Grab a creative opportunity!

RECENTLY I WAS PASSING THE TIME in a Funky Pigeon shop in a mainline station in London. These are shops who go an extra mile to create birthday and greeting cards that are printed with your own photo or message. They are very progressive against say WH Smith, but sensing their captive audience waiting for a […]

New Tricks or what?

 WE ALL, MYSELF INCLUDED, ARE SEDUCED by a new trick. See a great demonstrator like Mark Mason (or years ago Ken Brooke) and you flew to your pocket to purchase the effect in the belief that what you have just seen is the way you would do it in the future. It ain’t necessarily so. How […]

A Routine Born at The Queen’s Crown Jewellers.

I’VE HAD IN THE DRAWER FOR SOMETIME a set of gem sticks. You know – the black, three inch plastic rod on which appear and disappear  gemstones that seem to have a life of their own. I’ve never found in the past a convincing storyline and certainly no climax that I thought worthy of presentation. Until […]

Does your magic have added value?

IF YOU STOP AND THINK  of the magicians who have really impressed you, you will realise that in addition to their magic technique, they had that added something  that made them special.. You know what I mean. The wow factor, that something that you can see but find it hard to describe, Think of Juan Tamariz. Excellent […]

A guaranteed way to improve your magic and creativity

A bold claim – but true. Not a brilliant new gimmick. Not a new routine from the Vernon archives. Not something requiring a big investment but a proven procedure that does really work. Group magic. Vernon and the greats used it. Fred Kaps used it.Peter Warlock, Jack Avis, Francis Haxton and other names used it. […]

In praise of Punchinello.

MANY YEARS AGO I WAS WORKING IN SPAIN  and one evening my wife telephoned to say that my friend John Styles, possibly Britain’s leading Punch and Judy worker, had called. It seems he had been booked to present the ages-old entertainment by a local council but that an objection had been raised by a ladies guild  stating […]

Eastbourne – Odds and Sorcery

YEARS AGO I USED TO GO TO CONVENTIONS AND BREAK A LEG  trying to get to see everything. Every show, every lecture, every dealer item. No more. As a semi-retired magus, floating down the river and drifting towards the waterfall, I now pace myself somewhat and visit just the things that immediately interest me. Which […]

The Renaissance of Variety?

I WAS BROUGHT UP IN THE DAYS OF VARIETY  from the stages of the music halls in and around London. It is a genre that died at the hands of television and with it the bills that included a menu of singers, dancers, comedians, speciality acts, magicians and the like that compounded into the title – variety. […]

How does an act get to be good?

THERE ARE MANY VERSIONS AROUND  but in a recent tv interview Groucho Marx of the famed Marx  Brothers summed it up very succinctly. When asked how they became a great act with superb timing, funny material and sight bits he said ” Well, way back we did thirteen shows a day. If a gag went […]

Encore! Do you do sponge balls?

MUCH EARLIER THIS YEAR I PUBLISHED A PIECE about sponge balls and many magi have asked if I could repeat the blog. Certainly! So – do you do sponge balls? Of course you do. Everybody does but I think we are all guilty of unwittingly revealing the secret. Let me tell you a story. When […]