Magician Pete Firman chats ahead of his Cheltenham Town Hall gig
MOULDY motorway service station sandwiches and uncomfortable hotel beds.
Magician Pete Firman knows he's back on tour. And he wouldn't have it any other way.
The latest date of his 36-date journey across the UK sees him pay a visit to Cheltenham next Thursday and the Celebrity Mastermind Champion is as excited as ever as he chats to The Buzz.
Fresh from our TV screens where he appeared on the primetime Saturday night magical extravaganza, Magicians, he is eager to impress audiences across the country.
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"This will be my fourth tour that I have done in five or six years, it's always such a great buzz," he says.
"I love doing the TV stuff, but there's just a magic about being out on the road in a room full of people putting on a show.
"It's a real thrill and I like that the show is different every night."
Not your average after-dinner magician with a white rabbit, Pete has learnt to mix his two mistresses of stand-up comedy and magic expertly into an evening full of entertainment, and has paid his dues performing at the Edinburgh Festival for the past seven years.
"My show is part magic but also part stand-up," Pete explains.
"Comedy is very much like magic, you're building up to a big moment at the end, and you're hoping for a laugh, they are good bed fellows together.
"I developed my style and cut my teeth in comedy clubs doing stand-up and then I started finding ways to make magic funny, but still make it baffling."
His fledging magic career began with the gift of a Fisher Price magic set when he was a child and he fondly remembers subjecting his entire family to sit and watch him perform ever single trick in the magic box.
Amazingly, they never once complained.
Even a part-time job in a restaurant when he was a student could not get in the way of his performances.
"I would wander around the tables and do tricks, interrupting couples on a nice romantic date and ask them to pick a card," he laughs.
"It was really good to have that place to cut my teeth; I was able to practice with real people and see their reactions.
"I also watched a lot of magicians on TV when I was younger, like Paul Daniels, and of course Sooty, who is a huge idol.
"The act that changed my opinion on magicians, though, was Penn and Teller; they were a little bit edgy, a little bit naughty, but the way they performed informed the way I have ended up working, in that I try to make my performance as relative to that particular audience as I can.
"I'm one of those lucky people who gets to go to work and do my hobby.
"But there has been 10 years of plodding away at it, day after day, to get where I am today."
Tickets for his show at 8pm next Thursday at Cheltenham Town Hall cost £15. Call 08445 762210 to book.