Ok so here goes.. I’m going to admit it.. I am a newbie to magic… there said it..don’t judge me!! It’s ok though as the better half of our marriage (some would say) is fully engrossed so I think that makes us ok to write about magic, doesn’t it?
Anyway, with this new area for me the first thing I wanted to learn about was The Magic Circle. You hear on the TV, in magazine articles, in interviews from magicians and illusionists who are part of this exclusive club, but who are the Magic Circle and what do they do and most importantly how on earth do you go about joining?
The magic circle was founded in 1905, 23 amateur and professional magicians gathered at a restaurant in London with the intention of forming a magic club – The Magic Circle was born!
The first official meeting was held at The Green Man pub in Soho, which to this day is still buried on Berwick Street, between Oxford Street and Soho, London. Subsequently the group then went on to meet at St Georges Hall in Langham Place, again still standing and now a exclusive hotel near Regent Street, London.
Maskelyne and Devant were two of the founding members who each presented their mysteries to a delighted public for many years.
David Devant, is seen as the greatest magician of his era and became the first President of The Magic Circle.
As the club grew over the next 12 months the Magic Circle magazine was born, (edited by Nevil Maskelyne), the club needed a logo which was seen on the cover of the first edition of the magazine. Made up of the signs of the zodiac with the words ‘Indocilis Privata Loqui”
This Latin motto, which roughly translated, means “not apt to disclose secrets” gave the only rule of the club. Any member who does disclose their secrets may be subject to expulsion from the society.
The most famous person I can think of here is Stephen Mulhern who got suspended from the circle for showing a tricks process to kids on a TV show – his aim was to encourage more to follow in his footsteps so not all bad.
The total membership of the club is now around 1,500, and a quarter of these live overseas in 38 different countries.
So how do you join?
Well for a start you need to be vouched for/supported whatever you want to call it by two existing members of The Magic Circle, and both these people need to have known you for at least a year. Now not to worry, you can find club members involved with local Magic Clubs, so make sure you join your local group to expand your network.
Just a quick look on Facebook and I find my local group, don’t worry folks I certainly won’t be joining, I can’t even shuffle a deck of cards!
Upon your application to The Magic Circle with your two supporting members you will be invited to an interview with the Examinations Secretary (or his deputy depending on his availability). In the interview you should expect to discuss what kind of magic you enjoy performing and your experience, you will be asked to perform which will showcase your ability and skills.
The interviews take place at The Magic Circles Headquarters, based in Euston, London – not only will you get to interview you are also shown around the building and watch other candidates take their examinations (sounds nerve wracking to me!).
If you meet the requirements you will then be invited to take your examination or audition (whichever term makes you feel more comfortable) where your presentation skills and magical ability will be judged. When you pass that examination, you will be recommended for membership to the ruling Council of The Magic Circle – oooooh sounds so grand! .
The final step is for Council to ratify your membership. This may seem a lengthy process but it’s deemed well worth it to be able to claim membership of the world’s premier magic club.
The website seems to have a lot of information so please feel free to read more if you are interested in joining.
The club also offers under 18 (but at least 10 years old) entry.
Formed in 1996, the mission of the club is to promote the performance of magic amongst young people and encourage them in their chosen magic form so that they can grow into the magicians of tomorrow.
To join has slightly different (and much easier in my mind) entry requirements.
Basically complete the online form, pay your £10 joining fee, plus your £30 one year membership costs – they have other offers if you wanted to join for two years and so on which can be viewed on their website and you are in!
Much more information on the site.
So now you are in, whats the point!
Well membership of The Magic Circle gives you the right to enjoy the facilities of the finest magic club headquarters in the world so they tell me! You don’t have to live local (its based in London, UK) you can basically just go along whenever you want!
They have a Club Room which has a drinks bar, where you can meet other members, share ideas and pick creative minds!
The Library on site is one of the most amazing places, with a collection of magic books in-fact over 6,000 on offer to loan or use as reference point.
They have a really cool museum, lots of magical artefacts and many, many posters from across the world of famous members.
The Devant Room, is a perfect space to show off your latest tricks to your peers and again network with like minded folk, they also have a theatre on site also offers performers and lecturers an cool environment to complement their work, supported by an expert team of technicians using the latest hi-tech equipment which non of us can afford at our homes!
The headquarters basically offers you as a member a safe haven of like minded people, you can learn from, develop and grow with.
You also gain a subscription to the exclusive magazine, The Magic Circular (see what they did there with the name)
As described on their site – The full colour monthly magazine (does anyone still print only in black and white?) , the Magic Circular, provides news, reviews and articles on history, performers and magical effects for members only. I would love to see a copy, anyone want to send me one?!
Theres also a host of education and development lecutres you can join via live streaming every week and of course you get access to a Magic Circle email address.
All members are entitled to the use of an official @themagiccircle.co.uk email address which is a bit flashy if you ask me!
Oh and you can also use MMC after your name (Member of The Magic Circle) which is pretty cool!
If you have any questions you can contact the membership team on email@example.com.
So there you go, that’s all you need to know.. apparently! Sounds pretty cool to me so if you haven’t joined, do it.. and let me know if you can smuggle us in for a drink in the Club Room