Monday, 30 April 2007

PostHeaderIcon My Glorious Career as a Magician

It's not widely known but as a child I had a keen interest in performing magic. All kids love magic, there's something, err, magical about it that can't fail to fascinate and excite. My interest really started when I changed schools at nine and the new school had a magic club run by the headmaster. This wasn't just any old club, it was renowned with affiliations to the Magic Circle and had the legendary Ali Bongo as it's president no less.

All the cool kids (well, I now realise they weren't so much cool as just nerds) were members of this club and I just had to get in but it wasn't that simple. To be accepted as a member you had to perform some magic in front of the other assembled members and then they'd vote for you behind closed doors. Only being ten years old I didn't have that much up my sleeve and so performed a very simple card trick. Unfortunately nerves got the better of me and I completely fumbled it, this as it turns out would be the way it went for the rest of my magical career. I did manage to get in on my second attempt, it was quite fortuitous that most of the members were missing that day and I had a number of friends present that managed to just about swing the vote in my favour.

Well I was like a dog with two dicks, I loved it. I would read and read about magic and practice and practice, it was my number one hobby for quite some time - it even took over from my Action Man. Eventually I had my first public performance that was at a show put on by the club in front of parents etc. Being the new kid I was given something very quick and simple to perform that couldn't possibly go wrong, it was the old pour-a-glass-of-milk-into-a-newspaper-and-make-it-disappear trick. I'd practiced it and had it down pat, it was one of the main acts in my repertoire but as soon as I got up in front of the audience it all fell apart. I could not for the life of me roll the newspaper in to a cone! The more it failed the harder it got and after a few minutes of trying the audience were starting to laugh, they were either being very cruel or they must have thought it was a kind of comedy routine ala Tommy Cooper. Eventually some nice chap got up out of the audience and rolled the cone for me much to every ones amusement.

My next live performance was some months later where I did a different but still quite simple trick in front of the school. This time it went flawlessly and a number of us were chosen to perform at a charity event in the local town hall the following weekend. Actually we weren't so much chosen as just available. My act was about halfway through the show, which was going well, the crowd appeared to be enjoying it. As I got to the point in my act were it was all about to happen I suddenly realised that I'd failed to do something really crucial at the start of the routine which meant that the trick was not going to work. I didn't really know what to do, I think I must have just froze staring at my props wondering what to do next when I heard someone in the crowd heckling me. I mumbled something like "sorry this isn't going to work" did an about turn and walked off the stage.

I didn't let things perturb me, my next public appearance was for television for the Look North programme. Some lucky club members got to go to the BBC studios to perform live, unsurprisingly I wasn't one of them. But all was not lost as a TV crew came to the school to film us doing various magic things. By now I think people had come to realise that I was crap, my involvement was reduced to just holding a hanky in front of a bunch of flowers whilst someone else had all the glory. I didn't mind as I was still excited about being on TV anyway.

At the end of filming we did one of those camera tricks that made us all disappear. It was very straight forward enough, they would film us, cut, the director would give us a signal to get up and go and then they would continue to film the empty space where we used to be. I couldn't possibly fuck this up - or could I? We were all sat down smiling at the camera in one of those class photo poses, the director gave the signal to the cameraman to cut which I confused with our signal to get up and go! In the edit that made it on TV you could clearly see me in the front standing and turning before we all vanished, it did kind of spoil it.

That was my last public appearance, I decided to bow out whilst I was at the top of my game.


Beautifully Profound said...

You poor thing. Those people were mean laughing at you. At least you had the balls to go up and perform for the crowd.

Anonymous said...

either you have a very vivid imagination or a good memory as I dont seem to remember your magic circle career going like that, except it was not your best hour!!!!! sister

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