Ten on the trot. I got to my seventh consecutive Edinburgh Festival and I thought "I'll do ten years of new shows and then have a break." When I first came up here in 2007 there were very few magicians playing the 'Big Four' venues, now you can't move for the cheeky little wizards! We've found a gap, somewhere between comedy and cabaret, depending on how many laughs you get.
Nine years of experience means you are well prepared, meticulous, some might even say fussy. The props for the show along with copious consumables and spares are packed the day before a vehicle leaves for The Burgh. I wave it off and hope it gets there safe and sound, otherwise I really am scuppered. No magic tricks, no magic show.
Of course I say 'magic tricks', but this is the most common misconception amongst muggles, sorry, punters. I'm sure they're expecting complex secrets, trapdoors, mirrors and secret compartments. Magic tricks more often than not rely on tape, glue, thread and assumption. The latter being one of the most important. "Hey Mr Magic just picked up that cardboard box with two fingers, I guess it must be empty. WHAT THE HELL! He just pulled an anvil out of it!" By the time the anvil appears, the counterbalance device has been whisked away and you poor people have no way to backtrack. I think Teller (of Penn & ) put it perfectly "When a magician lets you notice something on your own, his lie becomes impenetrable." Sneaky, right?
So now I've been here a week, the audiences have been wonderful and I'm loving it. To be honest it's the Edinburgh audiences that really have been enticing me back year after year. They genuinely are the best audiences of anywhere in the world. In fact you know what? I quite like the idea of eleven years and a break, I know I said ten, but why would you believe anything a magician tells you?
Pete Firman - TriX runs at Pleasance Courtyard from 12 to 28 August.
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