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The Edinburgh magician is back from Hollywood

By |February 1st, 2011|Magic musings|

Last week I got back from Hollywood, where I was performing at the world famous Magic Castle – much like the baseball league, the use of ‘world’ often means ‘in America’ but it’s still a big deal.

The Magic Castle is a private club for magicians that was founded in the early 60s by the Larsen brothers. For many years it was the home of Genii magazine, and perhaps more importantly, the home of Dai Vernon – the father of modern close up magic. It’s the magic epicentre of the world, and to be booked to perform there is a goal […]

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It’s Fringe time again

By |August 7th, 2010|Edinburgh Fringe, Magic musings|

So, where have I been?

After the usual trip to Spain to visit the in-laws (which is always fun) we are now back in Edinburgh doing the magic thing. The Fringe, which some would say is my raison-d’être, started yesterday in its unofficial capacity, and tomorrow officially.

This year I’m doing only one show, on the 21st, and the rest of the time I’m doing street magic shows on the High Street. This means I get time to spend watching the world on this frighteningly crowded road instead of manically flyering as I’ve done for the last fifteen years and more. And […]

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And now for something happier

By |June 27th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Last night was one of my favourite gigs of the year; the Dundee Graduation Ball. This was the fourth year I’ve performed walk around close up magic at the Ball, and it never fails to be an absolute joy. The weather was kind to us again (not as hot as last year, but not the movie set rain of 2008 either) which meant I could spend most of the time outside at the garden tables. I found myself being taken from table to table by enthusiatic audience members which does take the sting out of the cold opener at a […]

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Ah, the Sunday papers, again

By |June 27th, 2010|Uncategorized|

I got the Scotsman on Sunday this morning and turned to page 10 to read about the magic scene in Scotland. There’s an interesting section about Gordon and his love of books, and then two paragraphs about me (to be fair, the two paragraphs before them are from our conversation, but for all intents and purposes, I start later).

I think what was most interesting about it was how a two hour conversation about the skill and dedication required to excel in this job turned into a depiction of a bitter hack living on benefits. Oh well, there’s nothing I can […]

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Ah, the Sunday papers

By |June 25th, 2010|Magic musings|

At the start of the week I was interviewed by Peter Ross of Scotland on Sunday for an article about the magic scene in Scotland. After a while of getting the various photographs taken (which involved springing and then picking up about three hundred playing cards) we had a lovely chat about magic in Scotland, and how things are changing.

Peter was most interested about the various skill levels involved, and the teaching aspect (at least from my point of view). We talked about Gordon Bruce and Roy Walton (Gordon was another interviewee) and the current problems with performing shows for […]

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Time for a wedding magician in Scotland

By |June 23rd, 2010|Uncategorized|

This time of year tends to be more full of weddings here in Scotland. Performing magic at these special days is always rewarding, and for several reasons. First, everyone is there for a good time – it’s very rare that you come across any real animosity at a wedding, and if the guests are happy it makes the job of the wedding magician that much easier.

Secondly, I get to see some of the more spectacular venues in Scotland. Earleir this year I was performing magic at the wedding of Nick and Amanda at Dalhousie Castle which is a stunning […]

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The Lenny Henry incident

By |June 22nd, 2010|Edinburgh Fringe, Magic musings|

The year was 1997, and it was time to be a magician in the Edinburgh Fringe again. This would be my first year in the Southside without my friend Mitch Benn and to make things more interesting I was also planning to do a show in the Lab with another friend Stuart Potter called Science Made Easy. Things were not to go to plan…

The Lab was Southside maestro Lance Buckland’s idea to make the Edinburgh Fringe more accessable to ‘experimental’ shows. Based in a very small room in the new Southside ‘over the road’  it had twenty seats, basic […]

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A wonderful magic birthday in Carnoustie

By |June 21st, 2010|Magic musings|

On Saturday I drove up to the rather splendid Carnoustie Golf Hotel in Scotland for a surprise 50th birthday party for Derek. His wife had planned a full weekend with eighteen of their closest friends, and I was asked along to perform some magic for them.

I arrived and had to hide in the car park until they were all in the restaurant before I could take my stuff up to the Hogan suite (more on that later), get ready and come back down for the close up magic session. I approached the table, said hello to Derek and quickly lost the […]

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A new thunk about the Edinburgh Fringe

By |June 16th, 2010|Edinburgh Fringe|

Since the Fringe is about the land on the city like a huge alien robot foot crushing hapless National Guardsmen in a 1950s horror movie I seem to be spending some time mulling over the last couple of decades, and how things have changed in recent years.

One of the more quoted facts about the Fringe in general (apart from it being the largest arts festival and how good the ticket system is now) is that anyone can take part. While this is true in principle, the reality is a long way off.

Yes, if you can stump up the three hundred […]

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Website woes

By |June 11th, 2010|Uncategorized|

As may be apparent, there are a couple of new pages on the site, including this blog. A few months ago I bought a website from Jonathan Levitt at – the first time I’d done such a thing. For years I used to write all my web pages in Notepad, and damn, didn’t it show.

I wanted to have a news page, and somewhere to show videos. This meant looking at Jonathan’s code (with his blessing, natch) and trying to replicate what he had done. This was not easy, but I think I made a decent stab at it. […]

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