Brighton’s Romany on writing her memoir Spun into Gold and what it’s like working in a predominantly men’s world.
Sitting down to write her memoir there was one thing magician Romany Romany knew it had to be honest.
“You can’t write a memoir and not be open about what has happened in your life,” she said.
The result is Spun into Gold, which charts Romany’s story from dreaming as a child to working on the stage, to a stint working for BT to finally realising her dream and becoming a magician.
“Writing the book was very cathartic,” she explained.
“It was the first time in 35 years I had really spoken about my bulimia.”
Romany says as a child she was convinced she would be discovered and at 15 she was given a part in a ballet which saw her restrict her diet to just satsumas, lettuce and cucumber.
Romany said: “I lost a lot of weight for that role, but when I stopped eating like that I put the weight back on and at 16 I weighed about 12 stone. I tried to go on diets and do Jane Fonda workouts but I developed bulimia.”
When she had to give up dance she went to university and enrolled on the BT graduate marketing and sales programme. It was while working here she discovered street performers and the magic of performing captured her imagination.
She enrolled with Circus Space, now called the National Centre for Circus Arts, and learnt to stilt walk and juggle. She also started taking salsa classes dancing away until 2am and became a salsa champion.
“I would be dancing all night, and going to work then on the weekend doing stilt walking. You can’t burn the candle at both ends and after about four years of doing it I combusted.
“I couldn’t do it anymore, I would be out as if I was at home the eating disorder would be worse so I kept myself busy.
“I went home to my parents but became agoraphobic I wouldn’t talk to friends on the phone or go out.”
During this time Romany started to look at her life and realised it was time to do what she had always dreamed of and head to the stage.
“I quit my job and enrolled at the National Centre for Circus Arts, and started to learn magic.
“But then I was riding my bike home and was hit by a car in a hit and run, it was pretty bad I had a lot of broken bones, so I couldn’t do much but it was here that I perfected my magic tricks.”
Now Romany is the Diva of Magic working as a professional magician.
She has used mindfulness, rigorous self-love and the law of attraction to achieve her dream. Something she still uses these methods to cope with bulimia.
“It’s like being an alcoholic, it never goes away, I have to manage it. I have to really work at it all the time, because the moment you lapse, it’s a slippery slope,” she said.
“Since turning 50 I just appreciate so much of what has happened in my life, I believe everything happens for a reason. I wouldn’t be where I am now if my life hadn’t panned out the way it did.”
Traditionally in the magic world women are seen as the assistants and Romany explained how she had to ‘reinvent the wheel’.
“Female magicians are very creative as we have to adapt the technical side of the magic so we all have very different styles.”
Romany wants to take people’s mind off their worries the best way she knows how through her magic.