Meet the Members… Kevin Goodwin

Kevin loves the challenge and motivation magic can bring and is always up for trying the impossible. He’s been performing since a young boy and is lucky enough to have a dream job as a professional musician. Kevin loves to perform magic that everyone can be involved in, so whether you are just choosing a card or thinking of some random words… you will always feel like you were part of and the star of the show.

Q. When did you first get interested in Magic?

A. I got my first Paul Daniel’s magic set at about the age of 10 for Christmas, and have always loved card tricks and how ‘sleight of hand’ worked. However, I only started to take magic a lot more seriously around 2015 when I had time to start working on the more difficult skills and spells.

Q. What type of performer would you say you are?

A. I like to think my character is likable, interesting, a little cheeky, and quite entertaining.

Q. Who is your biggest inspiration in Magic?

A. Derren Brown relighted my interest in all things psychological, which I have always been very interested in from a young age. The way he mixed psychology with magic is nothing short of genius.

Q. Can you remember the first trick you learned?

A. I knew a magician when I was around 16 who taught me some ‘proper’ tricks that included a popular prop you use on your thumb. However, the one I really liked and started performing to friends/family was a version of ‘Out of this World’.

Q. Are you working on anything at the moment?

A. I love the possibilities of the recent online magic medium. It is VERY hard to get right and a steep learning curve, but the things you can do, really is quite limitless. There are people who have grasped it with both hands and taken it to a whole other level, I just try to hold on to some coattails and have a bit of fun with it.

Q. What is your favourite genre of magic to perform?

A. Propless mentalism, because it can be very clean, impromptu and I love the challenge. However, unless you perform it all the time (which I don’t), you can easily lose it and forget the formulas. I also love card magic because it’s so accessible.

Q. Is there anything you don’t like about magic?

A. The great deal of low-quality magic that’s sold. They can ‘look’ great in the advertising and marketing, but can be disappointing in real life, almost unusable practically, and a waste of money. I’m sure every magician has a drawer full of items that looked great in the ad, but will never use.

Q. What do you like most about the magic community?

A. I love how willing magicians are to help each other. There’s a lot of support, help, and advice in the magic community, especially at a club level. I think it comes from the fact that every magician likes to see really good magic.

Q. What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you started?

A. Spend more time practicing and get a mentor!

Q. What is the most difficult thing you have tried to do in magic?

A. The memory work required for propless mentalism and learning scripts for performances. However, even though I hate doing it, I like the challenge and am always really glad I made the effort.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of learning or starting magic?

A. Learn the classics and basics but also try as many different things you possibly can. Get a broad knowledge of what is possible to try to find what is suitable for you.

Q. What is your favourite trick or routine to perform?

A. For stage and parlor I finish with a routine which includes ‘Summing Up’ by Marc Paul. I try to make the big finale relevant to some of the things already performed in the show.

For close-up sponge balls always seem to get the best reactions, but now (with hands-off social distancing, etc) a multi-effect card routine I have combined with Painting Cards by Mickael Chatelain.

Q. What do you do when someone asks you to ‘do something’ when you’re not expecting it?

A. I am very reluctant to perform unless prepared. However, if I have to, and have nothing on me, I’d do something that uses magician’s choice and a prediction. Otherwise, a card trick if I can borrow a deck of cards.

Q. What is the most memorable performance you have done?

A. As a magician, performing in the Theatre of The Magic Circle, London. A terrifying experience but very valuable. I have also performed in the Magic Circle cabaret room (Maskelyne Suite) a number of times, which is equally terrifying but rewarding.

Q. What would be your ‘Desert Island’ trick?

A. A deck of cards to practice my sleights, which could take me the rest of my life to perfect…

Q. Are there any other words of wisdom you’d like to leave with us?

A. We are living in very different and unusual times which many people have really struggled to cope with. It has also decimated most performers’ livelihoods who have probably spent their entire lives building up. However, in every challenging situation, there are always opportunities. The challenge is to try and be open to new ideas, risk making mistakes, learning new things, and getting out of your comfort zone. It’s never an easy thing to do, but always worthwhile in the end…

You can contact Kevin at www.theimpossiblemrgoodwin.co.uk

Meet the Members… Lee Joseph

Lee is a great all-round entertainer who also likes to delve into the darker and more mysterious side of magic. One moment he could be showing you a flashy card trick and the next he could be making you think you’re in a horror film! However, with Lee it really is all about the entertainment, and whatever he decides to perform, you know you will always be totally entertained.

Q. When did you first get interested in Magic?

A. I have always had an interest in magic from when I was younger. I remember being out playing in the street when I was a kid and I used to rush home to watch Wayne Dobson It’s a Kind of Magic on a Saturday evening.

Q. Who is your biggest inspiration in Magic?

A. This is a very difficult one as magicians like Doug Henning, Wayne Dobson, Dynamo and others have all had an inspiration on me. But I’m probably going to have to go with Simon Drake if I’m honest, as I very much aspire to the unique style of magic he’s always had. I remember watching his secret cabaret when I was really young and it was the first time I saw that magic could be a little more on the edgy side.

Q. What was the first trick you learned?

A. The bitten and restored coin, I found it on a stag weekend in Blackpool one year. It started off as a bit of a laugh with friends and colleagues. But because of the reactions I got, I wanted then to learn more and I guess really that was when starting to learn magic started for me.

Q. What are you working on at the moment?

A. I’m trying to work on my stage stuff more at present, and it’s involving tricks/stunts with dangerous objects.

Q. What do you like most about magic?

A. The reactions and smiles it can bring to people’s faces. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t do it.

Q. Is there anything you don’t like about magic?

A. The magic world is a small one, but this can be ruined by some of the big egos at times. There is a very fine line between confidence and arrogance and the real trick is knowing it.

Q. What do you enjoy most about performing for the public?

A. As already quoted the reactions and smiles on people’s faces.

Q. What do you most struggle with when performing?

A. I guess truth be told, maybe I still need to be more confident at times.

Q. What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you started?

A. Try and understand more who is giving criticism and who is giving constructive criticism. Also to try and seek your own advice a little bit more.

Q. What is the most difficult thing you have tried to do or learn in magic?

A. The Hammon count, I still get a little flustered with it now sometimes.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of learning or starting magic?

A. Try not to get advice from too many different people. As too many differences of options can start to overwhelm you. Try and find who is giving you the best advice and look to them as your Sensai’s in magic so to speak.

Q. What is your favourite thing to perform?

A. One trick I’ve done a lot in both Stage and walkaround is Liam Montier’s the man who knows. I love how you can talk a little about some past great magicians and then have a double kicker ending. I absolutely love the trick.

Q. What do you do when someone asks you to ‘do something’ when you’re not expecting it?

A. Magician Mad Dominic once said to me, one of the most important things in magic is to always have something with you at all times. So for this very reason and since he gave me this advice, I have always had sticky coins on my keyring, and the joker card in the back of my phone.

Q. What would you like to achieve in magic?

A. When I first started out in magic, I said to myself I will only ever see this as a hobby and everything else that comes will be a bonus. So I’m absolutely made up already to achieve performing at some of the places I have and am so thankful to people who gave me the opportunity to do so. If I could set myself another goal it would be to advance more as a stage performer.

Q. What is the best and most memorable show you have performed so far?

A. A very tough question again, I mean being asked to perform at an Alice in Wonderland murder mystery party was a huge highlight so far as I love quirky stuff like that anyway, so that sort of gig was right up my street.

There was the time I got to perform at illusions magic bar in Bristol, I watched so many other acts perform there before while I lived in Bristol for a short time, so being able to step up and perform there as well was a massive thing to me. But the biggest highlight I probably have to say was performing at Stratford University at a student conference, the reason being this was the first time I stepped on stage to perform magic in front of a big audience.

Q. What would be your ‘Desert Island’ trick? 

A. Honestly probably a deck of cards as there would be limitless amounts of tricks you could practice or try and make up yourself.

Q. Are there any other words of wisdom you’d like to leave with us?

A. You don’t choose magic, it chooses you. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, know it.

You can contact Lee at: https://www.facebook.com/lee.joseph

David Jonathan Lecture – Creating Magic and Ideas

We had a great lecture from New Yoker creator, inventor and worker David Jonathan last night. David has calibrated with the greats like Dan Harlan and the thinking behind his effects and ideas certainly shows he has a very deep knowledge of his craft.

There was a good variety of effects, very creative ideas, and, something really good that can be done with that Rainbow Deck…. There were also some great tips for using a roughing stick.

There was also some re-thinking of some classic principles like the sandwich effect using split indices.

David started with a random card selected, placed back in the deck, and put into the card box. A rubber band was then placed around the box. With just a snap of the fingers, the rubber band melts through the box and finds the selected by wrapping itself around the card! Everything is fully examinable.

We were then shown a rainbow deck with a variety of patterns and colours on the backs and an envelope with a prediction inside. Using two dice, a coloured card was selected from the pack. Mike, (the participant) could choose to change the numbers on the dice and decide to count from the top or bottom of the pack. Two cards were selected in this way, one for a card value and one for the colour of the back of the card, both from the rainbow deck. The two of Diamonds was selected along with a green patterned card, we were then shown the prediction, which was a perfect match.

A red card box was shown with a circle written on the back. David selected Kev G to help, wrote a prediction in the circle on the box, and asked Kev to randomly choose a card from the pack. The two of Clubs was chosen, the box was turned over displaying the 2 of Clubs correctly predicted!

David told us he was going to do something with the two Black Kings which were shown to be separated in random parts in the deck. A card was randomly selected, placed back into the deck, and shuffled a number of times until the spectator was satisfied. The cards were then spread on the table only to find the two Black Kings sandwiched between the spectators selected card.

Creating an Effect…

David then talked us through his thinking and philosophy of creating and inventing magical ideas. Some ideas included gaining as much magical knowledge as possible and likened creating effects a bit like solving a puzzle. As an example, David talked us through his thinking of trying to create an original card to box effect.

Next, David performed his favorite effect using numbered and coloured Uno cards. The colour Blue was chosen from a choice of Blue, Green, Yellow or Red. An envelope was shown which had a prediction inside. The Uno cards were shuffled a number of times, and the first three blue cards were selected from the pack.

The numbers on the cards were added up which matched the prediction inside the envelope. However, as a kicker, the other side of the same prediction was the words ‘You will choose the colour Blue’ and the actual numbers chosen!

We were shown a pack of picture cards all with different drawings on them. A prediction was put to one side. Choosing cards from different areas of the pack, John Needham chose three different cards, an elephant, an umbrella, and an apple. The prediction was shown to have an Elephant holding an umbrella standing next to an apple!

Lastly, we were shown a deck with a whole load of random photos on them. The book, George Orwell’s 1984 was shown and a load of the cards were selected to place inside random areas in the book. The cards were then randomly taken out leaving just one card on one page of the book. The spectator was then asked to read a line from the book and think of something.

William, the spectator thought of an Airplane. The selected photo card was then shown to have a picture of an airplane! Not only that but the other cards that were chosen earlier somehow spelled the word airplane with the shapes of their pictures! This was certainly an effect that could be used for a whole load of ideas.

David finished by offering us some of his products at very tempting discounted prices and happily answered any questions anyone had.

Thanks to David Jonathan and everyone who attended the lecture to make it a very enjoyable evening.

Meet the Members… Frank Allan

Frank is a leading British performer of Bizarre Magick. He became interested in the occult from the age of 15. After 2 or 3 years of sifting out the good from a terrific amount of rubbish that has been written on all the various subjects that fall into the category of the occult, he started to read tarot and became interested in Witchcraft as the old Pagan faith. 

He became interested in Magic (that’s the magical entertainment that we all know and love) with cards, coins and sponge balls, at the age of 20 when he first met Bernard Anderson.

He spent the next twenty years earning a reputation as a good professional close-up worker, cabaret artist and restaurant entertainer. During that time he won many magical competitions and received many magical awards.

About 1992, he became bored with all the usual standard magic and in an attempt to relight his enthusiasm, he began reading the reprinted volumes of Invocation and thus started his deep interest in Bizarre Magick.

In October 2006, he won the British Magical Society Close Up competition, performing one of his Mountebank bizarre routines.

Q. Can you remember your first experience of magic?

A. My first experience of magic was watching Bernard Anderson do his mentalist & hypnotic show in the 1970s. I ended up working a cabaret piece in between the two halves for a few years. 

Q. Who was your inspiration to start learning Magic?

A. It was Bernard who first inspired me to start to learn and perform magic. Seeing him perform the wild card was stunning close up in the 1970s.

Q. What was the very first effect or trick you learnt?

 A. The first effect I learned to Perform was  the vanish and production of four aces from a back palm  – I then went on to produce card fans into the top hat all general card manipulation of the day – it’s a lot better today some of the manipulators of today are fantastic 

Q. You are known for many different genres, like close-up, mind reading and bazaar, why did you focus on these different disciplines?

A. The beginning of my career I was focused on club work & cabaret shows  I also worked   with the BMS – Coventry circle & Leamington club  on there 50/50 shows  – as the club scene  died away in the 1980s I moved into hotels and restaurants doing close up work I spent most of the 1980s and 90s working in very nice hotels and restaurants doing the magic of the day 

Q. What is your favourite genre to perform and why?

A. After 20 years I got a bit fed up and went to the Blackpool convention to look for something new  I came back with two bound volumes of invocations  which kicked off my interests in bizarre magic  from that I developed  Alain the storyteller 

I still enjoy performing the bizarre magic these days but I also still enjoy the close-up –  the bizarre magic good you can scare people to death  and challenge their understanding of what magic’s all about  all at the same time  and still have a good night   can’t beat that

Q. What advice would you give yourself if you could go back and start over again?

A. The advice I would give myself if I was starting today is to get out there and enjoy yourself  – working to a live audience is the best way to learn – you can rehearse and practice all you want, but an audience will tell you if you any good or not and if you have the wow factor in your magic.

Q. What do you like best about magic?

A. The wow, the shock and the surprise on the spectators’ faces as the effect roles out. Hopefully, you can still see it the smiles when you’re finished. 

Q. Is there anything you don’t like about magic?

A. There isn’t much I don’t like about magic but unfortunately as in most professions  arrogance crepes in with some performers who think they know it all  I’ve been in magic for 50 years and I have only scratched the surface  there’s always more to learn 

Q. What is the most difficult thing you have tried to do or learn in magic?

A. The most difficult thing I have ever tried to do is children’s entertainment.  I tried once or twice, but it was just not for me. I don’t enjoy the company of children, so consequently, they don’t enjoy me.  But I do admire those that can – but hay, each to their own I can live with that,

Q. What is your favourite trick to perform?

A. I have two tricks I always love and enjoy performing, the first is the linking card. There are so many ways to do this, some easy and some that require a lot of preparation, but I love playing with them all. For me it’s just a fun trick.  The other is the cups & balls.

The Cups & balls is the trick that teaches you all you need to know;  vanishes,  productions,  transpositions and most of all how to handle an audience.  It can be performed in the street, close up at a table, in parlor and cabaret. It will teach you how to play and how to have fun. It will also bring the performer out in you, every magician should have a go at this. 

Q. What do you do when someone asks you to ‘do something’ when you’re not expecting it?

A. When someone asks me do something on the spur of the moment I tend to tell them to fuck off. I don’t consider myself a preforming monkey,  if you want to see my work you can book me any time (maybe ). There are times of course when I feel more generous and want to play. If you have a coin you can do a quick vanish and pull it out your arse or a short coin sequence is ok.  If you have business cards you can do a quick mindreading trick. It all depends on how you feel on the day. 

I don’t feel I have anything to prove and if you don’t like it tuff shit, (that’s arrogance for you).

Q. What is the biggest and most memorable show you have performed?

A. The most memorable shows in recent times have been the bizarre shows and lectures at the Edinburgh gatherings from the mid to late 1990’s. They have always been good shows with good audiences. In the past, we have had some fantastic cabaret nights but unfortunately, these kinds of venues no longer exist, but then we all have to move on. 

Q. What would be your ‘Desert Island’ trick?

A. If  I was taking a trick to a desert island it would probably be the Cups & Balls. It’s a never ending effect that you can play every day and make it different every day it could keep you busy for years.

Q. Are there any other words of wisdom you’d like to leave with us?

A. Magic is about entertaining your audience, not just funny jokes, but with the wow factor to leave your audience stunned and amazed as well as having a smile on their faces, and still wanting more.

Magic is also about performing your skills and techniques like a master technician, sight unseen so all that is left to see is the magic. At the end of the day enjoy your audience and they will enjoy you. 

What you give out is what you’ll get back.  Give a good time, have a good time and that’s what you’ll get back, and if you’re lucky you’ll get paid.

You can contact Frank at: ft-allen@outlook.com

Meet the Members… Dean Brindley

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 dean.brindley5254@hotmail.co.uk 

Zoom Lecture 11th November 2020

We are pleased to announce we have a Zoom Lecture booked for the next meeting by David Jonathon from the USA on Wednesday 11th November. Access from 7.45p, lecture starts at 8pm.

There will be magic with Cards, photo’s, rubber Bands, books & UNO cards. You’ll learn incredible unpublished effects and valuable advice on creating magic. There will also be exclusive discounts and bundle offers from David on the night.

You can get access details from our Facebook Members Group, by email if you’re on our e-mailing list or Mike Price at tigermagicmike@live.co.uk

Non-members can join for £10 (unless invited)

Meet the Members… Charlie Robinson

Charlie is an exceptional talent. If you didn’t know he was still a teenager (at the time of writing), then you would think his interview answers were from a very wise old wizard. He is very creative, innovative, and has a very charming style of performance. He’s an award-winning Magician and Mind Reader and has been performing and studying his art since the age of 5. He has mastered all the essential elements of magic such as card tricks, coin tricks, metal bending, and mind-reading using psychological techniques! Charlie regularly performs for organisations across the country has performed on Free Radio, and has played multiple theatre shows. The future of Magic is certainly in safe hands with performers like Charlie.

Q. When and how did you first get interested in Magic?

A. I was 5. It’s very cliché but I saw a magician performing and was hooked.

Q. Who is your biggest inspiration in Magic?

A. I have several depending on what area of magic. So, for example, Manipulation inspirations include Channing Pollack and Jeff McBride, mentalism inspirations include Max Maven, Theodore Annemann, Derren, Peter Turner and Joseph Dunninger, card inspirations include Juan Tamariz and Michael Vincent. I do really like Tommy Wonder too as well as lots of my friends in magic who I’m lucky to have.

Q. What was the first effect you learned?

A. A spring and ring trick. It was more of a puzzle, essentially, the magician was the only person who could remove a ring from a spring.

Q. What type of performer would you say you are?

 A. Again this really depends, I’ve done theatre shows dedicated to mentalism, comedy magic, séance/bizarre magic (one of my favourite areas) so I’m always changing and planning shows but in all of them, I aim to come across as elegant and elusive in my performances.

Q. What effect are you working on at the moment?

A. At the time of writing this, I’m currently promoting my new séance show “Lucid Nightmare” so most of the work at the moment is structuring it and scriptwriting.

Q. Why did you join the Society?

A. It was one of the only local societies near me. I’ve found in my opinion it’s been the best society I’m part of. Everyone is easy to approach and the lectures and club nights are so much better than lots of other clubs.

Q. What would you say is the best thing about being a member of a Magic Society?

A. You get to learn from others, and you get to help others. By teaching we are learning and the more we learn the more we can teach. It’s also a great thing to be able to put on websites and social media.

Q. You have put on some stage shows, what inspired you to do this?

A. I always wanted to do something different. Every magician around my age is posting the same chewing gum type tricks on social media and I wanted to do something no one else like me is doing, on a larger scale. Stage magic is also one of my favourite genres. I also love the build-up to a stage show. The anticipation and whole theatre atmosphere. When my first theatre show sold out in just over 7 days, I knew it was going to be something I would love doing again; and it has!

Q. Did the shows go as well as you expected?

A. Yes and no is the short answer. They get better the more you do them, so, my second show was better than my first etc. I’d practiced whenever I could so my tricks and stunts were flawless and had the script, I’d written memorised perfectly. However, some things can go wrong. For example, I do a lot of stunts that aren’t necessarily magic but fit with my act and are real (making them dangerous). In my first show, when I went to hammer a real, 5-inch nail up my nose I very nearly hammered it wrong nearly drawing blood. A lot of the methods I use are very bold as well, so I also nearly had a nail impaled through my hand. This is when I realised the next shows I did; I would have to train even harder, reducing the risk of failure.

Q. What have you learnt from putting on shows?

A. I’ve learned a lot! Stage presence and confidence are the main ones. I now use these same skills I’ve learnt from performing on stage, in normal day to day life on a smaller scale.

Q. Is there anything you don’t like about magic?

A. Although I’ve grown up watching technology develop, I really don’t like technology in magic. I think there’s far too much that can go wrong (I know from certain situations) A lot of things that use technology in magic can be used without it as well.

Q. What do you like most about magic?

A. The experience. I believe magic isn’t something we see or touch, but something we feel emotionally after seeing something we can’t comprehend. The beauty of this for me is that there is no world where magic isn’t real. We do tricks, we watch illusions. We FEEL magic.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of learning or starting magic?

A. Do what you can when you can. Build a following and build yourself a style/characteristic.

Q. What is your favourite thing to perform?

A. It depends what situation and what setting. I have a nice routine for one person in an intimate setting, but I also love my stage version of bill to lemon as well as anniversary waltz for the bride and groom at weddings.

Q. What is the most difficult thing you have tried to do or learn?

A. Become more confident and how to read people to see who will appreciate the magic the most. A lot of my confidence comes from my larger shows.

Q. What do you do when someone asks you to ‘do something’ when you’re not expecting it?

A. I usually always have something on me but in case I don’t, I perform quite a lot of propless effects.

Q. What would like to achieve in magic?

A. Ideally to fool Penn and Teller and/or have my own Vegas show but realistically, I just want to do it for the rest of my life and get by doing the thing I love.

Q. What would be your ‘Desert Island’ trick?

A. Just give me a deck of cards and I’ll be sorted. In all seriousness, I’m not too sure. That’s a really hard question.

Q. Are there any other words of wisdom you’d like to leave with us?

A. I was always told confidence is key and to be bold. Although many people will look past this advice, I feel I made a good decision to use it and embrace it. I set a reminder on my phone just saying “Be Bold” so I see it every day as a constant reminder. I’ll be honest – probably 30% of what I do is luck from being bold. Also, if there’s an opportunity; take it! You never know when something could turn into a miracle.

Charlie is performing his very own Zoom ‘seance’ show on 30th October 2020 at 19.30. Contact Charlie at charlierobinsonmagician@gmail.com or go to https://www.facebook.com/CharlieRobinsonMagician for more details.

Meet the Members… Matthew Redmond

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 

Meet the Members… Kev G

Kev G is not only a great performer but is also a creator and inventor of magic tricks and routines much loved by the magic community. Kev is a real thinking mans’ magician and whether he is reading your mind, solving a Rubix Cube in 2 seconds, or showing you some amazing sleight of hand, you will be left with the feeling of being in the presence of a real-life professor of wizardry.

Q. When and why did you first get interested in Magic?

A. It’s difficult to pinpoint a specific time as I grew up with Paul Daniels on TV followed by David Blaine and then Derren so I think I always had intrigue and it really wasn’t until I was about 17 that I really started to delve deeper and grow my love of magic after a friend had shown me a card trick, which I was totally fooled by. I needed to know how it was done, so that led me on a book quest to find my answer and it never stopped.

Q. Who is your biggest inspiration in Magic?

A. I would say it has to be Derren Brown. I remember his first show airing whilst I was at college and at the time it was incredible. I think the fact that he was British, and had also taken a different angle from everything that had come before him was a breath of fresh air. Derren continues to push the art forward and he’s such a superb showman.

Q. What was the first trick you learned?

A. The oldest memory I have is learning the ‘broken match’ trick that my Dad showed me. A match is wrapped in a handkerchief (This was in the 80’s) and snapped – you feel and hear the matchstick snap in two, only to unravel the handkerchief to reveal it is fully restored! A miracle!

Q. What type of Magician/Entertainer would you say you are when performing?

A. Firstly, I think there’s a clear difference between the two. In order for magic to be entertaining, I feel it’s important to put as much of yourself into your performance persona as however good your magic is, it’s really you that the audience needs to connect with and build a rapport. If they like you, then the entertainment levels are naturally elevated. In that vein, I would say that I’m a confident, charismatic, and fun person to be around whilst performing.

Q. You are also a creator of magic and have released some great effects, where/how do you get the inspiration to come up with these ideas?

A. Thanks! Yeah, I’m humbled that they’ve been so well received and have been performed on TV around the world, it’s crazy to think about how far-reaching and accessible things have become. I think my inspiration has come from wanting to solve problems for myself, creating pieces that I’d like to perform.

I always keep my eyes peeled for interesting items or inspiring objects that could potentially be useful for an entertaining piece of magic. I have lots of tools and bits and bobs in my office, so if I have an idea it’s likely I can come up with some sort of solution fairly quickly to play around with. Sometimes an idea may take a backseat for a while and sit on my desk, until I find that missing piece of the puzzle or I know it can be improved further to a point I’d be happy performing it.

Q. If you could go back and re-invent one of your products now, which one would it be and what differences would you make?

A. Oh that’s got me thinking! I don’t think a magic effect is ever necessarily ‘finished’ and continues to grow with performances and input from others. I see them more like babies when they’re first conceived and once you release them to the community you can see how well they flourish and grow over time.

So really I can’t say I’d go back and re-invent any of my products, but there would definitely be additional ideas and thoughts I could go back and add now.

Q. How long have you been a member of LAWMS Magic Society and why did you join?

A. The first meeting I attended was 7th September 2011. At this point, I’d already been heavily into magic for at least 10 years and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought about searching online for local clubs before. Magic can be a very isolated hobby as obviously you don’t want to share any of your secrets with people you’re performing too.

The first meeting I attended, Dave Bonsall was lecturing and he was brilliant. It was great to have found somewhere to discuss magic, learn from others and develop your skillset further so I quickly became a full member.

Q. Is there anything you don’t like about magic?

A. There’s nothing I don’t like about magic in itself. What I’m not a fan of is the way magic can get a bad name for itself due to the behaviour of some magicians or poorly rehearsed and executed effects that really haven’t been thought through.

So I guess I don’t like the miss representation that magic can sometimes get from poor performances or the stereotypes of the ‘classic magician’ which are so far removed from the magic performed by many today.

I also think that sometimes there is a general perception that magicians are out to get one up on their audience, and they can really do Harry Potter wizardry. This is evident from the posts published online with people trying to debunk effects they’ve seen on TV or YouTube, which I’m not really a fan of. Really these people are just trying to stroke their own ego and display a level of bravado that they can’t be fooled. In reality, I think they’ve totally misunderstood what ‘magic’ is and I feel sorry that they’ve closed themselves off from experiencing a moment of wonder and disbelief. It’s that moment that really matters no matter how long it lasts.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of learning or starting magic?

A. Don’t rely on YouTube to learn. I understand everyone needs to start somewhere and online content such as YouTube is easily accessible and can be useful in certain instances. But too many youngsters rely too heavily and learn either poor effects and/or pick up really bad habits from people who are, to be honest, not really very good.

My advice would be to join a magic club or find a mentor so that you can receive helpful advice and guidance, rather than wasting time looking in the wrong places.

It’s also really tempting for beginners to spend lots of money on things that they’ll never use or that are just not right for them so will save you money in the long run.

Q. What is the most difficult thing you have tried to do or learn in magic?

A. Difficulty in magic is a bit of a sliding scale based on your prior knowledge, experience and skill set. When I first started, I don’t think I’d ever have imagined having accomplished what I’ve done to date. I could list hundreds of technical card moves that I can’t do, but I think I felt real accomplishment when I first learnt to solve the Rubik’s cube – which I am now addicted too!

Q. What is your favourite piece of magic to perform?

A. It’s got to be ‘cube cards’. I’m not just saying that as it’s my own routine, but also because it has multiple moments of magic, its hard-hitting and it’s just fun to perform.

Q. What do you do when someone asks you to ‘do something’ when you’re not expecting it?

A. It depends on the location and what items may be within close proximity, it’s always fun to be put on the spot and think on your feet. I like using personal items that people care about so probably something with their mobile phone or a bit of mindreading.

Q. What would you like to achieve in magic?

A. I’d like to do some more lectures at other magic clubs around the country, but my plans were somewhat hampered by the pandemic. I’m also in the process of writing up a number of effects and ideas to be published as a booklet, so I’m really looking forward to finishing that and getting it printed. I’m also looking forward to getting out and doing gigs again once restrictions are lifted, so if you’re getting married give me a shout or contact me via my website http://magicwedding.co.uk

Q. What would be your ‘Desert Island’ trick?

A That’s a no brainer, it’s got to be ‘walking on water’. Failing that, turning water into wine would work for me also!

Contact Kev at: http://magicwedding.co.uk

Meet the Members… Stephen Folwer

Stephen has a great love of magic and probably has the biggest private collection of magic effects in the Midlands! He is always very keen to help and contribute to the Society in any way he can and is very passionate about certain aspects of magic. Stephen certainly has his own unique style of performing and always leaves you with a smile on your face.

  • When and why did you first get interested in Magic?

I am a lifelong enthusiast and I have always had a deep fascination with Magic. I have very happy and incredibly important memories of seeing Magic done on TV which has always been very special for me.  

Perhaps unusually for someone with a lifelong interest, I did not start learning or performing magic until I was an adult.

  • Who is your biggest inspiration in Magic?

PT Selbit, the great early 20th Century British Magic inventor and performer who invented many varied effects including several famous stage illusions.

  • What was the first trick you learned?

Rubber Band Jump: one of the first tricks many people learn when starting Magic. A rubber band jumps from the first two fingers to the last two fingers.

  • What type of Magician/Entertainer would you say you are when performing?

Well, I very much like to bring wonder, fun and often comedy and entertainment value! I put a lot of thought into how to present effects and what visual gags, patter and jokes I can fit in with them.

Some of the comedy just seems to happen though! I like to have a good laugh with people (when appropriate!) although I can be a bit nervous and unpredictable, I always aim to have a good rapport with my spectators. So, an unusual and informal Comedy Magician!

  • You have a huge collection of magic, what is your favourite item?

I have some books on Magic including Magic History which I find fascinating, and one which gives a good overview of Magic History is The Illustrated History of Magic, by Milbourne Christopher.

I have many Cabaret Magic items I have purchased from LAWMS auctions, other LAWMS members and some from the great late Keith Pearson. I have several items I am currently working on which include great visual items that have colour and form changes.

  • What is your least favourite item?

Anything that does not work, needs fixing, or I cannot get to work, (and sometimes are missing bits / instructions), or where I have not figured which goes with what and what it actually does. Yes, I am not so keen on these items!

  • What would you say is the best thing about being a member of a Magic Society?

I have made a lot of good friends and have many happy shared memories. Many members have been very encouraging, getting me going with performing Magic.

I speak to and see many members at club meetings and outside the club. This has built genuine friendships and a positive community. We all have different insights and areas of expertise which we share with each other and contribute, which can greatly benefit a Magic club.

  • Is there anything you don’t like about magic?

Yes: though I like and am interested in all types and aspects of Magic, there are things I feel do not help Magic as a whole and have caused a disconnection between some in the Magic Community and the Public, many of which support and are big fans of Magic.

Sometimes magicians reveal secrets (not as an actual exposure) but when proving/stating they are not using other methods (used elsewhere). This is all well-and-good within their own performance, but it’s not good for Magic as a whole!

Within the community of magicians, while we are entitled to have our own preferences, likes and dislikes, there can be intolerances of other genres and performance styles of Magic. Provided everything is ethical, performed well, with respect, consideration, and the right reasons, there is enough space for all of us in The World of Magic.

Also, some in the Magic Community do develop aversions to well-known effects. They think all audiences think this. However, the Classics are Classics for a reason. They have remained famous and memorable and are what many people instantly relate to and recognise. We may have seen/do; e.g. Linking Rings, Professor’s Nightmare many times, but many of the public will not have seen these tricks, or not that often.

This issue of aversion to doing famous Classics is especially true of Pulling-a-Rabbit-out-of-a-Hat (the real issue being: are the animals themselves OK and with no detriment to their welfare, and ensuring this) and Sawing-a-Lady-in-Half (the real issues are to make as safe as possible and respect the assistant).

When people keep asking a magician if they can perform the tricks I mention above, this means they are genuinely interested, relate to, and have an affinity to these effects. Just because some in the Magic Community have seen them performed several times, does not mean we should never perform them again. (There are of course some in this country and many abroad who still do these Classics of Magic). Of course, I am also not against the invention of new tricks and new versions of effects. Nor am I suggesting we do not do less famous effects.

I am very sad about this entire recent “Women in Magic” “issue”, with some people saying (and putting their own untrue opinions as to what they want and would like to think is the case): “there aren’t enough/where are the women (lead/solo performers) in Magic” and “they were sawn in half in the past but now things are changing” etc. This has become needlessly and incredibly toxic and not helpful to anyone. As far as I am concerned, things are more straightforward: there have always (now and over history) been lead performers in Magic who are female. It is really a ratio where it (performing solo Magic or in the title lead role with other Magical performers) is more common amongst males. Magicians that are female are not being stopped from performing! Many ladies who are magicians (solo or lead performers in Magic) perform, entertain and mix with the male magician majority very happily. It’s only recently a magician’s gender was even brought up or even an issue.

Also, support performers, especially “the lovely assistants” are seen as “less than”, by some within the Magic Community, despite them knowing that shows and tricks cannot be done without the assistants and are central to much of the Magic! I would actually go as far as to say that, although I like all genres of Magic, the Glamorous assistants are the very Heart and Soul of Magic. We need parity of acknowledgment and respect for Magic assistants, as we do for magicians, Double Acts, Stage Hands, Magic historians and trick inventors etc… likewise for our audiences. We all need to come together.

  • What advice would you give to anyone thinking of learning or starting magic?

The book I suggest is The Art of Magic and Sleight of Hand, by Nicholas Einhorn.

It’s good to see what tricks and what sort of performer (what patter, jokes, gags and style) works for you. Different people have preferences on the effects they do and how they perform. They should find their own individual performing style, persona, ideas and what works for them and their routines.

Magic is here for whatever one wants to do: mentalism, coins, cards, illusions, escapes etc and any combination of the areas of Magic.

Ask others for honest constructive feedback on what to keep or change etc.

Also, for me personally, especially as someone relatively new to actually performing Magic, stick to what you’re comfortable with when performing. Keep the effects you are “still working on” for yourself and other Magic club members e.g. on a club night: “what do you think of this?” and get feedback.

  • What is the most difficult thing you have tried to do or learn in magic?

So far, it has been considering and being sure of the angles for my Dice Matrix.

  • What is your favourite piece of magic to perform?

I will probably have a better more definite answer in a few years when I have built up more routines, although I have found that Dice Matrix is one I really like. I also enjoy performing “Prediction” mentioned in the question below.

  • What do you do when someone asks you to ‘do something’ when you’re not expecting it?

I carry 3 or 4 tricks in my wallet.

I have a version of Free Will, Colour-Changing Kings to Aces and sometimes Mystery Calculator. If I have a flat surface to work on, I do what I believe to be called “Prediction” because it’s an amusing trick (which seems like a wind-up) with an unexpected ending!

  • What would you like to achieve in magic?

I very much hope to help ensure UK TV Magic can return to how I remember from my childhood. To have a return to how it was and should be. I was born in 1982 and remember much more Magic being on and much of it being truly wonderful. But for the last say, 25 years, there has been a general absence of UK TV Magic in a full definite way.

Though there have been many smaller series and one-off specials in the last 20 years, on British TV, there is no Prime-Time, warm-hearted fully produced fun family shows with dancers, guest Variety acts and all different types of Magic.

The Paul Daniels Magic Show finished after a long run and since then we have had some series including some on Prime-Time and more recently “The Magicians” for two series on BBC 1. There has been great output from Stephen Mulhern on ITV 1, and some things on BGT (and on the US AGT that sometimes has been shown here), for examples, but the overall presence is still not here like it is around the World.

I would also like to fully heal Magic, where everyone feels welcome in the Magic Community and where there is not this disconnection with performers and the public. Where wonder and enchantment are preserved. Encouraging everyone that Magic is for everyone, whether watching, finding out about, performing or any combination of these.

Also, for myself as an individual performer: well, I am quite happy to continue entertaining people. I have not learned much complex Magic so far, and I am still a relative beginner. I may well improve and hopefully continue to learn more and keep learning. I am not really expecting to be the ultimate sleight-of-hand artist or illusionist with the biggest show!

We also need to conserve and preserve Magic for future generations and this includes the history as well as the creation of new things.

I certainly hope to continue to pursue my academic study of Magic. If I am very lucky, my big dream is creating and directing shows with other performers, inventing new effects, ideas and presentations!  

  • What would be your ‘Desert Island’ trick?

A production cabinet, shown empty (to anyone else there, but just to myself if just me!), e.g. a Tip-Up Trunk, and make a beautiful lady appear! In fact, anyone happy to join me for a Happy Island Party! Also, the empty cabinet could produce food, water and medical supplies!

Contact Stephen at: https://www.facebook.com/stephen.fowler.18062