How did you get into magic?
I’ve been working in entertainment for years and a lot of the time I found myself working alongside magicians. I learnt quite a few tricks from them and always enjoyed the acts. It was really interesting – I even worked with Kenny Baker (the actor who played R2D2 in Star Wars) for a spell (geddit!). Then, two years ago, I decided to start my own kids’ magic act. I’m the only woman performing a professional kids’ magic act in the whole of the UAE. You could say I’m a rarity – but that sounds a bit poncey.
Where does your inspiration come from?
All over the place. Kids’ magic is not just about the tricks, it’s about the fun. I’ve read books on the psychology of children’s humour to find out what makes them laugh – and I’ve had a lot of great advice from some big names in the business, just by contacting them on the off chance. Most of them have been marvellous.
You’re mum to Luke, age five, and Morgan, aged three. How do you fit it all in?
Good question. Most of the time I wish there were 48 hours in the day. I run six boogie baby classes a week, a mother and toddler group and my magic acts, and I don’t have a maid. So usually, I just sacrifice sleep. I can get by – just about – on four hours a night. But that’s because I’m passionate about what I do. I’m like a mum with a newborn. You get on with it because you love it so much.
Tell us a funny story about your work
A few weeks ago I needed some adult-sized nappies for one of my acts, so I went to the drive-through pharmacy and asked the lady at the window to get some for me. It got awkward when she asked if I wanted pull-ups or sticky tabs ones, and I felt I just had to explain. So I started to tell her that I was a lady magician, and the nappies weren’t for me – but were actually for my life-size puppet orangutan – and could she help me get them in the car? She just looked at me as if I was a complete nutter. And the more I tried to explain, the more awkward it got. In the end, I left with the nappies and a very red face.
Contact Amanda on 050 456 0415; www.mandasmagic.com