Daniel Reed has been a successful professional close-up magician since 2004 and performs for corporate events and private parties in the UK and internationally in Australia, the US, the Middle East, Europe and Kenya. Daniel’s exciting journey into magic started by chance while he was travelling around the US and saw a close-up magician live for the first time. He was fascinated by the magic performed and having a maths and science background he was more than a little intrigued to figure out how they did what they did. He never intended to become a magician, but magic had cast its spell and a life-long passion began.
In the early days, Daniel performed in bars for tips and free drinks. His love of magic grew and he soon moved on to corporate events and parties. His natural talent, impressive close-up magic and fantastic way with people landed him a gig performing at one of Kevin Spacey’s parties after which many of his bookings come from repeat clients and word of mouth referrals. It was during this time that he crossed paths with the future founders of Yes Entertainment, while they were performing as musicians.
Daniel performs both as a close-up magician and a stage magician, but he prefers close-up magic as this is where his passion lies; he loves the interaction with small groups and creating an atmosphere and bringing everyone into the performance.
What’s the most difficult magic trick you’ve ever done?
A lot of the tricks I include in my repertoire take years of dedication and passion to perfect. I spend 5 hours a day practising magic and there are some tricks I’ve been working on for 5 years and they’re still not polished enough to perform. Sleight of hand can be very technical so you’ve got to be able to get away with it every single time you perform in front of an audience who are watching every movement you make with your hands. You have to ensure the movement and timings are exactly right so that the trick is performed to perfection. The tricks themselves look easy, it’s the presentation that makes them magical. No one would ever imagine the time and dedication it takes to train your hands to perfect such tiny movements needed for close-up magic.
What do you love most about being a close-up magician?
Performing magic has taken me to many wonderful places and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting extraordinary and intelligent people and made some very good friends along the way. My magic is all about involving my audience as it happens right in front of their eyes. It brings people together as they share the excitement and fun and leaves a lasting impression and something they’ll be talking about for ages. When I walk up to a group of people and introduce myself as a magician, I often see eye-rolling and love the challenge to turn people’s’ assumptions against them and watch their faces light up with amazement as the magic unfolds in front of them. It’s like watching them rediscover their childhood sense of wonder. My main job is to try and distract people from trying to figure out how the trick works and to just enjoy the show!
I also have magic to thank for winning over my wife when I first met her, by turning her £5 into a £50! She was impressed enough to agree to go on a date!
Do you think it’s important for a magician to make an act his own?
Absolutely! It always works best when a magician gives up trying to be someone else and stays true to themselves, with perhaps a little exaggeration for effect. This way they give a genuine performance. In my experience, I find that most of the best magicians have similar personalities on and off stage.
Who has been your inspiration?
I get inspiration from all the great entertainers and performers that I admire. Watching David Blaine’s TV specials was one of the reasons I first got into magic. Then, of course, there’s Derren Brown and his mind-bending tricks. I also love great storytellers like Stanley Kubrick, and weird and wonderful comedians such as Bill Hicks, Doug Stanhope and Jim Jeffries.
Have your skills ever proven useful in the real world?
When working for tips, I struck lucky when an eye surgeon offered me free laser eye surgery – I made sure I didn’t miss out on that one!
Tell us about the different styles of magic and how to choose the right magician for an event.
There are a number of different styles, but they each style can be performed completely differently. Close-up magic involves props like cards, money, everyday objects (bottles, cutlery, elastic bands etc). You can either use your own props or involve your audience more by using something they own. This type of magic is performed inches away from your audience. Mentalism involves what appears to be mind reading; planting ideas into someone’s head, hypnosis, metal bending etc. This style works really well close up in small groups or on the stage. Pickpockets is another style, and this works well both close up or as a stage act. Then there’s Stage magic; this can include all the previous types of magic, as well as some bigger magic tricks using props, for example making liquid disappear from inside a newspaper, and grand illusions like making people appear out of boxes, and making helicopters appear. Magic is like music; different characters will give different performances. You have mainstream magicians, magicians who have a corporate style, those who use comedy, those who are suave and sophisticated and others who are more cutting edge. At Yes Entertainment, we have magicians in all categories and to suit any event!
At Yes Entertainment, we can find the right magician to get the best out of your event and make it memorable. We will ask how many people are attending, what kind of people will be there, what type of event it is, and if you are trying to get a message across by hiring a magician. The timing and duration of the act are also important, for example during a meal people are more interested in their food than focusing on the magic being performed, so it’s best to include it before or after the meal. Magicians can work in all circumstances and scenarios and we want to leave people wanting more and give them an experience they won’t forget and will talking about for a long time after. We are dedicated to making our clients’ events better than any of their competitors.
You handle the selection of magicians who perform for Yes Entertainment. What are the important things you look for?
First and foremost they must be an incredible magician and entertainer, with plenty of experience and are highly professional whether performing or not. Dressing well, being on time and being polite are also essential as is understanding that they are working for their client’s guests. I have worked with the magicians on our roster for years and I can vouch for them being some of the best in the UK.
“I can say without hesitation you are one of the best magicians I have ever had the pleasure of working with! The feedback we have had has been absolutely amazing and I will have no hesitation for you to come back and perform here. I have worked with many magicians in the past and not only was your magic of such high standard and absolutely outstanding, also your personality outside of your magic has shone through so much that many of the management and staff have commented on it positively!”
Sunit Agale, Kempinski hotels, Dubai
If you would like to book a magician for your event, email Daniel or give us a call on 0845 890 8525.