My trip to Cyprus has come to an end; I arrived safely back in the UK late last night, thanks to the British Airways employees that decided not to strike!
The trip was a lot of fun and I got to perform and talk about magic non stop! I performed for the Cyprus equivalent of The Magic Circle, which was a great experience. For such a small island, Cyprus has some fantastic close-up magicians.
There’s no time to rest though. In a few hours, I’m filming some tricks for a new magic website and am preparing for an extremely busy month of close-up magic performances.
This post serves two purposes:
1. To let you know what I’m up to.
2. To kill some time while waiting for my flight.
After a few hours sleep caused by a late night working, followed by a 3am start to drive to Heathrow airport, I’m now just about to board a flight to Larnaca.
I’m spending the week in Cyprus with a close friend and top US close-up magician Joshua Jay. Josh is just gearing up for a month or so of television appearances to coincide with his new book launch so we’re taking a week to relax, tour Cyprus (with a few performance engagements added in) and to discuss and create some new magic tricks.
It’s set to be a fun adventure (especially since I’m flying back with British Airways during the strike) and I’m looking forward to getting there! If you need a magician whilst I am away, feel free to get in touch and I’ll recommend some great magicians for you!
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 took last night off to see Peter Kay’s Tour That Doesn’t Tour Tour in Manchester. My fiancée and I stayed in the Deansgate Hilton which is a hotel that I’ve performed at a few times (the last time was for a large Mothercare event, which was particularly fun). It was a novel treat being able to just relax in the hotel instead of have to work! Our suite was on one of the top floors of this massive hotel which was a little scary, but a great experience nonetheless as it looked over Manchester from a great height!
Peter Kay was incredibly funny, as always, and finished with the best ending over any comedy show I’ve seen (with Rob Brydon coming in at a much more toned down, but close second). After the show we ended up being part of Rick Astley’s next music video (don’t ask!) and then went on to visit the Illusion’s Magic Bar; a cocktail bar owned by a friend and fellow magician.
The magic bar is a great opportunity to see live magicians perform in Manchester. We arrived about an hour before closing time but got to enjoy a cocktail and a performance by a close-up magician. The cocktails were all named after famous magicians so my fiancée had a Derren Brown and I had a Juan Tamariz, who is my favourite close-up magician!
All-in-all we had a fantastic couple of days. I’m back home now and am gearing up for a busy weekend of work!
A lot of brides for weddings, ask that I “blend in with the crowd” and don’t “make myself stand out too much” (quotes from a bride I spoke to just a few days ago).
When performing close-up magic, this is the exact approach I take. In fact, the only time people will become aware that I’m not just a guest at the event is when I approach their table and start to perform (or when they hear the reactions of me performing at another table). I’m not one of those tacky magicians who has crazy hair or wears weird clothes … or most annoyingly speaks with a loud squeaky voice! I wear a nice suit, perform modern close-up magic and try to blend in with the crowd.
I’m a professional, confident contemporary close-up magician. I treat magic and sleight of hand as a serious entertainment form, practice my art for hours each day and am proud that I get to travel around the world doing what I love. If that’s what you’re looking for, then feel free to hire me as your wedding magician!
Here are ten facts that you probably didn’t already know about magicians:
1. The most famous member of the Magic Circle is Prince Charles. He joined the club in 1975 after performing the famous Cups & Balls trick for members.
2. The fastest magician alive is Eldon Wigton who performed 225 tricks in 2 minutes for a World Record attempt in 1991. I met him while performing in Ohio and he told me that one day he plans to break his own record!
3. At least fifteen magicians have died from performing the famous bullet catch illusion (including Chung Ling Soo, pictured below). Crazy. Dead. Fools.
4. The largest magic club in the world (International Brotherhood of Magicians) has close to 25,000 members.
5. Reginald Scot wrote the book The Discovery of Witchcraft in 1584 to prove that magic was not real. The book was his protest against witches that were hung because they were suspected of being the “real deal”.
6. Matthew Buchinger (self portrait on the right), a popular 18th century magician was born without arms or legs and was just 29 inches tall. He was a magician, calligrapher and musician who played the flute, trumpet, and more. He even managed to find the time to father eleven children. Clever dick.
7. Harry Houdini chose his stage stage name as a mark of respect to the father of modern magic, Robert-Houdin.
8. The phrase “died on stage” was taken to the extreme by Coulew of Lorraine in 1613 when he was clubbed to death by an angry audience member using one of his own props!
9. The only magicians to have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are Harry Houdini and David Copperfield.
10. Magicians are good inventors. For example, English stage magician John Nevil Maskelyne invented the pay toilet and his grandfather, Jasper Maskelyne invented the typewriter keyboard.
This week I’ve been busy preparing for three interesting projects that all involve teaching magic:
1. A tour of Cyprus
British Airways strike permitting, I’ll be flying over to Cyprus for a week to tour with a friend. He will be presenting his magic to a couple of magic clubs and I’ll be on hand to help out and teach a trick or two of mine. These kind of events are like a busman’s holiday, but are always a lot of fun. My friend is from New York so we rarely get to spend a week together unless we’re touring together.
2. A magic DVD
The week after I return from Cyprus I’ll be in the studio for a few days filming my first ever DVD for magicians. It’ll be available for magicians (and only magicians as they contain a lot of my sleight of hand techniques!) to buy all over the world later in the year. I’m a little old school so normally only teach my magic in books aimed specifically at close-up magicians so am excited to see how it translates to DVD.
3. Magic downloads
I’m filming three downloads. Two for professional magicians and one for non-magicians (I hate to leave you out). These are a great way for magicians to learn my magic without waiting for the postman to arrive.
I’ll keep you posted on all three projects on this blog!
Last week I confirmed my first booking for Christmas 2010. To many people the idea of booking Christmas party entertainment in May probably sounds crazy; but it really is the only way to ensure that your chosen close-up magician is available to perform at your Christmas party.
This particular event will see five close-up magicians performing at the party. Given that December is always the busiest month for magicians, we never get to see each other toward the end of the year so it’s always nice to be working with other close-up magicians so that we can spend some time with each other.
The key Christmas party dates are normally the last three Fridays and Saturdays before Christmas. Therefore, if you know that your company is going to organising a Christmas party this year, why not nudge them in my direction?
I’m looking forward to a busy Christmas and hope that I’ll be able to perform at your party.
Question: how does a close-up magician spend his birthday?
Answer: with other magicians!
I celebrated my 27th birthday on Monday and by way of celebration, I decided to arrange a day out for my magician friends. We started in Weston-Super-Mare with a nice breakfast, followed by a game of crazy golf (I came third!). We then moved onto Bath to visit another friend there (all ten of us gatecrashed his house for tea and cake!), before going on to a nice Greek tapas restaurant in Bath.
We finished up the day by going on my friend Noel Britton’s Bizarre Bath Walk. If you’re ever visiting Bath, this is the most fun that you can ever have whilst walking around the streets. It’s one of my favourite magic/comedy shows and I was glad of the opportunity to introduce my friends to it.
I had my trusty iPhone out to snap a few photos of the day so here goes:
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