Tim Saiet


 

I always had a love for magic ever since I saw an uncle vanish a coin as a child. But did not really get established in magic until around twelve years ago. I was ski racing as part of the British Telemark ski team and teaching professional skiing around top ski resorts all over the world. Magic started becoming more and more of my life. I found that to race for my country I needed to perform magic for small fees to supplement my sponsorship money. Eventually the close up magic became more and more lucrative and it seemed more sense to retire from racing and teaching and go into magic full time.

My early professional career started in Jersey in the Channel Islands. With my first ever teacher being a guy called John Falle who was an amateur magician. I still remember the first time I saw sleight of hand for the first time. "I was transfixed" and from that moment on I knew that I wanted to learn more. John taught me all he knew and it was soon time to go onto learn from a top flight pro. John sent me to call on a Jersey magician at that time called Steve Johnston. Steve took a lot of persuading to teach this "very ambitious newcomer" as he said, the tricks of the trade. Eventually he had me helping him out, from ironing shirts, carrying his close-up case, to cleaning his shoes for work in preparation of evening shows. I gladly did this and it gave Steve a sign that I was serious about my desire to learn magic and therefore a friendship grew between us. I learnt all I could from Steve and was sent to the states to continue the learning of my trade. It was around this time that I met magician Martin Sanderson in Jersey before I left. He was to become a life long friend. Martin was a cabaret magician and at that time he was developing his skills. I saw him grow from strength to strength and he has become a fine magician. After four seasons in Jersey I spent five months in Aspen Colorado and then went to L.A. I knocked on the door of The Magic Castle and auditioned for work. They were fully booked for magicians for the next six months so after a short time there. I came back for a magic conference where I was to meet a man who would help change the course of my life.

At an IBM meeting in Eastbourne I ended up being asked to perform magic by Marvin Berglas. He appeared to be pretty impressed by some of the stuff I was doing and we instantly got on. I mentioned that I wanted to move on from Jersey and he suggested I move to London. This was the start of a whole new era in my life. I eventually moved to London and tried to get established with some agents over here. I did do some work for Marvin but ended up working full time for an agent called Nic Picot. I have to give it to Nic, when I first rang him he said that he only took magicians on of the highest calibre. I knew then that I wanted to work for him. I owe a lot to Nic, he basically enabled me to earn a living and pay my bills and through my work for him I learnt how to perform in the highly competitive environment that is the London scene. He can be a little harsh in his communication at times but that is just his way. Deep down he doesn't mean it. He offers a good living to people that are loyal to him and I want to thank him for all he did for me.

Eventually, I decided that I wanted to go it alone and work for a number of agents as a freelancer and that has worked really well. Since also moving into cabaret I have increased my earnings and gained far more confidence on the big stage. I have worked all over the world performing close-up and cabaret and have performed many times on National TV. I also Teach Presenting Courses and Self Esteem Rapport building courses for Corporate Blue Chip companies. I have quite a laugh at times. I remember one guy asked me what my qualification was in some of the communication skills I was teaching them. I said twelve years in the school of hard knocks and show business. I explained the difference between a magician and a top company executive. That is that we have to stay on with the possibility that we could get booed of if we fail at what we do. We need to get our audiences to like us and want to watch us for long enough that we can show them our trade. We have to be good enough that they will want to come back or book us again. The executive however is normally either the boss who they have to listen to, or a client who would not generally be there unless they had at least some interest in the product. They however do not get booed of if they fail their presentation our professional lives depend on us doing the right job each and every time again and again. To be a pro in London you have to be tough. The client has generally seen magic before and they are normally pretty pre-occupied by the many other events that are going on at any large function. Your skills in every area have to be of the highest level. I must say that I have a lot of respect for all of the working professionals in London they do a good job and I know at times it is not easy to maintain a high level of commitment and professionalism when you have all of the other every day events happening in your private life.

 

On a last note, although I am a magician my great love is in communication with other people and in connecting with my audience. So I would consider myself first an Entertainer and second a Magician. As long as I constantly remember to entertain people first and foremost I will never put the magic effect as more important than the people.

Top Trick?
"What a difficult question. Someone once asked me who is the best magician in the world? I said 'It is hard to choose a great amongst so, so, many greats' I have to say that the top trick for me would be in two categories. 1, The most memorable and entertaining trick. 2, The trick that helps earn me a living and has one of the strongest memorable effects. So in answer to number one it would have to be when I first saw David Copperfield perform the singing tie effect, where he borrowed a spectators tie and it began singing and then three other back up support singing ties sang along as well. A really magical moment and very funny, it had a real wow effect and held me in awe for the whole routine. For number two it would have to be a close up trick and that would be the Matrix effect that Steve Johnston first taught me. To this day when I see him perform it on video it is one of the most magical effects I have ever seen. The coin literally moves across the table right before your eyes. Steve taught me it and when I perform it for the public they go wild and always talk about it."

Top Book?
"So many to choose from but if I had to choose it would be Richard Kaufman's "The Collected Almanac" Nearly every major master of magic has something in that book, a masterpiece of magic literature."

Top Magician?
"I want to name a few, as there are so many greats......... Of course Steve Johnston, who now lives in Tenerife. His handling is a joy to watch but his real mastery is in the way he builds a rapport with his audience and has them laughing at the most silly of things that are not even magic. He taught me comedy and timing, he has me in stitches. In marketing magic I would say Marvin Berglas as the real master. That guy could market sand to the Arabs and have them thanking him for it. David Williamson for cheek, Gary Kurtz for technique, for me he is the all rounder of magic, skills in so many areas. Also Kevin Reay, he shows me things and I feel like a beginner. Real world magicians who entertain every day for the general public. I would put my money on David Redfearn every time. He blows them away at every job. Top dollar magic. Stage would have to be either Penn and Teller, Lance Burton or the Great Tomsini with his comedy dove act very very funny."

Top Magic Quote?
"'The time came when it was more difficult for the bud to stay closed than it was to open' Brad Brown, The life Training Foundation - this described my transition to Cabaret from close-up magic."

Top Magic Moment?
"Performing for Warren Beatty, Annette Benning and Michael Douglas at a premier party. Warren Beatty invited me to leave London and work for his sister who had an agency in Las Vegas. I loved the look on his face when I said, "why would I want to leave London to work in Vegas. I love it here. By the way, who is your sister?" It was Shirley Maclean and he was horrified that I did not know her......... aaaah well. But I do love my country and Europe and I have spent a lot of time establishing myself here, I would not want to leave my family and friends and contacts."

 

MagicWeek 2002

 

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