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Workshop brings the magic to Wellington’s performing arts

Aug 30th, 2013 | By | Category: Arts/Entertainment, Latest News, News

Magic ACTT

Angel Simal showing off his levitation skills in his home country, Spain.

MAGICIANS will be sharing their secrets this Saturday in an all ages workshop at the Newtown Community Centre.

Members of the Wellington Magic Club, Angel Simal, Chelfyn Baxter and Nopera Whitley are looking to raise the profile of magic as a performing art in Wellington.

Despite stereotypes of magicians being secretive, the magic culture is one of sharing and collaboration, “We have a very good community here in Wellington, we’re very open, very experienced,” Mr Whitley said.

Saturday’s workshop aims to bring together magicians from around New Zealand with the aim of developing their skills and promoting magic as an art form.

“The problem here in New Zealand is that magic is still not yet at the level of performing arts, so we want to raise that profile”, says Mr Simal.

Mr Whitley agrees, “Everyone thinks it’s about the tricks and it’s a puzzle to be solved but it’s not at all like that, we’re trying to stop that. We want people to realise it’s an art, it’s entertainment.”

The programme for Saturday’s workshop includes interacting with crowds as well as focusing on aspects such as body language, confidence, public speaking and storytelling.

The trio say these aspects of the art form which are often overlooked.

“In this workshop we are trying to share knowledge that cannot be easily learnt in books or videos,” says Mr Baxter, “If you want to be a magician you not only need to be aware of the tricks and the foundations of how magic works, but you’re also an actor. You need to learn body language, how to prepare speeches and engage with your audience. You need to tell a story.”

This is the first event of its kind in New Zealand, but Mr Simal says that they hope to make it an annual event.

Mr Sima sees this first workshop as only the beginning of a wider movement at changing the attitude of New Zealanders towards magic.

“This is the start of a wave of magic in Wellington, as well as the rest of New Zealand”.

The workshop will be Saturday 31st August at the Newtown Cultural Community Centre, from 10am through till 8pm. Tickets are available from for $80, with a magic show from 6:30pm for $10 for interested members of the public, all ages welcome.

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is a journalist studying at Whitireia. Previously he attended Otago University where he got a BA in Communications and Philosophy.
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