We talk to Killer Magic Magician Damien O'Brien about performing in the TV show, promoting yourself as a magician, and what magic tricks were his favourite in the TV series.
You've done a great job of promoting yourself individually before coming together for the show. Can you give our readers any advice on sculpting their own performing image and style?
I think with style, it's you've got to be true to yourself. Don't change for anyone. Don't listen when people say, 'You can't do that particular type of magic.' or even what you should wear. You've got to feel comfortable. The more comfortable you feel, the better you're going to perform.
When it comes to performing, I think you need to perfect everything you do. You need to work hard on getting your sleight of hand down, how you present it. My personal favorite is to go out and test a lot of new tricks on people in real time. There's only so much a mirror or a camera is going to tell you. You need to test it, you need to make sure it's down and that people are going to be blown away. I think if they go, 'Kind of– sort of–', you maybe work on it a bit, and you keep pushing it. They haven't seen anything unless they're extremely blown away, and then you've got it down.
How do you get to perform for so many celebrities?
[chuckle] I get asked this question a lot. The reason I get to perform for so many celebrities is, I've sort of started off by blagging my way into nightclubs. I was doing magic for loads of artists in a club and I would go out and hand out as many business cards as I possibly to try and get my name out there. I was lucky enough to get my break, and it kind of kept leading on to other things. I didn't look down on opportunities; I took every opportunity I could get. Even when someone went, 'Right, it's good promotion. Come down and meet these artists, perform for them.' The amount of times you end up performing to them, you end up becoming good friends. Most celebrities have other celebrity friends, so they introduce you, and that was it. I got into that sort of circle.
How does your style differ from everyone else's in Killer Magic?
I'm probably the more cocky one out of the lot. I'm very competitive. I always want to win. I always work really hard. I think my style is very flashy. I show off a lot with what I can do and I really do play to my strengths a lot in that.
What is the best reaction you've got so far when filming Killer Magic?
My favorite still is Fish and Chip Shop; the guys just completely lost it. What was really funny was the fact that he actually did spell his name wrong, and then called himself an idiot. Certainly, he was not an idiot but he actually called himself a dickhead too, which was really funny. He kept saying, 'It's in the belly of the fish.' He even asking if I was a fisherman. I think after that, his whole world was just completely blown away. I don't think he knew what was real or fake anymore. I think that was it; his whole universe was crushed.
Is it fun working with all the other magicians?
It's really fun, because you get to see so many different styles of magic in Killer Magic. Everyone has got a really cool personality and we kind of know what buttons to push with each other, so we know how to wind each other up and bug each other, but at the same time it's all good banter and we have a laugh.
What's the best thing about Killer Magic? What do you think sets it apart from all the other magic shows on TV?
I think what sets Killer Magic apart is there's no this background story of, 'I'm this person, I grew up here.' It's five magicians having fun. We are kind of showing the competitive side of magic, of challenging each other, and it's very fast paced. There is a lot of magic happening, there's a lot of unique styles, and everything is unique and workable. There's no camera tricks. There's no stooges. Everything that's happening is real.
The first episode of Killer Magic aired on BBC Three on the 1st April 2014. The series will continue later in the year. You can currently watch the first episode on BBC iPlayer.