Will Gray


 

My first magical experience was my grandad showing me a trick at 7. It was a basic trick but at 7 I was intrigued as to how it worked. He wouldnít tell me so I went away and spent a few hours working it out. I eventually perfected a completely different method of performing the trick and in the process became hooked!

I saw members of the Leicester Magic Circle perform at a local church hall at the age of 8 and decided I wanted to join (given that the minimum entry age is 16 I had a while to wait). I was truly hooked by now and started regular trips to the local library.

My interest in magic continued and for many years it was my hobby. I read many books and performed regularly to friends and family. In my late teens I found myself in possession of some classic kids magic and spent a couple of years as a childrenís entertainer in my spare time, regularly entertaining at birthday parties.

Over the next few years I attended college and gained qualifications in the printing industry, then took up a job in that sector. Not only did my magic stay on the back burner but I found myself working shifts which made it very difficult to pursue my real magical goal which was to be a professional close-up worker.

At 21 I met my now wife who was, to my astonishment actually interested in my magic, and still is. With the push I needed from her I plucked up the courage to apply for membership of the Leicester Magic Circle. I still remember my interview, I was so nervous; after all I had wanted to join since I was 8. I was accepted in to the circle in August 2000 and my next big memory was attending my first meeting and being star struck at being in the same room as Roy Johnson, who has since given me indispensable advice and also become a close friend.

I joined the LMC close-up team as soon as they would have me and started performing for the circle. The more experienced guys were an enormous help in those early days and my confidence built quickly. I am really grateful to Scotty Thompson who took me under his wing and introduced me to the world of professional close-up magic.

In 2002 I gave up my printing job to concentrate on my magic and have been enjoying it ever since. It was hard when I first started out because I had to go out and look for the work but after working hard to build a reputation things are getting easier now. I have a residency at the Thistle Hotel Ė Nottingham East Midlands Airport and Iím currently getting plenty of bookings on recommendations.

Competitions - I won the LMC close-up competition last year and came third in the British inter-society championships at Blackpool in Nov 2004. More recently I won the Northern Magic Circle Vice Presidents award for Close-up 2005 and the LMC Sir Julien Cahn cup for stage magic 2005. I am really enjoying the competitions at the moment so you may have to put up with me if youíre watching any in the near future.

Magical Societies - Member of the Leicester Magic Circle and Member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Top Trick
My top trick to perform is a variation on Wayne Dobsonís Flash Ring. Iíve performed it hundreds of times and it has never failed to get a great reaction.

Top Book
The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne was the first book I took out of the library at 8, I later bought the book from the library in a book sale. Itís the first book that I read and I still refer to it now.

Top Magicians
Simon Lovell, Tom Mullica and Jay Sanky for their zany, unique entertaining manor.

Top Magic Quote
I canít remember exactly how he put it but during a lecture at Leicester MC Ali Bongo caught my attention with his belief that "everything a magician does should be magical." Why use a lighter when a magician should be able to make fire appear and why should he need to untie a rope. This one quote by a magical great has really influenced the way I routine my acts.

Top Magic Moment
In 2001 my wife and I visited Las Vegas to see the shows (a wedding gift from my wife!). After watching Lance Burtonís fantastic show we found ourselves having a drink with Lance himself, Fielding West and Michael Close. We didnít know these guys but they welcomed us to their table and were happy to share part of their evening, we were truly honoured.

 

www.willgray.co.uk

 

© MagicWeek 2005

 

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