‘I make six figures yearly promoting tips to magicians’


Magic producers typically make new variations of previous tips. Massive-scale feats corresponding to David Copperfield’s “flying phantasm” and “sawing a girl in half” have additionally been patented, proscribing others from performing the precise model of the tips.

“The value is set throughout a secret dialog between the customer and the vendor,” Mr Middleton mentioned.

However tips can go for all costs, excessive and low. “I noticed an phantasm present the place one trick price £12,000 and there was one other that price £13. A budget one, a easy card trick, was the one everybody was speaking about after the present,” he mentioned.

“Each magician has a drawer stuffed with tips that they hold and by no means use… It may turn into an dependancy – I do know individuals who spend £10,000 to £20,000 a 12 months on tips,” he added.

Scott Penrose, former president of the Magic Circle, a society of magicians, mentioned illusions may be traded 
second-hand, very like automobiles.

“Some magicians can solely afford to have a certain quantity of illusions at anyone time so that they commerce them such as you would a automobile and so they change up their routine that method each couple of years. Others like David Copperfield don’t promote something, as he can afford to maintain them for many years in an enormous warehouse,” Mr Penrose mentioned.

“You by no means get again what you pay for it within the first place. There are props that come from America and also you pay 1000’s simply to move them after which there are border taxes to pay,” he added.

Mr Penrose mentioned he had purchased illusions from John Gaughan, who has been recognized to make tips for Mr Copperfield. “I purchase them for £10,000 and dismantle them and spend one other £10,000 to make it how I need it,” he mentioned.

The trade may be very loosely policed however high-profile magicians who need to succeed should honour the ethical code and watch out to not steal concepts. “I might be lambasted for stealing and it could injury my status,” Mr Penrose added. “Usually, there’s no paperwork to say you personal a trick however it’s understood.”

The Magic Circle is a personal members’ membership in London, which has totally different tiers of members. Solely these personally invited by the president can turn into members of the “interior circle”. The society, created in 1905, has a strict checklist of guidelines together with opposing the wilful disclosure of magical secrets and techniques. Magicians hoping to affix the senior ranks should sit examinations.

Darryl Rose, one other magician who additionally creates and sells tips, mentioned: “There may be critical cash to be made when you’ve got a best-selling trick to promote. I do know individuals who have paid off their mortgages with a single trick that they managed to promote extensively.” Mr Rose mentioned his tips offered for £50 on common.

Steve Value, a magician, mentioned a number of of the tips he has carried out price him greater than £1,000 to supply or create. He valued his magic trick “property” within the tens of 1000’s of kilos.

His costliest was a variant on a basic schoolyard trick. The performer places a card on high of a glass of water, ideas it the wrong way up and removes the cardboard with out water spilling out. The water comes pouring out on cue. “I wished to make it larger and higher than something anybody had ever seen, so I made it a six-pint glass, weighing about 6kg (13lb). I made the props and it labored however then I had to determine the place the water would find yourself and that price loads to invent, too,” he mentioned.

Among the tips appear overpriced, given their obvious simplicity. “I as soon as spent £80 studying learn how to fold a chunk of paper. I wasn’t positive it was price it on the time however I’ve been utilizing the trick for 10 years so it clearly was.”



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