Partners in Magic.

Posted by Russ Kennedy on

The Derringers
The Derringers

The Derringers

When you watch an act perform as a couple do you ever wonder if they are together off stage as well? Many times this is the case. Couples may start out strictly on a professional level but after spending so much time rehearsing and performing together eventually they start a relationship. In other instances you will have the performer who meets that special someone and later the two join forces and become a performing team. We had an interview with the magical duo “The Derringers” aka Brian and Laura, to see how they fit performing and marriage together.

The Derringers show has a Country Western theme which is very upbeat and heartfelt.

About the Team:

Brian was around 8 years old when he saw a class mate perform a few magic tricks and thought he would like to do that as well. This for him would be the start of his growing love and performance of magic. Soon after seeing his classmate do magic, Brian himself was performing magic for his fellow students. Brian credits magician Chuck Jones out of California as a major influence while developing his skills and routines. During high school Brian was able to perform during intermission for some local bands, this introduced an assistant to the act and the Pentazag Illusion. The Pentazag is Brian’s own version of the Zig Zag, an Illusion in which the assistant is split into sections while inside an upright cabinet. The act over the next few years with more Illusions and assistants earning himself an invitation to work the Magic Castle in California. This is a dream of many magicians as it is “by invitation only” that one gets a chance to perform at the Castle.

Laura entered the scene in a round about way. Canadian magician James Dimmare had made his way to California and had met Brian around his time at the Magic Castle. James’ female assistant became friends with Brian and expressed an interest in the male assistant working for Brian, coincidentally Laura was a friend of the female assistant for James Dimmare. While on a “non magic” night on the town, Laura came along with her friend thus leading to Brian and Laura meeting. Eventually the two assistants married as so did Brian and Laura. The magic career was on hold as the couple were married and started a family.

The return to the stage. 

Early Promotional photo.

Early promotional photo.

A variety show at their church brought on the idea to do a small bit for the event. Brian was going to do a couple of bits of parlor magic which would have been exciting for the crowd as this would be the first magic act in the show.  They decided to see if Laura was able to learn the steps for the Pentazag illusion to the give their segment a nice ending. Laura had what it took to make the illusion work thus making way for possible shows in the future.

One day while dropping their daughter off to daycare, Brian noticed a bumper sticker on a vehicle reading “Magic is a vanishing art”. Assuming this person was a magic buff at least, Brian introduced himself. Not only was the other dad a magician but he was a member of the local magic club and invited Brian to a meeting. After attending the meeting a spark was started that rekindled the desire to perform stage magic once again. The timing seemed right to bring the show back but this time Laura would step into the role as assistant. I asked Laura why she joined the act and her reply was; “I didn’t want Brian spending that much time with another woman, I didn’t think it would be good for our relationship.” Laura added “I don’t have a problem with being on stage so it just made sense.” Although the couple saw themselves creating their act as a team, the audience was viewing them a magician and assistant. Therefore they began to add bits of magic for Laura to perform at the start of the show to establish them as magic team. Eventually the whole first portion of the show became Laura’s showcase as the magician leading to producing Brian from the Stack of Boxes Illusion.

Laura hold a wanted poster with the Likeness of Brian as the Wanted Man.

Laura holds a “Wanted” poster with the likeness of Brian as the Wanted Man.

To see the couple perform it’s no secret that they are not only a magical team but also a loving couple which adds to the enjoyment of the show. As the need arose for more bits and bigger illusions Brian and Laura stepped up their game. Brain is a finish carpenter by trade, so all of the illusions are custom designed and built by him. Laura is very artistic and creates many of the set pieces as well as putting together the wardrobe. Every aspect of the show is an offshoot of the combined talents of this team from lighting and music cues to new illusion and magic concepts. While we see them as entertainers on stage, the couple work hard offstage not only to deliver a terrific show but also to raise a family. With both children still quite young it would be a balancing act for scheduling. So the magic would have to remain a part time situation as they raised their family.

So this poses the question, can you be a part time professional performer? Well we are going to meet up again soon and continue this interview with the Derringers to discuss that very topic.

Stay tuned folks!


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