Curso First Certificate Exam



LECCION 42 - PAGINA 1   índice del curso   página siguiente

Hobbies and pastimes


Dominic's tricks


Written by Steve Jackson and first published in The Daily Telegraph, this article is about young magician Dominic Woods. You will have to do two activities after reading it. Start reading carefully the whole article and then try to do the activities at the bottom.


'A lot of magicians my age say: "I'd like to be a magician on the telly." I'm going to be a magician on the telly.' A bold statement indeed from 17-year-old Dominic Wood, a confident and determined young man who last Sunday won the coveted title of Young Magician of the Year at Wimbledon's Polka Children's Theatre. The Young Magician of the Year competition is organised biannually by the Magic Circle and is sponsored by the trick-making firm Marvin's Magic. Apart from the trophy and the kudos associated with the event, the winner is also invited to join the Magic Circle. The 1,400 membership of the Magic Circle includes many of the world's top magicians, such as Paul Daniels and David Copperfield.


Members meet regularly to discuss new tricks and techniques and they are sworn to absolute secrecy (magician John Lenahan was recently expelled for breaking this rule). Progress can be made through the ranks by passing special examinations but only a handful of individuals are ever invited to become full members of the Inner Circle. Since membership of the Circle can open many professional doors, it is a valuable prize for youngsters embarking on a career in wizardry.


For the seven young magicians contesting last Sunday's event it was the most nerve-racking performance of their lives. Having won through the preliminary rounds and made it to the final, they now faced the ultimate test as they performed their routines before the critical eyes of the Magic Circle's own panel of judges.


When Dominic Wood began his act, there were gasps of wonder from the audience as his silk gloves were suddenly transformed into a dove. But when the frightened bird fluttered into the crowd instead of returning to his finger, the act had to be restarted.


Second time around, the performance was faultless and ended neatly with the dove returning into his gloves. The restart the first in the competition's 34-year history might have shattered the nerves of a less confident youngster. But Dominic seemed unruffled. 'It wasn't the competition that bothered me,' he said afterwards. 'It was the fact that the dove might have been hurt.'


Dominic is studying drama and media studies at Exeter College. His interest in magic began three years ago, prompted by a teacher at school who livened up lessons with stunts and tricks for the class. Dominic was particularly enthralled when he made a pencil vanish and he persuaded his teacher to teach him more. He now develops his own tricks.


During his act, an oversized playing card hovered about in space. A metal hoop, at first passed over the card to demonstrate the absence of supports, became itself suspended in mid-air with the card. Dominic devised this routine himself.


David Berglas, president of the Magic Circle, was impressed by what he saw. 'I thought he did an exceptionally good act today. His manipulation was outstanding and his showmanship is very good. He has a lot of potential and I'm sure he'll go far.'


ACTIVITY 295: Now, choose from the list A-to-I the sentence which best summarises each paragraph (1-to-8). Then check your answers.


Not everything went right with Dominic's act.


Dominic's first lessons in magic were at school.


Membership of the Magic Circle is useful for magicians, especially for those starting their professional lives.


One of the Magic Circle members praised Dominic's skills highly.


One of his tricks was created by Dominic himself.


Dominic calmly repeated his act and performed it brilliantly.


Seven young people reached the difficult final stages of the Young Magician competition.


Dominic Wood became Young Magician of the Year and a member of the Magic Circle.


ACTIVITY 296: Finally, read again the article carefully and find the words which express the explanations below. Then check your answers.


twice a year (PARAGRAPH 1):


made to promise (PARAGRAPH 2):


starting (PARAGRAPH 2):


worrying (PARAGRAPH 3):


destroyed (PARAGRAPH 5):


unaffected (PARAGRAPH 5):


fascinated (PARAGRAPH 6):


stayed in the same place in the air (PARAGRAPH 7):


large ring (PARAGRAPH 7):


control of his hands (PARAGRAPH 8):

Descubrir los trucos de estos grandes magos, no es nada fácil, verdad? 
En la página siguiente practicarás dos estructuras verbales que suelen confundir a los hispano-parlantes.


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