What can you say about Geoffrey Durham that hasn’t been said. The man is a legend, not just for his tricks, but more for his performance and understanding of how to be yourself and not a magician.

He started by saying how special blackpool was to him. At this first Blackpool convention in 1977, he saw a trick, and it impressed him so much, that he went straight home, didn’t see any more of the convention, and practiced and worked on the routine he’d seen.

His first piece of advise was ‘Never be the magician, they just do tricks, theres more to it than tricks, people want to like, and see you, not so much the tricks that you perform‘. There’s so much truth and logic in that. He underlined that fact by saying that if you want to succeed as an entertainer, you have to be yourself, but he also said that magicians are entertainers who pretend to do thinks they cannot do. The secret of success is to be an entertainer that can make both those statements true, and sit between them. He talked about people that had managed to achieve this, the likes of Mac King, Tommy Cooper, David Blaine and others.

He also talked about something I think is very much missed by people, the fact that people don’t not like say card tricks, they dislike you doing, say card tricks. In essence, someone might say, ‘I hate magic‘, when, in fact what they mean is ‘I hate all the magic I’ve been shown‘, which is entirely different.

Geoffrey spoke a lot about his new book (which is next in my reading pile at home), and the contents being around bringing out you and how to bring out the best of you, peppered with a few of the solid tricks he’s earned his living from over the years. He showed a few effects from the book, a very clean and cleaver dictionary test, which he attributed to Maurice Fogel, and a Magic Square routine, which he’d worked on with (I think) David Woodward, whereby he was adding an ending. The standard magic square routines, don’t really have an ending, but what Geoffrey showed, basically that the magic square was a prediction, proved by having an envelope with the ‘magic total number‘ written in it from before it was chosen, meant there was some purpose to the effect.

He closed with the Gypsy Thread and the Selbit Blocks, bringing a great and very informative lecture to a close

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