Often after a presentation or a performance, audience members will ask me what I think if David Copperfield/David Blaine/Derren Brown (who I all admire as excellent showmen), or who my favourite magician is. The problem has been that the magicians that I find amazing and who have inspired me are relatively unknown to the lay public, particularly South African audiences.  South Africans have simply not seen enough world-class magicians to appreciate the talents, skill and techniques that are required to make magic truly amazing. I’ve been studying magic since I was 8 years old, mostly from books but more and more from videos and DVDs. Obviously I can’t share these with my audiences – until I realized today that I can share videos of my ‘mentors’ & ‘idols’ on my blog! So here, in no particular order, are the magicians who have influenced by performances, my ‘tricks’ and my love of the Art of Magic. I’ve also added some comments about how they influenced me, or what I enjoy most about their attitudes toward Magic. I’ve tried, where possible, to include each magician’s “signature” trick. Enjoy!

Don Alan What I learnt: timing, motivation, being prepared, good clean fun

David Williamson What I learnt: Be silly – naturally, incredible skill can be hidden by hilarity, be the character, have fun!

John Lenahan What I learnt: Who you are off-stage is far more important that who you are on-stage, & never give up on your hopes & aspirations. John is a warm & sincere individual who always has a smile on his face! He spent a month in Cape Town in 2009, we spent many evenings together & I’m proud to consider John one of my very good friends…

Michael Close What I learnt: Even if you have skill it shouldn’t be more important than the magic effect. (He’s also a hilarious joke teller…)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1SyVGLgHGs

Mark Wilson What I learnt: Without Mark’s book, I would not be a magician today. When I first started performing, 80% of my tricks was from his book. Ironically, right now is the first time I’ve ever seen him perform …

Bill Malone What I learnt: Connecting with your audience is as much a part of the performance as the ‘trick’ itself.

Richard Osterlind What I learnt: Magic of the Mind doesn’t need to be serious to be seriously fun!

Paul Daniels What I learnt: It’s called “Show Business” for a reason … (and never work with animals). I met him when I was 20 & even then he was willing to give me such sage business advice.

Banachek What I learnt: Performing with conviction is the secret to belief. When I spent a few days with him, I found him to be very thoughtful & deep …

Tom Mullica What I learnt: If you have a unique skill, use it in your performance – nobody can copy you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4DLpBG4gR8

Greg Wilson What I learnt: Do magic anywhere, anytime. I also had the good fortune to a week with Greg, and he is a wonderful, principled & warm person!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STJ1nsSri_w

Michael Ammar What I learnt: The character you see on video is different to the real person. Once again, I had the fortune of spending time with Michael & he’s such a nice guy!