Become a Better Magician
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I’ve spent the last month writing these newsletters knowing I had already planned to collate them into a printed book, so I wanted the content to be evergreen.
In my mind, ten years from now someone will read these words, and I would love for them to hold true. Magic barely evolves, so it’s likely all of the theories taught will hold up to the test of time.
But before these words get printed into a book, they shall begin their life as a newsletter. They’ll leave my fingers, zoom across the internet and find their way into your email inboxes. Newsletters are a good home for topical content.
The Queen died last week.
I hope a magic newsletter is not how you learn about the news.
Prince Charles is now King Charles.
Regardless of your opinions about the overall concept and morality of a monarchy—and trust me, opinions I do have—I felt it timely to read into the new King’s lifelong passion for magic.
Upon reflection, perhaps timestamping this soon-to-be magic book is worthwhile. Maybe there’s value in opening the pages in ten years and getting a sense of the now.
The Cups and Balls is a classic of magic. I first saw Billy Kidd and Gazzo performing their routines on the streets of Bath, England. You may have seen Penn & Teller perform their version with clear plastic cups on television.
A unique set of cups and balls sits in the museum of The Magic Circle. The Circle is perhaps the most famous secret society of magicians, headquartered in London with a pleasantly photogenic spiral staircase.
The then-Prince Charles owned the unique set of cups and balls. He used the props during his 1975 audition to try to join The Magic Circle as a member.
The panel of judges immediately failed the Prince due to his terrible performance and sent him packing.
I’m kidding (don’t arrest me).
They let him in.
The new King has been a member of The Magic Circle ever since. They were delighted to count the then-prince among their ranks, and even had Charles’ certificate printed, signed and ready to present to him on the night.
Those who have ever joined The Magic Circle Facebook group and witnessed the number of new members asking about their long-awaited certificates will note how talented Charles must have been to receive his straight away.
King Charles is said to be a lifelong fan of magicians. His charity, The Prince’s Trust, supported Dynamo at the start of his career.
“Growing up on my estate was tough. I now have my own TV series. I can’t believe how much life has changed. My grandad inspired me to be a magician and I was desperate to make him proud. That’s when I turned to The Prince’s Trust. They gave me advice, inspiration and a small cash grant to help me build a career.
“The rest, as they say, is history. My story is a bit unusual, but when I said I wanted to be a magician they didn’t laugh in my face as so many others had done; they gave me the help I needed.
“Today, I’m an Ambassador for The Trust and I’ve seen first-hand the difference they make to young people’s lives. They don’t judge, they listen. Their programmes help unemployed young people to overcome their issues and barriers—everything from stress and depression to abuse and homelessness.”
When working with Dynamo many years ago, he performed at a Prince’s Trust event. Harry De Cruz and I were backstage in a small room when, suddenly, a massive team of sniffer dogs and police officers entered and took it over as their base. I didn’t personally meet the King, but his sniffer dogs were lovely.
So, the new King has a lifelong passion for magic and is a magician. He even celebrated his 70th birthday with a magic show. I expect to see a zig-zag illusion at his coronation.