I always get asked a few questions after I have performed magic, these are the most common magic questions I get asked. (and the answers!)
Hi, I’m Roger Lapin a professional Close-up Magician based in Hampshire and available to hire across the UK and internationally.
1. How did you get interested in magic?
I was introduced to magic at the age of 3 years old when my grandad did the classic pulling a coin from my ear trick. Over the next few years he showed me many tricks and when I was old enough to understand I asked him how I can learn these tricks, as he would never tell me. He had a very old book of magic tricks which he gave to me on my 9th birthday, I treasure that book today.
2. What was your first magic trick?
The first trick I ever performed was the cups and balls, which is also actually the oldest magic trick
3. What is your favourite magic trick to perform?
My favourite magic trick to perform is “Boo, go Crazy” I am not sure if it has a real name but it involves 3 people who each choose a part of a playing card. The first person chooses the value, the second chooses the colour and the third chooses the suit. I have a pack of cards in my hand and I remove the chosen card. I then go on to show that every other card has “Boo!” written on the back of the card as it was the wrong card, but the chosen card has “Go Crazy” written on the back.
This my favourite wedding magic trick.
4. How long does it take to learn a new magic trick?
This is a very common question, as everyone always wants to know how long it takes to learn a magic trick. It really depends on what the trick is but most tricks I perform will only take me 1-2 weeks to get the mechanics of the trick smooth. Only when I can perform the trick without thinking about it will I take it out in public.
I then perform that trick 100’s or 1000’s of times and it’s then that I hone the performance and experiment with different performance options and scripting etc. If it doesn’t get great reactions within a few shows I will drop it, if it gets great reactions I will keep it in. I have been performing most of the tricks in my standard close-up magic set for over 15 years.
5. Do you have any magician role models?
I grew up watching the late Paul Daniels and always see him as my role model in magic. Other magicians that I really enjoy watching and take a lot of performance techniques from are David Stone a French Magician and Derren Brown as everything he does is incredible.
6. Have you ever had a magic trick go wrong during a performance?
YES! I regularly use something called Flash Paper which is highly flammable paper which when lit burns into nothing. I show a small piece of this and touch a candle and it makes a nice small ball of fire. I was performing at a wedding and thought I would do an extra big ball of fire for the top table, so I loaded up 3 small pieces of paper in my hand and there was a candle on the table, but it was out of reach, so I reached for the candle with the hand that had the flash paper in it! The paper lit in my hand and burn the entire palm of my hand, I finished the magic set and went straight to the bathroom to cool my hand, which then blistered really badly and I had to go to hospital!
7. How do you handle mistakes during a magic show?
Luckily now I don’t make mistakes very often, but if I do make a mistake (and we are all human) I try to get around it and take a different direction with a trick, however if it’s un-recoverable, I am just honest and say I’m really sorry something has gone wrong, that card should be red or I have lost the coin. For a bit people think I am just playing and that it “is part of the trick” but I just have to say no, seriously this has gone wrong! Move on and and do another trick.
Luckily this is a very rare occurrence.
8. Do you have a signature magic trick that you always include in your shows?
Yes, I always perform the “Boo go Crazy” trick – see question 3 my favourite magic trick.
9. What is the most expensive magic prop you own?
I own an 8ft Guillotine, I have no idea how much it costs, as it was gifted to me by another magician but it’s very old and very big and heavy!
10. How do you practice and rehearse for a magic show?
If it’s a normal party or wedding, then I tend to not rehearse for it unless I am trying out a new trick. If I am planning for a show or something a bit different I will usually run through the tricks a few times in front of my family just to see if they catch me on anything.
11. Do you have any secret tricks that you’ve never performed in public?
Not really, everything I perform is performed in public.
12. How do you handle people who try to figure out your magic tricks?
There are always two types of people who watch magic, those who want to figure it out and those who want to enjoy the magic. If someone says do it again, I tend to perform the trick again as more often than not the people that are trying to work it out are even more fooled the second time.
With the internet and Youtube, if you really want to figure out how a trick works you can usually find what you are looking for, but magic is best enjoyed for what it is.
13. Do you have any tips for aspiring magicians?
Perform in public as much as you can! If you want to become a magician, the more real world experience you can get the better. Just learn a couple tricks really well and perform them over and over and over.
14. Do you have any advice for people who want to book a magician for an event?
15. How do you stay up-to-date on new magic tricks and techniques?
This is a common question on how to learn new magic tricks, the funny thing is most new magic tricks are usually old tricks that have just been discovered or an old technique that nobody uses anymore. So I spend a lot of time reading old magic books to try and find some hidden gems!
16. How do you create a sense of wonder and amazement in your magic shows?
Anyone can perform a magic trick, but to truly make it magical takes real skill. The main technique I use is to use storytelling by engaging an audience and taking them on a journey with a story elevates any magic trick to a thing of wonder.
17. How do you involve your audience in your magic performances?
Usually when performing for small groups I will involve 2 or 3 people by asking different people to select a card or when doing the cups and balls have different people choose where the ball is.
18. What is the most memorable magic show you’ve ever performed?
I think the day I performed magic for TV legend Dame Esther Rantzen and also Claudia Winkleman was two of the most memorable performances of my career.
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