Get to know the Man Behind the Beard!
Professional family entertainer for over four decades, Mark MacDicken performs comedy magic as the eccentric wizard “Flabbergast”. As well as being an accomplished actor and comedy magician, Mark is also a top-notch puppeteer and skilled balloon sculptor. Often seen as Spiffy the Clown, he has performed at literally hundreds of birthday parties, company picnics, summer camps, fairs, and festivals, as well as world-famous theme parks and on cable television. At fan conventions, he has won several awards for unique cosplay characters as well as some original characters, such as the mad Professor Probius and the comical Commander McBragg.
Mark has performed puppets for such companies as Knott’s Berry Farm, Keebler, and Kaiser-Permanente. Back in the day of public access television, he produced his own children’s series, Tinker’s Toybox. His stage acting credits span numerous community theatre productions, children’s theatre, comedy improv, and murder mystery dinner theatre. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drama from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Education degree in Special Education from George Mason University. Other interests include cartooning, songwriting, and science fiction/fantasy. He worked for many years as a special educator for Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia, where he currently lives with his wife April and two black cats, Loki and Jinx.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Are you Dumbledore? Gandalf? Merlin?
A: Yes, all of the above! I created the character Flabbergast as my own version of the classic wizard archetype, and I was certainly influenced by all of the famous wizard mentors of fantasy adventures. However, I maintain that Gandalf never had the style of Flabbergast!
Q: Do you do birthday parties?
A: Of course! I got my start doing magic shows for birthday parties. I created the character Spiffy the Clown and learned to make balloon animals for that particular market. While my target market is currently fairs, festivals, expos, and other larger events, I will gladly appear at your birthday party in Northern Virginia and surrounding areas upon request and pending availability. To find out my availability and a free quote for your party, send me a message on the “Get in Touch/Contact” page of this site, email me at email@example.com, or you can find me on Gig Salad, https://www.gigsalad.com/flabbergast_wizard_centreville
Q: How much do you charge?
A: It varies depending on the performance you desire. The price range is generally $200-$500 for a Flabbergast appearance, which I try to customize to your venue and audience. For a quote,
send me a message on the “Get in Touch/Contact” page of this site, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What ages is your show geared for?
A: I literally have fans of all ages! In general, if they are old enough for school, they are old enough for my shows. And they’re never too old, as long as they still enjoy magic and wholesome comedy! For birthday parties, I mostly find that children between the ages of 5 and 9 are the most receptive.
Q: Where did you get those shoes?
Q: How long have you been doing this? And how did you learn to do magic/puppets/balloons/costuming?
A: I have had an interest in all of the above (except balloons) since kindergarten. I got my first paid magician job in 1977 when I was 16 years old. Since then, I have pursued careers in acting, puppetry, song writing, and improvisational comedy, but the roads keep leading me back to magic. Somehow it just works for me! Especially when I make it funny! I learned it all from books, other professionals who were kind enough to share their knowledge, and years of field experience.
Q: Did you make Wickstrom?
A: No, I bought him online from www.sillypuppets.com. I searched many sites before I found their dragon puppet design, and it is by far my favorite. It is an attractive, whimsical character, well made, and very reasonably priced! If you want your own “replica”, they may have one in stock for you! I do make some puppets of my own, like Pollita the Goony Bird and Nigel the Boa.