IT ALL started when he was eight-years-old, he picked up a magic wand and fell in love instantly.

Nearly 30 years later, Pete Firman, a 36-year-old magician and comedian, is still doing what he loves best – performing.

“It all started when I got my first magic set at eight-years-old,” he said.

“I carried on practising, doing it through school and university.

“ I would perform in front of my friends and family and casually rope them into watching a four-hour show.”

Pete, who is originally from Middlesbrough, studied for a theatre degree, but always knew he wanted a bit of magic in his life.

He would take part in open mic nights, where he worked his way up from a 10-minute slot at a lesser known spot, to performing at the Edinburgh Fringe.

He realised that he needed to include some jokes in his act as he believed the two married well together.

He said: “I don’t take myself too seriously.

“That is a trap some magicians fall into so easily.

“You’ve got to be a little light-hearted and self deprecating.”

Pete says that his favourite thing about performing is the immediacy of the reaction.

He likes the satisfaction of knowing that when you’ve made people laugh, when you’ve told a funny joke or if you’ve left people baffled, then you have performed a good trick.

“When you’ve told a good joke then you make people laugh, but when someone is amazed there is no sound. It is just a look on people’s faces.

“You know you’ve done something right when they look puzzled.”

Pete draws inspiration from American comedy-magician duo Penn and Teller.

He said: “I first saw them when I was 16-years-old.

“They were different and so naughty and edgy with their performance.”

Somerset County Gazette:

Pete is starting his tour on September 21 and will be making a stop at the Tachhi-Morris Arts Centre in Taunton on September 24.

He has been to Somerset before as part of a previous tour but is looking forward to making the stop again.

“Last time it was such a long drive to get here.

“The staff at Tachhi-Morris were so fantastic. We had a care package waiting for when I arrived and it was so lovely.

“I am definitely looking forward to coming back. It was a fantastic crowd last time.”

The new show, entitled Trix, will include floating ladies, mind reading, and making a cupcake in a shoe – just to name a few attractions.

Pete says his favourite tricks are the ones when the audience are involved.

“It keeps you on your toes having someone else on stage with you and you have no idea how they are going to react.”

Pete has also been involved in TV shows and hopes for more small screen appearances in the future.

He previously took part in the Channel 5 show The Magicians and will be appearing in The Next Great Magician on ITV later this year.

He says that the trick to his talent is to be constantly learning.

“I have been doing this for nearly 30 years and I am still a student.

“A lot of the tricks are my invention. I am an engineer really.

“I figure out what I want to do and work backwards from there.

“I don’t constantly practice when I am with my friends and family now. They know I am off the clock.”

“I don’t just start performing at social events. Sometimes you need a break.”