Charles Gauci

“Is He For Real?”

By Mark Stevens

Charles Gauci & Joe Stevens

Yes, he’s for real… One of the greatest minds in commercial magic since Ken Brooke is in our midst! It is a real pleasure for me to be able to write about Charles Gauci. Over the past few years, all of us at Stevens Magic have been hearing his name.

When you first glance at Charles, he has that quality that illuminates a sense of mystery and intrigue. He is strikingly exotic in his appearance, the perfect picture of what you think a "magi" would look like. But it’s much more than just looks – it’s a total package deal. He has a powerful sense of energy, coupled with creative ability and perfect timing that form a synergy that is truly unique and highly entertaining.

I figured there might be something to all the hype this year at the SAM 2004 in St. Louis, Missouri. Just prior to the Charles Gauci Lecture, the dealer room was packed, and then something mysterious happened! An announcement that Charles would be starting his lecture in five minutes was made. They may have well said, "We have word that someone in this room is a carrier of the deadly Ebola virus." The room wouldn’t have cleared out any faster.

I have never seen a busy dealer room vanish so quickly, and keep in mind, Charles has lectured and attended several magic conventions in the States over the past years! Thus all the ingredients were there, the hype measured up, the staying power was strong and there is no mistaking that Charles Gauci is "not" just a flavor of the month magi!

For those of you not familiar with this man of mystery, we thought a little biography would be of interest. Charles is well versed in all the disciplines of magic. His biography reads like a liberal arts degree, in the way that Charles has studied many specialties in the field of magic and performing arts. There is no question that this rich foundation has helped him be successful. As a creator and performer of magical effects, Charles often employs a "reverse engineering" technique searching for simple or more natural ways to execute difficult moves. Today, we are going to reverse engineer Charles Gauci!

Charles believes that good magic is simple magic!


Charles was born in Hamrun, Malta in 1937, and immigrated to Australia in 1949. In 1950 he became fascinated with hypnosis after witnessing a demonstration by the great Franquin. In 1951, Charles joined The Australian Society Of Magicians, and was amazingly able to turn "pro" at the age of only 16. His first professional performance was an Indian Act of fire-eating, bullet catching and sleeping on a bed of nails. So much for being a doctor or a lawyer…

Charles then went on to tour with Peter Reveen and for the nest 27 years he performed all over Australia appearing on every major television show. In 1977 after performing for 27 years, seven nights per week, Charles accomplished one unfortunate but inevitable goal – BURNOUT! He decided that maybe his work in the magical arts was over.

But the "magical gods" were not finished with Charles, in 1994, while he and his wife, Kathryn, were holidaying in France, he was asked to perform at an opening of an art gallery in Venice on the French Riviera. The response from the show was so good that he once again experienced the highs that come with performing, (making people happy and the art of magic). The singing Sirens were enticing him back to the world of magic and Charles returned with a vengeance.

Charles believes that good magic is simple magic. Part of his genius is in his inherent ability to simplify those things that are not supposed to be simplified. He spends months practicing ways to eliminate any false or unnatural moves, employing reverse engineering.

His philosophy is to create a maximum effect with as little effort as possible. He prefers to place emphasis on presentation instead of worrying about executing a difficult sleight correctly.

When Charles first became interested in magic he watched one of the top card guys perform the "Ambitious Card" routine. The more that card came back to the top the more he was amazed. He came to the conclusion that if you fool a person once he might credit you with having a certain amount of skill – but if you repeat the effect and fool him again – that person will think you are twice as skillful.

This thought is Charles recurring "mantra." It is fundamental and in harmony with each and every polished and tuned new effect he creates. Yet, it also must have the added quality of being able to be repeated and after each performance growing exponentially – becoming even more astonishing than before.

When you ask Charles where he attributes his success in magic he will tell you there are several factors…

1. CONNECTING: He enjoys performing and he wins people over because he establishes rapport with this audience very quickly. This is so true… This is one of his amazing skills, his ability to connect with the audience and put them immediately at ease.

2. TIMING: He tends to perform his miracles at a leisurely pace. Charles believes that performing magic is similar to drinking a nice glass of red wine. You do not gulp it down, but savor the taste. Charles believes that some young magicians do not get the response from an audience that they expect because they perform too fast, and half the time it goes over the audience’s head.

His philosophy is to create a maximum effect with as little effort as possible.

3. ORIGINAL: He strives for originality and has found it with his line of goods. He achieves this by employing stringent due-diligence and getting out there to see other performers. Back home he watches all the acts of his professional friends and makes sure that he does not perform any effect that any of the locals do. It is critical to have an act that is different and unique.

During the past 10 years Charles has created a number of original effects which have become best sellers all over the world including, Eye To Eye, Body Language, Diabolical Wallet, It Must Be Mind Reading, Nostradamus and The Houdini Card Mystery just to name a few.

For the past three years, he has toured with his lectures in U.S., Canada, Europe, India, China, Austria and Spain with his popular "Reputation Makers" lecture. As stated earlier, you can always tell when Charles is lecturing; the dealer room is completely empty!

Thus there is little doubt that Charles has paid his dues. Charles is not a newcomer to the art of magic, though he may be a newcomer to some of us… He has honed his skills into a respectable arsenal from the fundamentals of magic. Included in this arsenal is a unique ability to create new effects, a mastery of behavior-modification and psychology and a touch of perfect timing. When you consider how long it can take to master just one of these qualities, then take into consideration they have all been integrated into a streamlined, multi-disciplinary approach – you can begin to see the power behind this man’s performance and approach. Whether you start at his products or watch his performances or reverse engineer (what we have done today by studying his bio) the man – no matter which angle you take – the end result is Charles Gauci "is for real."

Now that you know more about Charles Gauci, the person, we invite you to discover the power of his effects. There is no doubt that you will be able to incorporate them into your shows for many years to come and like Ken Brooke’s they will stand the test of time.

Thanks to Charles for giving us the opportunity to launch his products now exclusively through Stevens Magic Emporium. If you’re interested in booking Charles Gauci for any of his programs, feel free to contact Mark Stevens.

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