Dean is a fantastic close-up card magician who takes his craft very seriously. He has a very laid-back approach to his performing style, but like a praying mantis hypnotising its pray, he will unexpectedly fry you with his amazing sleight of hand and skills. Like most members, he is a very keen hobbyist, but would also very easily work shoulder to shoulder with any professional.
Q. When and why did you first get interested in Magic?
A. Probably from an early age after watching the magic shows on TV. I think I’ve always had that interest. Many, me included have bought the gimmicked decks of cards, but I’ve only really started taking it more seriously and actually sat and learned the sleight of hand and misdirection about ten years ago.
Q. Who is your biggest inspiration in Magic?
A. This one is easy….
Paul Daniels. I have been fortunate and lucky to have actually met him in person. We spoke in length about magic. He gave me some wise words of wisdom, that being, learn six tricks only and learn them well. I actually performed for him my version of the ambitious card. I still have his signed card, part of my treasured collection.
Q. What was the first effect you learned?
A. Chicago opener (or red hot mama). I watched a magician do this many years ago and it just blew me away. Those in the know would probably think this to be too simple a trick, but I use my version all the time and get some really good reactions.
Q. What type of performer would you say you are?
A. Erm….most certainty close-up, predominantly cards. I like doing the odd stage bit, but I tend to use the opportunities as a confidence thing.
Q. What effect are you working on at the moment?
A. I have a few really. I’ve slowly realized that the table-hopping type of work is better with a quick entertaining effect rather than a finger breaking sleight of hand trick or pulling a giraffe from your jacket pocket sort of trick. I hear many say that packet tricks are a “no-no”. I disagree slightly. Six pockets….six good packet tricks and you’re away. So, I’m sorting out and learning some very good packet trick effects with my own twist.
Q. Why did you join the Society?
A. Having visited the Leamington Day of Magic (for several years), I thought what a great club. After looking on the website, I was pleased to notice that the meeting dates coincided with my working shift pattern. So jumped at the chance of joining. Never looked back since. Really good club, friendly, helpful.
Q. When and why did you join the LAWMS committee?
A. Was asked to join the committee about 18 months ago. Thought it was an honour to be involved in such a great club. I’m hoping I can get more involved in the background work that goes on and maybe bring some ideas of my own.
Q. What would you say is the best thing about being a member of a Magic Society?
A. Probably the friendliness of the members. It’s nice to know that there is help and advice available when working on new effects
Q. Is there anything you don’t like about magic?
A. Good question. Struggling to answer this one, I guess the only thing is the frustrating feeling when things aren’t going quite right, having worked really hard on some of the effects.
Q. What do you like most about magic?
A. This one is easier to answer. The reactions from spectators when all is going well.
Q. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of learning or starting magic?
A. Start early. Do some research before spending money. Join a magic society. Speak with the seasoned professionals. Most of all… practice then practice some more
Q. What is the most difficult thing you have tried to learn?
A. I like to watch the card flourishes. I know they are not needed. But I do try and learn them, more for myself. However, I end up picking cards up off the floor too often.
Q. What is your favorite thing to perform?
A. I know this isn’t a favorite amongst some card magicians. But I think the ambitious card routine is one of the strongest effects out there. I enjoy performing it. I get a great reaction and the routine can be swapped around and changed very easily.
Q. What do you do when someone asks you to ‘do something’ when you’re not expecting it?
A. Well hopefully, I have a deck of cards on me. I always have my “go-to” effect, which is a card transposition effect. If not I’ll borrow a coin and do a coin vanish or pen vanish.
Q. Do you have a dream job?
A. I suppose it would be a stage illusionist. Performing with huge stage props etc.
Q. What would be your ‘Desert Island’ trick?
A. Once again, it would be the ambitious card.
Q. Are there any other words of wisdom you’d like to leave with us?
A. Listen and learn and enjoy your magic.
You can contact Dean at email@example.com