Magician, Colm Dawson combines comedy, magic and mindreading to be one of the funniest and most versatile magicians in Ireland. We chatted to Colm ahead of his performances at The Civic this Saturday, 25th October.
Can you describe your first encounter with magic and how it managed to grab a hold of you?
My first encounter with magic was through my primary school teacher Mr Laffey who performed an amazing close-up magic trick vanishing a coin in front of my eyes. I learned this “French Drop technique” and perform it to this day close-up at corporate events and weddings.
Did you ever have another career? How did you come to the conclusion that you wanted to pursue magic as a career?
I worked in banking and finance, that has given me the skills to look after the business side of magic.
Doing magic as a career was always on the cards as the more events I performed at the more bookings I got. Im now doing something I love and making people laugh is a fabulous career.
How often do you practice, and who serves as a test audience for your new routines?
I practice most days and am always updating scripts and ways to improve effects. The best test audience anyone could have are family and friends – they will tell you straight up if you are doing it wrong. I’m friends with the top magicians in Ireland and the world, they are a great source of encouragement to me.
Have you ever completely botched a magic trick in front of an audience? What is the worst magic fail that you’ve ever seen?
Thankfully, I’ve never completely botched a trick on stage as I spend many hours practicing and routining effects. However, recently one of my 7 foot climb-in-balloons did pop as I was inflating it. Thankfully I always have a spare on stage and inflated that fine before climbing in!
The worst fail I’ve seen has to be when I saw an illusion where a duck was to fly invisibly across the stage from one cage to another and the second cage opened too soon revealing a second duplicate duck!
How do you feel about magicians who reveal the secrets behind others tricks?
There are secrets in every profession that the professional does not want “normal” people to know, be them plumbers, accountants or even bankers. The thing to remember though is this; even if they know the secret, the “normal” person is unlikely to have the skill, charisma and presence to perform the effect to the highest standard.
What goes through your mind when watching a magician perform and who impresses you the most?
When I’m watching another magician I try to look at their performance rather than the effect they are performing.
There is nothing I enjoy more than being fooled by another magician. To be able to look at a trick like a regular audience members is brilliant. The people that influence me most are David Blaine, Derren Brown, Dynamo and of course our own Brain Hacker, Keith Barry.
How do different groups respond differently to magic? (Children, teenagers, adults and the elderly as well as male and female)
I’m lucky that I get the opportunity to perform for both children and adults and the common thing all audiences enjoy is having fun, no matter what age we all love to laugh and that is my performance style whether I perform for children or adults. Younger children love colourful, slapstick magic and even toilet humour. To hear happy children giggling is infectious.
For teenagers I perform more adult effects with playing cards and they tend to love close-up illusions and mind reading. Weddings are a great place to perform close up magic and the tricks that get the best reactions are where the bride & groom sign separate cards and they fuse into one card with their signatures one card of 2 faces. I find the elderly audiences are more risqué than any other
Roald Dahl said :“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it”. I explain this to people when I perform as Magic is an art form like dancing or performing music, when we keep this in mind we enjoy the performance more.
Do you have a signature magic trick?
I am best known for my climb-in-balloon magic trick which mixes magic, mentalism and a stunt. There is expectation, suspense and a big reveal rolled into the trick.
What can audiences expect from your shows at The Civic this Saturday 25th October?
Audiences should expect lots of laughs with jaw dropping magic and lots of audience interaction where the volunteers on the stage will be the stars of the show.
Have you got any goals? Any big tricks or stunts that you are dreaming of pulling off?
My goal is to bring the Magical Mayhem show around Ireland in 2015 and I’ve started work on a new illusion where my volunteer levitates across the stage, but I’ll keep that “up my sleeve” for now!
Colm Dawson brings his show ‘Magical Mayhem’ at The Civic this Saturday, 25th October at 12pm and 3pm.
Tickets can be booked by phoning 01 4627477 or book online here.