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Magicians are the New DJs

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20th Sep 2008

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Sean MacFarlane is mesmorizing
On the growing list of things that people don't need but actually do, a private magician is right up there. Let's say you are hosting yet another dinner party and the natives are a bit jaded. Or your CEO is in town and Christina Aguilera is busy in Mexico City. Before, it was enough to have a private DJ spinning the latest by Trent Moller, a chef to prepare a custom menu, and After Eight mints waiting in the foyer at departure, but in the arms race that is private entertaining, new frontiers must continually be broken.

Enter Sean MacFarlane, magician to the jeterati. Sean tends to work the east circuit - Asia, Middle East and Japan, but can be conjured just about anywhere. He is a rising star among a troupe of jugglers, comedians and plain old stuntmen on the trail of the booming private entertainment industry.

Sean's speciality is up close magic and sleight of hand, a style particularly well suited for today's drunken dinner guest. "Nothing quite beats the look on a CEO's face when you put a bottle through a table or deliver a diamond ring in the place they are least expecting it," comments Sean over a coffee in Hong Kong. He likes to goose them, convinced they have HIM suckered, then turn the tables at the last moment.

He discreetly shares anonymous tails of bankers who melt from hard-as-nails to little boys in the space of minutes, and smiles at the control freaks who lie to prove him wrong, only to be one-upped by his mysterious abilities.

We asked Sean, in the event of his unavailability, who else rates on the international magician circuit:

There's Fay Presto, who works the tables at Drones Club in London and commands quite a lot of respect with her off the cuff and intense manner. (Speciality: bottle through the table).

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Cyril Takayama revs up his crowd
There's Steve Cohen, who presides over the a regular evening show called Chamber Magic at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Rumor has it he occasionally sparks heart murmurs among the hotel's elderly patrons. (Speciality: parlor tricks)

There's Cyril Takayama, a half Japanese, half American who specializes in street magic, and who has been known to capture a card on the tip of sword, plunging into a swimming pool from a bungee cord. (Speciality: stunts)

And there's a one-handed Argentinian who travels the world and is said to be utterly amazing. None of them have yet topped David Copperfield's $1 Billion in show revenues (the world's highest paid magical performer) or David Blaine's icy stunts, but that's good news, as it means you can still get them over for dinner.