Part of my job with my publishing company, Vanishing Inc. Magic is to film and teach some of the great new magic that we release. It’s aimed purely at magicians, and is a good way of getting experience talking in front of a camera, and learning to teach magic clearly and concisely.
I spent the day yesterday filming the instructional DVD for a new trick called “Timeless,” which is a trick that I worked on with two other magicians. If you’ve seen me perform at an event recently and I performed a trick using a watch, it would have been “Timeless.” It’s an amazing trick with a very different surprise at the end.
Here’s a quick screen capture from the instructional DVD. We expect to release it by the end of September, hopefully just in time for my lecture at The Magic Circle:
Every other August, I travel to Las Vegas to attend a conference called MAGIC Live. It’s organised by the major magician trade journal, MAGIC Magazine and is attended by 1,500 magicians from across the world.
I’ve performed at the conference twice in the four times that I attended. This time, though, I was there to relax and enjoy the great magic. At events like this, magicians get to learn from other magicians and see performances and talks on all sorts of related subjects. One very interesting performance, this year, was a full show in the dark, designed to allow blind people to experience magic.
For the most part, though, these conferences are social conferences for me. I get to see friends that I rarely see (due to them living in other countries) and get to spend time sharing tricks and ideas with other magicians. In particular, this year, I attended a party held by Criss Angel (Las Vegas magician) and another small party that a certain David Copperfield was hanging out at. Both were a lot of fun!
This conference has a unique way of giving people their name badge: they print a photo of them. For fun, I’ve included a photo of my name badge in this blog post!
Now that I’m back, I get straight to work performing as a close-up magician throughout the country.
Over the past week, famous American magicians Penn & Teller have been secretly recording their series, Fool Us at the Fountain Studios in London. I have a number of friends who attempted to fool the duo so was invited along to the filming.
There were so many people trying to be part of the show that over 350 people each night were turned away from the audience. For those that did get in though, they got to see some excellent magic. For each show that will air, Penn & Teller will be performing one of their own illusions (including some magic that I haven’t seen them perform for a very long time). As always, Jonathan Ross was a great host and made his job look so easy! He’s a true professional and is the absolute perfect choice to host this show (BBC’s The Magicians, take note!).
The series will air on Saturday nights straight after this current run of Britain’s Got Talent ends. Some of my non-magician friends have asked about the two magicians who fooled Penn & Teller in the last show; I speak to them regularly and they’ll be going to Vegas in just a couple of weeks to perform in Penn & Teller’s show!
It’s great to see some excellent magic airing on TV. Congratulations to all involved!
I’m writing this blog post from New York. I spent a week here in Manhattan working on a number of projects relating to my magic book publishing business (Vanishing Inc. Magic) with my business partner, Joshua Jay (who is a professional magician in New York City).
After the week in Manhattan, we traveled to Batavia, New York (about six hours drive from New York City) where we attended an invitation only conference for the top 200 close-up magicians in the world. It’s attended by close-up magicians from almost every continent and has very stringent conditions for which you need to meet in order to be invited. Due to this, the convention is attended by many world champion close-up magicians, expert card magicians and performers that don’t travel to many other events of this nature.
I was asked to perform for the close-up magicians (photograph below … although for some reason, I look a little camp in that photo!), where I performed a few of my favourite tricks from my DVD set for magicians.
I’m in New York City for one more day and then fly home to the UK, where I’ll have a day or two off before getting straight back to performing close-up magic.
Last week, comedian Tim Vine was performing at the Cheltenham Town Hall. One of my friends, John Archer, is Tim’s opening act; he’s a fantastic magician and mind-reader who performs for thirty minutes before Tim comes on stage (he’s also one of the two magicians who fooled Penn & Teller on their TV show). John really is a fantastic performer and I’m pleased to be working with him on a couple of fun projects.
John invited me to see the show and then to spend some time with him and Tim afterwards. Also joining us was Emma Samms (of Dynasty fame) who asked to see me perform a few tricks.To make it an even stranger experience, Craig Revel Horwood and Brian Connolly turned up later too.
The highlight of the evening, for me though, was discussing my show with Tim Vine and then him writing some jokes for me! Tim is one of the quickest comedians in the business and within a second or two of telling him about my style, he immediately came up with some great jokes specific to my magic.
It was a fun evening and I was glad to have the opportunity to perform for, and meet some great people! Tim is coming towards the end of his tour now, but if you get a chance to see it, I’d urge you to do so.
I’ve recently returned from a brief tour of Denmark, where I was the guest of a magician called Rune Klan. Rune is a close friend and Denmark’s most famous magician and comedian. Each night, he performed for several thousand people in packed theatres and received wonderful reactions. It was a real treat to see just how much the Danish audiences loved him.
Rune’s theatre show is unlike magic shows that I’ve seen anywhere else. His magic is incredibly original (for his opening trick, he swallows a bicycle!), very funny and not to mention exceptionally skillful. I don’t think I’ve seen any other stage magician use so many difficult tricks in one show, including amazing sleight of hand magic, dice stacking, contact juggling and more.
Not speaking Danish, I didn’t understand much of what Rune talked about in the show, but as the tour progressed I started to understand things a little more.
So, thanks to Rune and his great team for a fun-filled, interesting few days! It was eye-opening to see just how successful a magician could be if they don’t compromise and work as hard as Rune. I’m excited to return to Denmark next year, where I’ll be giving a lecture and performance to Danish magicians.
Having a marketing background presents me with a small addiction to social media. Feel free to add, follow or stalk me on any of the following:
Twitter – WhoIsAndi
Facebook – magician Andi Gladwin
LinkedIn – professional magician Andi Gladwin
My Twitter posts normally consist of anecdotes and jokes for other professional magicians, loads of magicians who I don’t know add me to Facebook page and I’m not very good at using LinkedIn. However, if you can get past all that; feel free to take a look!
December is the busiest month for entertainers. Between us, we’ve covered every area of the country, performing at thousands of Christmas parties. Performing magic is a lot of fun, but it’s still a job. When do magicians get a Christmas party?!
The answer: last night.
Just over thirty close-up magicians, mind readers caricaturists, silhouette cutters traveled from across the UK to have our own Christmas party in London. We ate, drank and talked shop all evening. Well, not all evening as we also hired an incredibly funny improvisational poet who makes up poems on the spot about any subject you give him.
I’m on the train back now. It was a lot of fun and a nice way to wind down after an incredibly busy Christmas period!
I’ve just been thinking about what happened last year. It’s been by far the busiest year yet, since I’ve been a professional magician.
Here’s a brief rundown of some of the more interesting things!
- I accidentally ended up in the audience of Rick Astley’s latest music video.
- I got married!
- I bumped into internet sensation, Merton playing his improv piano.
- I performed for many charity events including for the Anthony Nolan Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.
- I traveled to Cyprus to perform at an event for magicians.
- I organised a convention for close-up magicians … and hosted my own stag do there!
- I released my first DVD set for magicians.
- I published six books for magicians (by other close-up magicians).
- I performed at dozens of weddings, dozens of parties and other events throughout the country.
- I was interviewed for a BBC radio documentary about The Magic Circle.
- I performed and co-organised The Evening of Deception at The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham.
- I was featured in MAGIC Magazine; the world’s largest journal for magicians.
- I performed stand-up comedy for the first time ever!
- I performed all over the country, clocking up 20,000 miles on my car!
- And most importantly … I had a lot of fun!
Thanks to everyone for your support and business during 2010. This next year promises to be even better!
My first ever DVD set, The Master Pushoff is now out. It’s specifically for magicians (sorry normal people!) and teaches the sleight of hand techniques that I use at my shows. If you’ve ever seen me perform magic, either at a show or for magicians, you would have definitely seen me use the techniques that I teach on the DVD set.
The DVDs were shot earlier this year during a multi-day shoot in a studio in Newbury. I uploaded some photos to the blog a few days after the shoot, giving a brief glimpse at this very tiring filming schedule!
I won’t give any more information about the content of the DVDs as this blog is intended for my non-magician readers. If you’re a magician who happens to be reading this, you can view more info on the Master Pushoff page at Vanishing Inc. where you can also view a trailer of the DVD.
The DVD is selling extremely well and is popping up on close-up magician’s Christmas lists all over the world! So if you see magicians performing in the New Year, the may well be using techniques from my DVDs!