Siegfried & Roy and David Copperfield are the magicians almost every German will name. If you ask for more there will be silence.
Topas, Helge Thun and a defenceless animal.
Topas, Helge Thun and a defenceless animal.
Siegfried & Roy and David Copperfield are the magicians almost every German will name. If you ask for more there will be silence. But there are names very well known to the public: Take Franklin, FISM winner of 1993. He is better known as a TV presenter who is connected with various TV shows rather than with magic. Eckhard von Hirschhausen has a name as a comedian with regular appearances on TV, though he started as and still is a magician. More names? Thomas Fraps, Desimo, Helge Thun, Ingo Oschmann are all magicians you regularly see on TV but in other 'guises' as comedians, show hosts etc. Even Germany's most successful all rounder Topas, who tours Germany and the world together with his wife Roxanne, has a go in comedy clubs now. It looks like this is almost a trend amongst German magicians as the Magische Welt an independent German magic magazine recently stated.
The majority of our professionals find work via agents and local promoters. A lot of
% \ UUUlUUUlUUUUUUUuuuuu produced some top quality magic acts over the years and that their quality has been shown not only by their popularity around the world but also by their success in competitions at them have a full evening show consisting of anything from stage illusions right down to a stand up show with props that fit in a handbag. Public and private shows, cruises, and of course trade shows are probably the same as in Britain, only working on children's birthday parties is not as common over here.
Over the last few years Germany has experienced a kind of revival of variety theatres, and these are spreading all over the country. And some of the old, traditional venues such as "Wintergarten" in Berlin or "Tigerpalast" in Frankfurt, are also still operating. Bucking this trend, however, is one of the oldest, the renowned "Hansa Theater" in Hamburg, which had to close a few years ago. More modern ones like the GOPs in various towns supply regular work with monthly engagements for magicians with their acts or as emcees.
Like in Britain there is a club scene, too. But there are differences. We do not have so many functions like "presidents' dinners" or presidents' chains of honour. The biggest organisation is the Magische Zirkel von Deutschland (MZvD) with more than 80 local rings. Over 2800 members including about 150 professionals receive the monthly clubmagazine Magie, in form and substance comparable to the Magic Circular of The Magic Circle. A few local and regional clubs like the Magische Nordlichter are a magical "home" for many magicians, but the majority are not organised into any clubs.
The magic dealer scene in Germany is fairly typical of many other countries. We have a small number of general dealers (ZZM in Munich, Stolina, Kellerhof), plus a lot of specialised dealers and a vast number offering magical items via the internet.
Germany's magicians have been extremely successful in FISM competitions. This is to some extent thanks to an active club life in some towns e.g. Berlin (Die Zauderer), Munich, Hamburg, Nuremburg and above all Stuttgart. Here Eberhard Riese (author of the book "Fundamente") has been coach and inspiration to many top artistes.
However, more important is the system which gets the acts to the FISM stage. The year after a FISM convention, regional congress competitions are the first stage each act has to pass. You have to be among the top three acts in each category to get to the German Magic Championships, the national convention of the MZvD. Only the best three acts are sponsored for FISM. So there is enough time in between to polish your act, and only the best get through. In the last few years there have even been additional conventions organised by the MZvD for FISM participants to show their acts.
Another factor has been the organisation of some of Germany's top close up magicians into groups such as Die Fertigen Finger. Here some of Germany's most creative and productive magicians get together to brainstorm ideas and to put on shows either as individuals or as members of the group.
Over the last few years Germany has experienced a kind of revival of variety theatres, and these are spreading all over the country. And some of the old, traditional venues such as 'Wintergarten' in Berlin or 'Tigerpalast' in Frankfurt, are also still operating.
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