and given the honour of being put on the cover of their magazine.