Most South Africans over 30 will remember an Afrikaans magician performing on national television with the catch-phrase “Kul jou hier, kul jou daar, en siedaar!” [Afrikaans, loosely: “fool you here, fool you there, and see this!”].  Even though I was very young, I can still remember one or two moments from this magician’s show.

On Saturday night then, it was sad to hear that Tienie “Martino” Brits had died at 21h00 that evening (25th Feb 2011). (Click here for the English report)

I was fortunate to attend his very last lecture for magicians at the South African National Magic Convention on 24th September 2009.  Martino was the quintessential magician – a gentleman who was willing to take chances and risks to create unforgettable experiences for his audiences. In his 90 minute lecture, I had the privilege of learning and experiencing for myself what an incredible man he was.

This is what Martino “Kulkunstenaar” shared with us that day:

  1. Look like a gentleman.
  2. Act like a gentleman.
  3. Clowns and magic. (Martino believed that clowns should never do magic, and he have a solid explanation that day. I don’t have the exact reasons written down in my notes, but he made complete sense at the time.)
  4. Using a microphone
  5. If you have to think while doing a trick, you are not doing it well enough!
  6. Create your own work; don’t wait for the agents
  7. Keep it clean!
  8. Don’t lie; don’t brag.
  9. Keep eye contact with all the audience
  10. Remember your volunteers’ names.
  11. Never lose your temper – with either client or audience
  12. Never be late!
  13. Don’t do kids’ magic for corporate functions
  14. If a trick is not your style, don’t do it just because you like it.
  15. If some magicians were only 25% as good as their websites …
  16. Don’t exaggerate – give more than they expect of you.
  17. If you enjoy what you do, your audience will too.
  18. Do a full day’s work every day when you are not doing a show – MARKET yourself!