Off Stage

David retired from performing professional magic on the 20th of December, 1993. He'd made the decision ten years earlier, not wanting to be one of those acts who, though their technical skills may still remain, look to the audience as if their best days have past. The word "retirement" is perhaps misleading. David has always been the busiest of men with many different interests. In January 1963 he was accepted into The Grand Order of Water Rats, the world's leading show business charity whose members include many leading performers. Over

Paul Daniels and Terry Seabrooke, thanking David, as President of The Magic Circle, for the new CMA headquarters!

At a meeting of the Grand Order of Water Rats, with Sir Norman Wisdom and Prince Michael of Kent.

Paul Daniels and Terry Seabrooke, thanking David, as President of The Magic Circle, for the new CMA headquarters!

At a meeting of the Grand Order of Water Rats, with Sir Norman Wisdom and Prince Michael of Kent.

the years he has acted as a Trustee and a Councillor. In 1979 he was voted King Rat, the equivalent of President. All of the organisation's posts have Rat names such as Prince Rat, Musical Rat, Scribe Rat and Bait Rat (in charge of catering). He is currently their Preceptor, the father figure of the Order. The female branch of The Grand Order of Water Rats, of which David's wife Ruth is a member, are known as Lady Ratlings.

In 1976 he was honoured to be elected President of the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. And in 1989 he was voted President of The Magic Circle in London, a society that he has belonged to for over fifty years. The Magic Circle prospered under David's nine-year presidency, finally acquiring a permanent home of its own, The Centre for the Magic Arts, a purpose-built building with its own library, museum, meeting rooms and theatre in the heart of London. The establishment of such a centre had been a long held dream but high property prices made it one difficult to realise. Appeals to the membership for money raised considerable sums but it was never going to be enough to afford the kind of substantial property they hoped for. The breakthrough came when David approached the Foundation for Sports and the Arts and after much work received a grant of £300,000. With additional funds coming from the membership, some incredibly generous, and other sources, David's dream became a reality. He named it The Centre For Magic Arts and created the motto, "Promoting Excellence in Magic."

In 1992 David's extraordinary story was given public recognition when he was caught by This Is Your Life, a television programme given over to celebrating the lives of its guests.

Surrounded by family and friends, including his late sister Gaby, his sister Ellen-Ruth, and his wife Ruth, at the conclusion of This is Your Life.

The programme is prepared in the greatest of secrecy so that guests are totally amazed when, under some pretext or other, they are ambushed and brought to the studios to meet old friends at what is in fact a surprise party. For seven months, his wife Ruth and the rest of his friends and family had kept the project a secret. He had been a guest on many other editions of This Is Your Life devoted to his celebrity friends but he never thought that one day he would be the subject of his own show.

Guests who paid tribute included many from the magic world, including Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee, The Morettis, The Pendragons, Billy McComb and Charles Reynolds. Actor Ron Moody recalled moments from David's career as a film consultant while politician John McGregor, the then leader of the House of Commons, praised his work as an ambassador for magic. Also appearing on the show was John Fisher, then Head of Light Entertainment at Thames Television. I Ic said that, "David's great strength is being able to combine magic and showmanship with a deep understanding of psychology and human willpower. When these two talents come together, the results are staggering." Finally, I ri Geller confessed his respect and admiration for a man who he believed truly deserved the title of International Man of Mystery.

In 2000 David was awarded The Magic Circle's highest honour, the coveted Gold Medal. And in 2001. he was given a Special Fellowship by the Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood. They are fitting tributes to a lifetime in Magic.

The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.

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