I was recently booked to perform at a business conference at a five star luxury resort in Portugal’s Algarve region. The event is for a premier hotel industry forum which covers the complete supply chain requirements of hotel operators within the UK and Europe. Therefore, there were high-profile clients from some of the biggest hotel, food and leisure suppliers in Europe.
I performed outside for two hours during a networking meal,in a lovely restaurant overlooking the sea (as shown in the photograph below). While it was extremely hot, I managed to not melt and instead perform close-up magic for the guests, who were a lot of fun during the evening.
Unfortunately, these international events are not as glamourous as my friends think. I flew in and out of Portugal within 12 hours, ready to be home to perform close-up magic in Gloucester! That said, it was nice to briefly return to Portugal as I haven’t been there since I performed there at a magic conference two years ago.
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.
Me and the Gloucester to London Paddington train staff are becoming quite good friends! On my second trip to London this week, I performed as a close-up magician at 1&1’s PR event to celebrate their tenth anniversary.
1&1 Group (United Internet) are the world’s largest web host. How do I know? I used to work for one of the group companies as UK Product Manager before I took a career change as a professional close-up magician. This means that my usual company research before a show was a little easier than normal as it’s an industry that I know inside out. This was especially useful as with PR events, I’m working on behalf of the company and therefore really need to know my stuff when performing for magazine editors and suchlike (and to be honest, I relished the opportunity of whipping out my nerdy PHP and MySQL jokes for one night only).
I performed close-up magic for a few hours during the cocktails after the company speeches. This really helped break the ice with people who didn’t know many others at the event and more importantly, it allowed me to help other people network by enticing them into the performance. This is an important key to my performances that I think many other close-up magicians neglect to do.
The company wanted to book me tomorrow for their staff party too, but as I am performing at An Evening of Deception, I arranged for another fantastic London magician to perform at the event.
Afterwards, I was presented with a nice big gift bag of nerdy goods and branded 1&1 clothing. So if you see magician wearing a 1&1 tanktop, cap and shoes, you know it’s me!
Tomorrow is my show, An Evening of Deception and then over the weekend I’m back in Bristol to perform as a close-up magician for a private party … gasping for a rest!
On the first of two scheduled trips to London this week, last night I was invited to perform at the exclusive Daisy Ball at the Grovesner House in Park Lane again (I performed for them last year too). This big bash was held in aid of the Anthony Nolan Trust; a charity that I wrote a magic book for three years ago (The Magician’s Ltd Cookbook, which featured over 30 tricks from different famous magicians).
With some tickets costing as much as £4,200, this event is extremely classy. There were almost thirty entertainers (including magicians, balloon artists, caricaturists and more) who performed during the meal, along with many other acts (including The Jersey Boys and some fabulous circus acts).
The highlight of the event, for me, was being noticed across the large room by the organiser of the event who complimented me on the particularly loud and astonished reactions that I was receiving from my audiences. He asked me to perform for the guests at his table, which consisted of some of the cast of Eastenders, along with other TV types. The fantastic reactions that I got from the organiser and his guests rounded off the amazing party perfectly for me!
While I don’t know the total figure, the amount that this great event earns for charity is in the hundred’s of thousands of pounds. It’s a fantastic event and was a pleasure to work it again this year.
My new magic show, An Evening of Deceptions has completely sold out over a month before the show. Here’s a brief photo of the extract about the show from The Everyman Theatre’s advertising:
The show will feature me and four other professional magicians performing in an intimate, modern cabaret venue. We sold almost half of the tickets the first day they went on sale and then promptly sold out of the rest.
After receiving many emails from people who missed the opportunity to see the show, I anticipate being able to put on another pub show soon. Stay tuned to the blog for more info about future shows and about how the first one goes on 28th April 2010.
Last weekend I performed for just seven people at a wedding in Sutton Bonington Hall, Loughborough, proving that there really is no wedding party too small to be entertained by a magician!
Sutton Bonington Hall was a fantastic venue that is perfectly suited to a magician. The staff were fantastic and the atmosphere was perfect!
The guests gathered in the ballroom while I performed a forty-minute magic show for them all. I find that this kind of performance works best for such small groups as everyone can get involved and get a front row seat to some amazing magic! In this style of performance, I get to know everyone’s names, get everyone involved and really have fun with the group. The wedding party seemed to really enjoy the magic and they told me that everyone left the show completely amazed!
Even with just a few day’s notice, at the bride’s request, I even managed to arrange to hire a fantastic caricaturist for the wedding, who drew his fantastic caricatures after my performance. Having worked with so many other fantastic entertainers, I’m always happy to recommend performers or help hire them for clients. This is not a service I charge for; just something I like to do where requested to make things easier for wedding organisers.
The wedding was a great success and it just goes to show; there’s no wedding too small to hire a wedding magician! In my next post, I’ll talk about the other side of the coin; the wedding that I performed at last night which was somewhat larger than seven people!
Want to see me and some other fantastic magicians perform live in a cabaret magic show in Cheltenham? If so, act quickly as tickets are selling fast!
An Evening of Deception is a one-off magic show running on 28th April 2010. I’ve put on a host of my favourite magicians and we’re all performing cabaret magic in the intimate studio space at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham.
With only a few tickets left, it’s set to be a great show and I’m confident that tickets will sell out way before the show. See the An Evening of Deception page for more info!
A great thing about being a close-up magician is that I get to visit some amazing venues. Grosvenor House is always a favourite and is frequently host to close-up magicians. It’s an iconic, luxury London hotel in Mayfair and I’ve performed close-up magic there a number of times and will be back there next month.
Here’s a customer testimonial from last time I performed at the hotel. It was for a glitzy charity ball featuring dozens of celebrities:
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for being involved in last night’s event, you were absolutely fabulous, I have had a lot of positive moments, congratulations on a job well done!” —YC Events
I look forward to returning to this great venue soon!
In my Magicians For Haiti post I mentioned that I was taking part in a gig where all of the proceeds will be going to the Haiti survivors.
If you want to see a live magician (that’s me!), plus a live band (coincidentally, one of the band members is also a magician) and DJ come along to The Front Rooms in Cheltenham (on the Strand) to see me perform. Not only is this one of the rare occasions to see a magician in Cheltenham, it’s also one of the rare occasions that I will be performing at an open event (normally I perform as a wedding magician or a magician for private parties) so this is a great time to come and see me perform.
I hope to see you there. I will try to post some photos of the event on this blog for those who are interested in the event, but can’t make it!
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!