Mick (right), as Kramus The
Magical Wizard, with the legend of magic that is Ali Bongo.
You’ve been working as a professional magician now for over a decade,
performing as Mick Magic since 2001 (beat ya, 1987!), achieving first degree
membership of The Magic Circle (proposed by the great Ali Bongo himself, I
note) in 2006. I should imagine this must be an incredible moment in any
magician’s career, a sense of validation, what are your memories of that
Yes, I have been performing professionally as a Magician for ten years.
Prior to that I was part of, as I said earlier, Mick and
You have a wonderful list of accreditations; I see you are also President Of
The Edinburgh Magic Circle (my sister lives in Haddington!), which would be
your local society, and then also a member of The Society Of American
Magicians! How on Earth did the latter come about and what are your feelings
about being Lothian’s Top Dog?
I auditioned for Edinburgh Magic Circle in 2001. That is my local society
and have made many friends with fellow magicians, both amateur and
professional. To become President of the Edinburgh Magic Circle was a great
surprise and again an honour. The Society of American Magicians is the
oldest magical society in the world and has many thousands of members
internationally. I was approached by US/Portuguese magician, Tony Brook, who
was performing as part of my Palace of Magic Event in 2005, and asked if he
could feature my character Kramus in his ‘World’s Greatest Magic’ article in
the SAM monthly mag called MUM (Magicians Unite Monthly ). This involved an
interview and one of my tricks being published. I was then invited to join
Now, I don’t want to give the readers a false impression here, because you
are not just a children’s entertainer, I know you also perform
for adults, do a lot of corporate work et al (a necessary evil these days, I
understand). One on the list that stood out for me was getting to perform on
the Orient Express, presumably walkabout close-up magic, must have been
great fun. Tell us something about the experience, how you got the gig, and
the sort of tricks you were doing?
How do you get a gig like the Orient Express? It’s who you know and being at
the right place at the right time! The client, who will remain nameless, had
rewarded key staff throughout the business, from cleaners to executives,
with a trip on board this magnificent train. I was asked, with two other
magicians, to entertain the guests with table magic on the return leg of the
journey. We set off from Edinburgh across the amazing Forth Rail Bridge,
where we enjoyed silver service and beautiful multi course a la carte meal.
There was other entertainment, including musicians, on board the train, and
a band as we departed the station. A very memorable gig. I remember
performing to one lady who was from Dundee. Staff chosen for the experience
were from all over the UK, travelling to Edinburgh for this amazing mystery
trip. The lady in question was peeved as the only time she’d won something,
it was a trip back home to Dundee!
Mick Magic is also renowned for
his French cookery show...
Mack, and earlier, in the Old Trunk Theatre Company.
I also enjoyed success as a
writer/director, with a local theatre group, with shows performing at the
Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. I have written five plays, all
enjoyed varied success, with ‘The Greenman’ being the most successful, being
performed in venues throughout Scotland. Yes, getting to meet the great Ali
Bongo and regarding him as a friend an mentor was a privilege and an honour.
Ali Bongo was my idol, a true gentleman and walking library of magic and all
things allied arts. When he proposed my membership of the Magic Circle, it
was the cherry on the icing of my magic cake. Ali Bongo; a grand master of
magic, and he was my proposer. This was a sense of validation,
it was also when I realised I was a professional magician. I
never dreamt, that watching Ali Bongo on television with my Grandad as a
boy, this great man would, in later years, help me develop as a magician and
a performer in the world of magic.
I know The Magic Circle is very defensive of your art’s secrets, but I have
rather mixed feelings about finding out how tricks are done; on one hand,
knowing how you are being fooled can completely spoil the
illusion, whilst on the other, methods becoming public knowledge drives
performers on to new levels of creativity. What are your own personal
feelings with regard people like The Unknown Magician and Penn & Teller, the
latter who have made an artform of taking the mystique out of magic?
The secret of magic is wonder!! That feeling when you see a trick, an effect
. That is magic, that is wonder. We all want to know how its done, but soon
as you find out, the magic is lost, that feeling of wonder is gone. The
masked magician or the unknown magician has made a quick buck providing
content for what I call throwaway TV. You watch it and it is soon forgotten.
Penn and Teller, on the other hand, are masters of the art. They are well
respected Master magicians. Yes, they expose secrets, or so you think, don’t
believe everything you see on TV. The bottom line is, that as a Magician, I
want to entertain and give people a sense of wonder and pleasure from the
art form. Is knowing the secret really worth spoiling the wonder of the