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Interview with Megan Swann

Megan SwannAt the age of 22, Magician, Megan Swann became the first (and youngest) female officer appointed by The Magic Circle, the UK’s internationally-renowned magical society. Her appointment came over 100 years after The Magic Circle was established in 1905. Megan now performs all over the UK and tours with her ‘Green Magic Show,’ for children, which combines her engaging magical performance with important environmental awareness messages.

Saturday 7 October 2000, is a significant date for me

There was a party to celebrate my 8th birthday and it was pretty memorable for two reasons: firstly, my little brother George had been born that morning and secondly, a great magician, Roy Marsh was performing at the party. I was already interested in magic, but Roy Marsh did such an amazing job it just made me love magic more than ever! After that I really got into it, collecting all the magic sets I possibly could and performing tricks for my family.

Rehearing is at the heart of confidence

There is nothing like plenty of time to practice to help make me feel more confident about a performance. But still, for major events I can get very nervous. That’s where my friends and family help. They are good at reminding me to stay calm and to keep things in perspective.

Confidence lets you be yourself – which leads to happiness!

As I’ve grown more self-assured on stage, I’ve been able to let more of my personality show through in the club room at The Magic Circle and at our Council meetings, which has made me happier in both settings! I also used to play a specific character on stage, but I’ve enjoyed performing much more since I’ve changed it to put more of my own personality in there.

Challenges can be positive

I lost my Dad very suddenly and unexpectedly in February 2019. He had been a massive support to me over the years, doing everything from building my props to acting as my roadie at big shows. So not only was I grieving, but I also had to change some of the ways I worked and work harder to focus. The first few shows were really difficult and probably not my best efforts, but once I got started I found I was able to get into the right mindset and just perform. I guess years of practice means you can just ‘switch it on’.

My family and I had support from an enormous number of people – our family and friends have been amazing. The magic community were also brilliant, and I was quite overwhelmed with the level of support they gave me. Everyone has been so lovely, and it made me feel even more grateful to be part of The Magic Circle.

If you want to make a change, knowing that your motivation comes from the right place can firm your resolve

Pioneering action requires a certain amount of self-confidence – you need to believe in what you are doing and know your motivations for doing so are good. That way if anyone questions or challenges you it doesn’t put you off easily. You also need to be willing work hard and allow others to support you – it’s difficult to make any changes on your own.

I’ve always simply wanted to make a positive difference in whatever I’ve done. I don’t set out to make major changes, just to do my bit. When I ran for an officer role at The Magic Circle, it wasn’t with a deliberate plan to make it more diverse, just to give something back. With my Environmental magic, I just wanted to use my skills to teach more people about an issue that I think is very important – I don’t expect to save the planet myself, but if I can make a small difference then at least I know I’ve tried!

Diversity is a good thing, so having more women in organisations will improve that

…As would having more representation from other minority groups. Every single person can bring a different point of view, and all should be encouraged. I think to be a good performer you need to be different. You have to find your own style and work with that.

Remember how far you have come

I do this when something is difficult. I also remind myself that I’ve made it through many challenges already. I look to my friends and family for support. I’m lucky to have some fantastic people in my life who are very good at making me smile!

I am incredibly proud to be a First Woman in this exhibition

To have my portrait hanging alongside so many amazing women is such an honour. I never expected anything like this to come out of my desire to volunteer with the society I love so much! It’s another reminder how exciting the magic world can be.

Be yourself and follow your own path

If you really want something and work hard enough, you can usually achieve it. Don’t worry about what other people have or haven’t done before you, as there has never been someone like you before!

See Megan in action and find out more on her website www.meganswann.co.uk

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