I don’t perform at many public events. Next week, however, I’ll be performing at the world famous Magic Circle Headquarters in London. I’ll be performing my card magic act that I performed at The Magic Castle in Hollywood that involves having fifteen people pick cards and me finding every single one.
Tickets are available from the link below:
I am proud to report that last night, I was given The John Nevil Maskelyne Literary Award by The Magic Circle. The prize was given at The Magic Circle’s award ceremony in their headquarters in Euston, London last night. The official description of the award is that it is “given for noteworthy contributions by a member or non member of The Magic Circle to the art or literature of magic.”
Other award winners last night included Paul Daniels and Derren Brown, so it was a great honour to be awarded alongside them.
I have recently been corresponding with a legend in the magic and mind reading field. David Berglas is known as the “International Man of Mystery” and is one of the world’s leading mind readers. He was president of the Magic Circle for almost ten years and in my mind, was the key driving force behind taking the club to where it is today.
David was one of the first magicians to appear on British television with his own show Meet David Berglas in 1954 and made a name for himself with such stunts as making London stand still, making everything in a small area freeze for 30 seconds or so (including the traffic, the walkers, the bill boards and more). He caused a sensation whenever he performed on television and is a big inspiration to performers such as Derren Brown and David Blaine.
A few weeks ago, David called me to invite me to meet up with him and a few friends (including some top magicians such as Andy Nyman the co-writer and co-creator of Derren Brown’s shows). We met at what seemed like a secret location in a hidden part of Charring Cross station and spent the afternoon brainstorming ideas and reminiscing on past performances.
It was an honour to spend time with this great magician and a rare treat as David seldom meets with other magicians. He’s an inspirational performer and I look forward to meeting up with him again soon!
This morning I performed at a show in Gloucester (more info on that in a future post) and have then spent the rest of the day writing my new column in a magic magazine for young magicians.
In 1996 I was invited to be one of the first members of the Young Magician’s Club; the junior initiative of Magic Circle. Now, fourteen years later, I’ve been asked to get involved with the club and write a column for their monthly magazine which is distributed to members throughout the world.
My column will be a mixture of my experiences as a professional close-up magician and my experiences of being a young magician as by the age of sixteen I had performed on international television specials and had been invited to travel to perform in many countries. I think that these experiences give me an interesting insight into being a young magician and hopefully, will allow me to inspire and excite the next generation of professional close-up magicians!
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.
If you are a regular reader of this blog (hello to both of you), you’ll know that I was recently featured on the cover of The Magic Circle’s journal and that I try to visit the headquarters in London as often as I can.
After attending a magicians’ conference in Southampton on Sunday (where I performed some magic from the books that I wrote for magicians), I decided to make the trip to The Magic Circle in London. A friend of mine (a professional close-up magician from Florida) who has been staying with me was performing at The Magic Circle’s headquarters so I traveled down with him for the day yesterday.
The day started by meeting a friend at a magic television production company (creators of Derren Brown’s show and many other great television shows) and getting a preview of some upcoming magic television shows. It’s always fun to be let inside the magical world of television!
We then traveled over to The Magic Circle to meet up with some close-up magicians where I performed some of the new tricks that I’ve been working on recently. The photograph on the below is a quick snap (typical blurry iPhone pic) of me on stage at The Magic Circle.
Today I met up with the team members and magicians for An Evening of Deception. Now, I can finally relax for a few days before a busy couple of weeks of shows across the country.
Today is always a fun day in the magic calendar: The Magic Circle’s Close-Up Magician of the Year Awards. I’ll be trekking over to London in a few hours to The Magic Circle Headquarters in Euston to see ten or so close-up magicians fight it out for the title of Magic Circle Close-Up Magician of the Year.
The club arranges for around 100 non-magicians to attend the evening. Each magician performs for the non-magicians and then all The Magic Circle members watch the show on a big screen in another room. It’s always a lot of fun and there’s always great banter between the magicians.
As an organiser of a conference for close-up magicians, it’s important that I stay up to date with the trends in magic and the best magicians in the country, so this is always an important event for me.
The rest of the week is also busy with a couple of meetings and performances including a wedding at the end of the week with several other entertainers including magicians and pickpockets. I always enjoy big shows like this and it’s great fun to see other magicians perform in the same environment.
Today is my day off, so I’ll be paying a visit to The Magic Circle Headquarters in London. Based off a small side street just outside of Euston Station, The Magic Circle is where magicians meet up and socialise. It’s a custom built modern venue with a theatre (as shown in the photograph), a bar, a museum, a library and a room that is perfect for close-up magic.
Attending The Magic Circle is a good opportunity for me to talk business with other close-up magicians and show them the latest tricks that I’ve invented, or been working on since we last met.
It’s a member’s only venue (for magicians only!) and you have to perform for the other magicians in order to be allowed to join. Unfortunately, I don’t get to visit too often, but am always pleased to tell people that I’m a member of the prestigious Magic Circle!
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.
One of the ways that The Magic Circle communicates with magicians is through a trade magazine. For the December issue, I was honoured with the massive compliment of being the featured magician on the cover of the magazine:
Being featured by The Magic Circle in this manner is a big thing for my career. At twenty-six years old, I’m one of the youngest magicians to ever be featured by the famous Magic Circle so this really means a lot to me. Inside the magazine is a long article and interview on me detailing my career as a magician and how I got involved in magic.
So thank you to The Magic Circle!