David Hartnell's Hollywood Gossip Column
Interview with Auckland Magician Mick Peck
No-one is recognised as knowing more about Hollywood and celebrities than David Hartnell. He's not only spent a lifetime reporting on Hollywood's trivia, gossip and scandals, but he counts many celebrities among his personal friends. Every Monday morning David will give you an exclusive weekly update on the gossip, scandals and trivia of Hollywood's elite. David is an award winning broadcaster and columnist he’s also the patron of The Variety Artists Club of New Zealand Inc.
I'm not one to gossip but ... If you're into magic like me then there is only one place to be heading in June, that’s to the 30th New Zealand International Magicians Convention at The Waipuna Hotel in Auckland for the best magic show you’ll ever see. There are two public shows Friday 4th and Saturday 5th of June 7:30 … be prepared to be totally amazed!
This week I caught up with Auckland’s Shore City Magicians Club president Mick Peck, who’s the man behind this magical event. I’m told by other magicians that Mick is one of New Zealand’s best, I believe what they say after seeing him perform ... this young man is a magical super star!
Q. How did you start your interest in magic?
A. As a child I was particularly fascinated by two things : British comedies like the Two Ronnies, Benny Hill and the Jimmy Perry/David Croft shows, and unexplained mysteries. When I was seven years old I turned on the television and saw David Copperfield vanish into the Bermuda Triangle. A few years after that I saw Paul Daniels, who blended both magic and comedy. After that I've never really wanted to do anything else.
Q. Where your parents supportive of you becoming a magician?
A. A child running off to join the circus is probably every parent’s worst nightmare, but my parents have always supported my interests. They were probably more than a little relieved when they saw that I was able to make a good living as a performer.
Q. You're the President of the Shore City Magicians Club, tell me about the club?
A. The Shore City Magicians Club was founded in the early seventies to promote the art of magic, with an emphasis on helping young people. I joined the club when I was thirteen and it was a big inspiration to come along every month and see how professional magicians did things. In 2010 the club has never been bigger, and it's particularly satisfying to see the positive impact on the members of the club. As well as learning the tricks themselves they're being introduced to drama, stagecraft, the technical aspects of theatre, marketing ... there's so much to learn and benefit from.
Q. This year you are celebrating the 30th New Zealand International Magicians Convention here in Auckland. What can the public expect to see on the night?
A. For the upcoming 30th New Zealand International Magicians Convention we're bringing together the greatest line-up of magic talent to ever appear in this part of the world - so much so that more than fifty magicians are flying into New Zealand for the event!
The convention is a forum of three days where magicians get together to learn new ways of performing and presenting magic, and is being headlined by superstar magician Paul Daniels from the UK, a master showman and entertainer.
As part of the convention we're running two public shows, "International Stars of Magic", which feature Paul Daniels as well as our other headlining artists from the USA, who are both recipients of the Magician of the Year award from Hollywood's prestigious Magic Castle.
Q. Do magicians still bring rabbits out of a top hat?
A. Sure David, in fact at the end of every single birthday party magic show I do the birthday child waves the magic wand and the rabbit appears. It's a classic of magic, like floating a lady or sawing a woman in half. But with a smaller ACC bill.
Q. Today young magicians do more of endurance tests with their tricks like David Blaine does, what do you think of that kind of trick?
A. Being encased in a block of ice for a week or hanging from a glass box in the sky for a month might be interesting, but it's not magic.
Q. How has magic changed since you started?
A. Over the past decade there has been a major change in magic in this country. Up until then we were very isolated from the rest of the world and the magic being presented reflected that. Fortunately the internet and events like the upcoming convention have brought the international magic community much closer together. At the convention it's possible for students of magic to learn from some of the world's most skilled magicians, an opportunity like that is priceless.
More information about the Shore City Magicians Club can be found at www.scmc.co.nz and Mick Peck can be contacted through www.MickPeckMagic.com
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