Mandy Davis - Diva of Deception

Mandy Davis - Diva of Deception - is a professional close up magician working for banquets, dinners, receptions, weddings, bar/batmitzvahs, private parties etc. A member of The Inner Magic Circle, she serves on their ruling Council and currently holds several posts. . Mandy is also a member of Equity and twice honoured with the Society of American Magicians' Presidential Citation.

Friday, July 28, 2006


It all started with a phone call from a fellow member of The Magic Circle suggesting lunch with us the following day. We meet up at a pub/restaurant near to his home every couple of months and yesterday was a chance to get together before he flew out to Majorca for his annual summer jaunt.

I'd been out the week before and bought some new lightweight summer tops so decided to wear one for our meeting. I felt reasonably smart, as one always does in new clothes and, although there was a brief downpour soon after we arrived, we were happy to sit out in the garden under a large gazebo and chat our way through the afternoon.

It was about two hours after we arrived that the two guys on the table behind Rob got up to leave. One of them came across to me and bent down to speak low and slow into my ear.

"I thought I ought to say something, hope you don't mind..." he began. And I turned to look at him, thinking he was going to explain that he had seen me performing somewhere recently and had enjoyed my work.

Instead he continued:"I think you ought to know that you still have a hanging ticket on the back of your tee shirt!"

Oh the HORROR of it! I thanked him and grabbed behind me to pull away the offending item.

What made it all the more horrific was that printed large so that the entire garden area and passersby could see, was the following: XL £4....


Yes I know, no prized for stating the 'bleedin' obvious!' But it's too hot to sit here at the computer; too hot to think of anything worth writing about; too hot to do anything at all....

So I'll just sit here and listen listlessly to a back catalogue of last week's radio programmes whilst idly doing the jigsaws on - one of the greatest time wasters around. Well, it's great not to have anything to do for a while.....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I shouldn't be blogging right now; I should be editing a magazine right now. But I'm stuck, well and truly so here I am instead!

You see.. it's like this...

Although I was delighted to get Photoshop elements for Christmas I am not so sure I am enjoying it now. I just can't get the damned thing to do what I w - I've a book all about it but it only tells me how do do things I don't want to do or the obvious things I can do already.

What I wanted to do, why I wanted it in the first place, is to take a photo and cut round the subject so that it stands out better on a page. My designer/printer says it's very time consuming work and he isn't prepared to do it which I appreciate but I really wnat to do it myself.

I was shown how about four months ago but I have lost the knack and my head won't get around how it needs to be done. I can 'lasso' my subject but then what? If I make a new layer it still shows the background when the layer is opened although it doesn't show the background on the thumbnail - and when I try to use the eraser on the background nothing happens. I can't seem to get it right!

You really don't have a clue what I'm talking about have you? Well, to be honest, I don't think I have either!

Friday, July 14, 2006


Bringing Rob home, hopefully cured, from the hospital yesterday means that life takes on a semblance of normality and I take stock of what is around, only to realise... Secrets magazine should be finished by early next week and I haven't anything to put in it!!! Help!

When I took over as editor I thought that this was a magazine that would have loads of people wanting to write for it and it would be my job to say: 'not this month, maybe there'll be room next time!' but it isn't like that at all. The same people send stuff so I have two on-going series but I don't want it to be too predictible so when I went to the computer equivalent of the Secrets cupboard today what did I find? So far:

Two articles which are continuations of on-going series as mentioned above - two tricks by the regular contributor whose pieces are very suitable for the younger readers, one trick which the workshop attendees learned last month and needs to be shared with the rest - and that's it! Nothing else. So that's five pages - and hang on, there's an interview I did that didn't get

used last time. So that is seven pages covered.... One short review of a trick; need more... and I've found the notes from an interview I did whilst at Blackpool so that will help. Nine pages then... still need more stuff. I have nothing for the double News pages; no news. I've not been to any magic conventions since last time; I don't know of anything wildly exciting except for FISM and I'm not going to that, too expensive to visit Sweden for the magic olympics - maybe next time.

I also need to find people who will appear at J-Day in October so that I can publish that in the magazine - but who to ask? Most of those I would dearly love to have on board have been thrown out of The Magic Circle and I don't know if I'd get into heaps of trouble inviting them along. Yet it's our tenth anniversary and so I'd love to have them on board.

And now it's Friday - and I have to stop all this to concentrate on the weekend bookings. I said I continue to cover Rob's work this weekend. After that I consider his convalescence at an end and it's every man or woman for him/herself.

And I'll get back to the magazine - now what on earth am I going to fill it with????

Monday, July 10, 2006


The first disaster -Rob ending up in hospital on Saturday - see previous blog.

The second disaster - Sunday was the day that Tim Shoesmith and I managed to get Rob's car back as it was still at the venue where he'd collapsed. Then I got home from hospital visiting, and popping in to a friend's wedding reception. It was around eleven o'clock on Sunday night. I had been freezing half litre bottles of water and taking them to the hospital so I refilled the empties and took them out to our garage where the freezer stood - with its door wide open!

This was a large upright freezer and the shelves were now dripping with molten icecream, and filled with very squishy packets of ready meals and frozen veg. I just took everything out, put it in cardboard boxes, and chucked it into the wheelie bin. Then I realised that I could cook the raw stuff so I rummaged in the bin and found a piece of beef, two chickens and some duck legs - like anyone rummaging in a waste bin would do!

At four a.m. I was still waiting for the last of these to roast in the oven before going to bed.

The third disaster - Wednesday was an easy day to meander up to visit Rob - who had been suddenly transferred to St. Mary's in London that afternoon! Drove to town, parking in Regents Park and getting a cab to save stress of find somewhere safe and legal to leave the car in Paddington. The trouble started when I got back to the park.....

This car was dead - ded, dead! I couldn't even get the hazard lights to work! So, totally undaunted I called the AA.

No way! They said that my membership had lapsed, the bank had messed up the direct debit, and consequently I couldn't have a man come to rescue me after all!! That was when the week fell in on me. I didn't know how to cope.

Eventually I called Mandy in Bath and she tried to cajoule the AA to no effect; they said I had to take out a new membership, my membership since 1990 was of no use at all. I said I'd rather join the RAC but, according to Yellow Pages, you can only do this during office hours and it was now 10.30. So Mandy joined me to the AA and they said they'd send a man. Whilst this was going on Mandy had also called a friend, Andrew who lived around the corner. He had walked over with a bottle of water and a bag of healthy snacks - but hadn't brought his car....

At 11 p.m. the AA called to say a man would arrive around midnight; I emphasised, once again, that the park gates closed at midnight and both I and car had to be removed long before that. He called back to say a man would be with me in half an hour.... Thirty five minutes later and nothing. Andrew, by this time, had gone to get his Bentley and we jump started my car and the engine started first time. I drove home, heart in mouth, but it's been fine ever since.

And the AA man? Well, we tried to call and cancel but couldn't get through at all. They called me, however, at 1 a.m. to let me know what time they'd be arriving in the park! Next morning I cancelled the membership and joined the RAC.

Yep - they sure come in threes....

Sunday, July 02, 2006


These are not the words you want to hear on a voicemail when you listen to your messages just after finishing a gig beyond deepest, darkest Chelmsford! It was an incredibly hot day, 31+ degrees, and I'd been working with another magician in a walled garden with no trees! We'd done a two hour reception out there before close up at the tables - in a marquee where the air-con wasn't at all effective!

And now this....

Yesterday we'd worked - him on a boat for five hours in Oxford (where he got a very red face from the sun), then on to an evening gig in Cambridge. I, meanwhile worked at a corporate event in Cheltenham.

Rob had a particularly large workload as a colleague, Phil Perry, had gone to visit his daughter in the US, got dehydrated and collapsed, hitting his head on concrete and had just had an operation for a blood clot. Rob had been given two of the jobs Phil couldn't cover. One was the wedding today.....

My mind went blank - I couldn't remember where he was working and when I did I couldn't even remember which county he was in! The guy who called me was very helpful when I got back to him and eventually told me an ambulance had taken Rob to Lister Hospital, Stevenage which is easy to find as I'd done shows there.

It seems that the heat had aggravated Rob's heart condition and they can't get his heart rate down. It's no longer zooming up and down the scale as it has in the past but is sticking between 130 and 145 which is higher than a normal 70/75. So they have kept him in Coronary Care Unit - they say overnight but I can't believe they'lll let him home tomorrow. I think it's more likely to be Monday at the earliest... and here I sit.... alone and petrified....