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Founder Interviews 2: Ian Gamage

As part of our special interview series with the founders of The Leicester Magicians Network, our second interview is with Ian Gamage aka "Magic-Ian".


With over 25 years' experience in performing, Ian is a member of the elite Magic Circle, the world's premier magical society. Ian is also a Merit Cup winner of the Leicester Magic Circle, and a member of Equity.


Working in and around Leicestershire, Ian has been a working magician for over twenty years, specialising in close-up magic and children's parties. Ian has worked in a wide range of venues, adapting as necessary to each particular situation.


Ian is able to draw on years of practice, experience, and expertise, which includes being advised by legendary TV magician Paul Daniels. This has all allowed him to hone his skills, both as a magician and as a performer. Ian's particular brand of laid-back, comedy magic puts the audience at ease and is designed to both amaze, amuse and - above all - entertain.


Q - Thanks Ian for joining us today and having a chat about your career and magic.


As a performer, I know that you specialise in close up magic and children’s parties, how have you adapted to performing and keeping up with ever changing covid guidelines. It must have been difficult?


Ian - I have spent the lock-down redesigning my kid’s show to introduce more space between me and the children who come up to assist, and I feel sure that some form of face covering will still be required, even after the current restrictions - the challenge is to find one which still allows me to communicate properly with the kids!


In terms of close-up, again the challenge has been in altering my routines to minimise (or eliminate) spectators touching props - so ‘take a card’ has become ‘say stop at any card’, and ‘sign your name on the card’ becomes ‘give me any four-digit number to write on the card’.


I now also have a non-contact parlour show available, which I’ve spent the last few months putting together. Any challenge brings with it opportunities, and I think the pandemic has forced performers to challenge the norm and reimagine what we do.



Q - A specialist area for you is of course your children's parties. You offer lots of options on your website which includes meeting Ben the naughty puppy puppet. What is your most popular package and what does it include?


Ian - By far my Gold Package is the most popular. I think this is because the parents know that for 90 mins they can leave the entertainment of the kids to me, and only really have to worry about feeding them! Also, I think they like the mixture of magic, games and the mini-disco, so it gives the kids lots of variety.


I get a lot of requests for bespoke entertainment, and I am always very happy to work with the customer to suit their particular requirements.

Q - What was it like working with Paul Daniels – how did that come about?


Ian - I was lucky enough to attend one of Paul’s workshops, where he spent time with groups of magicians coaching them on any aspect of magic: performance, techniques, confidence, even the business side were all covered in great detail.


He was extremely generous with his knowledge and I even got to sit next to him over lunch, so grabbed the opportunity to quiz him on his TV career! Paul is my magical hero, so it was a very special time and helped me a lot.

Q - Do you have any Paul Daniels magic collectable(s) that you are most proud and can share with us?


Ian - I took Paul’s ‘Adult Magic’ book with me when I met him, which he was good enough to sign and dedicate to me. I’ll always treasure it.

Paul Daniels - Adult magic book

Q - Meeting Paul was obviously a highlight for you and you have many achievements over a 25-year career. Magic Circle member, Merit Cup winner (Leicester Magic Circle) and member of Equity to name just a few. What achievement are you most proud of?


Ian - Forming the Leicester Magicians Network (LMN) is certainly one of my proudest achievements, and working with Scot, Pete and Adam is a pleasure. The four of us have known each other for a long time and have a great supportive friendship. I think If I had to choose one, it would have to be achieving my member of the Magic Circle status, which is something I’ve dreamed of since being a child.

Q - Can you tell us a little about your unique contribution to the running of the LMN club?


Ian - We all have designated roles for the purposes of the ‘official’ running of the Network as a club, which requires a published set of rules, accounts, etc. However, we agreed from the outset that the four of us would share the running of the Network on a collaborative basis. I have the position of Treasurer, for example, but it’s very much a team effort.





Thanks Ian for taking the time to chat with us today. We wish you continued good luck with all aspects of your career.


To book Ian Gamage aka Magic-Ian or learn more about his services, take a look at his website and social sites below:


Website

Facebook

Leicester Magicians Network



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