Aidan’s working towards a ‘magical’ career



Aidan Murphy cuts an impressive figure as he puts an aqua aerobics class through their paces at the Hodson Bay Leisure Centre. The down to earth 27-year-old from Athlone is a popular member of staff at the hotel. 

  There are, in fact, no obvious signs that the gym instructor is part of a secretive society and is hoping to make a career using sleight of hand. For, you see, Aidan is a member of the Society of Irish Magicians.

  “I was always really into magic from a very young age but I starting getting into it properly when I was in secondary school. I figured little bits out from Keith Barry’s TV show and started practicing, mostly card tricks,” he said as he sipped a cappuccino at the Hodson Bay Hotel recently.

  “Every day in school at the back of class and I’d be trying tricks on teachers and friends too. Because magic wasn’t on TV as much or because it wasn’t as big among my friends, some people used to look at me as if I was a nerd or something!”

  Magic has experienced something of a rebirth and performers like Keith Barry, Dynamo and America’s Got Talent winner, Shin Lim, have shown how it can draw huge TV audiences.

  It’s all down to magic’s ‘cool factor’ and shows like Britain and America’s Got Talent and movies like Harry Potter have helped to propel it back into popular culture.

  But how does one get started on the Irish magic circuit? Aidan said it began when he was studying sports management in Athlone.

  “When I went to AIT a friend of my brother’s asked me to enter a competition in Mullingar called ‘Stars of the Bars’. I had never performed on stage. I was nervous, but when it came to the shows I was okay, because I’ve always just really wanted to perform magic”.

  Aidan won the competition outright and invested the prize money into his first magic show for kids. This is in turn led to wedding gigs.

  “As the guests arrive there’s about a two-hour lapse before the meal. I mingle with the guests…doing different genres of magic including mind reading, cards, a little bit of comedy and some close-up illusions. The second slot is after the main course and I make my way around tables performing.

  “It’s about entertaining people as much as the magic so I’m constantly working on how to hold an audience’s attention,” he said.

  The Athlone magician also performs regularly on cruise ships around the world. His corporate gigs have also brought him face to face with some very important people.

  “I was performing at the Aviva Stadium and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was a guest speaker at the event. I performed for two hours at the drinks reception. I heard the Taoiseach had arrived but wasn’t going to be at the drinks reception so I waited around for two hours to perform for him”.

  Aidan’s persistence obviously paid off because two days later he received a letter from Mr. Varadkar’s office inviting him to perform at the Presidential Dinner the following Saturday.

  Looking ahead, what is Aidan hoping to achieve in terms of a career in magic and entertainment?

  “I just want to be working full-time; I don’t necessarily want fame but I want to be busy performing and known around the area for doing what I’m doing.

  “Every year gets busier; when I started I was only doing a couple of weddings but I have 39 weddings booked this year. I’ve a lot of corporate events lined up and I’ve just performed at a Supermac’s event. I’ll be flying over to London for a gig in May too which came from a gig in Dublin. So it progresses through word of mouth and also on Facebook and Instagram where I’m always looking to reach larger audiences. It’s all about developing the performance and reaching and holding the audience,” he concluded.