David Welzman given Merlin Award by
International Magicians Society
A HORNSBY man has been given a prestigious Merlin Award by the International Magicians Society for his ability to perform a particularly unique form of “corporate magic” which is rarely practised in Australia.
David Welzman goes by the stage name of The Infotainer because, unlike many of his Australian peers, he is not about theatre but rather all about business.
He travels the world, particularly focusing on the United States and the United Arab Emirates, working at trade shows. Welzman is hired by companies to perform his magic out the front of their stalls to attract a crowd.
“People are tired, they are bored, so I need to shake them out of that apathy and get them laughing,” Welzman said.
“By the end of it I have them chanting the company’s name.”
Welzman is not just about entertaining, he is also a natural salesman. He started out as a bartender who performed magic to keep people coming back for more drinks. However, he soon bored of the hospitality industry and ventured out.
Today, when a client hires him, Welzman likes to spend several weeks learning as much as he can about the company and their product so he can incorporate it into his show.
“When I do the magic trick people are learning about the product,” Welzman said. “I use magic as a metaphor. It is about magic with a message.”
In Dubai, Welzman is working at shows which attract more than 150,000 people. The average stall might attract a few hundred visitors. Welzman aims for around 1500.
“I’ll do 80 shows in five days, a couple an hour,” he said. “I’ve got to build that crowd, communicate the message, and hopefully they are lining up at the end to talk business.”
The International Magicians Society chief executive officer Tony Hassini said former winners of Merlin awards have included David Copperfield and Criss Angel which put Welzman in impressive company.
“The Merlin Award is to magic what the Oscar is to motion pictures, what the Emmy is to television and what the Tony is to theatre,” he said.
Welzman will appear as the only Australian magician on an American television special titled, Great Magicians of the World.