Ten years ago, when in my teens, I created an original technique for handling a deck of cards that I feel makes card magic much stronger and more effective. If you’ve ever seen me perform a card trick, you will have seen me using this secret, hidden technique a dozen times or more.
I was recently asked to film a DVD set on this technique (it’s called The Master Pushoff) and since its release have been asked to give live workshops and seminars on the technique. I’ve given this workshop all around the country and a couple of weeks ago, I gave it at the prestigious Magic Circle in London (fact: every magician who mentions The Magic Circle on their website add “prestigious” in front of it, so I decided to do the same!).
As the workshop is very hands on, the numbers were limited to about 15 – 20 card magicians at time. I gave the workshop four times in the evening and everyone there left being able to perform the technique. Of course, everything in magic takes a lot of practice, so they all went home working on what I taught and will hopefully be eventually adding it to their card magic repertoires.
Of the back of the card magic workshop, I’ve been asked to return to present a full evening lecture. That’s coming up at the end of this month and is also being used as my examination to become an “Associate of the Inner Magic Circle”, which is posh magic speak for the next level up in the Magic Circle (I’m told that only a small number of people become a member of this level, but in all honesty, don’t know much about it!). I’ll update you of my progress!
This weekend, I performed close-up at a joint 40th birthday party in Great Milton, near oxford. While I don’t blog about every show I’ve performed, this is one that stands out as the crowd were especially fun that night.
I performed for two hours, mingling with the 150 or so guests. I performed magic with cards and coins and got asked back to perform for several of the groups again, which is always a good sign that they enjoyed it.
The day after the party, I received a really nice email from one of the ladies who booked me. Here’s a very small extract from her email:
We just wanted to say a BIG thank you from us both for Saturday night. All our friends commented on what a fantastic magician you were – and are still talking about “how did he…”. —Nicky, Oxford
I don’t work all that often in Oxford, but as it’s not far from Gloucester, I’m always happy to do so! So, if you’re looking for a close-up magician in Oxford, please get in touch!
If you’re looking for a great way to identify whether a close-up magician is good, here’s a tip: check out the performance shots on his or her website. Here are just a few things you can tell from a close-up magician’s photographs:
- Are the people having a good time, or do they look bored?
- Are they reacting positively to the magic?
- Is the close-up magician well dressed?
- What kind of venue does the magician normally work?
- Are the photos recent, or has the magician been using them for ten years?!
You can see from the photos on my homepage, for example, that people constantly laugh and gasp during my act: always a good sign for a close-up magician. I have dozens more photographs to upload to the website as time allows to give an accurate idea of how much people enjoy my magic. Here are just a scant few:
Poker in the Park is Europe’s largest Poker event, running this weekend in Hanover Square, London. It attracts over 25,000 people and has become a highlight of the Poker circuit. It’s sponsored by people like Sky, Poker.com, The Star and more and was packed full of card players, casino owners and other industry professionals. It started yesterday and runs all day today.
I was asked to give an interview and performance about magic and card cheating at the event yesterday. The hour-long slot was a lot of fun and while it was a little out of my comfort zone, was incredibly enjoyable. There’s a lot of crossover between magicians and card cheats, so it was great to have the opportunity to demonstrate some cheating ideas and perform some magic.
Thanks to the organisers for inviting me and for making me feel incredibly welcome at their great event! They took lots of video and photos, so I’ll upload some as soon as I get them.
I was recently booked to perform at a business conference at a five star luxury resort in Portugal’s Algarve region. The event is for a premier hotel industry forum which covers the complete supply chain requirements of hotel operators within the UK and Europe. Therefore, there were high-profile clients from some of the biggest hotel, food and leisure suppliers in Europe.
I performed outside for two hours during a networking meal,in a lovely restaurant overlooking the sea (as shown in the photograph below). While it was extremely hot, I managed to not melt and instead perform close-up magic for the guests, who were a lot of fun during the evening.
Unfortunately, these international events are not as glamourous as my friends think. I flew in and out of Portugal within 12 hours, ready to be home to perform close-up magic in Gloucester! That said, it was nice to briefly return to Portugal as I haven’t been there since I performed there at a magic conference two years ago.
I recently performed magic in Stroud for a 30th birthday party. I was the surprise element of the party and performed for a couple of hours, mingling with the guests. At several points in the evening, I had almost everyone at the party crowding around me as I performed magic for the birthday girl. It was a lot of fun!
Here’s a brief extract from an email I received from the lady that booked me:
Andi, you were wonderful at our daughter’s 30th birthday party. Truly magic – all our friends with us that evening are still talking about your great tricks, done right under their noses, you really amazed them! We will be calling on you again for our next special party. Many thanks. — Mandy Free, Stroud
The photograph below is halfway through a trick at the party, where I turn the deck of cards into a solid block of glass … whilst someone is holding it!
This week I performed for well-known Gloucester-based web hosting company, Fasthosts Internet Ltd. Their accounting team were having a teambuilding day at the Hatton Court Hotel in Gloucester and the Chief Finance Officer asked me to come along to entertain the team for an hour or so before their meal.
Here’s an email I received commenting about my performance:
“I know everyone enjoyed the event and meeting you. Everyone kept talking about the tricks and this served to open and liven up the evening. I will certainly recommend you if I know of anyone else looking for any entertainment etc. Once again, many thanks for the fun evening!
—Ian Stephens, Chief Finance Officer, Fasthosts Internet Ltd
I recently performed in Clifton for a 50th birthday party. I performed at the Avon Gorge Hotel, which overlooks the great Clifton Suspension Bridge. There were about 50 people at the party, all seated around tables. I performed between the courses of the meal and had lots of fun with the attendees who were all out for a great night!
Here’s a brief extract from the email I received from the person who booked me:
“Thanks for making the party such a success: all the guests were amazed at your performance and have been talking about it ever since.” -Rick Sellers
I perform a lot in Bristol and will be returning several times over the next few weeks!
This week I was invited to attend a magic show at the Kings Theatre, Gloucester in which my friend Tim Shoesmith was the opening act. Very few magicians put on shows of this nature, so I am very keen to support shows of this nature. I have my own Evening of Deception, which I’ve talked about here before, but other than that, there are only a handful of other independent magic shows in the UK.
It was clear that Tim and Dean (the two performers) had worked hard on producing a good show. The audience seemed to be very much enjoying it; as was I and the other close-up magicians that I went with.
It was strange returning to the the Kings Theatre as I haven’t been there since I performed an illusion show there when I was about fourteen! I performed with two female assistants (also known as “two friends from school!”) and thankfully, I don’t think I’ve performed an illusion ever since. The other performer in the show was Richard O’Brien of Crystal Maze and Rocky Horror Show fame. I don’t remember the circumstances on how all this happened, but it was fun to be involved with anyway!
As an aside, Tim reminded me that we did a radio interview together for Radio Oxford last year. You can hear the interview here.
If you’ve read my last few blog posts, it probably seems as though I’ve spent more time having fun than working! So, here’s a brief update of the shows I’ve done over the past few weeks:
I performed for a 50th birthday party at the Gloucester Irish club. There were about 150 people at the party, so I had to work extremely quickly to ensure that I got around everyone! It was a lot of fun and a good atmosphere with people from all ages at the party.
I returned to the Daffodil restaurant (one of my favourite places to work) to entertain at a private birthday party. The theme was 1920’s so everyone was in fancy dress (except me!) and enjoying the cocktails and food.
I performed at a wedding in Clifton, Bristol. It was a very relaxed affair with about 50 people at the wedding, giving me plenty of opportunity to ensure that everyone got to see magic over the two-hour period.
It’s been nice to work close to home these past few weeks. Tomorrow I’m working a little farther away, but given the nice weather I’m sure the drive will be lovely!