Ed Sumner

15 Years Experience

Staffordshire, UK

Male, 28

I perform close up magic and stand up magic. I also run a children's magic company called Ready Steady Magic. You can find out more about me on YouTube! =P

As a professional magician and Member of the Magic Circle, I work hard to create incredible events.

Feel free to ask me whatever you wish and let me reveal the secrets of what I do (but not those secrets!)

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86 Questions


Last Answer on February 22, 2016

Best Rated

Have you ever completely botched a trick in front of an audience? What's the worst magician-FAILyou've ever seen?

Asked by TonyQ over 8 years ago

Yes, every magician has, and if they say they haven’t they are lying. Sometimes it’s possible to save the routine and allow it to take a different direction, and often I hear people say afterwards, ‘Oh I thought he had messed that up, but it must have been part of the trick.'

The two cases that spring to mind where I personally have messed up are once where I had four cards, but the audience only knew about three of them. I accidentally revealed the extra card and everyone saw. By this point in my set I had got to know the group I was working for, so I made a joke about it saying, ‘Oh look! What’s that on the ceiling?’ and I reset the trick and carried on as normal. A worse case was when I set a trick wrong at the start, and there was no-way out of it, again I just laughed it off and moved on, ‘This trick has gone completely wrong! It’s a rubbish one anyway, I’ll show you something much better instead.’

If you can get the group to like you then they are more likely to forgive you if you should slip up - mistakes do happen.

Saying that, I’ve seen a lot of bad magic, and although I can forgive mistakes, I hate every magician who doesn’t take the time to fully prepare for a performance. The worst I’ve seen involve placing a spike (or a knife) under one of four upturned cups and them slamming your hand down on the three empty cups. I would never ever do this routine. My hands are my livelihood, and no method involving a sharp object is 100% safe. I’ve seen a magician push their hand through a spike, but worse than that, I’ve seen a magician push a spectator’s hand though a spike. It pays to have insurance, and I believe this idiot didn't. I think it’s on youtube, but I haven’t checked. I’ve also heard of a kids magician that hit a kid. Again, totally irresponsible.

How much do magician's make performing at a typical party or event?

Asked by graham over 8 years ago

What do you mean by a typical party or event? There are a lot of variables including type of magic, distance to the venue, number of guests, am I performing in one block or am I waiting in around? Close up magic is usually three times what I charge for children’s magic. My prices are fair, but are not the cheapest or most expensive. I believe I provide a quality experience and a professional service. My clients are paying for that and for my experience. I believe it's better to pay a little more and get exactly what you want than to pay less but receive poor value, and in this case a poor magician who may not know what they are doing. I do offer discounts, if I’m booked for longer, so for example if you book me for three hours, then my price is closer to what you would pay for children’s show. Saying all that there there are a lot of popular extras which I can add on. These increase the price. In short, it’s complicated.

Have you ever had a heckler shout out the secret of one of your tricks during a performance?

Asked by Alan over 8 years ago

Most of the time people want to interact with me and interrupt with their own jokes, that’s all fine. However some people just don’t like magic. If I can I just perform for the other people in the group, and that person sits quietly, then it’s fine. Once this guy was shouting out random things, ‘it’s up your sleeve,’ ‘it’s magnets,’ ‘those are trick cards,’ etc.. whatever he could think of. The key thing with a heckler is not to attack them too early. If you attack too early then you look mean, and the whole group join on the side of the heckler. If you wait until the other people in the group are frustrated with the heckler too, then they will be on your side. In this case, I finished the routine I was doing, and then I left. That’s the simplest way to deal with that situation. I get paid to entertain, not argue. Later that evening, the table with the heckler called me back, apologised for their friend and told me they had sent him on an ‘errand’ and could I show them some magic. Of course I spent ten minutes with them showing them some of my best routines. For me it’s more disappointing when on rare occasions, someone will ask at the end of a routine, does it work like this...? I try to make my routines engaging enough that people don’t care about the secret. Even if they are right with their guess, I always say no. I hope that answers your question. Feel free to ask another, if not.

What's your take on those TV specials where masked magicians reveal how tricks are done?

Asked by DC1 over 8 years ago

Oooh an interesting discussion point. Magicians secrets aren’t as guarded as you might think. Anyone can learn a magic trick, but you have to put in some effort. Maybe you have to go to the library, find a book and actually learn the trick. You would hope that seeing as you took the effort to learn the trick, you won’t just reveal the secret to all your friends, who are too lazy to find out for themselves.

One of the real secrets of magic though is that it doesn’t work unless it is secret. You wouldn’t watch a comedian if you knew all his punchlines, right? The first thing a magician must learn to do is to fool you. If they can’t do that completely then it’s not magic. The second thing to learn is how to engage people. For a magician, knowing the secret is only the start.

The main problem with the masked magician was that the show was about only the secrets. And the show was God awful! That's why no-one actually cared about it and the series got cancelled. If the secrets were so interesting then the masked magician (Valentino) would be making more money than all the other magicians. Hes not by the way and people still go to see actual magic shows.

Most people don't actually want to know how it's done.

Do magicians respect David Blaine?

Asked by peter over 8 years ago

Haha, they sure do. David Blaine is a great magician. Yes, his performance style can be a bit moody, and abrupt, but that’s his style. If non-magicians like him, then that’s the most important thing. Don’t forget that he is also mega-successful. I respect anyone who can make money in magic. There is a guy in the UK called Dynamo, and he is quite popular now. Some magicians talk down Dynamo and David Blaine, but it just makes them look jealous and bitter that other people have the success they want. As I’ve said, people who bring magic into the world, are OK with me.

Who are the magicians that you look up to the most? Have you got any magic heroes?

Asked by Certainly Not Damon over 8 years ago

It’s easy to reel of a list of magicians well known in the magic world. However, the people who inspire me the most are my friends, who are a similar age to me, and are doing the same as me, working on their magic, working on their business, and going out and performing shows. I have a of of good friends in magic, from all over the UK and the world, and despite different cultures, we have similar ideas and similar paths. That inspires me the most, and pushes me to create better magic and do more shows.

What do you see as the future of magic? Is technology making some illusions possible that weren't in the past?

Asked by xxxl over 8 years ago

Absolutely it is. Magic rides on the wave of technology. The idea is to find some new technology that isn’t so mainstream and use that in a routine, before it become common knowledge. I’ve seen routines that use augmented reality, and they look great, but when / if that becomes common place, it won’t seem so magical. Magic evolves with time. Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, who is commonly known as the father of modern magic, used to release ether into the theatre during his levitation routine. At the time ether was starting to become known about, but the properties were not fully understood. He claimed that he could float his son, by giving him a sniff of the ether. Of course, that’s not how he really did it. Sometimes magicians ask if magic will die out with technology, and the answer I always give is no. Magic seems to go through times when it’s very popular and not so popular but as long as people like live entertainment, they will like magic, and I can’t you see live entertainment dying out? Can you?