If you’ve seen a big Broadway or West End show recently with magic in it, it’s quite likely that magic consultant Paul Kieve was the man casting spells behind the scenes. Here’s the second part of my fascinating interview with Paul. We sat down in his kitchen last year and he let the stories roll… Christopher: It’s always struck me that lots of magic in fact isn’t very magical. You get to work on shows with narratives and help weave the story with the magic. I think there’s the potential for lots more magic when you skilfully blend it with a story. Paul: There’s a lot of blag in the magic world – I mean people shouting off about their achievements[…]

It’s almost like a cruel joke: your mouth is bone dry and the rest of your body has sprung leaks in places where you didn’t know sweat glands even existed! All this while your stomach feels like it’s either left your body or turned into an anvil. I know this from my experiences as a stage magician but it’s a wicked twist of fate that’s an all too-common feature in most people’s lives. Yes, that’s what I’m saying: you’re not alone. Karen Dwyer and Marlina Davidson are researchers at the University of Nebraska-Omaha who in 2012 carried out a survey of eight hundred and fifteen college students. The survey asked students to select from a list of the most common[…]

In great films there must be a reason why we get sucked in to caring for something even as implausible as, for example, a boy called Elliott who befriends an alien. It’s probably the same reason why we can’t stop watching a TV series about a charismatic and ruthless couple hell-bent on becoming the U.S. president and first lady, crushing anyone who stands in their way. I’d think it’s also the reason why one woman can convincingly swing between playing Margaret Thatcher in one film, a contemporary New Yorker lost in the musings of Victoria Woolf in another, and yet transform herself into Julia Child in the next. Why all this has been on my mind is another story though… You[…]

What would you respond?  In the past I’ve received emails and phone calls to either ‘heal’ or ‘curse’ a particular person. This happened despite what I think is unmistakably clear messaging on my site that I’m a London magician offering magic entertainment and nothing more miraculous (or sinister) than that. How many calls would I get if I actually professed to hold secrets to the dark arts or was a miracle guru? People have different comfort levels to not knowing the ‘secrets’ in play in a magic show. Everyone tends to fall in one of three categories as they respond to the ‘magic’ they just saw.  In my London magician shows, there are three types of people I meet. Here’s a little personality test. Which one are[…]

Traditional Neapolitans started their New Year by throwing old clothes, dishes and furniture off their balconies. It looks like a dream-come-true for a health & safety manager but it’s just a pragmatic way to start afresh and make room for the new.  I learned about this tradition while living in Italy… long before a future as a corporate magician was in sight.  While only a minority still heave their sofa onto the cobblestone alley below at the stroke of midnight, the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions still lives on.  Because of the theme of a new project, the resolution I’m thinking the most about these days is getting out of my comfort zone to reach new horizons. As you can imagine I’m usually[…]

Thomas Heatherwick is one inspiring man. If you don’t know his name, I’ll introduce him to you as a top UK magician… of design. You don’t have to be a magician or designer to learn something valuable from his approach and you’ll see why in a minute. You know his work even if you think you don’t.  In fact if you’ve been in London in the past two years you’ve probably even ridden in one of his works: his fresh answer to the London Routemaster bus.  What inspires me the most about his work  (I strongly recommend reading his book “Making”) are the questions he and his team ask about the design problems they face. They’re often led to ingenious solutions because of asking[…]

Since I’m a magician, I guess you expect this blog to be all about magic.  Full disclosure:  it won’t be – not all of it at least.  You see, even as magicians go, I’m an oddball.  (And that takes doing, believe me!) Unlike for most, my story doesn’t start and end with magic.  Actually I’ve spent lots of time in landscapes other than magic.  As Tolkien said, “Not all who wander are lost.” (I hope he was right because boy do I know how to wander!) The path began like this.  Magic found me at the age of seven when I unwrapped a Fisher Price magic set for Christmas. I instantly morphed into a “boy wonder magician” (or so I thought!); all those arcane[…]