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Interviews - Daryl


Many of you reading this interview will know that, last October, I took some time out to travel to Las Vegas and visit a certain magician at his home for tuition. Daryl Easton, more commonly known as Daryl (the Magician's Magician). A constant inspiration to the magic community and a hell of a guy to boot. Creator of classic close-up innovations such as the 'Hot Shot Cut' and the ' Ultimate Ambition', Daryl continues to improve and work on his magic through nearly 4 decades. A true master of sleight-of-hand and always on demand to perform for his peers, what makes Daryl tick?
Born on August 13th, 1955, Daryl became fascinated with magic at an early age. At 7 years old, Daryl first came in contact with the legendary Svengali deck. So the magic began. Daryl has strived to excel in all his magical and personal accomplishments, and it shows. A multi- award winning magician and gold medallist at the World Congress of Magic. Also a record holder of 6 academy awards from the Magic Castle in Hollywood. (No one has earned more). Daryl's career has seen him go from performing street magic in San Francisco to performing at President Bush's inaugural candlelight dinner invitation. In addition to being one of the worlds most sought after close-up performers, Daryl is one of the busiest teachers of magic, offering private and group tuition in his home. I set the task to the Magic Bunny community to ask 20 questions for Daryl and what follows is a true reply from the worlds most 'ambitious ' close- up performer and someone that I am very, very proud to call teacher.

Cyber magician: How do you feel your gentlemanly style of presentation carries across all performance types?
Daryl: I greatly admire both Juan Tamariz and Guy Hollingworth and I like to think that my "gentlemanly style of presentation" has something in common with each. I originally heard about the gentlemanly style of presentation from Dai Vernon when he was talking about Nate Leipzig. I agree that people would much prefer to be fooled by a gentleman (as oppossed to a smart alec). I think that Guy Hollingworth is the ultimate gentleman and Juan is the ultimate strong (wildman) performer. Ideally, I would like my style to include the best from both.

Robert Bye: Do you have as much passion for any other hobbies that are not magic related?
Daryl: I enjoy playing Blackjack, but it's nothing like my passion for magic.
At 48 years of age, what are you sure of? I'm sure that being responsible for your actions and living an honest lifestyle is the best way to go. For the record, I'm 47 years old (born on August 13, 1955).

Mister Toad: What item, representing magic, would you put in a time capsule for future generations to see?
Daryl: "The Dai Vernon Book of Magic" or perhaps a thumb tip and Gary Darwin's book "101 Tricks with a Thumb Tip".

Mister Toad: What 1 line would you like to see on your tombstone?
Daryl: I'm sorry, but answering this question truthfully would take a lot more time and thought than I can spare at the moment. If you were allowed a maximum of just twenty words in a universal "who's who", what would you like to see written by your entry? Yikes! That's two in a row! Answering this question truthfully would also take a lot more time and thought than I can spare at the moment.

Damien: Do you agree with Houdini's words - "I consider no man to be a magician unless he can adequately perform the cups and balls?"

Daryl: No, not at all. I believe that one can still be an excellent magician without ever touching any cups or balls. I think its as silly as saying that you don't consider anyone (man or woman) to be a musician unless they can play a particular piece of music.

Sean: Where did you get the inspiration for your ambitious card gimmick?
Daryl: I asked myself "How can I really place a signed card in the middle of the deck and then, without any moves, cause it to arrive on the top of the pack?" The answer was almost obvious... have the card go through the middle!

Sean: Would you ever use your magical ability for your own gain? Ie, playing poker?
Daryl: If you mean cheat, never! If you mean being alert and aware to take advantage of particular situations that may present themselves, always! Remember: Be responsible for your actions and live an honest lifestyle.

Cyber magician: Were you approached to make the card sleights volumes, or did you feel that you should make them?
Daryl: Both actually. Louis (the president of L & L Publishing) was going to do the project and then he heard that I had already started a similar project on my own. We agreed to work together.

Cyber magician: If the second is true, why did you feel that you needed to do them?
Daryl: I remember when I was a young boy I bought a set of "Wild Card" from a magic dealer and the first thing the instructions said was "Perform a Hamman Count". I had no idea what a Hamman Count was and there was no explanation in the instructions. I was devastated that I couldn't perform the trick I just purchased. Years later, I realized that many magicians have a difficult time learning from books. It would be helpful if they could see what a sleight was supposed to look like and it would be much easier to learn if they could be taught visually.

Cyber magician: How do you think magic as an art form is going to head in future years?
Daryl: I don't know but I think David Blaine is moving magic in an interesting direction.

Michael Jay: When considering the idea of going "FULL-PRO" how much importance would you place higher education as something to fall back on?
Daryl: Education is always a good idea. Try to study subjects that will be helpful in advancing your magical carreer.

Lucien De Silva: Which sleight did you find the most difficult to master?
Daryl: Probably the Second Deal.

Lucien De Silva: If you staged a half hour parlour routine for friends, what would you include?
Daryl: Daryl's Rope Routine, Hefty Penetration, Ring, Rope and Wand, 3 Fly III, Jumping Knot, Ambitious Card Routine (with the Ultimate Ambition finish).

Andy C: In old bugs bunny cartoons, every so often a situation would arise where a jester or other entertainer was in front of a medievel king ( Yosemite sam ) and had to entertain him. After a few seconds the bored king would pull a lever and the jester would fall into an alligator pit. Faced with those circumstances, with one shot at entertaining someone, Life or Death, What effect would you choose?
Daryl: The Coin Assembly. There is no wasted time: it takes less than 30 seconds to perform and three effects take place in that time (that's an average of one effect per 10 seconds).

John Macdonald: Can you come back to Blackpool next year please?
Daryl: Thanks for asking, but I can't make any promises at this time.

Magicsamx: When you were named as the magicians magician, how did you feel?
Daryl: I was not actually "named" this, it's a "handle" I came up with and decided to use for myself. Back in the early 1970s, I met a bartender that helped psychiatrists work out their mental problems. He was known as the "Psychiatrist's Psychiatrist". I liked the idea and I decided to apply it to my profession.

Darryl Moores: What's the most embarrassing that has happened to you when performing?
Daryl: Once, I performed "Out of this World" and I got so involved with the presentation that I performed the switch on the wrong pile. Instead of having the cards 100% right, they were 100% wrong! Without missing a beat, I said "...which, when you think about it, is just as difficult!" The audience didn't seem to appreciate the logic of my claim!

Darryl Moores: If you play cards with friends, are you ever tempted to ahem, tip the odds in your favour, if you know what I mean?
Daryl: If you mean cheat, never! If you mean being alert and aware to take advantage of particular situations that may present themselves, always! There are ways of tipping the odds in your favour without resorting to cheating. Being dishonest carries a very high price tag and for me, it's not worth it.

The Scot: What do you generally do if you mess up an effect? What's your cover or get out line?
Daryl: It's very rare, but once in a while, it happens. I have no stock cover lines, I just don't draw any attention to the mistake and I keep going. If you don't hesitate and you move right on to the next part of your routine, believe it or not, chances are good that the audience won't even notice the mistake. Have confidence!

On behalf of all the Magic Bunny community, I would like to say thank you to Daryl for taking the time to answer these questions. We wish you ever more ' magical ' success. Visit Daryl at his website

By Gary Scott




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