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A brief history of ti… I mean… Aaron Calvert

Manchester mind reader and hypnotist, Aaron Calvert, began his career in performing at eight years old, however he was always torn between life in entertainment and that of academia. Attending Urmston Grammar School, Manchester born Aaron Calvert had a strong academic desire, achieving excellent grades and well liked by teachers and students alike, some would call him a nerd, and that title was certainly not helped by his fascination with magic.

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Fun fact #1: Aaron doesn’t eat fish. He has tried all sorts of seafood and shellfish and just can’t stomach it. Doesn’t really like mushrooms either. Weirdo.

Aaron Calvert, the early years…

Now a well-rounded, easy-going and fairly accomplished young man, growing up it wasn’t always so. Pursuing a career in performing arts, particularly ‘mentalism and hypnotism’, has a certain stigma attached to it and can often be perceived as both an introverted and an unsociable past time. Aaron has challenged this misconception. Although he enjoyed a variety of sports, including swimming and gymnastics and currently holds two Dan grades in Ju-Jitsu and Tang Soo Do, he felt no greater triumph than when he mastered his first magic trick aged eight and saw the reaction of his audience, even though it was his doting parents. It was then that Aaron came to love performing. It’s the element of theatre and production combined with audience satisfaction which has spurred Aaron to create a show incorporating theatre, drama and magic while engaging with an audience who are eagerly waiting to be entertained. He even performed for the late Ali Bongo at 9 years old.

During his time in school, such career decisions for a high achieving student as performing arts were frowned upon. Looking back he says “it was most likely a generational thing, in that, if you achieved good grades and could afford to you went to University. Now, however, in our generation we are lucky to be able to pursue unusual careers and make a living from them. As Confucius said, ‘if you choose a job that you love, you’ll never work a day in your life‘.” However, through encouragement and youth, following sixth form Aaron decided to pursue a career in medicine, heading off to read medicine at The University of Nottingham, a five year course not for the faint of hearted.

Aaron Calvert looking young, no beard!
Aaron Calvert at 4 years old

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Fun fact #2: Aaron was not asked to interview by any of the Universities he applied to in his first year of application. Disappointed by this he explored other avenues including law. Following his success at the national mock court competition he was offered a pupilage by a Manchester law firm (providing he got the grades of course). He turned down the opportunity for medicine. Idiot.

Aaron Calvert New York Marathon
Aaron Calvert baby delivery
Aaron Calvert talking with Sam Fitton

University life

Calvert played an active role in University life involving himself in a number of societies, social activities and a Nottingham charity organisation, where being part of a team of 6 medical students raised £154,000 with Karnival, Europe’s largest Student Charity Run Organization. In 2011 he ran the New York Marathon in aid of ‘Get Kids Going!’ not the easiest of tasks for someone who enjoyed the ‘typical’ student diet of pot noodles. Only joking, actually he is a marvellous cook and enjoys cooking as part of a relaxing pass time. In academia, his dissertation was presented at the International Conference for Prevention & Infection Control in Geneva and was later published in the ‘Infection and Control Today’ journal and ‘Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control‘ journal. His work investigates the spread of disease in hospitals, focusing on Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

During Aaron Calvert’s time training as a Doctor there were many moments that were highlights of the time studying. During his first two years at the University of Nottingham Aaron studied anatomy which involved full body cadaver dissection, in his opinion the best way to learn anatomy, hands on. The text book for this was called Gray’s Anatomy, ringing bells from a certain TV show?Moving into the clinical years saw Aaron deliver his first baby, Scarlet, to two very proud parents, the Dad of which recognised him from his Derby run of MIND GAMES. Finishing his degree at Great Ormond Street hospital in London, Aaron’s interest in magic certainly helped him in paediatric medicine.

By the time Calvert graduated he knew he wanted to pursue a career in performing as opposed to medicine. Not only due to the conservative agenda but also he felt stifled by the uniformity of medicine. From a public perspective medicine and life as a doctor looks like a creative field as innovation drives new cures and treatments, however in reality you are expected all to be of one standard, one mould by the time you graduate and you then spend years training to follow protocols, or get sued and fired. With this restrictive feeling Aaron decided to take a leap of faith, move back to Manchester and focus on performing mind reading and hypnosis full time. But how did this Manchester mind reader start performing?

So he's an actual medical doctor and not one of those PHD lot...

I'm sold
aaron calvert graduation
Aaron calvert in scrubs
Aaron Calvert with group of hypnotised people

Fun fact #3: Aaron can do an uncanny impression of Moss from the IT crowd, aka Richard Ayoade. It’s unbelievably good, but unfortunately not many people know who he is. Do you?

Aaron Calvert stage picture

Aaron Calvert and his performing career

Aaron may not have appeared to be your average student and, although he has made a huge contribution to community life and achieved more than most at this age, it did not come without social barriers, sacrifice and hard work.

As mentioned earlier, Aaron’s initial interests started in magic. At eight he purchased his first magic trick and by 10 he had a healthy magical knowledge and had found his element performing on stage entertainment. During this early phase of performing Aaron found it incredibly nerve-wracking to perform close up to small groups but excelled in performing on stage. As he grew and developed effects Aaron began to realise he held little interest in the actual magic he was performing and was more interested in the aspects of theatre and engagement with the audience. This was theatre that broke the forth wall and that was fascinating for Aaron.

Uncomfortable with the anti-social nature of magic, Aaron found a performance style much more suited to his natural charm and charisma, mind reading. British celebrity Derren Brown, introduced Aaron to a new way of thinking in terms of performance and the way the audience enjoyed it. Very quickly Aaron came to realise that it was not about showing off purely what he as the performer could do, but about his audience. This new style of performing lead him to realise how important the experience was for the audience, this type of show was all about audience participation and involving them, audiences which took to him very naturally.

Before heading to Nottingham University Aaron headed abroad to north New York to work and perform at a prestigious American arts camp, Long Lake Camp for the Arts. During the two summers performing in New York Aaron added hypnosis to his repertoire performing a number of shows gaining great momentum, experimenting with its limits and finding his feat in hypnotic entertainment. Aaron returned to the UK to commence University and started performing professionally on the side of his degree.

Aaron Calvert early performance
Aaron Calvert mind games sketch

For most medical students spending the majority of their time working towards their degree is enough. For Aaron, it was a different story as he juggled his time between studying, working at private and corporate events and writing and performing a number of shows and his stage show MIND GAMES.

During his time in Nottingham Aaron developed and honed his mind reading and hypnosis skills. Starting by performing for the University, Aaron was asked to perform a number of shows for the students. These shows were part of hall formals, graduation balls, fresher weeks and stand alone events. Performing for students was a great playground to test new ideas, try new routines and push himself to the limit of his abilities, they expected very little and were overwhelmed at the quality of the performance they saw.

Fun fact #4: Aaron has an I.Q. in the top 1% of the country. He is also mildly dyslexic. Nightmare for a mind reader.

As Aaron Calvert’s reputation grew in Nottingham, he began to perform for corporate clients too, offering an insight into the potential to turn his skills, passion and love into a career choice. With these new opportunities Aaron took the time to work on a specialised corporate set, something that would grab attention and leave guests believing the organiser was the dog’s b’s for organising such a successful event. In this new area of interest, away from magic, Aaron is at home both on stage and close-up with guests. Being the sociable person he is, he mingles with guests flawlessly without the barrier of cards and coin magic between them.

During Aaron’s third year of University, during the time he was researching his dissertation, Aaron teamed up with Manchester magician Sam Fitton to write and create the stage show MIND GAMES. In March of 2012 Aaron had performed a show for 500 students, organising the event by himself, following its success he decided he wanted to expand and booked three consecutive nights at Nottingham Arts Theatre.

Aaron Calvert Samsung gig
Aaron Calvert on stage at end of Mind games Manchester Mind reader

The November 2012 MIND GAMES shows were a fantastic success, working seamlessly with Sam Fitton and Tim Berryman (Aaron’s new director). Following this the team decided to tour the show across 3 cities in March 2014. This was certainly a step up, not only would the show need to be flawless but Aaron’s Nottingham reputation would not extend across all of the cities. No where else really knew who Aaron Calvert was.

Aaron strived to build his reputation and successfully toured MIND GAMES 2.0 in March 2014 across Derby, Nottingham and Manchester. The shows were a huge success and as MIND GAMES reviews came in, much to the delight of all involved they were positively spilling with compliments and who could argue with five stars across the board.

MIND GAMES is a fusion of magic, psychology and hypnosis which he hopes will provide an evening of intrigue as well as an overall entertaining and enjoyable performance.

During the final year of his study Aaron continued to perform and develop professionally ready to become a full time performer after graduation.

Since graduating as Dr Aaron Calvert, he left the field of medicine behind to perform, moving back to Manchester. Aaron currently performs for private events and functions for Corporate and private clients and is currently touring his newest show Decisions as it makes it way to a 25 day run in Edinburgh. Some of the clients Aaron has performed for include Samsung, Iris World-wide, Key 103, BBC Radio Manchester and AstraZeneca.

If you’re looking for something fresh, engaging and absolutely mind blowing Aaron is the man for you. Manchester based mind reader Aaron Calvert travels all over the country and world to perform, so stop thinking about booking him and get in touch.

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Fun fact #5: Aaron was solo drummer in a brass bugle band for 5 years. This one time at band camp…

So what keeps Aaron Calvert ticking?

Aaron Calvert has a broad range of interests as demonstrated by his varied childhood hobbies which included swimming, gymnastics, the boy’s brigade, trampolining and martial arts.

Still able to perform a back somersault on a trampoline, headspring over a vaulting box and strike out high-flying kicks, these are not daily occurrences in his everyday life. When he’s not performing, chances are he’s working on a new show or sipping coffee with Sam Fitton in a costa in Manchester putting the world to rights and talking all things performance. Outside of all of that he enjoys a healthy life-style, exercising regularly and even going on weekly runs with his Dad, though twice his age still gives him a run for his money, they annually compete in Manchester’s survival of the fittest event at the Etihad Stadium.

Aaron enjoys cooking and eating his cooking. One of the big reasons he goes to the gym, so he can carry on eating what he likes. To maintain a healthy life-style he believes in having time to yourself away from work. If you’re working in a creative field, moving to a completely different task and not thinking about an idea normally pops one straight into your head. Yes, there is definitely a big bang reference there somewhere, a program Aaron takes joy in understanding the sciency stuff that’s supposed to be there to fill the show.  Absolute nerd, but he loves it.

Able to play the drum and proficient in sign language Aaron Calvert is irritatingly good at turning his hand to lots of things out side of academia and mind reading. If you ever really want to know what makes him tick, chat to him, he’s one of the friendliest magician’s/performers you’ll meet. (He’ll probably make me dance like a chicken for calling him a magician)

Aaron Calvert and Dad running

Fun fact #6: If you actually read all of that you deserve a brew. Pop on the kettle, make yourself a quick one and then take a look at the rest of the site. It’s much more interesting.

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