David Hawkins


Like many others I first became interested in magic when I purchased a few small pocket tricks during a family seaside holiday whilst still at school. I quickly found out that magic tricks were available by mail order and spent my days sending off postal orders and eagerly waiting for the parcels to arrive... usually to be disappointed that the actual tricks never seemed quite as exciting as the adverts claimed!

After a few years I joined my local magic club, The Home Counties Magical Society, which gave me the opportunity to meet up with other magicians, watch professional lectures and take part in Society shows; my first opportunity to perform in front of the general public. Eventually I began to realise that an all-consuming hobby could be turned into a money making business. I quickly developed a love for close-up magic and, over the past 16 years, have performed in virtually every kind of situation possible. Early on I decided to concentrate on corporate events, weddings, and private parties and have loved every minute of it. I’ve had the opportunity to perform all over the UK in some wonderful venues – huge stately homes, five star hotels and conference centres, banqueting suites in many of the top finance and legal companies in the City, marquees in the middle of fields (one of which fell down during a function!!)... you name it, I’ve performed there.


As well as performing and attending to the admin side of the business (marketing, accounting etc.) I also try to gain inspiration by watching as many other magicians as possible either live or on TV or DVD. My personal rule of thumb is that if a magician is making his sole income from performing for the general public then I must take anything he or she says seriously. I’m always wary of the so called “magicians magician” who invariably makes a living by lecturing to other magicians and publishing magic books or DVDs...but never actually performs in the real world. I also love watching other kinds of theatrical shows – especially Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group.

Apart from magic, my other great passion is new technology and gadgets. I spend way too much time surfing the web and playing around with the very latest PDA, Sat Nav system, digital camera, phone etc.

Top Trick
Trying to think of my favourite trick is almost impossible – there are just so many. However there is one effect that really fired my enthusiasm for close-up when I first started. At a Home Counties Society Junior Convention I met another magician who performed the most incredible card trick using just two cards. I was seriously fooled and actually lost sleep trying to work it out. Despite my pleading, the magician refused to show me how it worked and said I should buy the manuscript. Eventually I brought it, fell in love with the effect and over the years must have performed it thousands of times. The effect was Roy Walton’s Card Warp and the magician was Archie McIntyre.

Top Book
I must admit to being a magic book addict and have built up quite a large collection, so choosing a favourite is a real challenge. However there is one that inspired me in the early days and gave me all the information I needed to perform commercially and start earning money, and interestingly it doesn’t contain any tricks - “Hustle, Hustle” by US corporate magician Joel Bauer. An incredible book that was invaluable in turning a hobby into a business. I’d love to see an updated version published – just as I would love to attend one of Joel Bauer’s Magic Business Seminars. I don’t think he’s appeared in this country... yet! Incidentally I must thank fellow Home Counties member Bob Swadling who first mentioned the book to me.

Top Magician
Trying to decide on my favourite magician is really difficult – there are so many that I would willingly pay money to see; the sheer entertainment value and energy of Doc Eason, Tom Mullica and Bill Malone, the spookiness of Max Maven, Eugene Burger and Derren Brown, Juan Tamariz for being such a crazy character and performing some incredible card magic, Graham Jolley for making mentalism so much fun, and the epitome of an all round entertainer Geoffrey Durham. However my top magician is the guy who represents the standard we should all be striving for. He has shown that magic can be an art form of the highest order, and his performances have a depth and beauty that is unequalled. He is Ricky Jay.

Top Magic Quote
“The magic is you.” I first heard this quote from Albert Goshman, and I think this is the one thing that all performers should repeat to themselves before every performance. I’ve always felt that a great exercise for any budding close up magician is to try mixing and mingling at a few parties without actually doing any tricks. Try approaching complete strangers, introducing yourself, starting a conversation, and end up the life and soul of the party... without a pack of cards in your hands. It will teach you to project your own personality, how to interact with other people, and show you that YOU can be entertaining, rather relying on the actual tricks.

Top Magic Moment
I’ve been lucky enough to witness some incredible magical moments which will stay with me for a long time. For example having a front row seat for Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, attending a performance of Steve Cohen’s wonderful Chamber Magic in a top London Hotel, and seeing David Copperfield “fly” at Earls Court. However the moment that really stands out above all others happened only last year when I was part of a standing ovation at the start of Derren Brown’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” show in London. To witness the general public reacting with such love and enthusiasm really hit home just how far magic has moved forward. An incredible moment and, I must admit, I had a slight tear in my eye.


© MagicWeek 2006




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