Edward Hilsum on Marko Karvo and Lance Burton: Full Interview

The British Champion of Magic shares his insights in this rare interview. It's worth a read.

London Magician Edward Hilsum Headshot in suede jacket
London Magician Edward Hilsum 

Edward Hilsum is the definition of an award-winning magician. We can barely imagine how reinforced his shelves must be to hold up his trophies. Hilsum has won (brace for it) the British Champion of Magic award, The Magic Circle Stage Magician of the Year, The Magic Circle Terry Herbert award, The Magic Circle close-up magician of the Year, and the London Close-Up Magic Champion award.

There are more awards, too; we just can't be bothered to keep typing them out. In fact, Hilsum is The Magic Circle Triple Crown Champion: the only magician to have won all three of the world’s most prestigious magic society’s competitions. See, we told you – he's an award-winning magician.

It's no wonder why Dynamo says Edward "makes you believe in real magic."

In addition to performing, Edward is the founder of the production company Love Variety. He co-wrote & directed the critically acclaimed 'James Freedman: Man of Steal', which after a sell-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre, transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in London's West End.

Edward was kind enough to answer our questions.

When were you most starstruck?

Sitting in the front row of Lance Burton's show in his theatre in Las Vegas, watching him perform the act that changed my life. I'd watched his dove act hundreds of times on YouTube, and it was so surreal seeing it live! Meeting him after the show was enough inspiration for a lifetime, and I've never forgotten his generosity. I feel so lucky to be part of an industry where you can meet your heroes.

What is your favourite magic trick?

If I had to pick one, I'd say Marko Karvo's finale, with the parrots appearing and flying over the audience. Seeing someone who's dedicated their life to 6 minutes of magic and still on that never-ending search for perfection, constantly tweaking and finding improvements, is truly inspiring."

Who is the most famous person you could text right now?

Katherine Ryan. We shared a stage many years ago, and since then, she's always been a big supporter of my work :)

Do you have a nickname?

I don't think so!

Has a trick you perform ever gone wrong?

Everything! I think I'm attracted to the more risky side of magic. However, even the more self-working tricks I've performed have gone wrong... but it's how you recover, right?

Who would play you in a movie about your life?

No one would watch that!

How much is a pint of thumb tips?

£5? Don't remember the last time I used one!

When did a magic trick most fool you?

The first time I saw Derren Brown live (Enigma), I was fooled by everything!! However, as fooling as the 'tricks' were, it was his incredible performance and showmanship that really stayed with me.

What books do you recommend?

"There are so many great books; it really depends who's asking. I love Harry Lorayne's 'The Magic Book'. It features a range of magic, from simple stunts to showstoppers, well-explained with just the right amount of performance advice alongside the required secrets.

Philippe Petit's 'Creativity' is one of my favourites and suitable for anyone, regardless of experience. Philippe is a wonderful magician, although he is famous for being a high-wire walker, achieving seemingly impossible feats. A true artist, as the name suggests, this book gives an insight into Philippe's creative approach. It's a book I often return to and always feel inspired after flicking through."

Where is the strangest place you've ever performed magic?

Recently, I was booked to entertain at the 'World Naked Bike Ride' after party... I didn't know where to look!

Follow Edward on Instagram.