Tomorrow I leave to spend a couple of days at a conference called The International Brotherhood of Magicians British Ring Conference. Quite a mouthful for a name, but it’s basically a bunch of magicians doing tricks for each other!
The International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM for short) is a worldwide association, a bit like The Magic Circle but on a lot bigger scale. Their logo is on the left, which contains people shaking hands, a little naked ice-skating man and some acorns. I’m not really sure what it means, but trust me, it’s all official!
The conference alternates between Southern and Northern places, making it a little frustrating for those of us who live in the Midlands and have to travel wherever it is! This year it’s in Eastbourne, which is the perfect place as it tends to mainly attract elderly, retired magicians who use this as their annual meet up!
Luckily for me though, many of my professional close-up magician friends will be there too so we’ll all have a great time drinking, eating and probably getting into a little mischief like we normally do!
It’s not all fun, fun, fun though. I’ll be leaving the conference a couple of days early to fill a few engagements that I’ve had booked for a couple of months. I enjoy conventions a lot but it’s even more fun performing magic than it is talking about it!
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.
“Have you ever performed as a magician in Las Vegas?”
That’s a question I get asked a lot. The answer is yes, I have performed in Las Vegas a number of times. Las Vegas is a mecca for magicians and one of my favourite places in the world. Even without all the fantastic magicians, it’s such a magical town and I have been there about a dozen times (sometimes for work, other times for pleasure!).
The first time I performed in Las Vegas was when I was 16 years old. I was flown over by master magician Lance Burton (a famous Las Vegas magician) to perform in his theatre for a television special. The television show has aired all over the world and was an amazing experience to film. It was my first time in America and my first time to perform for an international television show (before that I had performed on the Big Breakfast and a number of other shows, but never a show of this size and budget).
I was flown back to Las Vegas in 2004 to perform and teach my magic for over 1,000 magicians at a conference. I performed on the same stage as magicians such as Penn & Teller, David Blaine and more, which was an extremely nerve-wracking experience! Then, just last year, I was asked to perform at the conference again. After that conference, my girlfriend joined me and I proposed to her at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
So, Las Vegas is a pretty magical place for me … and an extremely fun place to perform magic in!
If you are a regular reader of this blog (hello to both of you), you’ll know that I was recently featured on the cover of The Magic Circle’s journal and that I try to visit the headquarters in London as often as I can.
After attending a magicians’ conference in Southampton on Sunday (where I performed some magic from the books that I wrote for magicians), I decided to make the trip to The Magic Circle in London. A friend of mine (a professional close-up magician from Florida) who has been staying with me was performing at The Magic Circle’s headquarters so I traveled down with him for the day yesterday.
The day started by meeting a friend at a magic television production company (creators of Derren Brown’s show and many other great television shows) and getting a preview of some upcoming magic television shows. It’s always fun to be let inside the magical world of television!
We then traveled over to The Magic Circle to meet up with some close-up magicians where I performed some of the new tricks that I’ve been working on recently. The photograph on the below is a quick snap (typical blurry iPhone pic) of me on stage at The Magic Circle.
Today I met up with the team members and magicians for An Evening of Deception. Now, I can finally relax for a few days before a busy couple of weeks of shows across the country.
This week, Blackpool is host to the world’s biggest conference of magicians. Never before have so many magicians gathered in one place. There are thousands of close-up magicians, wedding magicians, table magicians and even stage magicians and illusionists; all there to learn, share and perform magic.
Conferences like this are essentially a magician’s version of an office party. Magicians from all over the globe travel to meet up with old friends and share the tricks that they’ve been working on since they last met.
My highlight is always the close-up magician competition where about a dozen close-up magicians battle for the big prize. As a professional close-up magician myself, it’s always interesting to see other close-up magicians perform what they believe to be their strongest magic.
I’m still contactable throughout the weekend, so if you’d like to discuss hiring me to perform magic at your event, feel free to drop me an email or give me a call.
Five years ago, along with another professional magician, I launched a conference for serious close-up magicians. The Session is an annual event that attracts close-up magicians from all over the world. It’s the only event dedicated specifically to close-up magicians in the UK and has quickly become one of the most popular magician’s conferences in the magic calendar.
This year people are coming from as far afield as Canada, America, Holland, Denmark, Belgium, Greece, Germany and Austria to see me and a group of other close-up magicians talk about our magic. It’s held in Gloucester and is a great way for magicians to learn magic from professional close-up magicians.
As well as hosting the conference, I’ll also be putting on an event that teaches magicians how to create their own magic, will be performing some of my own magic in a show and will also be compering a show that we’re calling Andi’s Stag Do (I’m getting married later this year). It’s the first time I’ve ever MCed a magic show and I’m looking forward to trying out some stand-up comedy without performing a single trick, for the first time ever. Hopefully it won’t be the last!
For me, being a magician isn’t just a job; it’s my life! I don’t just work as a magician, I am a magician!
So, on the odd weekend that I take off from work, I normally attend conferences for magicians. This weekend was no exception as I attended one of the bigger magician conferences called International Magic Convention. It was hosted in a great little theatre on the London Embankment as was attended by about 300 magicians.
At these kind of gatherings, magicians most often sit around, share stories from gigs and entertain each other with their latest magic tricks. Magicians from all over the world attend and it’s a great way to see what trends are happening in magic at the present time and compare notes with other magicians.
Now that the weekend is over, it’s time to recover from all of the London food and late nights and get ready for this week’s upcoming gigs. If you haven’t booked your Christmas party magician yet, get in touch as I still have a few dates available … and if I’m not available, I met 300 magicians that might be this weekend!