This weekend I performed at a 50th birthday party in Staines. Another close-up magician recommended me for the party, which is always a nice compliment.
Dave (the man celebrating his birthday) and his friends were a lot of fun to perform for. They were extremely complimentary and really enjoyed getting involved in the magic. They were seated on very long tables, which some magicians will tell you isn’t a great environment for magic. However, I used my usual tactic of performing a trick for the entire table, then walked around performing close-up magic for three or four people at a time, finishing off with having everyone on the table pick a card … and then finding everyone’s card in rapid succession! It worked a treat, everyone got to see a lot of close-up magic and we all had a lot of fun!
Here’s what Dave posted on my website after the show:
“I would just like to say a huge thank you for making my 50th such a night to remember! My friends were as amazed as I was and are finding it hard to figure out just how you do what you do right in front of our eyes. Very entertaining!”
Here’s a nice snippet from an email that I received after entertaining at a birthday party in the Hereford area a couple of weeks ago. I performed close-up magic for a group of friends who were on holiday in the area, celebrating a birthday.
“Thank you very much for entertaining us on Saturday evening. You were so clever!! My friends and I were very impressed indeed and are still talking about you and your magic.” —Sally Naish
You can review more comments about my performances here and view more about me performing as a Hereford magician!
For the third time in the last few weeks, I returned to Manchester to perform close-up magic. Along with three other great close-up magicians (actually some of my favourite three magicians to work with!), I performed at the British Cardiovascular Society’s awards ceremony at the Manchester Town Hall.
The party was part of the British Cardiovascular Society’s annual conference and was attended by doctors, sales reps and more. At the start of the party, the magicians performed during the cocktail reception. This is always a nice way to introduce yourself as a magician and perform for lots of small groups for a few minutes each.
We then moved on to perform at the banquet where we performed close-up magic for each table, between courses. Everyone had a great time and I received some extremely positive reactions.
I love working alongside other magicians so if you ever need to hire more than one close-up magician for an event, let me know and I can arrange it very easily; not just magicians in Manchester but anywhere in the country!
Tonight I was treated to the rare pleasure of performing just a few miles from my house. I performed magic for a joint sixtieth party at the Ross-on-Wye Chase Hotel in Herefordshire (not to be confused with the Cheltenham Chase Hotel, just a few miles down the road!).
This was exactly the type of show I love and the reason I enjoy being a close-up magician so much. The party consisted of two tables of fifteen party-goers who were all there for a great night out and to enjoy being entertained by a magician. I was asked to perform for each table for about twenty minutes, which is a luxury that I don’t normally get as with bigger events where I need to move on to cover a lot of people in a short amount of time.
With thing kind of party, I get the opportunity to find out about everyone at the table and customise my tricks and jokes to them. I always finish these kind of shows with my favourite (but most difficult) piece of sleight of hand magic: having all fifteen people at the table pick a card, shuffling the deck and then rapidly finding all fifteen cards in just two minutes! Last night I received some of my best reactions for the trick with loud laughs, gasps and several long rounds of applause; much to the confusion of everyone else in the restaurant!
This week I’m at a family party in Gloucester, then in a studio in Newbury filming a two-volume DVD set for magicians (focusing on my sleight of hand magic) and then performing in Manchester and Reading toward the end of the week. It’s going to be an incredibly busy week!
When you’re hiring a magician, it’s vital that the magician understands that he or she is a representative of your brand. Along those lines, here’s some great feedback from a company I recently worked for in London:
“Having used several magicians in the past, I hired Andi to perform magic at an important media event
we hosted in London. We were delighted with the results. As a performer Andi was charming
and the various styles of magic he used truly captivating
. He has a great sense for his audience, provided excellent support from start to finish, and was diligent in discussing our preferences and priorities for our guests on the night.
“We would be keen to use Andi again when we next require an entertainer. I would have no hesitation in recommending Andi Gladwin’s services – he’s doing everything right to become a very popular act”.
—Richard Stevenson, 1&1 Internet Ltd, www.1and1.co.uk
I love receiving positive comments! Here’s just a small extract from an email that I received from my performance as a close-up magician in Bristol a few weeks ago:
“Your performance at my 40th was just brilliant and went down a storm! It completed what was a fantastic day to remember for me and my friends. It’s not easy finding something different (and clean!) that will keep 25 men entertained with baffling and laugh-out-loud reactions but you managed it, so well done you!” —Andy, Bristol
Last night I performed close-up magic in Bristol again. This time, it was in the function room of a nice pub for a lady’s fortieth birthday party. I was hired as a surprise magician, which is always fun!
About one-hundred of her friends attended the party, which gave me plenty of people to perform for over the course of the two hours. Most of the people there hadn’t seen a close-up magician before so we all had a lot of fun!
In particular, I was introduced to the birthday girl’s brother as “The guy that figures out how every magician does his tricks.” I always accept that as a challenge and by the end of it, he said my favourite words: “I have no idea how you did a single trick!”
I performed walkaround magic for an hour and a half and then tried something new; I invited people to come over to a table in the corner of the room (there was a disco too, so choose a quieter part of the room!) and performed a show at a table for twenty minutes or so. This gave me a great opportunity to have fun with the audience and perform the kind of close-up magic I enjoy the most!
This was a great party and I had a lot of fun performing in Bristol!
Last night’s An Evening of Deception went amazingly well! The sellout crowd was fantastic and was treated to a great night of contemporary magic. People from as far as London came to see the show, which was a great honour!
Steve Knibbs (BBC News presenter and great magician) MCed the show and did a fantastic job introducing the acts (Rob James, me and Thom Peterson) and talking about Cheltenham’s rich history of magic.
I performed an entirely new act, which I was really happy about and received lots of positive praise from the crowd afterwards. In the act, I showed some interesting cheating techniques including naming cards that people had just looked at and showing how to win £200,000 on the roll of a die. Introducing a fully new act in this nature is nerve-wracking as I have to rely on all new tricks, script and jokes to go right first time! Luckily though, they all did!
Being a full time close-up magician meant that I was really out of my comfort zone performing to a large crowd, but I loved every minute of it and would like to think that this is the start of me performing on stage more often (but don’t worry; I’ll always be available to hire as a close-up magician!).
Here are a few photos from the event. We had the show filmed so I hope to post an extract of my act over the coming weeks:
I’ll check with the other magicians about posting photos of their performances too. It’s bad form to do that kind of thing without checking first, so I’ll keep you posted!
Me and the Gloucester to London Paddington train staff are becoming quite good friends! On my second trip to London this week, I performed as a close-up magician at 1&1’s PR event to celebrate their tenth anniversary.
1&1 Group (United Internet) are the world’s largest web host. How do I know? I used to work for one of the group companies as UK Product Manager before I took a career change as a professional close-up magician. This means that my usual company research before a show was a little easier than normal as it’s an industry that I know inside out. This was especially useful as with PR events, I’m working on behalf of the company and therefore really need to know my stuff when performing for magazine editors and suchlike (and to be honest, I relished the opportunity of whipping out my nerdy PHP and MySQL jokes for one night only).
I performed close-up magic for a few hours during the cocktails after the company speeches. This really helped break the ice with people who didn’t know many others at the event and more importantly, it allowed me to help other people network by enticing them into the performance. This is an important key to my performances that I think many other close-up magicians neglect to do.
The company wanted to book me tomorrow for their staff party too, but as I am performing at An Evening of Deception, I arranged for another fantastic London magician to perform at the event.
Afterwards, I was presented with a nice big gift bag of nerdy goods and branded 1&1 clothing. So if you see magician wearing a 1&1 tanktop, cap and shoes, you know it’s me!
Tomorrow is my show, An Evening of Deception and then over the weekend I’m back in Bristol to perform as a close-up magician for a private party … gasping for a rest!
On the first of two scheduled trips to London this week, last night I was invited to perform at the exclusive Daisy Ball at the Grovesner House in Park Lane again (I performed for them last year too). This big bash was held in aid of the Anthony Nolan Trust; a charity that I wrote a magic book for three years ago (The Magician’s Ltd Cookbook, which featured over 30 tricks from different famous magicians).
With some tickets costing as much as £4,200, this event is extremely classy. There were almost thirty entertainers (including magicians, balloon artists, caricaturists and more) who performed during the meal, along with many other acts (including The Jersey Boys and some fabulous circus acts).
The highlight of the event, for me, was being noticed across the large room by the organiser of the event who complimented me on the particularly loud and astonished reactions that I was receiving from my audiences. He asked me to perform for the guests at his table, which consisted of some of the cast of Eastenders, along with other TV types. The fantastic reactions that I got from the organiser and his guests rounded off the amazing party perfectly for me!
While I don’t know the total figure, the amount that this great event earns for charity is in the hundred’s of thousands of pounds. It’s a fantastic event and was a pleasure to work it again this year.