Matt has been a professional performer and magician since 1991 and still has a very deep love for magic. He has a very lovable ‘family entertainer’ style of performing and will hit you with a barrage of jokes before wowing you with his magic. However, it is very safe to say, he is certainly NOT Houdini.
Q. When did you first get interested in magic?
A. I first got interested in magic as a young boy at about six years old when I got a Paul Daniels magic set for a present.
Q. Who is your biggest Inspiration in magic.
A. The greats, such as Tommy Cooper, Houdini, and Chung Ling Soo.
Q. What was the first trick you learned?
A. The first trick I learned was probably the 21-card trick, as cards were easily accessible to a young boy.
Q. What are you working on at the moment?
A. I am currently road testing a straitjacket escape prototype from my friends at De-Val Magic, improving my linking rings and looking into the use of a topit.
Q. You perform magic as a full-time job, when did you first start doing this?
A. I started professionally performing magic in October 1991 when I received a Princes Trust grant. However, I had already been performing magic for money for a while, but after receiving the grant it was then all or nothing.
Q. What do you enjoy most about performing for the public?
A. Definitely the audience reaction I get, regardless of who I’m performing to.
Q. What do you most struggle with when performing professionally?
A. I would like to say that I tend to cope with most situations. However, I do struggle with nerves beforehand, especially for competitions.
Q. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of learning or starting magic?
A. Read read read and read more. There is a plethora of magic knowledge in the books of the past and many youngsters coming into magic only look at the DVDs. Some of the greatest knowledge available are in books, that were written long before DVDs.
Q. What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you started.
A. The only advice I would give myself is I should’ve started magic professionally earlier. It was always what I loved and is still what I love.
Q. What would you like to achieve in magic
A. I would like to achieve a full-time working wage. Life can be hard for an entertainer as income can be very sparse at some points in your career.
Q. Is there anything you don’t like about magic?
A. As with all groups of people, there can be a lot of bitchiness between, let’s say rivals. It’s really not necessary because we’re all different and we would all be much better magicians and performers if we helped each other to improve a lot more.
Q. What is the most difficult thing you’ve tried to do in magic?
A. Learning new tricks or effects. Some things take a really lot of work to perfect, so you should never perform a trick for the public until it is perfect. It takes a long time to get a trick or routine just right, but once you have, it can be a work of art.
Q. What is your favourite effect or routine to perform?
A. I have many, but, the link rings, the cups and balls, and the bowling ball production rate highly in my favorites. However, I love any magic that gets a great reaction from the audience.
Q. What do you do when someone asks you to do something when you’re not expecting it?
A. You should always have some trick up your sleeve (pardon the pun). I usually have a packet trick in my wallet or I perform coin tricks. This of course blows away the theory of impromptu tricks because there is no such thing as an impromptu trick because you should have practiced it!
Q. What is the biggest and most memorable show you have performed?
A. I have two of these, I was asked to perform a close-up magic show for Prince Charles at a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace for a Princes Trust Anniversary, and when I performed as a warm-up act for Jimmy Cricket for a few events on his tour.
Q. What would be your desert island trick?
I suppose it would have to be linking rings or cups and balls as they can be so varied. Of course, if I was really stranded on a desert island, I could make up cups and balls from coconut shells, so maybe there’s your answer.
Q. Are there any other words of wisdom you’d like to leave us with?
To anyone who performs magic… You’re never too big to learn from someone.
Some of the biggest performers, who you would think to know everything, will sit there in front of an amateur thinking ‘that’s a good move, line or gag’. So everyone, no matter how experienced, should be open to self-improvement and learning from everyone.
A lot of magic societies have certain lectures full, and some lectures, unfortunately poorly attended. However, a lecture you didn’t attend because it wasn’t your thing, may have had a real gold nugget of a trick that you could have changed to improve your own act. Never stop learning.
Contact Matt at www.iamnothoudini.co.uk