Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I can finally stop - after this post - wittering on about my Magic Circle exam, because it has now been and gone. I suspect that at some point later in the year, I'll start wittering on about it again because I'll be making another attempt. I'm afraid so. I think I'll be getting a letter along the lines of:
"We are very sorry to inform you that your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion."
There were three of us up for examination. I was on first, because they do it alphabetically.

My opener went surprisingly well, given the hassles I had in rehearsal with it. I fumbled a tiny little bit getting my props together for the second item, made a bit of a boo-boo with the third item (but not one that many would have picked up on, fortunately), and had some serious trouble at a couple of points in the big item at the end. That's the bad side.

On the good side, the third item played really well - even got some applause, which from an audience of magicians is quite an achievement; oh, and a ripple of laughter in the middle of it. (I was using some cocktail recipe cards, and when I came to Sex On The Beach, I suggested that it was probably a bit early in the year for that - big pause - what with it being more of a summer drink.) The final loads for my shell game / cups and balls routine worked well (a cherry, a bit of fresh lemon, and a cork). Also in my favour, I think the structure was appreciated, as was the fact that it was a complete act where each item segued fairly well into the next.

If I were marking me, I would probably have allocated points thus (the maximum for each category is shown in brackets):
Presentation and personality (marks out of 30): 15 - 20
Magical ability & technique (marks out of 30): 10 - 18
Entertainment value (marks out of 15): 7 - 10
Patter (marks out of 10): 6 - 8
Structure of performance (marks out of 5): 5
Originality (marks out of 5): 4 - 5
Appearance (marks out of 5): 5
This would result in a score somewhere between 51 and 71. The pass mark is 65, so based on my range of score, it's more likely that I've failed (51 - 64) than passed (65 - 71). In fact, it works out at a very clean 2:1.

Thing is, I don't get to find out for weeks! The examiners submit their feedback to the membership committee, which meets every month or two. Those who have passed are recommended for membership, whereupon any of the members of the committee may veto that decision if they know something about the candidate that would make them unsuitable (being the Masked Magician, for example). It is only then that the whole membership thing kicks off. Badges and certificates are issued, etc.

Several of the folks who watched my performance were very kind in providing feedback, and saying that thought I would get in. I'm not so convinced, especially since the other two examinees were much more polished.

Hey ho. That's what I get for working such long hours in the run-up to my exam and not getting enough rehearsal in.

Obviously, if I do end up getting good news, it will now come as a pleasant surprise, having conditioned myself to expect the worst. I did that with school and university results too, and they all worked out in the end.

The other examinees were very good. One in particular, a chap called Clive who does a Tommy Cooper tribute act, was very funny, and had a fantastic routine with a magic bean under an empty bean tin. The ending was a killer - I think it took quite a few people by surprise.

I also had a lovely time after the evening's lecture chatting with Jon Tremaine and his lovely wife Suzy. Actually, Suzy and I had a good old gossip. It was great.

So, anyway, fingers crossed, and I'll let y'all know.


I just followed a link from Da Nator's bastion of bloggity blogness to a test at OKCupid! - The 3 Variable Funny Test. It decided to categorise me as The Wit, with a combination of 57% dark, 70% complex, and 64% clean. Personally, I suspect the "clean" score is way too high, since the opposite end of that axis is "vulgar".


Fuckkit said...


That is all.

(Oh, and I'm sure you did great ;))

Qenny said...

Cheers, fuckkit. Yeah, bit of a boring post this one, because there wasn't a lot that happened that I can turn into a witty anecdote. Maybe one day I'll look back and laugh :-)

Jay said...

Well funny or not, it's certainly fascinating. I mean, a Magic Circle exam! Hey you know what would be great? If you revealed all the tricks, right here, on this blog. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Then again I was very disappointed when I discovered that twins are often used for 'teleportation' acts.

Qenny said...

jay, I don't think I could ever be that disillusioned (sic); and that would be a definite veto from the membership committee. Exposure is an odd thing, though, and magicians are quite divided on whether the Masked Magician did more good than harm. The bottom line is that if we are good at what we do, then it isn't really about the secrets, it's about the performance and the entertainment value.

Twins are only used by amateurs. Us real magicians actually teleport people.

Da Nator said...

Good heavens, a gay magician? You must be my new boyfriend. Just don't tell the wife (especially since she hates being called "the wife").

I had no idea such a thing as a "Magic Circle" existed, and if I did, I would assume it meant something a bit more rude. I'm a fan of magic, so I hope you'll post more.

Oh, and I'm jealous that you were rated as "the Wit". I wanted to be "the Wit". In fact, I think I'd like that to be my superhero name.

Carry on.

Tickersoid said...

You're very talented. I used to use the 'expect the worst' technique for mental stability. Worked most of the time but sometimes it was just as well.

Qenny said...

da nator: guilty as charged. We're quite a rare breed. I mean, if you think of all the famous magicians, none of them seem even remotely gay ... David Copperfield, Seigfried and Roy ... I can't get away with referring to my husband as "the wife", although we both quite revel in being able to call each other "husband" these days :-)

tickers: you're very sweet, but I've been bluffing all along. It's just well-time misdirection when things go wrong. Expecting the worst is a good thing in some cases, but I have to be careful not to apply it too generally or I'd lose my happy go lucky disposition.

frobisher said...

Hello Qeeny! been chasing you round blogland this morning.

Qenny said...

hi frob. Does this mean that I've been tagged and now I have to chase you around blogland?

frobisher said...

Yes, last one to Piggy and Tazzy's is a rotten egg!

frobisher said...


not playing anymore?

Qenny said...

Oh, sorry sweetie, work getting in the way :-(

frobisher said...

Yes, I've been farting around for a couple of hours now and will have to do some to :(

Da Nator said...

if you think of all the famous magicians, none of them seem even remotely gay...

Very funny. I meant an out gay magician. You don't see David going on about his husband, and even S&R use euphemisms whenever possible.

Which reminds me, is David Blaine gay? Mrs. Nator insists he is, but I'd never even thought about it 'til she said so.

Qenny said...

I always thought he was a bit suspect. But that might be just because he's cute.