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Kids Turn Hobbies/Education

Meet A Magician - Bryan Dean

anibryan.gif - 23.3 K About the Magician

Bryan Dean is a professional magician who performs professionally in the areas of up-close magic, comedy magic and mentalism. Bryan has travelled around the world performing in places like England, Iceland, German, Japan and Holland.

He is a member of such organizations as the Society of American Magicians, The International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Magicians Alliance of Eastern States and the Psychic Entertainers Association.

Bryan has been entertaining youth and adults since 1974 with his magical performances.

He enjoys sharing his "magic" and answering questions, including how to get started in magic, but he reminds me that "no professional magic secrets will be revealed".

Q's and A's

qbox.gif - 0.1 K Are you a real Magician?

abox.gif - 0.1 K Yes, I am a real magician. That is, I perform magic for a living. Some real magicians, however, perform magic as a hobby -- and some of them are the best in the world!

qbox.gif - 0.1 K What type of magic do you perform?

abox.gif - 0.1 K I perform several styles of magic:

Up-close magic (usually referred to as close-up magic), where I perform the magic in the spectator's hands; right under their nose! This is best for parties and showing off. The magic is small and usually fits in the pocket. This might be magic with cards, coins, string, etc.

Childrens' Magic -- This is magic that I perform during birthday parties for kids. You can read about my shows.

Stand-up Magic, where I perform on a stage before a live audience. I perform these mostly for grownups in house parties or business events. The show is very funny, but I never embarrass anyone during the show.

Mindreading shows -- this is where I perform a branch of magic called Mentalism. Mentalism is using magic to "read a person's mind"! (Right now, you're thinking, "How can he do that?!?" -- See, it works!)

qbox.gif - 0.1 K Why did you become a Magician?

abox.gif - 0.1 K Magic always interested me when I was a kid. I even had a magic set (as most children do), but I didn't *really* get interested until I was 17 years old.

I bought a few tricks and books at a local magic shop, practised them, and would perform them for my friends at parties.

Being a magician is a lot of fun. You're a part of a "brotherhood" that is interested in the same thing... magic and entertainment.

qbox.gif - 0.1 K How old were you when you first started magic?

abox.gif - 0.1 K I was 17 years old. Most magicians start much younger -- about 8 years old is the average starting age.

qbox.gif - 0.1 K Do you have to go to a special school to become a magician? If not, how do you then?

abox.gif - 0.1 K No. Magic schools are hard to come by and not necessary. When I started in 1974, there were a few books and a seminar here and there. Now, there are video tapes, Internet sites like Magic & Illusion, a HUGE amount of written material in book form, seminars everywhere, conventions, lectures... you name it!

It's very easy to become a magician; it's hard to *learn* to be one, though.

qbox.gif - 0.1 K How many magic tricks do you know?

abox.gif - 0.1 K Three. (Just kidding!) Really, I have no idea. I have always had the notion that it's the quality of the tricks rather than the quantity of the tricks that is important. When I perform at a show, I may only do about six or seven effects in the show. I may only do a few during a close-up performance... but they are all very magical and exciting to watch!

qbox.gif - 0.1 K What is your favorite magic trick(s)?

abox.gif - 0.1 K My favorite close-up trick is the "Invisible Pack of Cards".

This is where the magician gives the spectator an "invisible" deck of cards to shuffle. They also "pick a card" from the pack, turn it face down and "put" it back into the "invisible" pack.

Then... the magician brings out a REAL deck of cards, opens the box, and the only face down card is the card that the spectator picked in the "invisible" deck! (It's real mindreading and real magical!)

My favorite Illusion (Illusions are the big tricks that magicians like David Copperfield do) is Houdini's "Metamorphosis". This is a large, solid packing crate illusion where the magician is handcuffed and put into a bag. The bag is tied and thrown (carefully) into the box. The box is locked shut and the assistant jumps on top of it. Then, the assistant holds up a curtain, lifts it up over her head and drops it... and the magician is on top of the box!!! When the box is opened, the assistant is in the crate, in the bag and handcuffed!

qbox.gif - 0.1 K Who are your favorite Magicians?

abox.gif - 0.1 K I like Lance Burton ,The Evasons , Kreskin , and a few you'll never hear about.

qbox.gif - 0.1 K How can I learn simple magic tricks?

abox.gif - 0.1 K Can you keep a secret...? (I hope so!)

The BEST way to learn a few simple tricks is to visit your local or school library. Ask the librarian for a good magic book. If you want to buy a book, get one with a lot of good tricks in it, such as "Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic" or "Magic for Dummies" -- a great book, by the way. These are at The Magic & Illusion Bookstore:

Read about why TRUST is so important to the magician.

What Makes Magic Work? is another good article on magic. Why are people fooled at all? Are "smart" people hard to fool? You'll be surprised!

A Beginner's Guide to Magic, Part 1 is a good jumping point for the beginner in magic providing some suggestions for books, videos, etc. that will help you get started.

Lastly, I must say that it is important to PRACTICE the magic!

Many times, kids will get a trick or a magic set, try it in their room for a few minutes and them show their mom or their friend, only to have it not work. That can be very embarrassing, too.

Think about it... if you were taking piano lessons, would you start playing the piano for your friends and relatives? No way! You'd probably practice for YEARS before ever playing before anyone.

Well, magic should be treated the same way, but, we know that a few years is a long time, so the best thing to do is to practice the trick (one trick at a time -- don't try to learn them all!) until you can do it right all of the time... then show it to mom.

Also, friends are not the best people to perform for as they tend to tease and grab.

And, remember... never tell a secret and if they ask you, "How did you do that?!?" Just smile and say, "Very well, thank you!"

Bryan was a guest in Kids' Turn chat, you can read the chat transcript here. Thanks Bryan for a terrific interview and chat.

Meet another Professional

Photo Copyright 1999 Bryan Dean used with permission, All Rights Reserved