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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The October 2013 entrée: Paul Romhany » » The Hardest Working Man in Magic... » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Steve Brooks
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The Hardest Working Man in Magic By Richard Webster

Three life-changing events changed Paul Romhany's life when he was just eight-years old. He saw his first Charlie Chaplin movie, "The Circus," attended a live magic show, and became interested in ventriloquism. The young New Zealander, and his twin brother, had been learning the piano for two years by this time, and Paul had already caught the performing bug. Paul had his first paid job when he was twelve, and in the same year came second in a local talent quest with his ventriloquism act.

These were pre-Internet days, and Paul was fortunate in having Wayne Rogers, a well known New Zealand magician, as a neighbour. He was happy to loan Paul books and to provide advice and encouragement. He also encouraged Paul to create his own effects.

Paul carried on with his education and received a Diploma in Teaching and a Bachelor of Music degree. Immediately after this, he became a fulltime magician. In his early twenties, he had a lucky break when Gene McCarthy booked him for tours of Australia and New Zealand with Chuck Jones and Company. He began touring with some of the biggest names in magic, including Ricki Dunn, who became a friend and mentor. Paul's career took off in a big way when he decided to combine magic with his love for Charlie Chaplin. The international market opened up for him, and he found his performing niche. Now, at the age of 44, Paul is a highly respected name in magic, and fully deserves the title, "the hardest working man in magic." Despite this, he is still just as fascinated with all the various aspects of our craft as he was when he was eight years old.

Paul has performed all around the world. In 2012 alone, he flew for more than 400 hours to get to his various gigs around the world. He has performed for royalty, and been recognized by his peers. He is a Gold Medal PCAM Champion, and just recently was awarded the Top Variety Act for 2012 by the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand.

He is a prolific writer, too, and has written more than 24 books, including a best-selling book for the general public on Cat Readings. He writes a book every month for his Pro-Series range of books. In addition, he has created more than 40 original effects, ranging from close-up to stage. He regularly lectures to magic clubs, and consults for magicians for both television and stage.

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As if this wasn't enough, early in 2012 he started Vanish, an international magic magazine that is downloaded and read by more than 100,000 magicians worldwide. This makes it by far the largest circulation magic magazine in existence.

These are all huge achievements, but Paul is modest about them, and lists his number one achievement as his wife, Natalie, and their young son, Jon-Paul.

Although Paul self-deprecatingly calls himself lazy, he is actually an extremely smart thinker. In his mid-twenties, while struggling to make a living, he and a friend wrote a book about cats. This introduced him to the world of writing, and to the advantages of passive income. His ability at doing this enables him to pick and choose when and where he wants to perform, and this means he can maximize the amount of time he spends with his family.

Paul is a master of time management. He's constantly asked, "How do you get time to do it all?" His answer is, "You make time." Although he's constantly busy, he always has time for family and friends. He also loves what he does. He obviously also loves variety, as without it I think he'd get bored very easily.

Paul's latest venture, Vanish is typical of his approach. He envisaged a totally free, downloadable magazine containing information that would appeal to an international audience. By the time the third issue came out, Paul had more than 100,000 readers. This is certainly not the work of a lazy man. In addition to the free magazine, Paul will shortly be offering a subscription based magazine that will contain extra elements, such as video files, chat forums for subscribers, and other bonus material. He intends charging no more than $2.50 an issue for this. Paul has had no training in graphic design, and taught himself all the necessary skills to produce a magazine that is equally, if not more, appealing, than any other magic magazine on the market. As the magazine grows, Paul is slowly taking on friends who are willing to join the Vanish family and help maintain the high standards it has set.

Sadly for New Zealand magicians, Paul and his family will be moving back to Canada in 2013. They've seen the world as a couple, and now, as a trio, they aren't scared about accepting new adventures and seeing where the future takes them. Paul is unquestionably a Renaissance man of magic - and the busiest magician out there today.

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"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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