Sergio is the current winner of the Leamington & Warwick Magic Society Close-up Competition. He has a fun style of performing and doesn’t take himself too seriously. However, don’t let that fool you, he has some very strong magical skills up his sleeve and will amaze you with some powerful magic once you have stopped laughing at his jokes.
When did you first get interested in Magic?
I have always liked to watch it, but I never thought I had the appropriate skills.
I was in my mid-thirties when I tried magic seriously for the first time in 2012 and I loved it.
Who is your biggest inspiration in Magic?
I grew up in Spain watching Pepe Carroll and Juan Tamariz TV shows. Nowadays, I still watch them on the Internet and they still amaze me!
On a local level, Jim Gregory took me under his wing when I joined the society. He taught me a lot about magic, and I think of him as my magic mentor. I miss him a lot as he sadly passed away last year. I also practice regularly with David Michaels who is a great teacher and has a lot of patience with me. Frank Allan always advises me about how to improve my techniques and speech.
What was the first trick you learned?
A classic of magic: Matrix.
What are you working on at the moment?
Bottle vanish and bottle coin.
Why did you enter the Close-up competition? Did you expect to Win?
My friend and fellow magician, David Michaels was the one who encouraged me to take part. He helped me to prepare, practice, and rehearse the routine. I did not expect to win at all, as I competed against professionals or semi-professional magicians, with plenty of experience and it was my first time taking part in a competition. I just wanted to have fun and get some performing experience under my belt.
What would you like to achieve in magic?
Dreaming high, I would love to tour the world with my magic show and perform in big and famous theatres.
However, at my age, I believe that it is more realistic to say that I want to keep learning and enjoying and if possible, to become semi-professional, performing in local venues and events.
Is there anything you don’t like about magic?
Due to the nature of the art, the spectators only see a “small” part of a trick. They do not see the incredible amount of “hidden” techniques and moves that a trick needs and they do not tend to appreciate how many hours the magician has invested until being ready to present it.
For example, in a card trick, spectators only see that a card has vanished or changed value, but to create this effect, the magician has maybe needed to learn and master many techniques, including card moves or misdirection.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you started?
Be more consistent and practice every day, even if it is just for a few minutes. It is something that I still find difficult as I work long hours, I have two young children and I do not have a proper space at home to practice.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of learning or starting magic?
I would tell them that it is a lovely hobby, but to do it well you need to invest a very big number of hours. To learn a trick is easy, you can do it in a few minutes, but to master and be able to perform it, it could take a long time (even years!).
What is the most difficult thing you have tried to do in magic?
There are some basic techniques with cards that I have not yet mastered.
However, I remember two very daunting situations: 3 years ago, I did street magic in Bogota, Colombia and it was an incredible experience. The Midlands competition in front of a room full of great skillful magicians was also very scary. Minutes before going onto the stage, I was sweating and got very nervous, I thought I would faint. But, when I started to perform, all those feelings disappeared, and I had fun.
What is your favorite thing to perform?
I really enjoy performing Cups and Balls and it always gets a great reaction from the audience.
What do you do when someone asks you to ‘do something’ when you’re not expecting it?
I am not a professional magician, so very occasionally people ask me to perform impromptu.
I generally carry a deck of cards with me for these situations.
Has entering competitions helped you with your magic? If so, in what way?
It has really boosted my confidence and self-esteem. Every time I plan to enter a competition, I must carefully think not only about the tricks but also about side parts of the routine that otherwise I would ignore: patter and speech, pocket management, misdirection, interaction with the audience, and time management.
I still see myself as a beginner magician but taking part in competitions, it has really made me a better performer and made me believe in my own abilities as an entertainer.
You can contact Sergio at: firstname.lastname@example.org