December 2004 | Vol. III - No. 12
Paul Daniels is enjoying a long and prominent career as a magician. His international audiences have brought him acclaim few can equal. Known for his sense of humor and polished on stage presence, Daniels is an entertainer to emulate.
In October 2003 he opened the Paul Daniels Magic Store. He carries everything from simple card tricks to elaborate instruction materials.
"We seem to attract everyone who likes magic. There is stuff in there for absolute beginners to full time professionals, and I personally approve all the items we sell. Magic is funny stuff. I still do effects I learned as a child because if a trick is a ´baffler´, then it is a baffler for life," he says.
For aspiring magicians, there is no better place to start.
"When you buy magic, it is rarely the price of the physical props that drives the price. You are buying a secret that someone has worked very hard to create," Daniels explains. "Of course, you will always get the rather silly person who then gives that secret away having paid for it – how odd. We sell a lot of instructional videos and books, and I will have to boast a bit about how the Money by Magic course is the best. Actually, there is nothing else like it out there because I cover not just how to perform magic but also the business aspect of show business. It literally holds a lifetime of knowledge in its twelve volumes, and it was the basis for my Master Class seminars. I had quite a glow watching some of the world´s finest magicians around the globe taking notes as I revealed the secrets of magic as a real business."
Daniels´ love of the profession has motivated his success, but he doesn´t attribute one factor as the catalyst. Experience plays a big part. "Performance and success in my case come from really knowing all about my art, magic, and about the mechanics of the venues I work in, about the art of acting and truly enjoying myself when I am on stage or in front of a camera," he remarks. "Naturally, above all else I love the performance, whether it is magic, for which I am best known, or acting and singing, both of which I have done. I come from a non-show business family, although my father did have a cinema."
He says there are no significant differences between British and American audiences, but an entertainer must realize the rhythm of the language and the vowel sounds are different. "Work on those and you can do exactly the same gags everywhere," he adds.
When asked whether there are noticeable differences in appreciation of various forms of magic, Daniels comments, "As a performer, never allow yourself the conceited belief that everyone must like you. Do you like everyone? Of course not. So don´t expect everyone to like you or what you do. The appreciation of magic does not exist. It is always the appreciation of the performer. Some of them seem to be able to make everything magical, whilst some will never crack the secret of performing well."
On advice in general, he says there´s too much of it. Everything he knows is written in the course he sells. "Don´t try to entertain," Daniels suggests.
"Know your job so well that you can just relax into being you on stage."