I’m just about to finish work for the night and tune into Jonathan Ross to watch Las Vegas magic superstars Penn & Teller perform. Then, on Wednesday, along with a group of other professional close-up magicians, I’m going to see the duo perform live at the Hammersmith Apollo.
I’ve seen Penn & Teller perform at their theatre (subtly named The Penn & Teller Theatre) in Las Vegas twice and have come to the conclusion that it’s the best magic show on earth. It’s funny, thought-provoking, entertaining and their magic fools even the best magicians!
There’s also rumour that David Copperfield will be performing in Manchester due to a ticket website listing that he’ll be performing at the Manchester Apollo over November. There are some mixed rumours about this so I’m waiting to hear from some friends close to David to find out how true this is. Last time I was in Vegas, I saw his show at the MGM and thoroughly enjoyed it. A few years before that, I happened to be in Chicago at the same time as David’s show and was taken by a friend of his to see the show and got the opportunity to meet the man himself. It was a great experience and I hope that the rumours of him being in Manchester are true.
Looking for a great way to entertain guests at your wedding? There are hundreds of Gloucester weddings happening every year and I’m always happy to be on hand to create an amazing experience every single time. If you’re getting married in the Cotswolds, Gloucester, Cheltenham or anywhere else in Gloucestershire, I’d love to be part of making your wedding fun and memorable.
Here are a few reasons why I think I’m the perfect choice for a Gloucester wedding magician:
- I live in Gloucester so can easily help out at the last minute.
- I have performed at most of the Gloucester wedding venues and know them (and often their staff) well.
- I have been featured on Gloucestershire radio stations and in Gloucestershire newspapers and websites.
- I have testimonials from many people in Gloucestershire and would be happy to put you in touch with other Gloucester-based couples if you’d like to ask them questions about my performance.
- I am one of a select few professional Gloucester wedding magicians
- I don’t charge travel expenses so am often a little more inexpensive than magicians who have to travel to your wedding in Gloucester.
View my wedding magician or Gloucester magician page for more info!
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.
Every industry suffers from the same problem: newcomers or people who don’t get much business post crazily low prices on their website in order to attract attention. For example, over the last couple of days I’ve seen a close-up magician who claims to travel anywhere in the country for £99, and another for £149.
The truth is; a good, professional close-up magician will never quote his or her prices on their website (and to be honest, would never charge £99!) and would never have a one-price fits all scheme. In order to give your event the proper attention required (instead of just turning up and doing a few tricks), the magician needs to talk to you personally (over phone or email) to fully understand the event and your requirements before giving a bespoke price to perform at your event.
I have previously hired close-up magicians myself (for corporate events for my old employer and for my own private parties) and I quickly learned that price should only be part of the deciding factor. When hiring a magician, I was looking for someone absolutely astounding, someone memorable and someone who would do the best job possible at the event. That someone would never charge £99!
I normally reply to price enquiry emails within an hour or two if they’re sent on a weekday (weekends and evenings take longer as I’m normally performing), so if you’d like a bespoke, yet competitive quote to hire a close-up magician feel free to get in touch!
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!
This morning BBC Radio Oxfordshire were celebrating The Magic Circle’s 105th anniversary and invited me to go on air and talk about magic and The Magic Circle.
I’ve been a member of The Magic Circle for a couple of years and so, I enjoyed taking part in the interview live on air. You can listen to the ten-minute interview with me and magician Tim Shoesmith here:
Play Magic Circle Magician radio interview
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?!
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!”
Magic is a unique experience. Having seen hundreds of shows over the years (from comedy to Riverdance, to circus, music and so much more) I can honestly say that I’ve never found anything that even comes close to the experience of seeing something truly magical. Even the most expensive Broadway show cannot compare to that raw feeling of wonder created by a close-up magician just inches away from you.
That isn’t to say that those high-budget theatre shows aren’t great; in fact quite the opposite—I love theatre and most performance art. However, it does illustrate exactly why so many companies hire close-up magicians when looking to impress their clients: a great close-up magician can perform for just a few minutes and create a memory that lasts forever. That’s why magic is so unique and that’s why I feel as though being a magician is the best job in the world.