My Magic History


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I did my first public show in 1981 and I got 75 Norwegian Kroners (about $10.00) for the gig.  Probably more than it was worth... Since then, I've been practicing, studying and performing magic, and by now I'm what Gene Anderson would call a "Part-time Pro". On this page you'll find a little info about what has happened in my magic life.

BTW: This is where I do most of my work...

World Map

My first Show in English

December 1994 in London. Ron MacMillan had his International Magic Day, and I was in the competition. This being my first show in English, I was very nervous, and I'm afraid it was, well, not a very good performance... But I got the experience I needed to get it better.

Pocket Power - the Book

In October 1995 I finished this book. It's about the use of pockets in magic, and this was what opened the lecture market for me. It was very well received by the magic magazines. By now, more than 3.000 copies have been sold!

1996 USA lecture tour

After rave reviews of my book in many magazines, I was ready to do my first lecture tour. Before this, I had only done my lectures in Norway and Denmark. For two weeks I toured the East Coast of USA, and if the magic clubs I performed for had half the fun that I did - then I had twice as much fun as them! This tour got the word spread that a Norwegian magician did this lecture on pockets...

1996 Sweden Lecture tour

Good reviews from the USA tour lead to another great tour! This time I went to my neighbors in the east - the Swedes. Again I had a great time.

An article in Genii

In the February 1997 issue of Genii, the international conjurer's magazine, I had an article called The Simplest Steal of them all. This was an excerpt from Pocket Power, and describes a simple, but very effective way to steal an object from your pocket. You can find the article under the "Essays" heading on these web pages.

Pocket Power - the Video

Many magicians and dealers had asked me to make a video with the stuff from the book. Being in the TV business, this was much easier for me than for many others, so I had to do it. In April 1997 it was ready, and the first 24 hours of it's life I sold an incredible 300 copies! This video just keeps on selling, and maybe it will be even more popular than the book in the long run.

April 1997 USA lecture tour

With the video in my suitcase, I went to the USA again. This time, I performed at Hank Lee's Cape Cod Magic Conclave in the close up show. From there, I went to Winnipeg, Canada, where I did a lecture. This was the first time I lectured with the video for sale, and they bought the tape like crazy. This continued for the rest of the tour, in San Francisco (where I got to ride Jim Fishes incredible FishMobile, see picture) and L.A. I performed for one week at The Magic Castle in Hollywood, and I really must say that I've never worked for a better audience! I performed in the Parlor Room, and that room is just the right size for my type of stand-up magic.

The Fishmobile

Jim Fish with his FishMobile in San Francisco

German Pocket Power

In May 1997 the German version was released in Germany. Alexander de Cova did the translation, and it was published by Tesmar Zauberartikel. The German version is now in its second printing.

An article in Magic

In the July '97 issue of Magic, there's an article written by me on Choreographic Misdirection. The subject has been very popular in my lectures, and the article was an expanded version of the chapter from the Pocket Power book. Complete with more illustrations and more text! You can find the article under the "Essays" heading on these web pages.

October 1997 USA Lecture tour

I'm happy to say that I was asked to perform again at the Magic Castle in October 1997. Again, it was a pleasure to perform for such an interested audience! On the same trip I also did another lecture tour in the USA, this time with my friend Eivind Lwig, who had just released his book Stand-Up Coin Power. The tour was put together by Danny Archer.

Magician of the Year 1997

I was very surprised when I heard I was voted Magician of the Year by the Norwegian Magic Circle. I got this award for my success with the Pocket Power book and video and the lecture tours. Needless to say, this was a great honor for me, and I am very proud of this!

February 1998, The Blackpool Convention

In Blackpool, England, I worked hard! I performed at one Cabaret Spot, one lecture and 12 (!) close-up shows! When I wasn't performing, I was at my dealer stand, and I sold out almost every item I had. I didn't quite grasp the size of this convention before I was there... Almost 3.000 magicians is a lot! Being sold out on everything is a problem when you're going on a lecture tour, and that's exactly what I did.

February and March 1998, Lecture tour in England and Belgium

From the Blackpool Convention, I went touring in England, and then the next week I went to Belgium. Even though I didn't have too much to sell, I sold a lot! People ordered the stuff, and I sent it to them when I got home. The hit of this tour was the Card in Mousetrap trick, which I did for magicians for the first time. That success convinced me that I should publish the routine, and now it's done. Ask your favorite dealer for Jarle Leirpoll's Card in Mousetrap - a really commercial piece of magic! Or just go to the "Stuff you can buy" section of these pages and place your order!

September 1998, Lecture tour in Denmark

This was my first tour of Denmark, even though I had done one lecture there before. It was great to be able to do my lectures in Norwegian for a change! As always when on tour, I made a lot of new friends, and learned a few new tricks, gags and techniques.

October 1998, The Portuguese National Convention

Going to Portugal in October seemed like a good idea. When the snow starts falling in Norway, why not fly away and go swimming and sunbathing? So, when Luis de Mtos asked me if I would do my lecture and a couple of close up gala shows at their national convention, I said yes immediately!
Again, the Card in Mousetrap was a complete sell-out! This is one of those tricks you have to see live to appreciate how good it is. Now lots of Portuguese people will find themselves holding a mousetrap in their hand at restaurants! It's a strange world! For the first time I met Boris Wild, and now I'm selling his lecture notes with the material that completely fooled 150 magicians at his lecture in Portugal.

March 1999, Lecture tour in France and Spain

This was my first trip to both France and Spain, and I had a very good time. I will especially remember the nights in Valladolid and Vitoria (Spain) and in Nimes and Strasbourg (France). I met a lot of nice people, and got a lot of new contacts in both France and Spain.
The lecture in Strasbourg was the most enjoyable for me for two reasons: My interpreter for the evening was Richard Vollmer, who also translated part of my Pocket Power book into French. And, I had Roberto Giobbi as a very good heckler! This combination made the lecture very funny.

October/November 1999, Lecture tour in Germany, Austria, and Italy

This was my most extensive tour ever, and I had such a good time all the way. Again, the Rubber Chicken Egg and the Card in Mousetrap were big hits. I filled up my car when I left, and had only one small case of videos when I came home. Incredible! Here's the tour I did:

Autumn 1999 lecture schedule: 

Oct 16 Hamburg - Oct 17 Wolfsburg - Oct 18 Oelde - Oct 19 Hannover - Oct 20 Stuttgart - Oct 21 Munchen - Oct 22 St. Polten - Oct 23 Steyr - Oct 24-25 Wienna - Oct 26 Milan - Oct 28-29 Bologna - Nov 1 Livorno - Nov 2 Rome - Nov 4 Dresden - Nov 5 Nurnberg - Nov 6 Ulm - Nov 8 Bonn - Nov 9 Celle - Nov 10 Berlin


December 1999, Ron Macmillan's International Magic Convention

I wrote Martin Macmillan and asked if he had a dealer booth for me at the convention (this was one week before it started), and he replied very quickly: "If you're coming, why don't you perform in the International Stars of Close-Up Magic Show?" So, that's how I got to perform at the convention.
The quality of the performers in the competition was high, as always, but to call it close-up is stretching the term a bit. Some competitors had a lot of stuff that had to be set up before the performance, and those acts would never make it in the real world. But we saw a lot of good magic.
The International Stars of Close Up Magic Show has a great name, but the conditions are terrible. Three tables are put up very close to each other. So close that when the audience is applauding at one table, you cannot hear a thing at the other tables... My voice was all used up at the end of my last performance, so I must have been shouting a lot. But I'm not complaining. I knew what the conditions were, and I said yes when Martin asked me. But for people who don't know what kind of conditions they'll be performing under, this must be terrifying! 
Card in Mousetrap was the best seller at this convention too!

July 2000, FISM in Lisbon

This was my third FISM, but the first one where I had a dealer booth. Again I had a great time at FISM, in spite of the organizational problems that occurred from time to time. I sold more than 350 Card in Mousetrap tricks at the convention! Incredible! I also sold out every Rubber Chicken Egg I brought.

But the best thing about FISM is that you see so many friends that you haven't seen for a long time. And you get to see a lot of good performances by top magicians. A highlight for me was when Lee Asher came to my booth and showed me his Asher Twist. Awesome! Another highlight was when David Blaine asked me to show him my No Gimmick Bill Switch from my Pocket Power book and video.

October 2000, Magic Convention in Korpilampi, Finland

Finally, I got to see Finland. It's been on my list for many years, but I've never been there until now. I did my lecture in English, even though Finland is our neighbor country. Even the evening show that was open for normal people (non-magicians)  had to be done in English. Strange how two countries so close can have so different languages. But everyone was very kind, and I had a great time.

February 2001, Blackpool again

I was booked for the Close-Up Gala Show (again!) and as usual it was an exhausting but fun thing to do. I also had a dealer stand, and it came as no surprise that the Card in Mousetrap was once again the big hit. And I sold a huge pile of Security Tags. It's always a pleasure to be at the Blackpool Convention, and the best part is to meet old friends.

September 2001, Pegani's Magic Junior weekend in Horsens, Denmark

Steen Pegani once again had a weekend for young magicians in Denmark. I was hired to do lectures and workshops, and I also did a few appearances on a couple of shows. If the young performers that attended this mini convention keep up the good work, they're bound to become stars one day! It's amazing how good some of them are at a very young age. It was good to be at a magic convention again - this autumn I've been tied up in so many projects that I have had no time for traveling. Hopefully it will get better next year.

Since 2001...

...I haven't  been doing too much in the magic world. I still have lots of performances of course, but for normal people! And I've been busy making info-films and documentaries. I bought myself my own professional video equipment in 2002, and because it's so expensive, I need to use it to make the investment worth while. So this, plus the magic gigs, leaves me with very little time to write magic books, make magic videos and do lecture tours.

I have edited a video for Roy Bjerke (Norwegian magician), written articles for a couple of magazines, discovered that a few people have used my routines in their books without my permission and without giving me credit, helped a few magicians by organizing lecture tours for them in Scandinavia (Daryl, Steve Bedwell, Joshua Jay, Barry Price, David Harkey, Pavel, Tony Griffith and Arthur Tivoli), and been a "celebrity guest" on - the Scandinavian online meeting place for magicians. So I'm not totally lost.

I did go to FISM in den Haag, but just to meet old friends and relax. No stand, no lecture, no show. Had a great time!

2004 - President, no less...

Since 2004, I have been president of the Magic Circle of Norway. We've raised the activity level by offering lots of lectures and "education" to our members. The goal is of course more knowledge about magic and better Norwegian magicians.

2005 was also a great year

First, I went to Strasbourg to do my lecture and perform in the gala show at the national French convention, FFAP 2005. Hanging out with people like Jeff McBride, Armando Lucero and Michael Ammar can never be boring. Also, the French people are perfect hosts, and they were very interested in my books and items. The fact that Pocket Power and my trick explanations are available in French was much appreciated by French magicians.

As a member of the FISM General Assembly, I got the chance to visit Beijing in November to have a look at the facilities they offer for FISM 2009. Visiting Beijing with about 30 other magicians from around the world is highly recommended!

As one of five members of the committee planning the launch of FISM Europe, I've also had the pleasure of visiting Luxembourg for a meeting. While there, I also did my lecture at the local magic club. Lots of fun!

2006 - two year break

I've made a difficult decision. During 2006 and 2007 I will not perform magic! I had too many projects that were never finished, and decided I need more time. So I've stopped performing and practicing magic for a while. This gives me a lot of "spare" time. I've already finished one documentary movie I've been working on since 2002. "Flying for Life" aired on national Norwegian TV, (NRK - Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) June 6th 2006. I've published my book on video production in Swedish, and I'm almost finished writing a book on video editing.

FISM in Stockholm

Summer 2006 and FISM in Stockholm. What a great convention! Had a great time, although I was quite busy, being both a president and a dealer. When I wasn't at my stand I was at a FISM board meeting - or an occasional lecture. The shows were great, except maybe the Nordic show which was a little slow. As a TV man, I couldn't understand why they had so many problems with the sound during the whole week, and why the TV production for the big screens was so bad. But all in all this was a super convention, and I sold a lot of rubber eggs, mousetraps and Kurtz books as usual. Next FISM will be in Beijing in 2009!

I'll be back

Don't think you can get rid of me this easily! Even with a performance break, I'm still writing on the sequel to Pocket Power (More Pocket Power) when I have time, and I'm planning a video release. I also have plans for new lecture tours. I'll be back!

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©2009 Jarle Leirpoll

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