We finally had a chance to meet our friend and big-time illusionist Murray Hatfield this weekend at the Magic Castle. He and his better half, Teresa were wrapping up their sell-out week in the Palace of Mystery and he went from his last show on Sunday directly into his lecture in the Parlor of Prestidigitation.
When we say ‘directly’ we mean, immediately. The applause was literally still going as he entered the Parlor to begin his session with us.
We have written about Mr. and Mrs. Hatfield for nearly a decade; chronicling their tours of Canada with Illusions: Magic ‘n Miracles. They have brought the full-evening magic show to lucky cities across our neighbor to the north on a yearly basis – each year with new illusions and a new featured performers.
Even though they stopped each year in our former neighborhood of Windsor, we never had a chance to see them perform or to take Mr. Hatfield’s kind invitation to see the show and meet afterwards.
It only makes sense, then, that we would finally meet in Hollywood, California.
Mr. Hatfield and Teresa put on an incredible show. We have seen approximately a million illusion acts in our short time on this earth, but few can compare with the staging and presentation we witnessed. They are fast, charming and mystifying – even to jaundiced magicians who have seen millions of illusions.
The audience loved the show and the performers. They truly connected with the crowd from their opening and all the way to their incredible finale.
Mr. Hatfield comes across as a very modest but capable person who is fully in control of the illusions he and his lovely wife present. He knows what is about to happen and cannot wait to share it with his new found friends.
That’s either a great act and tough to pull off year after year, show after show; or, he is sharing his genuine nature.
As we learned at his lecture, it is no act. He is someone who has wanted to be a magician since he was a child. He loves the art and enjoys people. That’s a pretty good combination for someone who wants to do what he does for a living.
His lecture was a great chance to learn from someone who has created a new touring show every year for the last 25 years. Yes, he taught us some tricks – good ones – but more importantly, he told us his secret of staging any performance for maximum audience engagement and enjoyment.
Mr. Hatfield taught the lecture attendees a special five step mnemonic device arrange a performance. Achieve all five and the show will succeed, he promised. It does not matter if one is performing close-up or a big-time illusion show.
His stage show follows that formula to great success.
It was an honor to finally shake hands with Mr. Hatfield and a real education in how a true professional works.