Here are the posts that I've written in the "Performance ideas" category:
It’s always nice to be invited back to perform at an event a second time round. That’s what happened with a leaver’s ball that I performed at Cheltenham College. I told you about it in this Magician Cheltenham blog post.
The event was similar to last year’s, with the exception that the guests were different. As always, it was a lot of fun performing in the large marque, erected on the grounds especially for this party.
The fun part, this time round, was that I noticed a menu on each table … with my name on it! The organisers had a great idea of listing the entertainment at the event so that people who know what they had to look forward to.
Got a keen card player in the family and want to get them a unique gift? Here’s an idea: I’ll play cards with them and win … every single time; that’s a guarantee!
Even the best card players and casinos in the world can’t beat undetectable sleight of hand and card counting, so I’m willing to play against any card players and cheat my way to success (for fun, not profit!). One game that I often play takes this to the extreme as I allow the other player to choose every single action that I do (even allowing them to look at my cards), yet I still win, every time without even touching the cards!
Being cheated at cards for entertainment purposes (i.e. not for money) is a very fun, unique experience. So if you are thinking about hiring a sleight of hand magician for your party, I’d be happy to perform a close-up act that consists of some great magic, along with some gambling and card routines that involve me cheating my way to success in apparently extremely fair card games.
View my sleight of hand magician page for more details on this kind of magic.
Recently, I’ve been booking “Mystery Room” magic shows. The idea is that at various points during a party, small groups of people get invited into a room labeled “Surprise Room”. Only the organisers know what’s in the room; to everyone else, it’s a secret!
When each group get into the room, I perform ten or fifteen minutes of magic (maybe longer if there are less groups) and everyone gets to see great close-up magic performed in the perfect environment. At the end of the show, I remind everyone that what’s inside the room is a secret and shouldn’t be talked about until everyone has seen the show.
This is a great idea for house parties where it’s often busy and loud, making it difficult for people to really get to see close-up magic. In these scenarios, I normally end up performing very simple tricks because people can’t hear me very well. With the surprise room, however, everyone gets to see a magic show in exactly the same way that Hollywood stars get to see magic at the famous Magic Castle in LA.
I don’t charge any extra for mystery room shows than I do when I perform as a walkaround magician, so it’s definitely a great addition to your party!
For any magicians reading this, the secret room idea was pioneered by Alan Hudson and I think it’s a really great way for people to see magic.
The ex-Product Manager in me (that’s what I used to be before I was a professional magician) likes to monitor trends of when and why people hire close-up magicians. An increasing trend lately has been people doing their own Come Dine With Me style challenges amongst their friends and hiring close-up magicians to entertain between the courses.
If you’re hiring a close-up magician for a Come Dine With Me style evening, here are a few suggestions that may help:
1. Make sure the magician suits your party
Just like you choose the best wine to go with your meal, be sure that you’re picky about which magician you hire. Find a magician that suits the style of the evening. For example, if you’re having a fun, upbeat evening, you may like to consider hiring a more contemporary magician (like me!). However, if you’re having a really high brow, posh meal, you might want to find a high brow, posh magician. Believe it or not, there are a couple of them around!
2. Have the magician between courses
I never, ever perform while people are eating. Any magician who does needs to consider that your guests are there to enjoy the meal and each other’s company and not just to enjoy the magician!
3. Make time to watch the magic yourself
Often when I perform at these kind of dinner parties, the hosts are busy stirring the gravy or putting the cherries on the cake. Try to make a little time to watch the magician yourself! For example, after the main course is always a good time if you’ve managed to prepare the dessert in advance.
4. Don’t overdo it
Magicians can really help create a great atmosphere and a really memorable evening. I’ve managed to find the perfect amount of time to perform at these kind of parties and recommend that you don’t have the magician work for hours between each course; instead leave plenty of time for your guests to chat during the meal and most importantly, enjoy your food!
If you’re organising this kind of party, good luck! The best part about organising your own Come Dine With Me challenge instead of going on the show is, of course, you don’t have to listen to your friends bitching about you and giving you low scores to show up to the cameras!
About a month ago I performed at big event in a marquee and one thing that really stood out was the bar (as strange as that sounds!). The bar was illuminated with bright lights from underneath the tabletop, which was what made it really stand out. They also had flair bartenders, which is something I always enjoy as it’s a skill a little akin to sleight of hand magic.
I performed a little magic for the bar staff while we were waiting for everyone to arrive and they were all a lot of fun to perform for. That performance has now created an interesting partnership. If you hire LiquidSpirit’s mobile bar for your event, you can also arrange for them to hire me to perform close-up magic behind the bar for the evening.
Bar magic isn’t particularly common in the UK (compared to the USA, for example where it is a lot more common), but it’s a great way to create a really memorable experience for your guests. I stand behind the bar and perform a small show for people as they’re waiting to be served, or as they’re sat at the bar enjoying a cocktail or two. It’s a fun, and unique experience.
Check out LiquidSpirit’s mobile bar hire website for more info.
Looking for some interesting ideas for corporate entertainment? Why not hire a close-up magician.
Here’s why hiring a close-up magician is a great corporate entertainment idea:
See my corporate entertainment page for more info on what I could offer at your party.
A card shark is someone who is highly skilled with a deck of cards and is able to cheat without being caught. Having played in most of the top Las Vegas casinos and performed magic all around the world, I am able to combine these skills to create an interesting fun show of magic and card sharkery.
My card shark performances are normally best suited for specific poker events, casinos or parties with fun casino tables (most fun casino companies will allow you to hire an extra table for me to perform on). This allows me to show actual techniques taught to me by genuine card cheats and to perform card magic with a gambling theme.
Ever seen someone cut to the four Aces from as shuffled deck, or deal himself a royal flush even though the cards were completely shuffled by the other players? Hire me as a card shark to see it up close and personal!
See my sleight of hand magician page for even more details about this kind of specialist magic and how to hire a card shark like me!
I’ve noticed something interesting over the past few months: lots of people are hiring a close-up magician as a surprise gift.
Already this year I’ve been hired as a gift for small private parties, large dinner parties and more, where the person who was celebrating their birthday had no idea who I was until I approached their table to perform close-up magic.
Most people who have hired me for such events tell me that it’s for a surprise so that I can contact them at agreed times and arrive at a specific location without the surprise being spoiled. I’ve been hired for this type of surprise enough times to ensure that the person who the gift is for never sees me until the minute I start performing.
Hiring a close-up magician to perform as a surprise gift is especially perfect for the person who has everything and for the person that you can never work out what to buy. By hiring a close-up magician you get to give an experience that they’ll never forget and that everyone at the party can enjoy. It’s like a Red Letter day without the hassle … and one that the entire family can get involved with!