I recently performed for Sozo Design, a Cheltenham-based web agency who were celebrating their tenth anniversary. The party was hosted in a marque in Cheltenham, where I performed walkaround magic and then magic at the tables during dinner. The attendees were a lot of fun and I really enjoyed performing for them. Given that there were a lot of business owners at the party, I received a lot of interest for me to perform at future events, which is always a nice compliment.
Here’s an extract from an email that I got today from James, the chap from Sozo who hired me:
“Thank you. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was blown away by your ability and skill. Thank you so much for coming along to the party and entertaining us.”
—James Hutt, Sozo Design, Cheltenham
And here’s a nice photo of me entertaining James and some other team members:
At a recent wedding, a photographer followed me around most of the tables that I performed at and took some great photos.
At the end of the evening, I joked that he must be getting bored of my magic given that he would have seen my act about ten times that night. His response, however, interested me. He said (paraphrased as my memory isn’t perfect!), “Not at all. Every table that you’ve performed at was a different show. The people were different, so your tricks, jokes and presentations were different. The way you changed your style for the table of old people and then brought it back up for the younger crowd was extremely interesting.”
The photographer has essentially picked up my main goal when performing. I don’t just run through the motions of an act, but instead try to create a unique experience every time. I don’t have scripts and I decide which tricks to perform for the audience once I get to know them. This allows me to “play” with the audience and create a unique, interesting show for everyone there!
For my second day in a row, I performed in Cheltenham yesterday. This time was for a wedding at the Barceló Cheltenham Park Hotel; the first time I’d performed at this particular venue.
I entertained ten tables of guests throughout the wedding breakfast. During the meal is my favourite time to perform at weddings as I feel as though I am able to make a genuine addition to the day. Normally, when I get to a table, they’re chatting quietly between each other, yet after my ten or fifteen minute show they’re laughing, clapping and cheering, which really creates a great party atmosphere.
The bride and groom were extremely complimentary and for the rest of the wedding, I noticed them clinging onto the card that they both signed for my closing trick at the top table!
I’m performing in Cheltenham twice this weekend. The fist time was today, at the Cheltenham Cricket Festival, and the second time will be for a wedding tomorrow at the Cheltenham Park Hotel.
Today I performed during a luncheon in a private tent at the Cheltenham Cricket Festival. This is the second time in the past few weeks that I’ve performed in a marquee on the fabulous Cheltenham College grounds as I recently performed for their student leavers ball.
I entertained 50 or so guests in a VIP tent today, performing walkaround magic for an hour or so, before performing magic around the tables between the courses of the meal. A photographer was on hand to snap a few photos with the Cheltenham College as a nice backdrop:
During the Farnborough Air Show a couple of weeks ago, I was invited by AMI Metals to entertain their American CEO and some of their most prestigious clients from around the world.
I performed close-up magic in the private room of a restaurant and then moved on to perform close-up magic for the delegates during their meal. I realise that these events are incredibly important for companies like AMI Metals and therefore ensure that I performed the best magic I could to create an evening that their clients will never forget.
One of their clients noticed me from a television show that recently re-aired in America and lots of other clients were incredibly complimentary about my magic. In fact, here’s what the gentleman that booked me had to say after my performance:
“Andi, just a quick note from AMI Metals to say thank you! We set you a tough task to entertain our guests from all over the globe and I have to say your performance was perfect and just what we needed. All the guests commented what a fantastic evening they had and we are already looking to use you in Paris next year, look forward to working with you again.”
—Lee Turner, AMI Metals
Due to my past career before becoming a professional magician, I am more than comfortable being a representative of companies and talking to important company players and key clients. Therefore, please get in touch if you’d like me to represent your company too!
A couple of weekends ago I was invited to perform onboard the King Arthur sailing from Gloucester Docks. The boat sailed along the River Severn while eighty or so guests enjoyed the party put on to celebrate my client’s 70th birthday party.
Close-up magicians often say that close-up magic events tend to blur into one, but I disagree: when you have unique opportunities to perform in different situations and venues, it really makes a show memorable and fun. The boat was full of people of various ages and it was a lot of fun to perform for the guests while the boat was sailing down the Severn.
Here’s a quick message I got from Sue, the lady who had organised me to perform on the boat:
“Andi, you were great, everyone really enjoyed your magic!! Thanks for contributing to a super day!”
I’ve been lucky enough over the last few years to be able to not only perform close-up magic for a living, but also travel around giving lectures to other magicians at conventions and clubs throughout the US, Europe and the UK. Hhere are just a few examples of the places that I’ve given lectures and performances to magicians:
- MAGIC Live conference, Las Vegas (2004 and 2009)
- The Second Deal conference, Atlanta
- The Session conference, UK
- Portuguese national magician’s conference
- British Magical Society
- Various UK magic clubs
- 15-date tour of American magic clubs (including Chicago, Texas, Indianapolis and more)
These types of events have taken a back seat over the past year while I’ve been writing books and recording DVDs for magicians and concentrating on my career as a professional close-up magician. I’ll be lecturing more often starting in 2011.
The contrast of events that I get to perform at is one of the reasons why I love my job so much. Tonight I performed at another student ball; this time for Cheltenham College, one of the oldest and most prestigious independent schools in the country.
Attended by about 200 students and parents, this lavish affair was held in a beautiful marquee on the school grounds. I’ve driven past the school hundreds of times en route to other shows so it was really nice to take a look inside this beautiful school.
I performed close-up magic for the students mostly who seemed to really enjoy and get involved with the magic. Many of them knew that a close-up magician would be performing at the party and were all very excited and appreciative when I performed for them.
I’ve been asked back to perform at future events, which is great as I love performing as a magician in Cheltenham and in particular thoroughly enjoyed entertaining these students. After my performance the guests were also treated to a live band, chocolate fountain, fun casino and more … as I post this and get ready to get tucked up in bed the party will still be going on strong!
Performing exactly one mile from the studio for my DVD shoot a few weeks ago, I recently returned to Newbury to provide some wedding entertainment. The venue was an incredibly nice restored barn on the Wasing Park grounds in Newbury.
This was a nice sized wedding with about ten tables. I performed for all the guests during the wedding breakfast and helped the photographer get some great snaps of people laughing, gasping and clapping! Given that the photographs are one of the few physical things that you keep after a wedding, I like it when photographers take photos of my audience so that the bride and groom can remember just how much fun people had at their wedding.
If you are looking for wedding entertainment ideas please consider a wedding magician!
T’is the season for student balls. On Friday night I performed close-up magic in Bristol for a student leaving event.
Taking inspiration from our American friends, these balls have become incredibly lavish. Posh meals, stretched limos, ridiculously expensive dresses and most importantly … close-up magicians! They’re a little manic, but at the same time a lot of fun.
This was the first student ball of the season for me and I was exhausted by the end of it! When performing magic for a table of students, you have to have incredibly high energy, be very funny and be in complete control else pandemonium will break lose. It’s similar to performing for adults, but you have no idea what’s going to happen next! One girl at the party had seen me perform before at another event in Bristol about a year or two ago so it was incredibly nice that she still remembered me!
I’m performing at my next student ball in Cheltenham next weekend so fingers crossed I have just as much fun at that one too. Tomorrow though, I get a nice day off, spending the day with a bunch of other professional magicians at Alton Towers. Where else would you be on one of the hottest days of the year?!