Tom Harris

I cannot recall when I first met Tom Harris. It must have been many years before the War, but it seems as though we have always been friends. 1 have watched, as we do with our contemporaries, his gradual climb of the ladder, and his well deserved eminence today is the result of hard work and tenacity of purpose.

Tom has been interested in magic almost all of his life and from schooldays used to amuse friends and parties. Although he naturally adopted the stereotyped formal presentation of magic in the early days, he quickly found that as soon as he left his native hearth, his audiences found both his speech and his mannerisms highly amusing and from then on comedy was his business .

1 use the word business in a metaphorical sense for Tom is not a professional magician. nei;her does he really make a business out of magic. He is a highly successful business man. who has lived most of his life in Derby, and if you have ever been to Tom's business premises you will understand why he has to be a good magician . . . otherwise he would never find anything !

Tom was one of the original team of Flying Sorcerers, who went to the U.S.A. in 1950, and his magic proved a big success there, not only at the formal sessions but at the very informal ones as well. 1 shall never forget the scene at the U.S. Customs, with native porters, eyes goggling, watching Tom doing his hilarious Coin Catching act in the middle of the floor, to prove that we were magicians and that our apparatus was our act ! His performance stopped the show on one occasion over there, and I am sure that the laughter was not on account of any jokes he made, for his dialect is almost unintelligible to me when he is on the stage, and the Americans could not understand a word. What they do understand however, is honest-to-goodness sense of comedy, and this is what Tom has in every particle of his being, aided and abetted by an uncanny sense of timing ! The latter is .of course, the perquisite of the true professional. and this is what gives Tom's act such a professional finish.

People who do not know him intimately would probably never realise from seeing his act. that he is a past master of the art of sleight of hand. If you ever get a chance of seeing Tom at a table top session, watch out for his bottle cap routine. It is one of the most baffling transposition Continued on Page 93.





by Eddie Joseph Page 89

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