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Guests - Daryl

A Very Warm Welcome to Daryl

Admin: I would like to offer a very warm welcome to a man who needs no introduction. If you were to ask a hundred magicians to name their top ten, I am sure that this man would be near the top of each of these lists. Our next Special Guest is Daryl, a man who has become a household name on so many peoples' lips.

As you may guess, Daryl is a very busy and well-sought after magician and so I would like to offer the following gesture to Daryl, in order to allow him to fit our forum into his very busy professional schedule.

This forum will remain open for the period of one week to allow for the collection of questions and then the forum will be temporarily closed and the questions emailed to Daryl, so that he can answer these in his own time. Therefore, there will be a pause before the questions are answered and during this time, this forum will be hidden to allow Daryl as much time as he needs to answer the questions.

After this period, the answers will be attached to the questions and the forum will be re-opened to allow you to pursue the full range of threads. I hope that, in this way, Daryl can accommodate us and fit our requests into his very busy life style.

I shall look forward to seeing a wide range of questions over the following week.

This forum will temporarily shut on Sunday 11th May to allow time for Daryl to compose his replies.

Oliver Gratten: Hi Daryl,

I have always been a great admirer of your work and was wondering...what provoked you to create your own line of effects? Also, what is your favourite effect of all time to watch, and to perform?

Many thanks,

(You can probably expect more questions from me later)


Daryl: Oliver,

The first magic item I ever produced for sale was a set of lecture notes when I was seventeen or eighteen years old. I sold about 35 sets at my first lecture for $3.00 each. In addition to my fee, I earned more than $100.00! However my inspiration for continuing to produce and market magic items has been the belief that we should all give back to magic as much, or more as we take out. This way the art will continue to thrive and move forwards.

My favorite effect to watch was Fred Kaps smoking his thumb. My favorite effect to perform is the Jumping Knot of Pakistan (which you may have seen on my Rope Videos – Vol. 8).

Shaun Robinson: Hi Daryl, thanks for taking the time out to speak with us, it is much appreciated!

I would like to know how you feel your performance style has evolved and why is has. I watch your old, and I do mean old lecture videos, and you seem to have changed quite a bit. This is also true of Williamson, although I prefer Williamson's older style, but think your new style is great.

Thanks for your reply

Daryl: Shaun,

My performing style has evolved because I have evolved as a person. I now feel more confident and relaxed than I did when I was beginning and I hope this shows in my performances. As I get older, I value my time more than ever before and as a result, I respect other people’s time as well. I try to get to the point quickly and not waste audience’s time with "filler".

Michael Jay: Hi Daryl, welcome to our forums and thank you so very much for taking your time to do this for us. Words cannot express my appreciation.

I'd like to know at what point in your life you decided that going full pro and teaching to magicians was your calling. Was it specifically at an age or time in your life that you just said to yourself, "I can make a go of this and do pretty well for myself," or was it more along the lines of a slow transition where life simply led you to? I hope that makes sense!

Thank you again.


Daryl: Mike,

I do not believe that there was a specific time in my life when I made a conscious decision to become a professional magician. It was a long and slow (yet pleasurable) journey. I performed for several years as a child and as a teenager for very little or no money, including street performing in San Francisco. As I gained more and more experience, I slowly increased my fees as I was performing more and more often. The next thing I knew, I was earning enough to make a living before I left home.

Kevin Wratten: I have all 8 'Encyclopaedia of Card Sleights' and I find them a great learning tool. What prompted you to make these videos and what made you choose the particular contents that are included on the volumes.

Thanks in advance,


Daryl: Kevin,

I decided to make the card sleights videos because I remember how difficult it was for me to learn sleight of hand technique from the printed page. I didn’t know what the technique was supposed to look like and there was no one I knew who could teach me.

Many years later, Louis (president of L&L Publishing) contacted me because he had the idea of producing the series and he heard that I was already working on a similar project independently.

I choose the specific sleights to be included in the contents because I thought they represented the "basics" with enough variations for each student to select his or her particular favorite techniques. You may only need one or two "forces" for example, but if I teach you ten different techniques, you can choose to master the methods you prefer.

Graham: As a busy professional, both for laymen and peers, how do you resist the temptation to switch onto autopilot? I noticed during our conversation at Blackpool that some of your patter lines slipped into the conversation, and wondered if you feel the lines becoming blurred due to constant performing.

Kind regards,


Daryl: Graham,

I realize that I do occasionally slip into "autopilot" (while performing) particularly when I’m over tired. I don’t think the lines are blurred from constant performing as much as I feel most of my patter lines come from my everyday life. When I perform an effect for the first time, I do not plan my patter. I just say what comes naturally. Most of what I said originally stays then I add jokes and bits later to increase the entertainment value.

Bergy: Hi Daryl
Thank you for the chance to ask you a few questions.

Now you are so successful what ambitions do you have in magic now?
Also who were your greatest influences?

Thanks again


Daryl: Bergy,

Now that Caesars Magical Empire has closed and I have moved my family to the country, I would like to find a new "regular/steady" performing outlet.

My greatest influences (I’m going to assume that you mean magicians) were: Dai Vernon, Slydini, Fred Kaps, and Brother John Hamman.

Daniel Price:

Hey Daryl,

My question is a "what if".

The only professional magician I know of that has another job is John Bannon (although there are probably many, many more) who is a lawyer and a professional and published magician (though I hear his career as a lawyer has surpassed his career as a professional magician on the failure to release his "cardzilla" book).

What job do you think you would do if you weren’t a magician?

Daryl: Daniel,

If I were not a magician, I’d probably be some kind of pitchman. That way I could continue to perform and have the instant gratification of the response – of course in the case of a pitchman that would also mean people fighting to give me hands full of cash! Failing that, I’ve fantasized about being a professional blackjack player who travels around the world being comped at the finest hotel casinos, eating at the best restaurants, and seeing the best shows, while earning big bucks!

Nigel: Many pop stars have writers who compose their music and set their lyrics, do you have a team who provide inspiration for your effects or are these the result of your own inspiration?

Daryl: Nigel,

I do not have a team of helpers, and I’m happy to say that I look for my own inspiration.

Nigel: You may have heard of the hot air balloon game:

Ten different people are caught in a sinking hot air balloon travelling over the ocean and then the balloon starts to sink towards the sea. One-by-one each person has to explain why he/she should remain and then, after they have all spoken, one of them is thrown out, in order to save the others.

What would you say, as a professional magician, to defend your place in the balloon?

Daryl: Nigel,

First, I’d offer to play a quick hand of Three Card Monte for my place in the balloon! Just kidding!

I’d explain that what I do brings pleasure to countless people. More important than that, is the fact that I teach others to do what I do so that they may bring pleasure to countless people as well. These new people who experience the magic may be inspired to learn magic and spread the pleasure as well. I plant the seeds and the number of people who enjoy the benefits multiplies like the inverted base of a pyramid.

Sam: As a respected Full time, professional magician what would be the one piece of advice you would give to any magician new to the art form if they wished to further their career.

Daryl: Sam,

Learn simple, sure-fire, angle-proof commercial effects that you can perform under any conditions. Master them and perform them flawlessly then add an interesting presentation! Don’t waste your time with difficult and complicated methods.

Damien: Hi Daryl, so nice of you to join us

What is your full list of regular venues that you perform in? By this I mean the environments and types of places such as restaurants, parties etc.

Also which one of these is your favourite?

Best wishes


Daryl: Damien,

At the moment, I have no "regular" performing venues. My last regular performing venue was Caesars Magical Empire in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas where I performed six shows a night, five nights a week. I still perform at corporate and private parties as they present themselves.

My favorite performing venue is a straight "show" where the audience members purchased their tickets and they’re sitting down in a theatre setting waiting for the performance to begin.

Nigel: When we are young, the world is our oyster and our thoughts are full of ambitions. As the years progress we achieve more and more and hopefully we approach our ambitions.

Where would you say that you are on this path? Are there additional targets that you have set yourself as you achieve those earlier ones that you have set yourself?

Daryl: Nigel,

New targets? Yes, always. As soon as I achieve one goal, I replace it with a new (and better) one. This way, one keeps moving upwards and this, I believe, is one of the biggest secrets of success. I believe that the day we stop setting goals for ourselves and stop working toward achieving them is the day we begin to die.

I’m very happy to say that I have achieved every goal that I have set for myself.

My next main goal is to find the right house to buy in the Sierra foothills of Northern California. Alison and I know what we want and we’ve been looking for several months now. We will never give up because we both know that the perfect house could be the very next one we see.

WelshWizard: Do you think that videos (instructional) are threatening to magic in the long run? I own magic videos and they are great. For instance, sometimes books are just badly written or the descriptions are hard to understand (like the RRTCM; when I first bought this great book and began reading 'place the first phalanx at the short end...' I was confused). However, I still think I'd rather have a good magic book or booklet than a video.

Also, If a layperson were to ask you 'where do you learn this?' would you say that it is partly from videos. Personally, I wouldn't tell laymen magic is nowadays learnt from videos because it takes away from the illusion or how they see you. I would be apprehensive to say videos because I think it would degrade their idea of magic as a serious art.

Daryl: WelshWizard,

This is a very interesting question and I suspect an entire book could be written about the pros and cons of videos versus books.

Yes, I agree that there are some negative points about teaching magic on videos. My main concern is that it makes our secrets too easy to obtain. Because it takes more effort learn a secret technique from a book, we probably value it more and, as a result, treat it with more respect. This may include taking the time and effort to learn to perform the technique properly. When volumes of information are easily available to anyone on a video or DVD, they may tend to give it less value and perhaps treat it with less respect.

On the other hand, the more information that is available, the more magicians that will be created. This will, hopefully, increase the body of knowledge that will be shared by all. This should help magic progress forward.

If someone asked me where I learned something, I’d say, "It’s a mystery!" If someone truly expressed an interest in learning magic, I’d recommend they visit their local library.

Kevin Wratten:

There’s an old quote:

What gets you motivated and inspired to create your award winning routines, and original conceptions?

Thanks again,


Daryl: Kevin,

First, I picture (visualize) something that I’d like to see performed. Next (and this is the fun part), I try to figure out a way to perform it. My inspiration comes from wanting the final result to look as close to perfect (as magical) as possible. Very often, an excellent solution has already been created. If that is the case, I use the method that was invented by someone else. If not, I create my own method. Remember: the effect comes first, then the method.

Kevin Wratten: Have you ever felt the urge to move onto large stage illusions, with showgirls and boxes–and perform on the world's largest stages?

If not do you think you ever will? If 'no' what makes/made you decide?



Daryl: Kevin,

No, never. I’ve never wanted the large number of problems that go along with big stage productions. Having said that, I often think that someday I’ll perform a "small" act that can be performed on the largest stages. I’m inspired by the magic of Gaeton Bloom! I’m of the "plays big, packs small" school of magic.

Mike: Hi Daryl, I met you briefly back in February at the Blackpool Winter Gardens convention we had a chat regarding Darwin Ortiz look alike? Anyway thanks for taking time out to answer the various forum topics.
Q1 Is there anything in the pipeline for future video releases?
Q2 Are you working on anything new at the minute?
Q3 Aside from magic how's Alison & your baby daughter?

Regards to one of the best in the business.

Daryl: Mike,

Q1: Yes, but nothing that I can talk about at the moment.

Q2: Yes, several things. I released my new "impossible" mentally selected cards across effect (called "Double Crossed") at the Blackpool convention, but I have not really marketed it yet. I think that this will be my next step.

Q3: Alison and my seven and a half month old daughter Laura are both doing great! Thanks for asking.

Sean McQuade: Hey Daryl. This isn't really my question. Another member of the board asked it to Milt Kort, but I liked it and thought I should ask it to you as well

Lucien De Silva wrote:
My question is this: Is there any one routine or effect that you wish you had devised? If so, what is it? It can be one that someone else has devised, or one that has not yet exist.

Daryl: Sean,

I wish that I invented the Paul Curry effect "Out of this World". It’s a miracle!

Sean McQuade: You were at Blackpool this year for the big convention. Did you enjoy it? I'm not sure, but is this the first time you've been to it and will you be coming back to Blackpool again?

Daryl: Sean,

I always enjoy the Blackpool convention. In my opinion, the Blackpool Magicians convention is the BEST convention in the world!

I believe that the 2003 convention was my 4th appearance and I hope to attend many more in the years to come.

Kevin Wratten: Hi again Daryl, another tough question.

Complete this sentence with no more than 10 words.

Daryl's performance character is..........

Daryl: Kevin,

light-hearted, carefree, fun-loving, effortless, skilful, masterful, natural, and impossible!

Thanks, that was fun!

Oliver Gratten: Hi Daryl,

I was just wondering how you would compare yourself to other magicians...what makes you different from them?

Also, how would you say magic differs from other performance arts, what are the highs and lows of it compared to other arts?


Daryl: Oliver,

I’m different because I’m me. I look different, I was raised differently, I live in a different place, I have different opinions, preferences, desires, values, etc., etc., etc. The list goes on. By the way, it’s not just me, everyone is different from everyone else and that’s what makes the whole thing so interesting!

Magic is very different from other performance arts because virtually anyone could learn to perform a simple trick with very little effort. Instantly, this person believes that he or she is a "magician". The sad thing is, if the simple trick is performed well enough, the average person will not know that the performer spent very little time and effort to "master" their craft. This is a shameful low point. With every other performance art, I believe that the average person will realize that a tremendous amount of time, effort, and dedication was spent learning their craft.

A high point is, when magic is expertly performed, it is one of the most beautiful things to behold. I think of such performances as Fred Kaps smoking his thumb, Slydini and his one coin routine, and Teller performing "Shadows". These performances make me proud to call myself a magician.

Daryl Moores: Hi Daryl, thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom with us at Magic Bunny

My two questions are.

1. With you being so famous at performing card effects will anyone play cards with you and would you be allowed in a casino to gamble?

2. In your Card Revelation series are the audience fellow magicians, friends or complete strangers.

Once again thanks for your time.

Regards Daryl

Daryl: Daryl,

The only time I play cards is in a casino. And yes, they allow me to play (my money is as good as anyone’s!).

The audiences use for the Card Revelations videos are mostly laypeople with a few magicians here and there.

Darren: First a big thank you for giving so much to magic, you must be one of the biggest influence to many magicians, I know you had a great deal to do with my development in card magic (your to blame!!)I’ve spent many hours watching your tapes with cards in hands.

Question to you spend more time teaching magic than performing it now? And who was your biggest influence during your early stages of becoming a magician? And if you had to define the word "magician" how would you?


Daryl: Darren,

At the moment, probably teaching. Lately, I’ve written a new set of lecture notes and instructions for two new releases (I’d consider that "teaching").

I’d say it’s a tie between Dai Vernon and Slydini. Dai Vernon for "naturalness" and Slydini for misdirection.

A magician is one who can do that which is impossible.

YinHoNg: Thanks for reading my post in advance Daryl.

I was just wondering if you could answer the following questions

1) Do u have a philosophy for Magic or for life?

2) Is there anyone you aspire to or take inspiration from?

3) What is the best advice you could give to a young magician hoping to grow into the business?

Thanks again and I wish you the very best in the future.

One last quick question= when are you coming to the UK? I'm sure we'll all pitch in to see you!

Daryl: YinHoNg,

This is a big question. My philosophy for magic is: Use your power only for good. For life: Take responsibility and leave things better than you found them.

At them moment, I’m most inspired by Juan Tamariz and Geaton Bloom.

It’s much better to perform a few simple and easy mysteries perfectly than a lot of complicated and difficult tricks poorly. Dai Vernon used to say "Be natural" and "Confusion is not magic".

I have no plans for the U.K. in the near future. Perhaps I’ll be fortunate enough to attend another Blackpool Magicians convention in the next year or two. Please check back regularly on my web site "Schedule" page for the latest on that – and then select "Daryl’s Home Page"

Darren (nippy99): Hi Daryl

Welcome to Magic Bunny and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

Firstly, thanks for making me spend lots of money at Blackpool. With some of your great video offers how could I possibly resist? icon_razz.gif

I have a question regarding your Ultra-Monte effect, which was one of your new items at Blackpool. Having seen the effect I thought it was amazing. I spent many hours practising the routine and the first performance went very well. I removed the four Aces from my full deck and it blew the audience away.

However, the second time I performed it I did exactly the same. Then some loud mouth said he knew how it was done and preceded to tell everyone. I told him he was completely wrong and refused to show him anymore. In actual fact he was absolutely correct.

So my questions are....

Q, How would you handle a spectator who proceeded to tell the world how the effect was done?

Q, After the second performance I now have no confidence to perform it again. Was this just bad luck? Have you had a similar incident? Could I do something different next time?

Thanks very much for your contribution to magic community –it is most appreciated.

Best Wishes


Daryl: Darren,

When performing with gimmicks, you run the risk of getting caught in this type of situation. This is the price you pay for using the easier (non sleight-of-hand) method.

If I ever got caught in your situation, I don’t think I’d argue with the guy and tell him he’s wrong. If he told you to prove it and let him see the cards, you’d look very foolish and you’d have no out. I’d probably tell him he’s right, but "Let’s keep it a secret" and then smoothly move on to the next mystery (maybe even a "sucker" trick to set him up). Don’t worry. He didn’t really "tell the world". In the grand scheme of things it’s just one embarrassing moment while performing a simple little trick for a small group of people in one city, in one country, on one continent on earth. Life goes on and after a few moments, all will be forgotten.

Keep performing the routine. Don’t let this one rude person prevent you and your future audiences the pleasure of experiencing this wonderful mystery.

By the way, I like your idea of removing the aces from a full deck in preparation of performing this routine. It’s a subtle "convincer" that the cards are perfectly ordinary. You’re thinking along the right lines. Keep it up!

Edward: I unfortunately missed your last lecture trip in the UK a couple of years back and was wondering if you were planning another. I'm a great admirer of your work and would love to see a lecture by you.

Daryl: Edward,

Thank you for your kind words and interest. My wife Alison and I spent two years touring the world and we presented about 250 lectures in 25 different countries. We have a daughter now and we plan to spend a lot more time together at home. I have no plans on touring in the near future.

Graham: Daryl;

If Laura were now, say, nine years old and expressed a wish to follow in her parent's magical footsteps, what advice would you give her? Boiling this all down to six top tips for learning/performing magic based on what you now know, what would your six 'pointers' be?

Kind regards,


Daryl: Graham,

Wow, that’s a tough question! For a beginner, here are six points that I think are very important for learning and performing magic.

1)     Use magic to make people feel good (NEVER to insult, embarrass, degrade, etc.).

2)     Keep the effects simple and easy for the audience to understand. Remember the words of Dai Vernon "Confusion is not magic".

3)     Start with very simple magic and advance slowly but steadily.

4)     Do not perform a new effect in front of an audience until you can perform it properly.

5)     Learn whatever you decide to perform flawlessly. There is no excuse for sloppy technique or presentation.

6)     If you make changes or improvements to an effect, be sure to (eventually) contribute it back into the body of magical knowledge.

Daryl: Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this forum and for some great, thought provoking questions. The entire project took me a little over 4 hours! Please visit us at our web site . Any videos you buy directly from us help to support the originator and we also have probably the best deals and prices in the world on my own items. Finally, we try whenever possible to ship UK orders from our European distributor which means you will usually get your order within a few days! Keep up the great magic!


Admin: Thank you all very much for your questions. I shall now close this forum, copy and paste all the threads and email them for Daryl to answer when he has some spare time. Daryl is a very busy professional magician and it is very kind of him to take the time out off his busy schedule to attend to this "Special Guest" forum.

Thank you.




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