Guest Blogger: Romany
I specialise in theatrical magic stage shows and currently working on international luxury cruise stages. I left a promising business career at the age of 26 to go to Las Vegas to study magic and to realise my life-long dream of treading the boards.
In 2006 I won The Magic Circle Stage Magician of the Year. In 2008, the IBM Stage 1st prize trophy, and hold the distinction of being the only British performer ever to win the prestigious Golden Lion Award in Siegfried & Roy’s World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas in 2011.
Finally, I was awarded The Magialdia 1st prize in Vitoria Spain before starting my cruise work. I live in Brighton in my home called the “Sequin Starship” with my dog Bongo (named after Ali of course) and my partner Johnny Walkabout. ( An ex-Buddhist monk now dog walker… )
My favourite activities are riding my bike by the sea and hanging out in the woods with Bongo the dog.
Balloon to Birdcage.
It never fails to create a real gasp and is always my opening trick. There is something about blowing up a balloon that we all identify with. We know that it’s impossible for there to be anything inside it. Plus, I think we all automatically shut our eyes just a little at the pop which makes the transformation even more surprising. I do wish that I had a real bird in the cage but can you imagine the experience of the poor bird, squashed up in a cage in a pocket and then bang! a sudden extreme judder of the cage and then bright lights! I wouldn’t subject any living creature to that! So my pink sequinned feathery canary will have to suffice.
A totally beautiful and mysterious classic. Done with classic handling and a nice tune (I use “You’ve got that magic touch” by The Platters) it’s a fascinating illusion. I remember being really amazed the first time I saw it done. Even when I was shown how to do it and bought one from Pavel, it took a long time to get the handling smooth.
Again, a real classic of magic and a beautiful piece of sleight of hand. Seeing Eugene Burger doing it so well got me hooked about 10 years ago and after a few years of performing with his script I developed my own. Ali Bongo advised me to use either a single or 2 strands of white magician’s rope to be more visual on stage. At the moment it’s the closer to my cruise ship show.
What is your intention and goal with every performance you give?
Maybe I have a few.
My primary goal is and has always been this. It’s obvious that everyone is suffering. Everyone is worrying about whatever they are worrying about…their kids, their mortgage, their health… My aim has always been to take their minds off their worries just for a few minutes. For the length of my act, I want them to be like children engaged in a story. This is my gift to the audience and to be honest the only real meaning for me of my spending my life trying to be a better entertainer. It’s not much and certainly not comparable to the work of many other professions but it’s the best I can offer. This is what drives me to do better magic. The better my magic, the more I can draw the audience into the story and the less they will return their thoughts to their worries! So the more moments of wonder or laughter I create, the more meaningful I feel my life to be. I hope that doesn’t sound too pious, I don’t mean it to be, it’s just that life is blooming hard most of the time for everyone and it’s a privilege to help people forget and make them think about something else!
The other intention I have is that I’m fascinated with how this world and this life is one of transformation and illusion. Nothing is real, everything is transitory, everything changes. We’re here one minute, gone the next. The magician reminds his audience of that with a simple piece of magic whether in an obvious or sub-conscious way. If we are reminded that everything changes then we can be encouraged that we have the power to change our lives or at least the way we think about our lives. If I can do that with the power of a magic performance, that’s very exciting.
What are you currently doing to leave the craft of magic a little better than you found it?
I’m not sure that I’m that ambitious to be honest. I simply want to avoid doing bad sloppy magic. I don’t want to be less than the history of our art demands. And that in itself is a challenge! I’m a bit of a solitary bird, I don’t hang out in magic clubs or with magicians, I simply work daily in my home-theatre & workshop in a very slow way trying to bring some of my ideas into my performance. I wish I had more of an obsessive, compulsive aspect to my personality instead of the opposite - then I would get more practice done! As it is, I’m simply taking tiny steps to realise my long-term and life-long ambition of being an old eccentric bird who can perform really beautiful classic magic with an original theatrical twist that holds the audience spell-bound in a story and leaves them with an unsettling feeling of the mysterious possible.
Mike’s Guest Blog Commentary
I have been a fan of Romany for a long time. When she won The Magic Circle’s Stage Magician of the Year, it was a real tribute to her panache, style and class. Her magic is a true authentic reflection of her off stage persona and personality. This is a perfect blend of charm, vivaciousness and a subtle hint of vulnerability. All of this adds up to someone who you will like and enjoy being with INSTANTLY.
Her treatment of magic’s classics is indicative of the hard work she puts into her performance and the joy she brings to her audience transforms the environment into a happy, blissful place you don’t want to leave.
Romany deserves her place in British Magic and her success is merited – long may she continue to delight us all with presentation and joy delivery.