About the Specialist Close Up Magician

About Oliver Parker – the professional magician, breakdancer and rhythm activity facilitator

Oliver Parker the Interactive MagicianSo how did you get into magic?

At around the age of 7 I have a vivid memory of my Grandad performing what, at the time, was the most amazing thing I had ever seen! He wasn’t by any means a magician, however he knew a couple of very simple classic tricks.

I remember sitting around him with my brother as he shuffled our pack of miniature Christmas cracker playing cards. He proceeded to ask me to “pick a card…any card”, after remembering our selection, the card was returned to the middle of the deck and he then shuffled the cards. As he began spreading through the face up cards, in my mind I thought there was no imaginable way he could find which one we had picked… not after it was placed back in the middle and he then mixed the cards up! So when he revealed our card which we had selected moments ago I was struck by powerful feelings of confusion, intrigue and amazement. Immediately I asked “How did you do that?!” to which of course my Grandad replied – “It’s magic!”…

I may have been just 7 years of age, but I still thought: “Shut up! It’s not magic…… is it?!?” – that’s what I thought, although what I probably said was: “Pleeeeeeeeease tell me how you did it!” repeatedly.

After an entire evening of insistent nagging from myself and my brother he eventually let us in on the secret if we promised we would practise it and never tell anybody how it was done. To some extent the secret to the trick amazed me even more!

How could I have been fooled by something so simple?

And so a seed was planted. Over the next 3 years or so myself and my 2 brothers received gifts of magic sets and beginner magic books, a lot of which didn’t interest me in the slightest. Why would I want to carry a piece of rope or some plastic cups and balls around just in case I wanted to perform to my friends? Card magic however, that was something that captured my imagination – a perfect way to astound and amuse my school friends after I gave them a thorough thrashing at Snap!

My brothers interest in performing magic never really increased beyond Marvin’s Magic sets. Surprisingly the classic Paul Daniel’s magic set one of my brothers owned was some what of a let down. But I thrived on the reward of practising a new trick and seeing the jaw dropping reactions of my friends! I had so much fun amazing people and the power of genuinely baffling my Year 5 teacher was quite an encouraging feeling.

I loved the reactions after I’d practised a new trick, but it wasn’t until a friend became interested in performing magic too at age 11 and we discovered the street magic of David Blaine that I really became inspired.

The idea of performing street magic for the purpose of surprising people I had never met before with something that would make their day and challenge their minds a little really resonated with me. The very same reasons I am still passionate about my job as a professional close up magician now – I love making people happy and providing them with something fun and different to think about!

Oliver Parker performing stage manipulation card magic in January 2001

Oliver Parker performing stage manipulation card magic in January 2001

So from a young age I was performing close up magic at charity shows and entertaining crowds of students and teachers in the corridors at break time and lunch at school and so on. The reward of baffling my friends, complete strangers and teachers who were supposed to be educating me in how the world worked, after I’d spent hours and hours practising made it worth while for me to pursue…

After winning the first magic competition I had ever entered at age 12 I gained the reassurance and confidence I needed to continue learning and entertaining with close up magic!

My parents encouraged me to join a local magic society so I became a member of the Junior Northern Magic Circle – where valuable tips on showmanship and performance delivery etc. were gained along with plenty of performance and competition experience! I later joined the Bradford Magic Circle and Leeds Magical Association too.

Competition Awards

I recently found some of the close up magic competition award certificates I achieved nearly 16 years ago…

Click the images to read the award certificates full size

MagicTricks.co.uk Close-up magical entertainer under 18's award for 1st place!

2002 Close-up magical entertainer Under 18’s award for 1st place

The Northern Magic Circle Award for 2nd Place - Close-up magic competition 2002

Award for 2nd Place – Northern Magic Circle Junior Close-up Magic Competition 2002

The Northern Magic Circle Junior Close-up Magic Competition 2003 - Award for 2nd Place

Award for 2nd Place – Northern Magic Circle Junior Close-up Magic Competition 2003

Telegraph & Argus, local Bradford newspaper, articles from 2005:

These articles were leading up to the Bradford Magic Circle’s Hey Presto Magic show which Oliver opened in front of a full house of about 350 audience members. Oliver, aged just 15 at the time, started the show off by performing 10 minutes of stage manipulation magic that included making cards appear from thin air and out of his mouth, he made a 10′ long solid staff appear from a small paper bag and a spectacular colourful finale.

Click the images to read the articles full size

Oliver - Sticky the Magician featured in the Telegraph & Argus newspaper in February 2005

Oliver featured in the Telegraph & Argus newspaper February 2005

Oliver plays his cards right - Telegraph & Argus March 2005

Oliver plays his cards right – Telegraph & Argus March 2005

Check out the top hat! Man, I looked cool… anyway…

Until the age of about 16 I dedicated a lot of my time to learning stage manipulation magic – entering Northern Magic Circle Junior Stage Magic Competitions and winning awards before letting it slowly fade out in favour of my love of close up magic…

Close up magic enabled me to interact and communicate more easily and personally with my audience in small groups, with an almost improvised style of free-flowing magic – much more impressive for those taking part and definitely a lot more fun for me!

My first professional job for Asda at age 14 was a strong indication that there might be a business future in what I was doing as well as being an absolutely awesome hobby!

Since then I’ve performed mix and mingle close up magic and had guests taking part in their own bewilderment at a wide range of different types of events including: corporate, weddings, wedding anniversaries, Birthday parties, school/university proms and more!

So now you know how passionate and dedicated I am to making your guests happy…
Get in touch to discuss your event and obtain a free quote!

Close Up Magician and Breakdancer - Oliver Parker - B-Boy Twist

There are a few things in life which I really enjoy, but more importantly that other people love to watch and/or take part with that I am very passionate about…

All my passions…except the mango thing…contribute to my fun and personable close up strolling and table magic performance which has already added fun and wonder to many, many events in cities like Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Sheffield and other areas of Yorkshire.

It’s important to know that after your guests have fun and enjoy themselves experiencing my close up magic – you will be the one remembered for organising such a great event! So…