Andrew Murray


Andrew's interest in magic began when he was 11. In 1984, he met 13 year old Gary Jay who amazed him with what turned out to be a simple card trick. Gary taught the trick to Andrew and pointed him in the direction of Alan Alan’s Magic Spot and Davenports Magic.

The magic bug had bitten one more innocent victim…

“I can remember many a Saturday morning watching unsuspecting visitors to Alan Alan’s shop pick up the exploding coin! It was almost like an initiation ceremony for newcomers. Alan was very good to my brother and I who had become regulars. He recommended books and, most importantly, the careful study of those books. I remember Harry Lorayne's ‘The Magic Book’ was my first purchase - it’s still a great starting point for any aspiring magician! Several months down the line, Alan ordered the 7 volume ‘Tarbell Course in Magic’ for me. I was hooked.”

Aged 13, Andrew began taking magic lessons with Bobby Bernard. “What Bobby really taught me was the discipline of practice. Of course I learnt routines from him, but the most important thing he taught me was how to practice.”

At 16, Andrew became fascinated by hypnosis. For the next three years, magic took a back seat. Reading as much as he could about the subject, Andrew managed to hypnotise a couple of friends at his first attempt – quite a coup! In 1991, he took a gap year from his studies and travelled to the USA. Settling with relatives in Florida, Andrew presented a 1 hour hypnotic show twice a week for four months at a local resort hotel. This was his first taste of professional performance.

Returning to the UK to resume his studies in 1992, Andrew rediscovered the magic collection that he had left behind. “I remember being totally consumed by ‘The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings!’” Within 3 months, Andrew had started performing close-up magic semi-professionally. Andrew’s university years saw him working part-time at Hamleys and Harrods as a demonstrator for Marvin’s Magic. “I have many fond memories of working for Marvin. Bruce Smith took me under his wing – he is the best magic demonstrator I know. Marvin’s was a great training ground for me.”

Graduating with a 2:1 BA Honours Degree in Business Studies and Economics in 1996, Andrew embarked on a career in Chartered Accountancy. This led to him working for a financial publisher in the City which in turn led to an Associate Director’s role in Corporate Finance with The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

All the while, Andrew continued to develop his magic. In 1998, he presented his first ‘non-hypnotic’ stand-up cabaret. “I never wanted to integrate hypnosis and magic. It’s too easy for an audience to be flippant and pass off the hypnosis as another trick! I still use a lot of the techniques I learnt as a hypnotist in my cabaret show though, because nowadays it’s content is 90% mind reading/psychological illusion and 10% magic.”

Despite an ever-increasing number of cabaret performances, Andrew’s first love is still close-up magic. Last November he became The Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year 2004. “To hold the title during the Centenary Year makes it even more special.”

2005 is business as usual for Andrew who continues to perform his close-up and cabaret acts at a host of private parties, corporate events and trade shows. “I have a real affinity for the tradeshows. I used to sell financial products to investment banks so I learned how to vary the pitch depending on the client and the deal. Using magic as a sales tool at trade shows is not easy, but it seemed like a logical step for me.”

Andrew's first DVD, Thirteen, was released earlier on this year by, featuring 13 easy-to-do professional card tricks and, ever the salesman, Andrew is releasing seven products from his Now You See It™ range of magic for magicians, later this year.

Top Trick
Guy Hollingsworth's ‘The Reformation’. In 1995, I saw Guy perform this close-up in the bar at Ron Macmillan’s International Convention. It absolutely floored me! The effect is uncluttered, instantly comprehensible and totally impossible. Enough said!

Top Book
Derren Brown’s Absolute Magic. Refreshingly, this is not a book of tricks but a book of presentational theory. What makes it a ‘stand-out piece’ is the sarcasm and wit that Derren injects in to the narrative. Hilarious and totally engrossing, this is the only book I’ve ever read in a single sitting!

Top Magician
There are so many magicians I admire for reaching the pinnacle of their chosen field: Dai Vernon, Channing Pollock, David Berglas, Fred Kaps, David Copperfield, Penn and Teller etc. However, if I had to nominate just one person, I would have to go for Juan Tamariz. He is totally unique - a true magician’s magician.

Top Magic Quote
“An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.” William Bernbachon

Top Magic Moment
The birth of my son, Max. A true miracle!!


© MagicWeek 2005