Magic has been a passion of mine since 2003 when I first discovered a magic stall in York market. I bought a few tricks and started practising them on friends and family.
A couple that I got to know on a trip to Ghana in 2004 then invited me to perform a stand-up show at their wedding. The reactions I got, to my then amateurish performance as a magician, were sensational and I realised that I had the potential to develop this new found hobby into something much more professional.
Since then I have performed as a magician at a range of events including parties, weddings, formal dinners, trade shows, a hunt ball, christenings and festivals, mainly but not exclusively in North Yorkshire.
My preferred style is to do close-up magic at tables making things disappear and reappear in unusual places, often the magic happens right in your guests' own hands.
I work with mostly cards, coins, borrowed rings, strings, borrowed phones and some more unusual items.
I also love to perform mentalist type effects but my aim is not to prove anything, merely to entertain people. If people tell me that they've had fun and they often do, then I know I've achieved what I've set out to do.
Martin Waring - Magician York
I often ask myself what is the magic ingredient that captures people’s imagination and makes them want to see more and more. When I tap into that rich vein of enthusiasm and people are waving me over to their table and then after my ‘show’ at their table, showing their appreciation, what is the feeling that makes them behave that way?
I remember the first time I saw a magician performing close up magic for me it was a totally different experience to watching magic on the television. As a recipient, or spectator as magicians like to call them, you are participating in what seems like a little play in which you have your part and you know that if you play your part as instructed, something unexpected and magical will happen. Of course all through the ‘play’ you are keen to understand what is happening and how the magical elements work. But if you can suspend too much doubt you know that if the magician is doing his job well, you will once more experience a feeling that you once had as a child, seeing something wonderful for the very first time.
For me, if I find the magician trustworthy and I know that I’m not going to be made a fool of I can safely re-enter that child like world of wonder and amazement and experience again what it is like to be genuinely amazed. Of course I know that I am being ‘fooled’ and I am balancing that feeling of amazement with a curiosity about ‘how it’s done’. The more experience of magic I get the more likely it is that I am going to be able to guess at part or sometimes all of the method being used.
This understanding of my own attraction to and experience of close up magicians gives me some insight into how the magic might appear to my audience, my spectators.
I also know that, for whatever reason, some people don’t like being fooled by a magician. I find that sad but I have to respect that and move on.
For people who are willing to engage with what I am doing I treat them with warmth and respect, albeit if I feel they can take it I may indulge in a bit of playful banter.
I believe that it is important that my spectators feel safe that they are not going to be embarrassed by what I do as a magician.
Stories are important to some magic effects. Without stories a trick can become a series of moves with cards and a story helps the trick along, giving it a structure and also that feeling of childlike openness to the magic of the effect.
Pacing is important too. Whilst I am doing one effect I am on the lookout for the next effect. I’m looking for rings and phones I could use for my next effect. I’m also watching the table for which people have that gleam in their eye that tells me that they will make a wonderful audience for my next trick. Of course the ultimate is to get the whole table on side and clapping at the end which of course gets the other tables wondering when it’s going to be their turn.
So I feel that for me, the magic is as much about engagement with people and winning their trust in me to entertain them. When I have that trust I can safely try out new effects that I haven’t yet quite mastered if I tell them that ‘this is new to me’. I can almost feel them willing me on for the trick to work.
Why I love teaching people how to perform a trick.
At a lot of events I do these days I will show someone how to perform a trick that is almost self working and then help them, if they are willing, to perform it at a table. Obviously I’m not going to reveal the method behind my best effects but it adds to the fun to find someone who is up for it, what it is like to perform as a magician for other people and receive the applause.
21st December 2020
Previous venues where I have performed as a close up magician include: The York Hilton, The Marriott Hotel, The Monk Bar Hotel, The Cedar Court Grand Hotel, Hazlewood Castle, The Pavilion Hotel, Churchills Hotel, Burn Hall, Aldwark Manor, The Hospitium, The Merchant Adventurer's Hall, Sandburn Hall, York Racecourse, The National Railway Museum, Chiquitos, Fairfield Manor, Biltmore Bar, Rowley Manor, Barley Hall, The Parsonage at Escrick, St William's College, Solberge Hall, Middlethorpe Hall, The Grange Hotel, The Morritt Country House Hotel, Hotel du Vin, York's Chocolate Story, The Golden Lion in Northallerton, Kellington Manor Hotel, The Wensleydale Creamery, The Crown Hotel Harrogate, The Palm Court Hotel, Scarborough, The Alice Hawthorne gastro pub, The Holiday Inn York, Rotherham Golf Club, Crewe Hall Hotel, Woodhill Hall, Otterburn, The Salix Yurts, York, The Durham Ox in Crayke plus numerous private houses, marquees, village halls, various old people's homes, Driffield Showground, The Great Big Welly Fest, an RAF base and an Army base.
« We initially hired Martin to video our wedding and only found out when we met him that he also did magic. This wasn't something I had intended to have at the wedding but I am so glad I did. Our guests loved being entertained during the drinks reception when we were having the 'formal' photos done and again after the wedding breakfast and the tricks he performed really were jaw dropping!! »
« Thank you so much for coming to our wedding reception and performing magic tricks throughout. You added so much fun and entertainment to the day and I'll never figure out the magic! »
« I can't express just how fantastic Martin was.
All of our guests were wowed and amazed and even the children throughly got involved in the magic!
Martin was the absolute professional even when the kids almost ruined the magic!
I knew when I booked Martin that he was good, I had seen some videos but I wasn't prepared for how genuinely nice he is and how much he made our day better for being there!
Thank you so so much for being a part of our wedding! »