What it's like to be. . . a magician
For Adam Cooper being a magician is all about entertaining, not fooling, an audience.
His love of all things magic began early and now the 29-year-old performs at everything from small house parties to weddings and from nightclubs to corporate events.
“There aren’t many jobs where you get paid to make people smile by sharing something you are passionate about,” he says, adding: “I believe that magic can help make any event truly memorable for all those involved.”
His passion was first sparked by a magic set he received for his birthday when he was about six.
“I remember playing with all the pieces in there, not really knowing what any of them did, but with the help of my parents I managed to learn a couple of the tricks.
“That set would be followed by a second and I learnt a couple more tricks. As time went on I ended up with lots of little bits, brought from joke shops and toy shops.
“I carried on like this for a few years, learning little bits here and there. As I got older, the sort of magic I learnt grew up with me and around the time that David Blaine had his first TV special, the plastic props from the magic sets were replaced by decks of cards and it carried on that way into my teens,” he says.
His hobby was put on the back-burner for a while until he got chatting to a friend one day.
“I was 22 when a friend of mind told me he had started learning some magic. We sat in the pub and he pulled out a deck of cards.
“He showed me a quick trick he had learnt and I asked if I could show him one. Before I knew it I’d been showing him card tricks for 20 minutes, all the simple stuff I’d learnt years before came flooding back to me, right there in that moment I was hooked again.
“I spent the next few months, now armed with a car and my own income searching for the best places to find more advanced magic than what I had learnt previously.
“I was lucky enough to find out we have a fantastic magic shop in the Midlands called the House of Magic in Stourbridge owned by a lovely man by the name of Stuart Millward.
“I was also fortunate enough to have a basic knowledge of card magic already and over the next year, as my skill developed so did the level of secrets I got to learn.
“I joined a local magic club, the South Staffordshire Society of Magicians, where I got to learn even more. After just over a year of learning everything I could get my hands on and practising day and night, I started to perform for free at local charity events and for friends birthdays.
“I would often go out with three or four magicians I’d met over this time and perform street magic to people I had never met before just to practise. I’m now a member and currently the president of The Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians.
“I perform close up magic all year round at weddings, birthdays and corporate events and I couldn’t be happier,” explains Adam.
The Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians, which was founded in 1947 and has been going strong ever since, meets twice a month.
There are around 50 members who have a mix of skill levels and interests, from hobbyists to professionals.
Adam says he has a ‘long list’ of magicians and performers that he admires, including many he has worked with over the years.
“I’ve met so many magicians over the past seven years, who have helped and inspired me. Many of who I’m now proud to call my friends, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them, let alone the magician.
“On a larger scale, I’m have to say Paul Daniels, David Blaine and, even though he’s not necessarily a magician, Derren Brown as I think he is the best stage performer around today,” adds Adam, who lives in Cannock.
When asked about his own style of magic, he tells us: “I’m a big fan of close-up magic – it’s what I specialise in.
“Other than that it would be mind reading as I also do a 20-minute mind reading act on stage. I can’t really name any trick in particular because, well, it’s a secret!” There are many reasons why he enjoys his craft but he says there can also be some challenges, in particularly how magicians are sometimes portrayed. “The best part for me personally is the interaction. I get to meet so many people I would otherwise never have gotten to. There aren’t many jobs where you get paid to make people smile by sharing with them, something you are passionate about.
“The main challenge really is the modern day stigma of the magician. Over time, unfortunately, Some people have come to see us as clowns or someone just to entertain the kids. For me this can be a challenge as I am not a children’s entertainer, I cater myself more towards adults.
“I have nothing but respect for children’s entertainers, I know some of the best in the country and they are so skilled at what they do, it’s just not for me. Luckily though in recent years, with Dynamo, Blaine and Derren Brown people are more and more open to magic as a form of entertainment for adults.”
l To find out more about Adam and what he does, visit www.apcmagic.co.uk