Hands Fundraiser 2017

Auckland Magician Mick Peck Hands Fundraiser 2017 Jason Kerrison Judah Kelly and Diamond Divas

A real pleasure to perform this month for the Hands Group annual fundraiser alongside Frankie Stevens, Jason Kerrison, Diamond Divas and winner of The Voice Australia 2017 Judah Kelly.

Hands Across The Water was established after countless Thai children were left alone and homeless by the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.  Former police forensic specialist Peter Baines was deeply touched by the number of children affected by the disaster and was inspired to establish an organisation that could make a difference.  Hands Across The Water is currently the biggest Australian and New Zealand charity operating in Thailand.

Mick Peck New Zealand magician photographed with Judah Kelly from The Voice Australia and Jason Kerrison, Hands Across the Water Fundraiser 2017

Magician Mick Peck with Frankie Stevens MNZM, Hands Fundraiser

iTicket Showdown Awards 2017

Auckland Magician Mick Peck with Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Miranda Harcourt at the iTicket Showdown Awards

It’s been an absolute honour to be a guest presenter at the iTicket Showdown Awards for the last three years.

Pictured above with fellow guest presenters the lovely and talented Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Miranda Harcourt at SkyCity Theatre this month.

The annual Showdown Awards are held annually to celebrate Auckland’s top secondary school productions.  Run by the Auckland Community Theatre Trust (ACTT) under President Claire Buckley, the aims of Showdown are to encourage young performers and foster excellence in the performing arts, to promote the performing arts as an option for tertiary study and as a career path, to raise the profile of performing arts in school and to build links between school performing arts programmes and Auckland community theatres.

In The Press … Mick Peck : Tricks Are His Trade

Auckland Magician Mick Peck magazine story : "Mick Peck Tricks Are His Trade" October 2017

Courtesy Rural Living Magazine :

Magic moments can last a lifetime but they can also be responsible for making a living, as Jon Rawlinson discovered when meeting magician Mick Peck.

Interviewing a professional magician is bound to result in just a few tricks of the trade being revealed, or so I thought. However Mick Peck is (understandably) tight-lipped about showing his hand, leaving plenty up his sleeve.

“I don’t give away the secrets,” he tells me. “It’s a bit like when we’re young, we’re amazed by Santa until we find out it’s just dad with a pillow down his front. I believe that there are some mysteries to be solved and others which should be savoured.”

In fact, the most amazing aspects of magic are those which are designed to be shared by only a lucky few.

“The difference between magic and other performing arts is that you spend a lifetime hiding what you learn. I know guys who have spent 30 or 40 years perfecting a sleight-of-hand technique with the sole intention of ensuring that technique is invisible to audiences!”

A true appreciation of the hard work and skill which goes into magic can only be attained by those within an intimate circle, a Magic Circle, to be exact.

Since 2014, Mick – one of just a handful of full time, professional magicians who ply their trade in New Zealand – has been a member of the Magic Circle, an exclusive, London-based club for the world’s best.

Despite reaching the top of his profession, even Mick can blow a trick now and then. However, the show must always go on.

“When an amateur gets something wrong they’ll get flustered and blow the trick. But a professional can go to a plan B or plan C, change the ending perhaps, and, if they’re good enough, no one will ever know that it’s not all just part of the act.”

While Mick has dealt with his share of skeptics over the years, conjuring up crowd-pleasing performances comes down to audiences being prepared to let go and enjoy show. “There’s a lot of psychology in magic. A big component is having the audience on side. If they like you, they’re willing to suspend their disbelief. That’s why I do comedy to first warm them up.”

He says younger children and adults are most likely to allow themselves to be amazed; older children can prove ‘tricky’.

“Up to a certain age, kids believe in magic – they just think you’re a wizard like Harry Potter. Once they reach 10 or 11, they’re more inclined to take a magician down a peg by trying to figure out a trick. But, as long as they know you’re there to entertain them and have fun, it’s not so bad.”

Although children were among the first to witness his antics, these days Mick primarily performs for adults during corporate events.

Asked if he believes in magic, he is quick with an understandably diplomatic (if not philosophic) response:

“People used to be amazed by medicine men shaking bones and that’s transformed into the comedian, the magician and people like that; it’s all entertainment, isn’t it? Oh, and you could add politicians to that too, in a way,” he smiles.

“If you can be responsible for taking away someone’s problems for half an hour, that’s a kind of magic, I think.

“It’s no different from a movie or a comedy show; it allows people to forget their problems and enjoy themselves.”

Despite his reluctance to reveal any stage secrets, Mick is prepared to explain just how a trickster from Pukekohe managed to make a go of show business.

“I think the main reason I succeeded is that magic is really the only thing I’ve wanted to do for a living since I was 12, and, mostly, because I just stuck with it.”

Since first treating audiences to his fistful of tricks, Pukekohe magician, Mick Peck, has never ceased to amaze.

“My first magic show was as a student during a fundraiser at Pukekohe Intermediate School. That was a trial by fire because they wanted a full 45-minute stage show. It was very ambitious for a first performance,” he recalls.

“My heroes weren’t All Blacks; they were the Two Ronnies, John Cleese and Paul Daniels. For me, it’s not just about the trick; it’s about making the trick entertaining. Magic without showmanship is just a puzzle and puzzles aren’t that entertaining.”

By the time he was 15, Mick was already a semi-professional, performing at birthday parties before tackling magic full-time.

In 2014, he became a member of the Magic Circle. Few are invited to join – and no, the invitations are not couriered by owls, he confirms! – and any who give away secrets are liable to be unceremoniously ‘cast’ out.

“In the backs of all the magic books I used to read growing up, there were listings of new members, so the Magic Circle was a bit like Hogwarts for me. It was a real honour to be able to join,” says Mick.

“Being a member shows that I am serious about my profession; I’m not just someone who performs magic as a hobby. It also allows access to the world’s best. And, as the circle has a library of around 6000 books (many of them rare) and weekly lectures – members overseas can access them online – it provides incredible opportunities to share and learn.”

Mick is also a member of the Auckland Brotherhood of Magicians, which has helped Kiwi professionals hone their craft since 1945.

And, late last year Mick received the prestigious NZ Variety Entertainer of the Year award.

In the Press … Billy T. James Interview

Auckland magician Mick Peck interviewed about the legacy of Billy T. James, New Zealand Herald August 2017

Courtesy New Zealand Herald.  Nice to be asked to share some thoughts on Billy T. James’ legacy and the impact he had on my generation.

An extended version of the story with a few more quotes appears on the NZ Herald Online here.

Magic For Blue September 2017

Mick Peck Auckland Magician at the Blue September Quiz Event Poster

In September I’ll be performing at David Hartnell’s Celebrity Quiz Night for Blue September New Zealand, the annual awareness campaign for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.

The night has totally sold out the last couple of years so do book early, tickets are on sale now and are $40 which includes nibbles and bubbles on arrival.  Cash bar available.

Friday 22nd September 2017 at the Eden Rugby Club, Sandringham.  Details at www.BlueSeptember.org.nz

In The Press … Magic Moments 2017

Auckland Magician Mick Peck photograph in the North Shore Times June 2017

Courtesy North Shore Times.

Magic Moments Family Comedy Magic Show June 2017

Magic Moments Auckland Magic Show Belmont Auckland 2017

After a sold-out last year, the Magic Moments Family Comedy Magic Show is back!  Join us on Saturday the 3rd of June 2017 for an enchanting show starring some of New Zealand’s top magicians.  Magic and illusion, comedy and fun for the whole family.

The best value family entertainment in town! Adult tickets just $15 each, children’s tickets $10 each. Family (2A3C) $50, save $10.

The must-see Magic Moments show is on for ONE DAY and two performances only – Saturday 3rd of June 2017, 2pm and 7pm.

The venue is the lovely Rose Theatre, School Road, Belmont on Auckland’s North Shore. Free parking onsite.

To book call 021 0826 6616 or visit www.MagicMoments.co.nz

New Zealand Variety Entertainer of the Year

Auckland magician Mick Peck named New Zealand Variety Entertainer of the Year, press article photo

Pictured above with the lovely Kerre McIvor at this years’ Variety Artists Club Benny Award Evening.

An immense pleasure and career highlight to be presented with the Lou Clauson Award for Variety Entertainer of the Year.

The Variety Artists Club of New Zealand was established in 1966 and is the premier association for entertainers and performing artists in this country.  Awards bestowed by the Variety Artists Club are nominated by our peers in the entertainment industry, so they’re a particular honour.

So Long And Thanks For The Memories Dept : Len Brown

Mick Peck magician with Auckland Mayor Len Brown

Pictured here a few years back performing my strolling closeup magic for Auckland Mayor Len Brown.

Len’s term as Auckland Mayor ended this month after six years of service.

So Long And Thanks For The Memories Dept : Sir Jerry Mateparae

Auckland magician Mick Peck with New Zealand Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae and Lady Janine Mateparae

Pictured here with New Zealand’s 20th Governor General, Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae and Lady Janine.

Sir Jerry this month completes his five year term as the Governor-General.

In the Press … Celebrity Couch Q+A

Magician Mick Peck in the Press : Celebrity Corner Q+A in Auckland newspaper

Magic For Blue September 2016

Auckland magician Mick Peck closeup magic at David Hartnell's Hollywood Quiz Night, Blue September New Zealand event

In September I’ll be performing at David Hartnell’s Celebrity Quiz Night for Blue September New Zealand, the annual awareness campaign for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.

The night has totally sold out the last couple of years so do book early, tickets are on sale now and are $35 which includes nibbles and bubbles on arrival.

Friday 9th of September 2016 at the Surrey Hotel, Grey Lynn.  Details at www.BlueSeptember.org.nz

Video : Mick Peck on The Guy Cater Show, June 2016

Now You See Me 2 : New Zealand Premiere

Auckland magician Mick Peck performs magic at the NZ premiere of Now You See Me 2 movie

Great to perform my strolling closeup magic at the New Zealand premiere of Now You See Me 2 this week.  The sequel to the 2013 heist adventure film opens nationwide June 9th 2016.

Set three years after the events of the first film, the Four Horsemen return for a second mind-bending adventure, elevating the limits of stage illusion to new heights.  After outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, the illusionists resurface for a comeback performance in the hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate.  Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all.

Return of the Amazing VAC Variety Show, May 2016

Mick Peck's Blog of an Auckland Magician : Photo Montage from the Amazing VAC Variety Show May 2016

A montage from The Amazing VAC Variety Show, May 2016.  My thanks to all members of this year’s cast – John Rowles OBE, Tina Cross ONZM, Colin Parris, Barbie Davidson, Maryanne Rushton, Michael Colonna and Monique Feron with the Elektra Dancers.  Our Master of Ceremonies was Patron of the Variety Artists Club of NZ, David Hartnell MNZM.  Major sponsor Limelight Productions & Entertainment Limited, photographs by Shoot to Differ Photography.