It’s the small things that leave the biggest impression. My mentor, Eugene Burger’s passing prompted an inspired outpouring of tributes from magicians around the world. They were eager to say what a profound impact he made on them. It’s no surprise. He was an unusual gentleman who did things like ask a spectator if he could put a hat on their head before doing so and give a volunteer a tissue after leaving ashes on their palm. In his magic and in life, Eugene understood the value of small things. Just having started working as a magician full-time a decade ago, I was knocked over when I discovered Eugene’s audio book Growing in the Art of Magic. Most magic literature[…]

My alarm went off and my eyes shot open looking toward the ceiling. It was the morning of Day Two of my most recent clown training workshop and I felt muscles used from the day before that I never knew I even had. My brain was fried as well – maybe just from being repeatedly catapulted out of my comfort zone for a continuous five hours the day before (sometimes to land with a splat!) Clowning can be many things but if you’ve never thought much about it, it’s probably not what you think it is. And I definitely had no idea what I was in for… BANANA PEEL IN POSITION: ENTER THE CLOWN STAGE RIGHT One sweltering summer’s day[…]

As I walked through the drizzly December morning in the once shishi Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens after my interview with magician Kevin James, I couldn’t help but think that a hundred years of entertainment history had come full-circle back to this moment. Over coffee Kevin told me he had discovered that just down the road from where we sat, the Queen’s Head pub had been owned by Charlie Chaplin’s uncle. Chaplin had said that it was the distinctive gait of the stable hand who worked in the stables next to that pub that inspired the most famous walk in entertainment history. Still wonder why has anything come full-circle? OK, here’s the answer: Kevin’s of course the magician who for decades has bemused[…]

Go to the kitchen, put an oven mitt on one hand and leave it there for a few hours as you get on with your day.  After that, come back and read the rest of the article… You probably have experienced a relatively frustrating time performing the more mundane tasks like opening a bag of crisps, buttoning your clothes, tying your shoes or typing on your computer.  For many people, these challenges are everyday struggles because of a condition they were born with called hemiplegia.  This year I became involved with a groundbreaking project called Breathe Magic (run by the charity Breathe Arts Health Research) that trains children with the skills of magicians to help them improve their physical abilities. Little did I know, I’d be learning as much from them as they were[…]

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[…]