• Ben Price

The Big Three

No matter the location of the show, what type of show it is, or who I am talking to at the time, I always get asked the same two or three questions. Either these questions or the person just awkwardly shuffles away because they have no idea how to speak to a magician. But, for those of you who are curious, I thought why not answer the big three right here on the blog!

Questions Number One

What instrument do you play?‘

Yeah…when I tell people that I’m a magician, I have had more than one occasion where the person wants to know what instrument I play… While I do dabble in the harmonica and I can rip it up on a triangle or a kazoo, that sadly, is where my musical prowess comes to a very bleak end. I then clarify that I have said MAGician not MUSician and that inevitably leads us to…

Question Number Two

‘OH..But what else do you do? Like, whats your real job’

This one is one that many other magicians can relate to. Have you ever asked someone what they do for work and they respond with, police officer, pilot, or plumber, etc...You don't follow up with…’Yeah but like, what is your real job?’. You just accept it, maybe you ask how things in their field are going. Granted, when someone says they are a magician it’s a bit out of the blue, you’re not expecting those words to come out of someone’s mouth. It’s not really a normal nine to five… and you’re right. My job is very different from most others but I love it and it is in fact… My job! Maybe in another blog I’ll outline what my typical day looks like. Just to give you an idea of exactly what my job is. It’s not as glamorous and slack off-ish as you might think.

Question Number Three

'How did you get into magic’

This, like any other magician, is a story of a childhood plaything. When I was around 6 years old, I was gifted a magic kit. This was possibly the most spectacular gift I could have received. I remember opening it to this very day. As my entire family sat around the basement of my aunt’s house, a VERY large parcel was placed in front of me. How mysterious. It was wrapped in Disney pattern wrapping paper, pooh bear, snow white, Mickey mouse, you know, the usual lot. As I opened it I remember being quite

confused…this box had no markings. There was nothing to indicate what it was… This box was yet again shrouded in mystery.

As my mom cleared away the paper and my Opa (Grandpa in German) and Dad sat watching intently, (They knew of course what was in the box of course) I opened the box and inside were glorious colourful props that were just waiting for me to use incorrectly… one of the items in the box was a floating Ken style doll in a fancy ass tux. I used to perform that little illusion every chance I got. Another thing from the kit was the classic cups and balls. Something I still perform to this very day… my props have since been upgraded.

Me performing the Cups & Balls at Make Magic In Calgary Alberta

After receiving the kit, I was an unstoppable magic man. Performing items from the kit as well as my own inventions. One of my favourite magic tricks was one I would perform for my Auntie Georgie. At my grandmas kitchen table, I would cover a spoon, knife, fork, or any other piece of cutlery that happened to be around with a napkin. I would close my eyes, say a magic word, and when I opened them, the cutlery would be gone. What is impressive about this is every time I did it, my aunt would be blown away.

A few years passed and my interest in magic was still very strong. My family and I took a trip to Calgary where we serendipitously passed a store called Don’s Hobby Shop. It looked very interesting and we (By which I mean I begged and begged until they) decided to stop in. Dons was a glorious place. Costumes, makeup, masks, puppets, and off to the side, a counter full of professional magic props. I spent hours and hours in Don’s talking with Charlie - a green dressed, green haired, green fingernail polished (Basically, if it could be green, it was) sweetheart! She helped me with everything. After my first visit, I left with a cup and ball, an imagination bag, and a coin trick. All of which I still have! When I returned Charlie remembered me and my family, and she would recommend things to me, and my dad would open up his wallet and I would walk out of that store with three or four new things to learn and perform. I went to Dons well into my teenage years and my ability grew by leaps and bounds thanks to Charlie and that magic counter.

As my magic began to evolve and my repertoire began to grow, I started to perform for birthday parties under the very sexy name… MagicMan.

My logo for my first magic 'business'

After a few birthday party and family performances, I began to do a recurring show with

a local elementary school to wrap up their unit on Harry Houdini… (A subject I wish we had covered when I was in school).

After I graduated high school, I enrolled in a theatre degree in technical production and design and I ended up completing my degree at the University of British Columbia in 2016. With a knowledge in technical theater and design, I moved back to Alberta where I took a job as a production/ stage manager with a company in my home town. During this time I continued to perform magic on the side for corporate functions and private parties whenever I got a booking but it was not my main source of income. While I have a passion for both stage management and magic, I was making more bookings and money as a magician and entertainer than I was as a production/ stage manager. After moving to Calgary, I have started to make magic my main form of income and take stage and production management jobs on the side.

So… that’s how I got into magic!

I hope you enjoyed this read. If you want to stay up to date with everything at Ben Price Magic, join the mailing list. If you have questions or topics you’d like to hear about, send me an email at catch you next week!

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Photos © 2018 by Cameron Lomon

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