Click here to watch Magician in Balloon. As seen on Fool Us & The Next Great Magician.
Cheltenham Magician Live

I’m performing in Cheltenham a lot over the next few months. Along with a couple of private shows (one in the private room of a restaurant and another at a house party), I am performing five times at public venues in Cheltenham.

Firstly, if you’re looking for somewhere nice to go on New Year’s Eve, then come and see me and two other magicians perform close-up magic at The Daffodil; my favourite restaurant in Cheltenham. Reservations must be made in advance for this great restaurant. I’ve performed there quite a bit over the past two years and am happy to be back again.

In February, I’m performing four shows at the Everyman Theatre. I’m doing a 40-minute slot in the show, which also features Cheltenham magicians Steve Knibbs, Kerry Scorah and Bristol magician Peter Clifford. Only a few tickets remain for the show, so check out the Everyman Theatre website to secure your tickets!

Since I normally perform at private events, this is a rare opportunity to see some magic at some great venues!

How SOPA Could Change Magic

SOPA, for those who don’t know, is an American bill and an acronym for “Stop Online Piracy Act.” If passed, it’ll change the entire internet to allow the US government to shut down any website that they believe to contain even the smallest piece of piracy. It’s a big deal and will change everything about the internet. Here’s how I foresee it changing magic:

Online footage from magic TV shows will be gone
We’ve heard of how David Copperfield walked through the Great Wall of China, but how would you see it without having an old VHS copy of his TV special? YouTube, no doubt! How will you watch David Blaine apparently levitate? YouTube, of course.

If SOPA is passed, those videos, and all other magic TV clips will certainly be removed by the TV companies.

We’ll get fewer new magicians
It’s these videos of the great famous magicians that have inspired a whole new generation of magicians. If they can’t see these videos, it’s possible that far less people will start to learn magic.

Performance videos and showreels could be removed
Magicians like to record magic tricks and share them online. Any of those magicians who use music that they haven’t purchased a license for could be removed. Hundreds of thousands of archived magic performances gone for good.

Many magic websites could be blocked or removed
It’s not just these video sharing sites that could be taken down: any website linking to YouTube videos that are infringing on copyright could also be removed. So if I wanted to share a video of a great TV clip on my blog, it’s possible that my site could be blocked within the US because of it.

Finding a magician might be more difficult
SOPA will allow the US government to dictate to search engines, such as Google, what can and can’t be included in their search results. That means that you could miss out on hiring the best magician for your job because they have a piece of unlicensed music, video, photo, image or text on their website.

Magicians might not be able to interact online
Some magicians use magic forums to communicate and share performance videos. But if enough users shared videos that infringed on any copyrights (however small), those forums could get shut down … even though the owner and majority of users are operating within the law.

In the extreme, it’s even possible that a company could have Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other major websites taken down (whether temporary or permanently). According to the bill, if there are enough copyright violations, this is entirely possible and therefore could not only change how magicians interact, but how everyone interacts online.

Magic-based content could be lost
Magicians blog quite a bit. If just one person who uses the small blog company (example: Blogger) puts piracy on their website, the US government would have the power to shut down that entire company without warning. Therefore, magicians (and many other people) will lose their blog posts and other content even though they did nothing wrong.

Magic piracy won’t be affected in the way you might expect
The magicians amongst us might be pleased that piracy of magic books, DVDs and downloads could be stamped out by this act. However, it’s my belief that we won’t see a big reduction as this bill is all about helping the big companies (Sony, Nintendo etc) protect themselves and not small magic producers. I’m pretty confident that this will be such a small change that magic producers won’t notice a difference at all.

And most importantly …

Magicians could go out of business
That sounds like hyperbole. But it’s true. Here’s why: most modern close-up magicians rely on their website as their main source of gaining new customers. If that website links to copyrighted videos, or uses copyrighted music on their websites, their website could be shut down without warning and US companies could be forced to not do business with them.

It’s possible that after reading this, you think that everything will be fine so long as magicians stick to the law. I wish that were true, that very few magicians are copyright thieves (and those that are seem to be more naive than deliberately trying to break the law). But magic websites like this allow user-submitted content that is sometimes out of the owner’s control. Therefore, if someone even just links to a copyrighted video, or uses copyrighted text, this entire website could be taken down.

It feels like there’s not much I can do about SOPA as I’m not American. But I hope that this post at least gives a personal perspective on how I feel it could change magic. I don’t claim to know everything about this act, but this is my interpretation of what I’ve read so far.

Christmas Party Magician – 2011

It’s that time of year again: where all the top magicians in the UK are frantically driving up and down the motorway to get to their shows. It’s the busiest time of year so gets quite tiring, but this year I’m particularly enjoying it.

I’ve worked locally a lot over the past two weeks, which is always a nice treat. I’ve worked in the Cotswolds, Wales, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Shropshire, Ross on Wye and a few places not so near to home. I’ve worked for vets, printers, publishers, military, computer programmers and more; it’s been a varied few weeks!

While most of my dates up until December are now full, I’m still taking a few last minute bookings for the last remaining dates. If you haven’t sorted your Christmas party yet, please drop me a note in case I am available!

Birmingham Magician

A couple of months I performed close-up magic for a wedding in Edgebaston, Birmingham. The downside of being a professional close-up magician is spending hours in the car each day, but the great thing with working in Birmingham is that it’s only about an hour from my house!

At this wedding, I performed for an hour and half, around the eight tables. I remember a particularly great reaction from one table, who burst into applause when I made a signed playing card vanish from a lady’s hand and appear inside my wallet. Here’s a photo from the wedding in Birmingham:

Birmingham Magician

5 Reasons to Hire a Christmas Party Magician

If you’re planning a Christmas party (whether for your work, or personal Christmas party), now is the perfect time to hire a close-up magician. Here are five reasons why you should hire a Christmas party magician

1. Close-up magicians are a lot of fun
Christmas is about letting your hair down and magic is supposed to be fun! The right magician will not only amaze your guests, but make them laugh too.

2. It’s easy to arrange
It takes just one phone call, or just a couple of emails to hire a magician for your Christmas party. Once you’ve chosen your magician, if he’s available, the booking process takes just a few minutes.

3. Close-up magicians are “low maintenance”
Magicians are surprisingly low maintenance. Once at the event, the magician will mingle with your guests. Most magicians don’t have any special requests, or need anything from you. They’ll simply arrive and be ready to start performing within a few minutes.

4. Magic is en-vogue right now
With so much magic on television, it’s clear that magic is a popular entertainment choice. So, if you want your party to be modern and fun, consider a magician!

5. You can hire a magician last minute
While there are only a few professional magicians in the country, you can normally find someone who is available last minute. I’m happy to help recommend magicians who are available on your date, if I’m not able to make it.

Christmas Party Magicians

The Christmas parties have started! It’s the busiest time of year for every close-up magician in the country.

Already this week, I’ve performed at a Christmas party at the offices of a major bank in Birmingham, traveled all the way to West Wales to perform close-up magic during the cocktail reception of a Christmas party for a publishing company and then last night I was in Shropshire performing a show for about 25 people.

A lot of companies book the entertainment (especially close-up magicians) for their party last minute. This, unfortunately, means that I’m sometimes not available to perform when asked. But if you haven’t booked your magician yet, I’m always happy to recommend other magicians in your area. I only suggest magicians that I’ve worked with and can truly recommend to ensure that they’re high quality.

With at least another 15 Christmas parties to go until the big day, you can guarantee that by the time Christmas comes, this magician has celebrated more than enough! But that said, if you need a Christmas party magician, please do get in touch!

London Magician

Last Thursday I worked in London at a party for a company who design hardware for the military. I didn’t ask too many questions as it seemed very high tech and classified! There was a photographer at the event who just emailed me a few snaps. Unfortunately, I was having a weird face day so look a little like I’m from Wallace and Gromit, but the photos show me performing a trick for one of the tables at the event.

London magician

Magician London

Worcester Magician

This weekend I was booked to perform at the Worcester Warriors Rugby Club in Worcester for a 60th birthday party. Another magician had recommended me because he wasn’t able to make it that night. It’s always nice to be recommended by magicians that I have worked with as it tells me that they enjoy what I do.

Over 110 people were at the party, which also had a disco and a Michael Buble impersonator. The Worcester Warriors Rugby Club was a really nice venue to work at; very modern with plenty of room. Here’s an email I just received from the couple who booked me:

“We and our guests thoroughly enjoyed your magic. I lost count of the number of guests who told us that you were amazing! Thank you so much and it was great to meet you.” —Dee and Malcolm, Worcester

I don’t work that much in Worcester, especially considering I live nearby, so it’s always nice to work there!

Cirencester Magician

I recently performed at a wine bar in Cirencester for a birthday party. It was a fancy dress party and the guests went all out! So much so that I felt a little underdressed in my suit!

After the party, Lucy (the lady who booked me) sent me the following note:

We’re so glad we booked you for our party. You were such a success and our friends are still talking about how great you were. You made sure he got round to everyone in the party and his tricks left us speechless wondering how you did it. A very talented magician and a lovely bloke as well!
—Lucy Loquette, Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Lucy and her husband are coming to see me in An Evening of Deception in Cheltenham next year. I’m looking forward to seeing them there.

Cheltenham Magic Show is Back!

Cheltenham’s only live magic show, “An Evening of Deception”, is back for an extended run in 2012!

BBC’s very own Steve Knibbs will be compèring as in the previous years and I’ll be performing my act in the show. It’s a combination of nerdy humour with a host of geeky magical stunts using Rubik’s Cubes, memorisation and playing cards.

The show returns to The Everyman Theatre from February 22nd-25th 2012.

Join the show’s mailing list and most importantly purchase tickets at The Everyman Theatre. Tickets have sold out in all previous years, so snap yours up early!

Cheltenham Magic Show