LIKE ANY other child, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, Kirk Donaldson had idealistic dreams of being a magician … but little did the now 21-year-old know, that he would grow up to be just that.
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“When I was young, I was captivated by the magicians I saw perform,” Kirk told the Guardian.

“I always felt it was something that needed to be taught and couldn’t be learned out of books or off the TV.

“Now I have someone to explain and teach me the tricks of the trade; it’s great!”

It all happened three years ago when Kirk came to a crossroads in his life, the age-old question of ‘what do I do now I’ve finished school’?, and his parents saw an ad on television that Col Newman, aka Mandrake the Magician, was looking for an apprentice.

The local master of magic had decided to share his knowledge of the trade – before he disappeared in a puff of smoke.

News of Mandrake’s impending retirement exploded through different media and the story hit a nerve with those who saw the report, and Col soon had letters from more than 80 eager applicants.

When he learned he’d landed the role coveted by so many keen youngsters, Kirk said he was beyond words.

“I found out and couldn’t believe it,” he said.

“That’s when I packed up, left home and came to the Mid North Coast to learn magic.”

“I can perform in just about any situation or venue and to nearly all ages with what I’ve already learned.

“A lot of magicians or illusionists are restricted but I’ve got some unique Magic that many other magicians simply do not have and the portability makes it easier to entertain more people in more places,” he said.

“I absolutely love to entertain; the ability to take away people’s problems and worries, even if only for a short time, is magic all of its own”

Kirk already has a number of tricks nailed, with one particular specialty up his sleeve.

“The visible sawing in half of a lady, no boxes sheets or covers and the audience gets to examine the saw, watch it cut through a carrot, and finally cut through a lady brave enough to volunteer from the audience,” he said.

“It’s quite the spectacle and luckily no band-aids have been needed yet.”

Since Kirk relocated, he has done several shows on the Mid North Coast, including major events like the Woolgoolga 125 year celebrations, Coffs, Macksville and Bellingen agricultural shows, coach tours at the Macksville Motor Inn and a charity fundraiser for the Macksville dialysis fund.

“I just want to keep building my name, it’s just a process of time.”

MAGICAL CONNECTION: Mandrake the Magician with his apprentice Kirk Donaldson

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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