73rd British Ring IBM Convention
23rd - 27th September 2009, Southport
Update 6, June 2009
Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO

John van der Put is an award winning magician who has been dazzling audiences for the past ten years. As a consummate showman John delivers stylish debonair performances of stunning magic laced with dry wit. He is the current holder of the British Ringís premier close-up award the Zina Bennett Trophy and was runner-up in this yearís Magic Circle close-up competition being only a whisper away from the winner.

Although he started playing with magic when he was 15, he was not particularly enamoured with it. He had never liked it on television or at childrenís parties. In some ways he thought it ridiculous. So to entertain he tried juggling and being a clown but both of these attempts failed to satisfy his ambition to engage with people. Then he saw on television the close-up magic with cards performed by Jerry Sadowitz in Stuff the White Rabbit. He loved it and it was this that changed Johnís attitude towards magic and got him interested. Could performing magic be the answer to his lifeís aspiration? So he found a book on card magic and starting practising them on his own. After three weeks he felt confident enough to show them to a friend who was suitably impressed. He was then convinced he could perform and at 18 applied to join The Magic Circle and after the required examination was accepted as a member.

At aged 19 it was Guy Hollingworth who was to become Johnís inspiration. He set himself two goals. One was to create a signature piece of magic, the other to learn Guyís Reformation. The former he achieved by accident when he conceived VDP where a card changes a bit at a time and the latter when Guy published his book. But Johnís parents were concerned about his future as a magician. They suggested he had a back-up career so he took their advice, went to university and studied computer science obtaining a degree in the subject. For the next two years he worked in IT before being struck down with pancreatitis and nearly dying. This caused John to reflect that he was following his back-up life before even trying to lead the life he wanted. So he left work, retrained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Primarily he did not want to be an actor but desperately wanted to learn performance methods. To be an actor and have to continually play the same role night after night did not form part of Johnís agenda. This training did however steer him into creating a variety of roles, the most notable being Piff the Magic Dragon and has allowed him with great effect to present his magic in ways completely distinct from that of his contempories.

Although John is at his happiest performing his magic around the tables or in cabaret he has also found fame from his corporate work. Among his clients are Heston Blumenthal proprietor of the three Michelin star rated Fat Duck Restaurant with whom he is just completing his third project, television manufacturer LG and Pepsi. His commissions for them include product launches, PR stunts, tradeshows and internal presentations.

So when you see John van der Put performing in the International Close-up Gala at Southport you can be assured of seeing not only mind blowing magic but magic presented in a completely original manner.

Also appearing in this show is Thom (pronounced Tom) Peterson. Previously comparatively unknown in this country it was a year ago that magicians in this country had their first introduction to this talented close-up worker from Winconsin. Then it was restricted to those who were at his lecture at The Magic Circle or the British Magical Society. He describes himself as an Amazing Guy, an utterly correct description endorsed by those who have seen him perform. Thom has a dry sense of humour which combined with his self-deluded belief that he is a magical super hero leaves his audiences rolling with laughter and stuck-jawed with amazement.

Thomís interest in magic started very early at the tender age of 5 to be precise. He attended the University of Winconsin graduating with a degree in Organizational Communications with an emphasis in Corporate Training and Development. After graduation he used his degree plus his magical prowness to head into the world of corporate development. After being engaged and reengaged by companies like Boeing, Xerox, Bank One, 3M and Lockhead Martin who found he never failed to make their events a smash he became one of the most sought across the country. At the Magic Castle in Hollywood he is a regular performer and in fact is one of the very few performers authorised to perform in every one of their showrooms. Internationally he has performed in countries as diverse as France, Switzerland, Israel, Scandinavia, Australia, China and Japan.

It is widely reported that when Thom performs the audience are reduced to laughing like a little child, utter only vowel sounds, quote scripture and stamp their feet so hard that Dr. Scholl will wake-up. He makes every one of his shows not just ones to watch but ones that become interactive occasions where each individual member of the audience personally can experience the magic and comedy.

We look forward to welcoming and seeing this talented Amazing Guy Thom Peterson at our Convention.

Joining John van der Put and Thom Peterson in the international Close-up Gala will be Hayashi, Henry Mayol, Tyler Wilson, and Ed Ellis. With this line up there will not be a spare seat in the room.


Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO, June 2009. www.britishring.org.uk




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