One of the parts of my job that I enjoy the most is talking to other magicians and sharing my ideas with them. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been interviewed by a couple of magic publications:
I recorded an hour and a half interview about my business techniques in magic. I’d post it here, but I suspect that it’s of very little interest to people looking to hire me! I’ve received a lot of positive comments about the interview and the ideas that I discuss. The other two people to be interviewed in this series so far are Paul Daniels (in between his Strictly Come Dancing work!) and Andy Nyman; Derren Brown’s producer and writer/star of the West End show, Ghost Stories.
Last week I was also interviewed for some print magazines. Firstly, the world’s largest magic magazine interviewed me for a piece later this year. I will also be featured by a British magazine early next year so stay tuned to this blog for more info on both of those things!
In other news for magicians, I’m putting the finishing touches to the book that will come with my DVD set, am finishing off my next book for publication and am currently working on a new lecture. Busy times ahead!
I meet a lot of people that are surprised that I’m not like “most magicians” and to me, that’s a very positive thing. Here are the common misconceptions that people seem to have about magicians:
1. Magicians all old, bow tie-wearing, balding men.
Not all magicians are like that. I admit that a lot of them are; but I’m certainly not. I’m young, wear nice suits and still have a full head of hair (appart from a small amount of receding that I don’t like to talk about).
2. Magicians are for kids.
If you’ve never seen a group of adults gasp in amazement at close-up magic, you’re in for a real treat. Almost everyone likes magic when it’s performed well.
3. Hiring a magician is incredibly expensive.
You’ll be surprised at how inexpensive hiring a magician can be. Get in touch for prices.
4. Magicians are cocky and generally unliked.
That’s just a small number of magicians giving a bad name to the rest of us. We’re a fun, likeable bunch who perform original, funny magic without being cocky, insulting or – dare I say it – pervy.
5. A magician’s hand is quicker than the eye.
OK, so that one’s true. But ssssh.
6. Magicians can’t count.
Damn. I guess you’re right about that one.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re organising a large event and need more than one magician, I am here to help!
Having worked with most of the top close-up magicians in the UK, I am always able to recommend other magicians based on my personal experience. I communicate with some of the best professional close-up magicians on a daily basis so it’s always easy for me to arrange additional magicians.
There are certain table magicians that I regularly work with because we compliment each other well. These magicians will always be my first port of call when you tell me that you need more than one magician.
So whether you need one magician, or a dozen, get in contact as I’ll always be able to help!