Meet the Members… John Needham

John is a true gentleman entertainer and always has a twinkle in his eyes when performing. John has built up a wealth of magical and entertainment knowledge over the years and is always there to offer sage advice and wisdom. John is a former Blue Coat at Pontins Holiday Camps and more recently an Art Teacher. Now retired, John enjoys his leisure time painting on canvas, honing his magical skills and organising the lectures and diary for the Society.
 
Q When and why did you first get interested in Magic?
A I first got interested in magic when I was about fifteen or so. I knew Bernard Anderson then (a former and well-known member of the Leamington and Warwick Magic Society). I went to school with his son and daughter. I often talked magic with him and gained an early interest from the tricks he showed me. I also saw a magic show at the University of Warwick Arts Centre which also developed my interest. The magician was the Great Kovari. Magic is a fascinating hobby and there is always so much to learn- either new things or just improving what you do. From the mid-1980s I went to work for Pontins Holidays where I performed regular shows. I virtually stopped doing magic after about seven years of working with Pontins when I became a school teacher. I guess the magician never left me as a few years later I renewed my interest again.
 
Q Who is your biggest inspiration in Magic?
A When I was young I watched people like David Nixon, Paul Daniels, Doug Hennings as well as David Copperfield. These were inspirations. I don’t really have a particular favourite as I prefer to be myself rather than a copy of someone else. It is the same with my artwork- I prefer to have my own style and be known for myself. When I perform magic I want people to remember me as John Needham- not someone who tries to be another David Nixon or Paul Daniels etc.
 
Q What was the first trick you learned?
A Probably the first was a rope trick where you can tie a knot in it without letting go of the ends or doing a cut and restored rope trick.
 
Q What type of Magician/Entertainer would you say you are when performing?
A There is an old saying in magic where a magician is not a magician but an actor playing the part of a magician. You play the role that is suitable for the audience you are working to. To me I am a performer first and magician second. It is my role to entertain an audience so I try to be conscious of the audience and what will entertain them. Some people like the comedy and humour while others want to see more straight magic. It is all about getting to know your audience and adapting to that. I do like magic that not only baffles an audience but has a strong fun element. Being baffled should be fun for an audience.
 
Q What are you working on at the moment?
I am doing a lot of work into the psychology of magic and how to make the magic I do even more effective and appealing to an audience. Mastering the sleight of hand and skill elements is only a part of the task- it is also about performing it and gaining and maintaining their interest to create an entertaining experience. I constantly go through all the tricks I do and improve and amend. I will even drop tricks that I feel might be getting tired and old to keep things fresh for myself. I tend to be my own strongest critic! I am fortunate that I have friends that I can try out material on (thanks Denis and Andrèa).
 
Q You’re a very talented artist and painter and was an art teacher, has this creativity helped you with your magic?
A Thank you for saying so! I have always had a strong creative streak in me from a very young. So I guess that this feeds into a lot of what I do whether it is magic or painting pictures. However, the two are usually separate. When I am doing magic I am playing that role and when I am painting pictures I am in that zone. I also am learning to play the flute. I have always enjoyed doing different things.
 
Q When and why did you join the LAWMS committee?
A I joined the Leamington and Warwick committee a few ago as Lecture organiser. These magic clubs are very important and should be supported by magicians. We can get a lot online but nothing should try to replace the actual meeting of likeminded people who can together strive to develop the art and promote magic to the public.
 
Q What is your vision for the Society? What sort of Society would you like us to be in 5 years-time?
A This is kind of answered with the previous question. I would like to see a society that promotes the improvement of the art not only within the skills of its members but as a respected group of people by other magic societies and sought after by the public as an excellent group of magicians.
 
Q What would you say is the best thing about being a member of a Magic Society?
A Again as previously stated being a member of the society means that like-minded people can get together and discuss magic, share ideas and help each other to improve their personal skills. You cannot really do this online. I am not really a fan of all this internet and online stuff- I prefer the personal approach. The society allows magicians to show each other tricks and share ideas and give positive and constructive opinions. We also have an excellent lecture programme which is generally much more useful and meaningful when done for real rather than virtual.
 
Q Is there anything you don’t like about magic?
A Not really.
 
Q What advice would you give to anyone thinking of learning or starting magic?
A As a child I was quite a shy person and magic is an excellent way of developing yourself as a person and learning to be confident. So my advice would be to not only develop your skills but also develop yourself as a person and think about how you perform as well as what you perform. The mechanics of the trick is only part of the story- presenting the trick is also very important. Also, try to be discerning about the tricks you buy. Most magicians very quickly build a cupboard full of things they have bought but will probably never see the light of day! Also learn a variety of magic- card tricks are fine but they can become very repetitive.
 
Q What is the most difficult thing you have tried to do or learn in magic?
A When I paint a picture I want people to see and appreciate the skill that has gone into doing it. Magic, however, is different. If the audience sees the hard work that goes into learning something (the sleight of hand etc) then that is a bad thing in my opinion. If something requires too much work then it may not be suitable for you. If it is too difficult then do it differently or leave it out and do something else because this will come across when it is being performed. It will look awkward and lacking in confidence and you will be more focused on the mechanics rather than the performance. You will be more worried that it will go wrong. Practice and practice but realise when something is just not working. But if I must choose something then doing coin magic is probably the most challenging.
 
Q What is your favourite thing to perform?
A So many things to choose from but I do love doing the sponge balls. Audiences always seem to enjoy this.
 
Q What do you do when someone asks you to ‘do something’ when you’re not expecting it?
A I usually carry a little something in my pocket when I am out socialising- even if it is just a pack of cards. I always wait for someone to ask what I do and then I say I do magic. Usually, that ends up with something like “ really? Can you do something?” Keep it short though.
 
Q You have entered a lot of competitions, why do you enter these?
A Doing these competitions is a great way to practice and improve my skills and performing ability. There is only so much you can do in front of a mirror! You can only practice the skills in front of the mirror anyway. You probably thought that I enter the competitions to try and win. No not really. If I do then fine but that is certainly not a priority! There is also a big difference between performing in a competition and performing to an audience- the former you are trying to impress with the skills while the latter just want to be entertained with magic and have fun. The latter is my main interest. Magic should be about entertaining people not just about displaying your skills and trying to be clever. The more you perform the better you will become- so I take every opportunity.
 
Q What would be your ‘Desert Island’ trick?
A If I am stuck on a desert island then something from a David Copperfield act to make a ship appear! That’s probably not what you mean though! There are so many to choose from. I mainly like to do close up magic but would not be able to choose just one. Maybe the sponge balls since they have already been mentioned.
You can contact John here: JNEEDHAM47@YAHOO.CO.UK

Meet the Members… Luke Jones

Luke is the type of person that always leaves a smile on your face whenever you meet him, he is one of our friendliest members and always treats you as if you’re his best friend.

He has a real love of performing whether on or off stage and is always ready with a trick to show you. His close-up up skills are on a level with any professional and I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s making a very good living performing magic and doing what he loves best.

 

Q When & why did you first get interested in Magic?

I got into magic at the age of 15. Before magic, I actually wanted to be a train driver but as soon as I saw Penn and Teller on TV for the first time I wanted to do what they did.

Q What type of magician would you describe yourself as? 

I see myself as 2 characters. On stage, I perform comedy magic with audiences’ banter, but on the streets, I’m the typical street magician using cards, coins, money and mind-reading, with a hint of hustling for free food and drinks with barbets etc.

Q Who is your biggest inspiration in Magic?

My biggest inspiration in magic was Penn and Teller and Dynamo, but after watching other magicians throughout the years, there are many, and they all inspire me in different ways.

Q What was the first trick you learned?

The first trick I ever learnt was a simple card trick where I ask them to think of a card and then I read their minds and reveal it.

Q What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I’m working on a new comedy stage act, and I’m also working on different close up tricks to.

Q You’re always ready with a joke, how do you come up with them and remember them?

With my jokes it comes naturally, hard to explain it but some I see and put my own twist to it, sometimes I hear someone say something and I come up with a joke to that subject.

I practice by looking at a random object and I see if I can make any jokes from the object I picked. Hope that helps.

Q What do you enjoy most about performing magic?

I most enjoy the reactions I get, how people treat you and where magic can take you.

Q What do you most struggle with?

I do struggle at times. Sometimes I put on a show or performance and then after that I just go into a deeply depressing state of mind which brings me down.

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

The advice I’d give any new member of magic is to find your type of magic. Find your character, then find which tricks suit your character. Don’t practice too many tricks at once and take your time learning. We all learn at our own pace.

Q What would you like to achieve in magic?

I’d love to achieve traveling around the world doing gigs. Or getting booked to perform in Italy on a yacht, or Spain.

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

There are a few things I don’t like about magic. Too many magicians are way too political and think they know everything. And some are arrogant in nature.

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

If I don’t have anything on me then I’ll find a leaf or borrow something and then do simple stuff and have a laugh.

You can get more info on Luke at https://www.facebook.com/LukeJonesMagic

Meet the Members… Mick McCreath

Mick joined the Leamington & Warwick Magic Society around 2003/04, after touring worldwide with a Circus company since the early 1990’s. He quickly became involved in all areas of the Society becoming Vice President and President on numerous occasions. Mick brought his business acumen and innovative ideas to help the Society move forward. Mick loves to help, encourage, and support aspiring magicians and encourages everyone to get valuable performance experience at many of the Charity Events he runs.

Q – How long were you the president of the Society?

A – Twice president and twice vice president 4 years of each.

Q – Why did you volunteer for this roll?

A – I hadn’t been a member for long when a delegation of members asked me to be Martin Key’s vice president. I declined because of business commitments but gave in after several more requests but explained it would be run like a business as I’d no spare time for committee meetings.

Q – What would you say was your best achievement for the Society during your Presidency? 

A  – At that time we had about £300 in the bank and around 12 or 13 members.

My first target was to get the members socialising which is why I introduced the buffet in the break hoping that they would chat whilst eating. It worked. The day of Magic was the idea of Alban Unsworth so together with help from Keith and Alan Cooper we developed it to become a thriving success, not only raising thousands of pounds for the society but, equally as important, it raised the profile of club which in turn raised the membership. With money in the bank and the help of Alan and Mark Traversoni, we enjoyed an annual lecture program that was on a par with any club in the country. Subsequently, John Needham has successfully embraced the role of securing the best lectures available.

Q – What was the biggest challenge?

A – There was very little socialising, members, after watching a lecture, would immediately go home. The remit I gave myself was to make the club as friendly as Coventry Magic Circle, boost the funds, and increase the membership.

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

A – As a child, in the days of black and white one channel television, I was mesmerized by David Nixon’s magic but it didn’t inspire me to learn because I thought he was a magician and had special powers, much like superman who could fly. Fortunately, he also didn’t inspire me to leap off the roof with one of my mum’s curtains hanging from my neck.

Q – Who is your biggest inspiration in Magic?

A – My inspiration to get into magic came from Billy Tempest, an illusionist from Leeds.

Q – Why did you first start learning & performing magic, and can you remember your first trick?

A – In the 1990’s I was taking shows out to the far East and was booked into Sunday Lagoon in Suban Jaya near Kuala  Lumpa in Malasia.

Our show was a mix of circus and theatre with our funfair at the entrance. I got my trapeze and highwire acts from the Hungarian State Circus school in Budapest but at the last minute K.K.Yang, our promoter, asked if we could take a magic act as the Chinese believed in real magic, much like me as a child.

A good friend of mine was Mike Austin, a circus owner, he’d used Billy Tempest and gave me his number. In our show, the trapeze and highwire acts drew good applause which they thoroughly deserved but it didn’t come close to the applause Billy got. At the end of the show, it was Billy’s autograph that people queued for.

This prompted Tara to suggest that we developed a full magic show. My first trick was not a card trick, it was the Christmas casket.

Q – What type of Magician/Entertainer would you say you were when performing?

A – Fair to say my stage act was less David Copperfield and more Tommy Cooper.

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

A – To all aspiring magicians, I suggest you chose a style of Magic that suits your persona and equally important I recommend you put your own interpretation into any trick you buy. Don’t just copy the creator’s style together with 100’s of other magicians. Be different and stand out.

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

A – Today’s young aspiring magicians have an amazing tool in the internet which is great as long as they realise it’s a limitation. Yes, it can teach the secrets and techniques of tricks which is invaluable but it’s not the finished article. Being a member of a magic club gives the benefit of experience, the collective experience of the members, members who have performed in the real world. They will teach you the difference between “Being Skilful” and “Being Entertaining” and it is so important not to lose sight of the fact that we are entertainers and magic is just the medium we use to entertain.

Q – What is your favorite effect or routine to perform?

A – My favourite routine is the Christmas casket which is the first trick I learned. I watched Billy Tempest March onto the stage, throw a cloth over the casket, spin it around before whipping the cloth off to reveal his assistant. All over in 40 seconds. And that’s the way magicians around the world perform it. My routine lasts 5 minutes and left Michael Barrymore, Gerramy Beadle, and Ant n Dec crying with laughter as well as being amazed. But

Q – How do you see the future of magic and magic societies?

A – Going forward I love our club and I love helping our less experienced members which is why I willingly invite rank beginners and pros to my charity dinners to practice and gain feedback in the real world.

LAWMS Club Zoom Meeting: 2-9-20 by Stephen Fowler

Hi all,

Several of us connected online for another Zoom meeting, this time hosted by John Needham, of general discussion about LAWMS matters, a catch up and meet up online, some showing of tricks and us talking about some very major things that have happened.

 

Mike Price updated us about the Leamington St. Patricks Club, our potential new venue, and that they are having their air-conditioning done. It was mentioned that this will be our first non-online meeting remembering several of our members who have recently sadly passed away.

 

We talked about when we were thinking of resuming non-online meetings in our new venue, maybe say 2-3 weeks. We are thinking of perhaps late this month / early next month.

 

The general consensus is that many members in this meeting are willing to resume non-online meetings sometime soon, with safety precautions of us wearing masks and maintaining Social Distancing.

 

Not all members are prepared to attend non-online meetings for the current time, due to the potential risks and uncertainty, which is totally understandable.

 

We also talked about this new venue itself. It was asked if anyone had any thoughts and if any of us had looked at this venue’s website. The feedback was largely very positive.  

 

This venue is also ideal for socialising before and after LAWMS events: it looks good.

 

Matt Redmond mentioned about parking: and will we have enough parking space. It sounds like there is quite a bit, though not loads, of parking space with the actual venue, and also some in the surrounding area.

 

Sergio remembers this building as being a big venue.

 

We went onto what content we might have in our new venue in the near future. John N. has a list of all the lecturers we would have had and would have if this Pandemic had not happened. He said he has contacted with them all, and all of them think of their LAWMS booking as postponed, until we can have them, rather than cancelled.

 

It was mentioned that booking external lecturers in this current Pandemic is problematic. Even if they and several members are willing to travel to our venue, travel restrictions can come and go; and policies can and sometimes change.

 

At least until this Christmas, most LAWMS events are planned to be In House. There could be possibilities of some LAWMS members doing something, so perhaps two members doing half an evening each. Both John Gordon and Alan Cooper might do something, perhaps half of a LAWMS evening each.

 

There are also LAWMS competitions including the Close-up and Stage Competitions. And also our “Fool Us” event, where Alan might be a judge as before. For competitions, we will need audience members like members’ friends and family for tricks involving audience participation, [unless only LAWMS members not competing act as audience helpers], [or competitors are limited to tricks that do not require audience participation if we have to proceed just with LAWMS members attending LAWMS Competitions in the near future].

 

We talked about our club’s Broken Wand ceremonies and as a relatively new LAWMS member myself, who has never attended a LAWMS Broken Wand ceremony yet, I asked about them. Other members explained that there is an actual wand broken for each member that has passed away. Earlier this year, David Budd and Arthur MacTier also passed away and of course very recently Keith Pearson also passed away.

 

John N. has asked members for any ideas and suggestions for LAWMS events e.g. Club Nights, and if they can mention to him, say for example by email-ing him is fine.

 

Mike mentioned having a video / DVD night on Bernard Anderson.

 

Luke mentioned having a book / DVD / trick review night, say on a trick we have done.

 

It was also mentioned that the LAWMS reserves are currently fairly good.

 

There is agreement that current President Elect Mike will act as Acting Leader of meetings the same as if and when Keith was absent from any meetings. Mike will begin as President at the next LAWMS AGM. There is no official “re-shuffle” of roles as such, until then. It was agreed this is the respectful correct course of action, and also with this current Pandemic, our LAWMS club does not need anyone to act as a Figure-Head until Mike begins his time as LAWMS President at our next AGM.

 

We talked about David Blaine’s recent stunt, of ascending with balloons. We spoke about him going from Street Magic to events that are sometimes Endurance Stunts.

 

In this meeting we also chatted about how we all are and what we have been up to. Liam came into this meeting briefly, when he could, to say hello also.

 

Philip talked about him going to Theme Parks; and about tricks involving eggs.

 

Luke Jones performed a very funny disappearing and reappearing trick.

 

I performed and explained 53 Movies by Mark Shortland, where a random movie is chosen and thought of and I tell you what movie you were thinking of.

 

John N. performed and explained a card trick from a DVD from Steve Dacri. John removed the jokers and taps a card, whose back changes colour from blue to red. Each card has the name of a famous place on it. After another spectator selection of a place, John tapped three times and the whole deck changes to red-backs except for one card (which is the selected place).

 

Charlie enquired about our new venue and where exactly it is. Kevin Goodwin will probably soon add the postcode to Facebook and LAWMS website.

 

We talked about Sympathy Messages for Keith’s family. We can pass on our messages of Condolences to Mike for him to put all together or in our own individual Sympathy Cards or more simply to post up on Facebook our messages in response to Notifications from Mick and Mike of the recent sad passing of Keith.

 

Generally it was talked about to keep messages short and simple. Keith’s funeral might not have had a date scheduled at the time of this meeting, though attendance numbers will likely be limited by this Pandemic to family and only a few LAWMS members (perhaps who knew him for a longer time).

 

We think our next meeting will be online again, two weeks after this Zoom meeting, on Wednesday 16th September, start time TBA.

 

Take care everyone, see some of you soon online and at our new venue, and keep staying safe,

Stephen Fowler

Meet the Members… David Michaels

David Michaels is a fast-paced, international comedy entertainer and professional magician. He is highly respected by other magicians and the public alike and brings his high energy, razor-sharp wit to every performance. David is highly skilled and is a mentor and teacher to many aspiring magicians.

When did you first get interested in Magic?

I first got into magic when I was 14 years old and my grandad took me to Butlins on holiday. I saw a magician do the dancing cane and from that moment I was hooked. I went and purchased quite a few tricks from their onsite joke shop, practiced and performed them that night in the on-site pub….the rest as they say is history.

Who is your biggest inspiration in Magic?

I know it’s a cliché but I truly believe we stand on the shoulders of giants. My biggest inspiration is Jay Sankey and Wayne Dobson because they were the first magician’s I’d seen who were both technically fantastic and also hilarious.

What was the first trick you learned?

Dynamic Coins (Google it)

What are you working on at the moment?

During Lockdown I’ve been spending my time studying and learning Rubix cube magic. 

You’re a magical mentor and teacher to other magicians and run the Junior Section of the Society, why did you start doing this?

Because I was bullied into it! 🤪

In all seriousness it’s because I wanted to give something back. I originally joined The Leamington and Warwickshire Magic Society when I was 14 and they were nothing but welcoming and kind and really helped me grow as a young magician. I feel it’s an hour to have been asked to represent the club in this capacity. 

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Probably the commitment shown and eagerness to learn by the guys. 

What do most students seem to struggle with?

From my personal experience I would say it’s trying to learn every aspect of magic as soon as possible. How to focus on one particular area would be more beneficial in both the long and short term. 

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

Study, read and consume as much as possible. Learn one or two tricks well, better then lots poorly executed. 

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

Great question ☺️ it would be exactly what I’ve said above. Study the classics of magic they’re “classics” for a reason.

What would you like to achieve in magic?

I’ve only ever wanted to be of a professional standard, as fame and fortune has never really interested me. I’m happy performing at birthday parties making other people feel special. 

Is there anything you don’t like about magic?

The politics of it all.

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

For me it was performing in the Champions of Champions competition. 

What is your favorite effect or routine to perform?

Ring flash by Wayne Dobson

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

As a professional I’m always ready with some business card magic it’s one of the only professions you can do at the drop of a hat. 

What is the biggest and/or most memorable show you have performed?

Probably the audition for BGT in front of the judges.

Get more info or contact David at… http://davidmichaelsmagic.co.uk/

Keith Pearson RIP

It is with much sadness we announce the sad passing of our President Keith Pearson. He will be sadly missed by those who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Keith was truly a cornerstone of The Leamington & Warwick Magic Society, serving it as Show Director, Vice President and President on several occasions.
He was the ultimate children’s entertainer as well as performing stage and close up magic. His enthusiasm and energy will be an inspiration to all who knew him.
He loved performing and was always there when needed, patiently supported by his loving family who were always there supporting him and the club.
Keith was not just a President, member of LWMS, he was a friend to all, a real gent, a mate.
His enthusiasm and personality, along with a broad smile will be forever missed.
God Bless.

Meet the Members… Sergio Canales

Sergio holding the Close-up cup presented by Club President Keith Pearson.

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: kerkio10@yahoo.es

Meet the Members… Angus Baskerville

As we haven’t met at the club for a while, I thought it might be an idea to find out a little bit more about our members. So I decided to start with one of our younger members, Angus Baskerville.

Angus is a very talented mind reader but is also a highly skilled coin and card magician. Angus won both the 2018 and 2019 Leamington & Warwick Stage Competition and recently passed the (very difficult) exam to join The Magic Circle.

Angus Baskerville

  • When did you first get interested in Magic?

2014 aged late 17

  • Who is your biggest inspiration in Magic?

Dynamo

  • What was the first trick you learned?

A beginners 4 Ace production

  • What are you working on at the moment?

A new Mentalism act

  • What would you like to achieve in magic?

Performing on Cruise ships and touring around the world doing shows are my biggest goals

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

Having to perform to people who don’t appreciate it and therefore throw abuse at you

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

To look deeper into the business side of it and focus more on mentalism as thats my main speciality and suits my personality best.

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

Refrain from running before you can walk, practice at least one hour a day and once you’ve a specific skill/trick completely sussed, try new things and experiment with new ideas. The more you learn the better and quicker you’ll improve.

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

Learning Rubix cubes was the most difficult effect I tried to learn but am really glad I got it eventually and performing my act at Edinburgh fringe for the first time ever.

  • What is your favourite thing to perform?

One word in a million book test

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

I think quick on my feet and if I haven’t got anything magic wise on me at the time, I look around at anything they may have or I can see that I could do a trick with.

Having learnt from a certain magician when I was at school, I was taught to always be able to do a magic trick with anything you can access on the spot. With Experience, 99.9% of the time it’s worked.

  • Has entering competitions helped you with your magic? If so, in what way?

Yes definitely.

It’s improved my confidence performing and has helped me get much better at putting an act together myself and putting a lot more time and effort into it. Whereas before, when I first started taking part in competitions as a junior, I wasn’t putting as much effort and thought into it and often I’d leave it all till the night before. Also when I was taking part in competitions for the first time, I would get really nervous. Having done it more and more over the years though, I don’t get anywhere near as nervous.

You can get more information on Angus on his website https://www.angusbaskerville.com/

Vinny Sagoo Dealer Dem

Meeting 17th June 2020, Vinny Sagoo Dealer Dem, by Kevin Goodwin MMC

We had the pleasure of having Vinny Sagoo of Noe magic join us this evening for a Dealers Dem.

Vinny started off by telling us how he got into the business of creating and selling magic, which was only two years ago! His previous profession was as a lawyer, but after a serious car accident he decided to take a chance and pursue his boyhood dream of making a living from magic. The company name, Neo Magic, simply means New Magic and shouldn’t be confused with Neo Magnets!.

 

For his first effect, Vinny magically passed (over Zoom) John Needham a book called The Mist that contained over 60,000 words and 120 pages. He asked John to turn to any page and look at the 1st word several lines down on the page. He then told John the word he was thinking of.

This book test was produced to be easy to do, portable and affordable. He told us lots of examples how he has fooled a lot of respected magicians and the fantastic feedback he has received from magical users worldwide.

Next was an effect which consisted of a small Word Search puzzle on a PVC card and the spectator was asked to think of the first word they see. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to divine the letters in the spectator’s word, the thought of word then disappeared completely from the puzzle only to appear on the other side of the card printed.

The cards are made to last and come with a lifetime guarantee!

Then we were shown an Ace and 3 blank cards, all facedown and with Blue backs. However, the Ace magically turned Face up, then the back then changed colour to Red, and if that wasn’t enough, the blank cards all turned into aces. This was performed as a gambling demonstration/monte type routine, but could lend itself to many different presentations.

For the penultimate effect Vinny told us he had a prediction in an envelope, which was put to one side but in full view of everyone. He said he has the four Kings and asked Jayne Osborn to choose either Red or Black. Jayne chose Red, which apparently is what everyone chooses and spread the cards to show the two Red cards face up. Jayne was then asked to choose the Heart or Diamond, the Heart was chosen. Vinny then showed us the back of the King of Hearts was a different colour to the other three, Yellow rather than Blue. The prediction put to one side at the beginning was shown to predict the colour Yellow. If Jayne had selected the Diamonds, it would not have worked, as that has a Green back, different from the Prediction. As a final kicker, the other two kings were turned over and had the words ‘Different Colour’ written on them!

Lastly, Vinny showed us a prototype effect he is working on which has a prediction in a Red Envelope. The envelope is used to select a card by placing it anywhere in a deck of cards and the card is noted. The deck is squared and a Snap-Shot is taken using the envelope and placed to one side. Vinny then showed us the selected card had disappeared from the deck, we were then directed to the prediction envelope.

The envelope had a picture of a camera and a picture of a small card turned face down. However, after a magical flick, the full-size selected card suddenly appeared in his hand and the small picture disappeared.

This was a nice idea and something that could be used in many different ways.

Vinny gave us a quick tour of his website and pointed out some great offers. 

We managed to record most of the meeting and will post it on the members Facebook Group as soon as we can.

It was nice to see members from other clubs join us tonight, and the feedback was very positive at the end of the night.

Online Dealer Dem

We are pleased to announce that we have Vinny Sagoo from Neo Magic to do a Mini Dealer Dem for us on Zoom on 17 June 2020 at 7pm.

Vinny started Neo Magic in March 2018 with a view to produce high quality and unique magic effects, that would be used and cherished by magicians all around the world.

Since he launched his first effect through Neo Magic, he has had nothing but positive vibes. Vinny has a number of effects like; Word Up, Mystify and Attraction that has featured in some of the world’s biggest magic magazines. Mystify was also used on TV and continues to be a best seller, proving that nothing is impossible.

At the heart of Neo Magic is great customer service, free delivery and most of all the highest quality effects. In addition, 99% of the effects purchased come with written instructions, colour photographs and a video link so that you can learn in a manner best suited to you.

His teaching approach has been applauded by many top magicians including Magic Orthodoxy who gives him massive kudos!