Martin Sanderson


I got interested in magic through my uncle Harry Bowes (third photo), he attempted to teach his nephews but no one took it up except me. I was hooked from the age of 12. Harry, who is primarily a Ventriloquist, would teach me a trick and only when I had performed expertly with patter would he teach me another. It was a great way to learn as he really was my personal tutor. Harry also taught me the "classic pass" which I started to learn when I was 13 years old. It took me a few years until he and I was were happy with it and it's now a move which I couldn't be without. Harry is now 78 years young, he is the man who I've got to thank for getting me into this business, and he still teaches me… I owe him so much. He is still going stronger than ever and amazes me every time I go back to the North East. He is a advocate of the original Les Insull figures and takes so much pride in his Vent figures.

I then started to build a repertoire of tricks and soon I was performing at children's parties… I was only 13 and the children were 7, I remember cramming in around 35 different tricks into 30 minutes… it must of been torture for the audience watching a kid trying to perform so many tricks in such a short amount of time!! Mind you I got £5 for the show and I was so excited that I could do something that I loved to do and get paid for it.

When I was 14 I got into a concert party in Hartlepool (my home town) and would tour the whole of Hartlepool on a bus with my suitcase full of tricks and perform with a comedian, a man who could whistle very loud to any tune that was requested, and a banjo player. We would work at OAP homes and special needs homes, it was all experience for me.

I went full time with a Summer season in Jersey in 1992, it was a really great cabaret show. I worked with a couple of dancer's, both excellent, and one who I thought, "man-a-live number 5, she's gorgeous" - anyway I worked my magic charm and we got married in 1996.

It was during this time in Jersey that I met a magician called Tim Saiet, he completely blew me away with a signed playing card under a lady's watch... I was fried big time, I got to know Tim very well in Jersey and now he is one of my best mates in magic, he's an excellent close-up magician and a superb cabaret magician.

I was booked only to do close-up at the beginning of the show, however I was so keen that I persuaded the manager of the hotel group that I should do a cabaret spot and I did. From then on I appeared in the same show for 3 consecutive years, it was great fun. Next came the Haven Holiday circuit… phew man, I didn't know the deal was that you had to love driving 1000 miles a week!! Did this for 7 months, I thought I could do my Jersey act for the holiday camps... wrong, I had to change my patter act completely to survive. Hard work but great experience.

Cruise ships were next, Sue (my wife) and I developed an Illusion act together, had the illusions tailor made, and at the time I was also doing a 15 minute silent manipulation act. We sailed from the UK to the Norwegian Fjord's for 3 months and then 3 months in the Mediterranean. Four weeks off as the ship was in dry dock then picked it back up in Southampton for a world cruise, went over to Australia from 6 months, did Hong Kong, Singapore, Fiji, etc., it was amazing fun. Sailed back to the UK and the same day sailed back out again for a 5 month Mediterranean cruise. Did a couple more cruises then decided after two and half years to be sensible and buy a house and start getting based in the UK again. Sue and I now have a beautiful and good looking (just like me) little Boy 18th moths old, babies are true magic, he amazes my every day. Fantastic.

Top Trick?
"My top trick has to be Andrea Khole's Dream Vision, you just can't get much better than that, it a real stunner. I also think a top trick is anything that happens in the spectators hands, i.e. a card changing in their hands, if you build it correctly you can really devastate your audiences even with the simplest effect. I like tricks that hit them straight between the eyes with a touch of Tamariz's Theory of False Solution. I firmly believe however that the trick should never be more important than YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

The first trick that fooled me badly was performed by my Uncle, Harry Bowes, it was the famous misers dream all I remember was thinking how I wanted to do the same but for real, also Curry's out of this world was a real fooler for me."

Top Book?
"One of them has to be The Magic Book by Harry Lorraine, I had this book from the library for a good few years, it was and still is such a great book. When you are just starting to get into the sleights it's the perfect book to learn the real proper way. I remember winning a competition when I was 14 for a magic book review and the book I reviewed was The Magic Book I was so enthusiastic about it I sold it to the max.

Other books that have caught my eye are Don England's TKO's, Chris Kenner's Out of Control (It's a super book and makes me laugh constantly), would love to meet Kenner as he sounds a pretty hip dude and want to know if all the hype is true or is it built up by magicians.

I think the ultimate goal is to get at least one effect from a book and to me that's a top book. Notice that I refer to books... I'm afraid I'm a bit old school i.e. I just love books you really can't beat them."

Top Magician?
"I've seen many magicians and I have favourite magicians for different occasions, I don't have an all time favourite magician but I do highly rate magicians who are real commercial workers who do it for a living.

I think Tim Saiet and Dave Redfearn are very personable guys and they are real people's magicians, they have what it takes to instantly gain a rapport with the audience be it close up or cabaret. Then there is Zap, for pure interaction he's hard to beat, he's a very strong performer. Duncan Trillo, I've seen him hold a theatre of 1000 magicians spellbound by penetrating a single thimble through a silk, real magic!

Met Mike Skinner in Vegas a few years back, he floored me with some great stuff and showed me his famous 3 card Monte which I do to this day, he was a true gentlemen and made Sue and I feel at home."

Top Magic Quote?
"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.' it comes from chapter six of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story, 'The Sign of Four'. It's not magic but it's a great saying that I've been having fun with for years (yeah I know I should get out more often!) also Vernon's, 'Confusion isn't magic' is a good one to follow.

I really believe that all the so called magic quotes are not magic at all, they are so old they are new, you just apply quotes from history regarding things that have happened which are non-magical and apply them to magicians."

Top Magic Moment?
"Being at the birth of my little boy... you can't top that!! Winning the Magic Circle's Close-up Magician of the Year was such a great feeling. I really did go in not expecting to win. The day of the competition I grabbed my close-up bag and Tux and just did my commercial act, that way I knew it back to front, I did the effects that I felt comfortable with. I did the same a month later at Ron MacMillan's competition and came nowhere, they were looking for the opposite from commercial, they want vah vah boom magic. Mind you I wasn't too disappointed as Lenart Green came up to me after and thought I was the funniest guy there and bought me a drink, he really is a funny guy."


© MagicWeek 2002