WHEN injury put paid to his career as a professional wrestler, Gary Scott swopped holds on his opponents for holding tricks up his sleeve.
He traded wrestling rings for linking rings and fight cards for playing cards to conjure up a new vocation as a magician.
“While I was running my own wrestling promotion, I got hurt quite badly,” said Gary. “I ended up spinning around a ring post and kicking myself in the back of the head.
“During my three-months’ recovery, a magician friend of my brother’s came to visit me. He showed me the most amazing thing with a deck of cards and I begged him to show me how it was done. He pointed me to a magic shop in London called Davenports, told me to buy two decks of cards and a book called Card College by Roberto Giobbi,,,it changed my life.”
During the next 14 years, Gary studied with world-champion magician Daryl Martinez in Las Vegas and worked his way from performing magic at weddings to corporate gigs and regular performances at London venues such as the Magic Cavern theatre and the Jermyn Street theatre.
He also travelled to America to perform with his mentor, Michael Jay, who will reciprocate next month by flying 5000 miles to be stage director for Gary’s first show in north Derbyshire.
Gary is bringing his family-friendly Welcome to Wonderland show to Hasland Playhouse on April 6 and 7, with performances at 7pm on both nights and a Saturday matinee show at 2pm.
“I specialise in the classics of magic, such as cups and balls and Chinese linking rings,” he said. “My show is not crude or rude. If you say it is for children, will people get the impression that I come out dressed as a clown, pulling a rabbit out of a hat? If you say it is for adults, do I become Roy Chubby Brown?”
Whatever impression the busy magician creates, his show will be a case of see it now or you won’t see it again in north Derbyshire this year. “I spend every weekend travelling back and forth to London,” said 40-year-old Gary, who has lived in Chesterfield for two years with his girlfriend Sylvia Cowper.
A native of Edgeware in London, he said: “Chesterfield is so retro, I like the old-fashioned market hall and the people are so welcoming. It has a very safe feel to it; I can walk the streets at 1am with my earphones in and my phone out and I don’t fear a thing.”
Tickets for the Welcome to Wonderland magic show at Hasland Playhouse cost £7.50; to book, call (01246) 272271.