the fine art of magic
Able to work venues from the largest stage to the most intimate room, Mark Haslam transports audience members into a place of intelligent wit and inexplicable events.
Mark’s seemingly effortless miracles have been enjoyed at some of America’s most exclusive clubs, including The University Club in Manhattan and The Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena.
In venues from The Polo Lounge to Rockefeller Center’s rooftop gardens, Mark’s charming presence has created the best sort of lasting memories.
To read the story of Mark and The Secret Class, click the cover. © MAGIC Magazine used by permission.
THE SECRET CLASS
Mark Haslam's one-man theater show has been produced to great acclaim in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York. The show combines compelling storytelling with incredible sleight of hand to bring to life the appearance of a master magician in a small English village.
Haslam's creative collaborator is magic writer and inventor Gordon Bean, with cinematic images by Marcus Dillistone and original music by Andy Street.
A Backstage Look Into The Secret Class
Magic comes from making certain details prominent and certain details invisible. The effect has to be clear and direct, while the method must remain not only undetected, but entirely unsuspected. Achieving this comes only after making many wrong turns, and the only way to be sure you'll arrive is to get an early start.
For Mark Haslam, the starting point was England’s Lake District. At a very young age, Mark began performing in village halls, and at fifteen he was asked to appear on British television, setting in motion a career that has landed him in Los Angeles.
For Mark's collaborator Gordon Bean, the road began in upstate New York's Mohawk Valley, where he too began learning and practicing magic at a young age. After many years in Los Angeles, where he was head librarian at The Magic Castle, he headed back to his hometown.
Before Gordon's move, he and Mark had started on the construction of The Secret Class, taking inspiration from a source that would be obvious only in retrospect: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
As had the Beatles, they decided to fit a series of individual pieces into an overall concept, and the concept they chose was where magic comes from. Envisioning an evening that would be more one-man play than standard magic show, they began working out a narrative that would reflect how Mark had learned his art largely in isolation, and largely through the written word.
If details are important for magic, they're even more crucial for a story, and for theirs Mark and Gordon drew on Mark's experiences growing up in his Lake District village, where birdwatchers up from London nest in the hotels, and where natural vistas celebrated by Wordsworth are visible outside classroom windows.
So, in the words of the antique village-fair poster that found their way into Sgt. Pepper's:
Having been some days in preparation, a splendid time is guaranteed for all.