This post serves two purposes:
1. To let you know what I’m up to.
2. To kill some time while waiting for my flight.
After a few hours sleep caused by a late night working, followed by a 3am start to drive to Heathrow airport, I’m now just about to board a flight to Larnaca.
I’m spending the week in Cyprus with a close friend and top US close-up magician Joshua Jay. Josh is just gearing up for a month or so of television appearances to coincide with his new book launch so we’re taking a week to relax, tour Cyprus (with a few performance engagements added in) and to discuss and create some new magic tricks.
It’s set to be a fun adventure (especially since I’m flying back with British Airways during the strike) and I’m looking forward to getting there! If you need a magician whilst I am away, feel free to get in touch and I’ll recommend some great magicians for you!
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.
My favourite TV show, Britain’s Got Talent is back. Over the years, I’ve noticed that whether you’re watching America’s Got Talent, Sweden’s Got Talent or Uzbekistan’s Got Talent, the same personality types seem to apply on each show:
1. The Nutcase
Words can’t describe this type of act. Perhaps they’re doing animal impressions whilst standing on their head or making a musical instrument out of a teapot, but whatever they do they’re nuts … and they’ll never get through.
2. The Child Star
They can only ever sing or dance (luckily nobody has taught them to recite poetry yet) but they’re normally very good. The downside though is that they’re always ridiculously smug and they always cry at the end.
3. The Pet Act
All pet acts go wrong. The ones that don’t go wrong at the audition will eventually suffer in one of the latter shows.
4. The High School Musical Star
Muscly guy does something that he’s slightly embarrassed about (such as dancing). Normally starts with a sob story and always ends with three yeses and a comment that he’ll never get bullied again.
5. The singer
Why don’t they just enter X Factor or America’s Got Talent?!
6. The SuBo
This one’s the rarity. Every now and then you see someone who is going to be so successful that they’ll end up in therapy within a couple of weeks after the audition, sat next to SuBo talking about what it was like to come second.
7. The Family Members
There has never been a good family group and there never will be. They always make me cringe and there’s always a dad, granddad or kid that lets the team down.
8. The Irony-monger
This act is so bad it’s good. Unfortunately, they can’t ever seen the irony and therefore think that they’re a million times better than they actually are; especially when they get a standing ovation.
And most importantly …
9. The magician
These kind of talent shows are tough for magicians for many reasons. The good magicians are the ones that understand why the format doesn’t suit magic and therefore won’t enter. This unfortunately means that most magicians on such shows are terrible. Please don’t judge us all based on them, however.
I can’t wait to watch the rest of the series! I wonder whether we’ll see any close-up magicians on there?