[dropcap]E[/dropcap]verybody has to begin somewhere and for magicians and illusionists, it’s no different.

Magic.Africa founder Marcel Oudejans even incorporates an anecdotal first-time experience at the opening of some of his performances, in a sleight-of-hand display which still leaves me baffled and delighted every time I see it. “Wow! That’s amazing!” is what you and the rest of the audience will crow with every progression of the act, which combines comedic timing with nimble fingers that move faster than your eyes can follow.

Magician & Mentalist, Brendon Peel

Magician & Mentalist, Brendon Peel

Magician and mentalist Brendon Peel’s first trick was a card trick. “It was a basic card trick, in fact, one I am sure practically every magician has come across at one point or another,” he says. “Essentially how the trick works is, a person would take any card from the deck, remember it and then put it back into the pack.

“I then proceed to go through the cards one after another and magically find out which card it was that the person took out.”

Pretty standard stuff which we’ve all seen performed many times – although that takes nothing away from it. It is actually a much more powerful trick than a lot of magicians give credit for, says Peel.

“I thoroughly enjoy it. I hardly ever perform it these days, but it still will always be the first trick I ever performed.”

Glendini about to escape from leather handcuffs during a show. [Photo credit: Andrew Gorman]

Glendini about to escape from leather handcuffs during a show. [Photo credit: Andrew Gorman]

Glenn McMeeking aka Glendini The Escapologist lived in the UK for two years in the mid-1990s where he came across Davenports Magic Shop which is near Charing Cross Tube Station.

“It was here I purchased my first escapology shackle called an ‘Electronic Release’,” he recalls.

“This gave me hours of fun and after purchasing this prop, I was hooked and proceeded to buy books and further magic props from wherever I could.

“For many years I was just a hobbyist who had quite a collection of props and escapology paraphernalia. I only really started performing for audiences in 2007 after getting opportunities to perform at company roadshows.”

No matter how our amazing magicians started, they enjoyed the audience reactions from their first trick so much they decided to become professional entertainers!