Cambridge Magician Tj Shoesmith reminisce’s about The Pentacle Club

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I don’t lecture a great deal. I am always happy to show magicians sleights or techniques if they ask and also enjoy learning from others. Magicians often gather around a table to share ideas and sharing is one of the great qualities of those who work in our profession.

I have been asked to lecture for a second time at The Magic Castle. The date is looming in my diary and has caused the odd sleepless night. I’m never quite sure what magicians expect or want out of a lecture.

Having been a Cambridge magician for many years it is not surprising that one of the clubs that have invited me to speak is the Pentacle Club in Cambridge. I had been a member during my childhood and had only returned for the odd event in the many years that have now passed since the golden years.

My lecture was on stage craft, this is not a favourite of most magicians particularly hobbyists who are more interested in tricks and how they work than they are in how to perform them. This is understandable and I don’t look down on it in anyway. People are drawn to magic for different reasons.

As I haven’t produced a set of instructional DVD’s I have nothing to sell and this disappoints those who have come to be inspired by a trick and then to purchase it to practice at home. Many magicians make a good living out of selling magic to the masses. I guess it just isn’t my thing.

I have always been a performer and learning to perform better is far more important to me than learning a new trick or move. So I have always been drawn to those who talk about stage craft.

When I lectured in Cambridge many of my old friends from years ago were in attendance. Claude Perry for one, he was a charming man who had been most helpful during my early years in magic.

I don’t know if I quite hit the mark, my close up magic is good and I demonstrated some of the skills I have mastered over the years. I remember using power point to show video clips of performance techniques. Each magician will I hope have taken something away with them.

It was great to return to Cambridge. Although I work there many times a year I had not met the magicians who live in the county for some time. I am sure I am a better performer and magician now but I am also aware that I owe some of that success to people like Claude who took me under his wing all those years ago.

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