MK College Media Lecturer Nigel Quinn explains how he achieved his goal of joining the world famous magic society… and how you can too.
I’ve been interested in magic most of my life and people often asked whether I was a member of The Magic Circle.
So a few years ago I set myself the goal of getting into the world’s most famous magic society.
I was eight when a cousin gave me his Paul Daniels magic set and I got the bug. I would perform at school and other children’s parties.
Now, by weekday I am a Media Lecturer at Milton Keynes College, before turning into ‘Mr Quinn’ at
weekends to perform – Covid permitting – my mentalism and magic stage act.
So how did I get in? Many people think The Magic Circle is a secret organisation, but in my experience it’s anything but.
Its Latin motto ‘indocilis privata loqui’ may loosely translate as “not apt to disclose secrets” but that refers to not giving away how tricks are done.
In fact, we welcome ‘muggles’ to come and see our public shows in our fabulous headquarters, officially named The Centre for the Magic Arts, near London’s Euston station.
The building has a club room, where members meet on Mondays, a library, museum and a theatre. It is crammed with magic memorabilia.
To become a member, you must be proposed and seconded and I got two professional magic friends who are members to do this.
I attended an interview at The Magic Circle where I performed a brief piece of magic to show I had some skill and spoke of my desire to become a member.
I then became an Apprentice, which is the stage where you prepare to take your performance exam – an eight to 12 minute set which is judged by three members and usually watched by a roomful of other magicians.
There is a very supportive Apprentice network on Facebook which invites guest speaker magicians to give
advice and where Apprentices can share and discuss ideas for their exam.
It is pretty nerve wracking to perform in front of your peers but I think my exam was made harder because whilst in lockdown, it was on Zoom, so there was no audience interaction.
Luckily, I passed last October and a week later I was in the line-up for a competition at The London Magic Convention where I was immensely proud to be able to call myself a Member of the Magic Circle.
The magic community has been so welcoming and supportive during these challenging times.
I encourage anyone with a passion for magic to apply for membership to The Magic Circle.
I am now looking for venues in Milton Keynes to showcase local magicians, so if you can help out please get in touch.