By Craig Browning
with the world of Magic & Puppetry since 1963 (just barely out of
diapers when he got his first top hat) Craig Browning's early-year inspirations
came from television - Mark Wilson's Magic Land of Alakazam and the
popular Sherri Lewis & Lambchop shows.
Though he was already doing backyard performances by the time he was
six, featuring his own "Vanishing Beagle" illusion (the first
of many "original" illusions he'd go on to create) Craig's
role as a performing pros would have to wait a couple of years
just a couple though; by the time he was ten he was working a fairly
regular schedule playing Christopher Robbin, the lad of the Thousand
Acre Woods, as part of a promotion for a new kid's clothing line. It
was a role he'd fill well into his early teens.
By the mid-1970s the idea of being an "Illusionist" was firmly
set in his mind via the success of Doug Henning and other revivalists
of the day. The one that captured his attention most and the one, who
would lend to Craig Browning the greatest sense of impetus however,
was South American legend Richiardi. The famed manner by which this
late master presented the Buzz Saw and Decapitation effects as well
as his mastery over the classic Broom Suspension revealed to this then
aspiring teen, insight as to how magic was to be performed.
Though a brief tour with the U.S. Navy would prove a minor interruption
Craig Browning would pursue his role as a stage Illusionist well into
the late 1980s and early 90s. His exist from the Navy bringing him to
the doorstep of Carnival legend Ward Hall who cast Craig in both WONDERCADE
and CIRCUS UNIQUE. Roles that would be augmented by his work as a close-up
magician in the popular Playboy clubs of the day as well as some of
the nation's leading discothèques where he'd present grand scaled
illusion under totally surrounded settings in the middle of the dance
The 1980s brought many transitional as well as educational events into
his life; the befriending and mentoring of magic historian/designer
Kirk Kirkham, membership to the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood, and
his first experiments in the field of Mentalism.
Throughout his life Craig Browning has always sought to find answers
to those things about himself that seemed a puzzle; why he was so different
from others and able to divine things others either did not see or could
not understand. His quests lead him through many fields of study; psychology,
theology, theatrical magic, and the deeper aspects of the occult. By
the time he was 28 years of age he'd been awarded a Life Achievement
Doctorates in Religion/Religious History and Metaphysical Philosophy.
That same summer, he was given permission by both Kirk and Phyllis Kirkham
to call himself "Successor" to the Kirkham legacy.
Craig Browning's style of performance has always slanted towards the
bizarre, the macabre and the surreal; factors that can be traced directly
back to his early year inspirations in watching Richardi. It was however
a challenge by New Age author/publisher Louise L. Hay that more or less
set him on course when it came to creating shows that allowed him to
share his personal philosophy about life and the magic that can be found
Throughout the 90s Craig Browning slowly shifted away from the world
of grand illusion even though he'd work hand in hand with designer Ken
Whitaker in the creation of several brand new illusions and illusion
systems that would be released through Creative Illusion of Las Vegas.
It was however an unfortunate car accident in 1996 that would lure Craig
Browning deeper into the realms of true Mentalism, his injuries preventing
him from being able to work with the heavy equipment he so loved.
For most of his life Craig Browning lived with a peculiar health condition
that could not be readily explained away. It plagued him significantly
and cost him a great deal of credibility when it came to his ability
to fulfill certain obligations. It wouldn't be until the late fall of
2004 that a clever physical therapist would point doctors on the right
path; Craig Browning being diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple
Sclerosis in November of that year - the mystery was finally solved!
Today Craig Browning resides in Western Massachusetts where he readily
shares his years of experience and unique creativity with magicians
from around the world. He has once again started publishing materials
for the Psychic & Bizarre Entertainment industry and will soon be
releasing a handful of his pet effects. He's been a contributing editorialist
for VISIONS On-Line almost since it began and likewise contributes to
the UK's TOP HAT eZine somewhat regular.
You can find out more about Craig Browning by visiting his Web-Site
(www.craigthepsychic.com) or you can visit http://www.mevproshop.com
to find out more about his more recent book and DVD products.
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