Last week I had the incredible honour of being asked to partake in a fundraising event for President Obama’s re-election campaign.
The event was held in a large mansion in Washington, DC and featured six magicians from across America (with another six performing walkaround magic before the show). I was the only non-American and had the privilege of closing the show. Being asked to perform alongside some of my magic heros for many important American dignitaries was certainly one of my career highlights.
Here’s a photo of the performers and team on an evening that I will never forget. And while I am not American, or have a particularly strong knowledge of American politics, I am proud to have been part of an event that raised a lot of money to hopefully help keep the right man in presidency!
In what was a slightly strange experience, last week I performed at the Dormy House in the Cotswolds; the hotel that I got married at two years prior. It was truly interesting to see the venue from another perspective and it still stands as one of my favourite places to work. Great venue, excellent staff and amazing views of the Cotswolds!
Here’s a photo of me performing for a small group on the patio of the hotel:
Here are a few tips that might help when looking for a magician in Gloucester:
1. It’s important that a magician (in Gloucester, or anywhere else!) has a great looking website. But a great website does not necessarily make a great magician. So be sure to do some research to ensure that you are not just hiring based off the website.
2. There aren’t any professional qualifications for magicians. But, it’s always useful to see if the magician has won any recent awards and are a member of a society like The Magic Circle. In my opinion, that is the only magic society in the country that is a little difficult to get into, so that’s always a good thing to check.
3. Check that they really are from Gloucester. Some magicians, unfortunately, spoof their websites to pretend that they live in Gloucester … and every other major city in the UK!
4. Do they specialise in close-up magic? The truth is that it is difficult to sustain a career in close-up magic and therefore magicians tend to accept many different types of shows. However, I am a specialist in close-up magic. I don’t do children’s entertainment … I specialise in magic at weddings and corporate events.
5. Are they easy to work with? That’s the essential one in my opinion. Be sure to talk to the magician on the phone and check that you like them, that they are fun and that they would be the right person to represent you or your brand at an event.
And there you go. Five quick, but important tips for hiring a close-up magician in Gloucester … or anywhere else in the country!
A few days after appearing at The Magic Castle, I traveled straight to the UK’s own Las Vegas … Blackpool! It was the world championships of magic; an event called FISM. Much like the Olympics, it is held every four years and countries bid on where it will be each year.
This year it was Blackpool! Hundreds of acts compete for the Grant Prix award, which has been won over the years by some very famous magicians (such as Lance Burton, who starred in his own Las Vegas show for many years).
The standard this year was exceptional. The winning stage act brought many people to tears at just how good it was. I watched it twice in the same day and could have watched it a dozen times more! It was an incredible atmosphere and I can’t wait for the next one, which will be held in Italy. Who knows where magic will be in four years!
It’s that time of year again: the wedding season! Many couples are now starting to plan their wedding entertainment now for 2013 and that’s a sensible thing to do.
There are close to 5,000 weddings each weekend in the UK (average worked out from The Guarden’s marriage statistics article) and probably less than fifty professional magicians in the country. That means, it’s important to book early to ensure that you are able to have a close-up magician at your wedding.
That’s why I am now taking bookings for 2013. So if you’re looking for a wedding magician get in touch now to secure your date!
Hiring a close-up magician must be a pretty difficult thing to do. Many people who call me are concerned mainly about price. I can understand that; organising a wedding or party is an expensive business.
But here are some points to consider when it comes to choosing a magician solely on price:
1. There’s not a single professional magician alive who can sustain charging £100 or £150 for every show he does. Minus travel, tax, cost of materials (which is normally low, but still needs to be included), car maintenance cost and the full day that you’re away from the office, the magician would be making next to nothing.
2. If someone is cheap, there’s normally a reason: he doesn’t feel qualified to charge the going rate. If a magician doesn’t have the confidence in themselves, it’s difficult for the client to have the confidence in the magician. Will they arrive on time, will they do a great job and so on?
3. Fees often reflect the magician’s target market. If you are looking for a close-up magician who performs at top-class corporate events, you won’t find the right magician at the lower end of the price scale.
4. Price also reflects the magician’s experience. Amateur magicians almost always charge the least because they don’t rely on magic as their income. Professionals, however, need to charge a full fee because it is their only source of income.
Finally, here’s one that’s the flipside of all the other points:
5. The magician may have a reason to price lower. Maybe they live locally, have another show nearby that day (and can fit you in before or after) or they think meeting your guests would be beneficial for them. Therefore, not every low-fee should suggest the magician isn’t fantastic.
Those of you following me on Twitter, would have noticed that I’ve been talking about The Magic Castle a lot lately. It’s a private member’s club in Hollywood, Los Angeles that has become a popular celebrity-hangout in the last few years. They have a restaurant (serving some incredible food!), five bars and three theatres. Everywhere you look, there is magic going on!
I was invited to perform my show in their close-up theatre during the past week. I performed a brand new show that I designed especially for the venue. The Magic Castle treat their magicians like stars and their guests visit the venue because they absolutely love magic. This is a brilliant combination and made the experience so much fun. I performed thirty shows in one week and would have quite happily performed another thirty! It really is the absolute best environment in the world to perform close-up magic and was an honour to perform there.
I can’t wait to return. If you are ever in Los Angeles, and can get an invite, I would really recommend spending an evening at The Magic Castle.
Last week I was asked to do a short tour of the Netherlands to perform for two magic clubs: one in the North and one in the South.
These kinds of tours are all work and no play. You get an early flight to arrive for the first performance, sleep for a few hours, jump on a train and then do the second performance before flying home. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. It’s such an honour to be asked to do these kinds of events that it’s well worth it. Each evening I performed my two-hour show/lecture for, what I am told, was record-breaking crowds. Everyone was incredibly nice and I had a great time performing for them. Here’s a photo from one of the lectures:
Next month, I’ll be performing for two nights in the Netherlands. Here are the dates and locations:
5th June (8pm start time)
Magic Club Gonga: ’t Boerke, Hoofdstraat 72, Rijen
Entrance : €10,-
6th June (8pm start time)
Magicshop.nl, Lijnbaan 32, 1969 NE Heemskerk
Entrance: € 20,-
On Tuesday night, I returned to Park Lane to perform at the Performance Marketing Awards at the Grovesnor House. Over 800 guests from the marketing industry attended the event and I performed close-up magic during the dinner. As someone who used to work in marketing before I quit to be a close-up magician, it was interesting to see my two worlds combine!
This was one of the biggest, most lavish events that I have performed at in the past few months and it was an incredibly well organised event. Here’s a note that I recevied the morning afterwards from one of the organisers:
“The feedback I received was that you were awesome! Many thanks for being so professional on the night!” —Hannah Langfield, Event Manager