Scott Perry: Magic Man

Photograph: Sam Johnson

Few people in the UK will know Scott Perry, but after meeting him, I think a lot of them are about to.

At first glance, Scott looks like your average twenty something, a jumper, jeans, Converse, the usual, but take a second look and the finer details begin to reflect off the buckles of his Louis Vuitton satchel. For example, is it a crazy new fashion or was there a reason that he had gloves on inside? I supposed there was.

Many would claim that magic is a dying art, so how did someone relatively young (Scott is only 26, though he looks younger, and a lot like that guy from Glee) find the appeal? He sat back as steam from his chilli misted his face. “I think the appeal now is very different to when I first started. When I began it was more about the fact that it impressed me and I wanted to learn all the secrets of magic. But in the more recent years my personal interest has shifted to positively influencing other people’s lives. I speak to young people for the Prince’s Trust occasionally (the Trust helped Scott start his own business, SP Magic UK). When I tell them I have no qualifications and that I was told I could never make a living out of it and perform for them, their eyes light up. I think magic gives people hope and releases them from reality, whether it be for a second, a minute, an hour or longer.”

As we sat, even smaller details of Scott’s personality were drawn to the forefront. He had removed his gloves and revealed a small tattoo between his index finger and thumb on his right hand, something that you would associate with a hipster, rather than a magician. “It’s the first design of my business logo. It’s been altered a little bit since then but I figured if I had it tattooed on me, it had to be a success. I was a commitment thing, something that drove me to make it work.” He revealed more tattoos, including a half sleeve dedicated to magic, and a quote down his forearm which read, ‘lose yourself in the moment of opportunity, find yourself later’. A tattoo that I believed summed up Scott, a guy that seemed determined to make the most of now and to take his chances as they came to him.

Scott first lost himself in the moment of magic at just 13 years old when Liam Benson, a kid on the playground, showed him a magic trick involving just a coin. Since then, despite five years off from magic due to personal reasons, he’s yet to find himself, and why should he? He’s performed in the biggest cities around the world, including Las Vegas at just 16 years old. He was considered a prodigy and has performed tricks for the likes of Jools Holland, Will.I.Am and even HRH Prince Charles at St. James’ Palace.

Does it get any better?

A question that Scott doesn’t hesitate to answer. After making his first TV appearance as a professional magician on The Alan Titchmarsh Show in April 2013, Scott has seen a flurry of offers to further his career. There are a few things coming up over the next few months that he is very excited for, he says. “I’ve been contacted by the Britain’s Got Talent producers about auditioning for the show. There was a young guy on America’s Got Talent this year, Collins Key, that did close up magic and made it all the way to the final and they’re hoping to bring something similar to the UK version this year.” A stage that Scott can only dream of… for now. One dream that has become a reality, however, is a stage show. After spending six months on its development, Scott will be performing at the Lincoln Drill Hall on Friday January 31 2014 and Saturday February 1 2014 as preparation for a potential contract to perform at the Royal Albert Hall within the next couple of years.

Scott grew up in a rural village on the outskirts of Lincolnshire and lived there for the early years of his life while his parents ran a small shop. A place where everyone knew everyone, he described. He would spend hours behind the shop counter practicing his magic on customers and would often be “too ill” to go to school so he could stay at home and practice. A life that was relatively “lonely” for a teenage boy. At 16 Scott left St. George’s College of Technology, Sleaford, with just two GCSE’s but his parents were forever, unconditionally supportive. With a smirk creeping into the corners of his lips, smiling at his memories, he recalls how his parents were the “opposite” to normal parents and that they were happy he was practicing magic. “When I stopped doing the magic for a few years my parents seemed disappointed. I tried working in office jobs and on building sites but I knew it wasn’t for me. So when I got back into magic a few years ago my parents were a lot happier that I was doing something that I loved and they’ve always been proud of that.”

It was time for a treat, after watching his performance on The Alan Titchmarsh Show with him as we spoke, Scott offered a trick and pulled out a pack of

Scott shuffles for the trick. Photograph: Sam Johnson

cards. A normal pack, sealed in a box, he took them out, shuffled them like only a professional croupier could and held them out in front of me. “Pick a card and sign it”, he grinned. I did as he wished and placed it back in the pack at a point I chose, he shuffled and cut the pack and put the cards on the table. The next part of the trick was truly unbelievable. Without touching the cards he moved half the cards off of the pile, lifted his hands and a card jumped out. “Look up” he insisted as he tilted his head back, my card was stuck to the ceiling, my signature was facing me, as was one of the best magicians I have ever seen.

You can see Scott’s performance on The Alan Titchmarsh Show here:

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