A couple of weeks ago, I traveled down to Salisbury to perform at a birthday party. I took my wife and we arrived a few hours early to explore Salisbury, which seems like a lovely place.
The party was hosted on the patio at a picturesque hotel, next to a river. It was a lovely setting for cocktails and close-up magic and I had a lot of fun performing for the fifty or so guests for a couple of hours. Kelly Brown, a fantastic photographer, was at the event and took the following photos of me:
Recently, I’ve been booking “Mystery Room” magic shows. The idea is that at various points during a party, small groups of people get invited into a room labeled “Surprise Room”. Only the organisers know what’s in the room; to everyone else, it’s a secret!
When each group get into the room, I perform ten or fifteen minutes of magic (maybe longer if there are less groups) and everyone gets to see great close-up magic performed in the perfect environment. At the end of the show, I remind everyone that what’s inside the room is a secret and shouldn’t be talked about until everyone has seen the show.
This is a great idea for house parties where it’s often busy and loud, making it difficult for people to really get to see close-up magic. In these scenarios, I normally end up performing very simple tricks because people can’t hear me very well. With the surprise room, however, everyone gets to see a magic show in exactly the same way that Hollywood stars get to see magic at the famous Magic Castle in LA.
I don’t charge any extra for mystery room shows than I do when I perform as a walkaround magician, so it’s definitely a great addition to your party!
For any magicians reading this, the secret room idea was pioneered by Alan Hudson and I think it’s a really great way for people to see magic.
For the third time in the last few weeks, I returned to Manchester to perform close-up magic. Along with three other great close-up magicians (actually some of my favourite three magicians to work with!), I performed at the British Cardiovascular Society’s awards ceremony at the Manchester Town Hall.
The party was part of the British Cardiovascular Society’s annual conference and was attended by doctors, sales reps and more. At the start of the party, the magicians performed during the cocktail reception. This is always a nice way to introduce yourself as a magician and perform for lots of small groups for a few minutes each.
We then moved on to perform at the banquet where we performed close-up magic for each table, between courses. Everyone had a great time and I received some extremely positive reactions.
I love working alongside other magicians so if you ever need to hire more than one close-up magician for an event, let me know and I can arrange it very easily; not just magicians in Manchester but anywhere in the country!
Last night I performed close-up magic in Bristol again. This time, it was in the function room of a nice pub for a lady’s fortieth birthday party. I was hired as a surprise magician, which is always fun!
About one-hundred of her friends attended the party, which gave me plenty of people to perform for over the course of the two hours. Most of the people there hadn’t seen a close-up magician before so we all had a lot of fun!
In particular, I was introduced to the birthday girl’s brother as “The guy that figures out how every magician does his tricks.” I always accept that as a challenge and by the end of it, he said my favourite words: “I have no idea how you did a single trick!”
I performed walkaround magic for an hour and a half and then tried something new; I invited people to come over to a table in the corner of the room (there was a disco too, so choose a quieter part of the room!) and performed a show at a table for twenty minutes or so. This gave me a great opportunity to have fun with the audience and perform the kind of close-up magic I enjoy the most!
This was a great party and I had a lot of fun performing in Bristol!
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.
This past couple of weeks I’ve been a particularly busy magician working in Bristol. It’s just a quick drive down the M5 for me so performing as a close-up magician in Bristol is always a pleasure.
First, I performed at a 40th birthday party at somebody’s house just outside of Bristol, where I performed magic between the courses of their meal. I performed in a marquee (with plenty of heating!) and everyone had a great time.
Then, this week, just a mile or two from the previous Bristol performance, I performed at a golf club in Clevedon. Having not been to Clevedon since a particularly eventful cub scout camp fifteen years ago (I don’t want to talk about it), I had forgotten how nice an area it was.
Both shows went incredibly well and I received lots of interest from people who wanted me to perform at their parties in Bristol from people at both parities. For me, getting bookings after people have seen me (as opposed to searching for Bristol magicians on the internet) is the ultimate compliment!
This past week I’ve been hired by two companies to perform at a couple of their events. One is on a series of consecutive days, while the performances for the other is a few weeks apart. There are many great reasons to hire me for more than one event at a time, but here are the most important reasons:
1. It’s a lot less hassle than dealing with multiple close-up magicians.
2. I’m normally able to offer a discount for more than one event.
3. I get to know the other people working the event, which means that things tend to run incredibly smoothly.
Even if your events are a few months apart, it’s always worth enquiring about those too so that I can reserve the dates and guarantee my availability to work all your events.
So if you need a professional close-up magician to entertain your clients, then another magician to entertain your colleagues, and another magician to perform at your trade show … why not just hire one: me!
Off the back of a week where I was in Newcastle, London, Sussex and Manchester, it was nice to be able to perform as a close-up magician close to home in Gloucestershire!
Hatherley Manor is just ten minutes from my house and is always a nice venue for a magician to perform at. In fact, this time, two close-up magicians performed there! Laithwaite Wines (a major wine merchant) contacted me through my website and wanted me to arrange for two close-up magicians to perform at their staff party.
I arranged everything within a day of them contacting me and performed at the party last week. Everyone seemed to really enjoy having magicians at the party and a couple of tables in particular invited us back to perform for them again; that’s always a good sign that a magician is doing a good job! Here’s a brief extract from an email that the organiser sent me after the party:
“A HUGE thank you for performing your amazing magic at our party. Everyone had a great time and a having a magician there really added to the event!”
—Kath, Laithwaite Wines
If you’re looking for a Gloucestershire close-up magician (or in fact a magician in any county!), definitely let me know!
Last weekend I was hired to perform as a close-up magician in West Wales. As it was a large party, I arranged to perform alongside another close-up magician. The two of us performed walkaround magic during the drinks reception and then moved on to perform table magic during the meal. The party was a lot of fun and having two magicians really added to the atmosphere.
I received this unsolicited email yesterday from the client:
“Many thanks for you and James’ [the other magician] contribution to our event on Friday evening, I can honestly say you were both amazing!”
—Kath Pinkham, South Hook LNG Terminal Company Ltd
Receiving positive comments of this nature, makes me happy that I did a good job. So, if you need a close-up magician for your event or party, get in touch!
I am still recovering for an incredibly busy day yesterday!
First up was a forty-five minute radio interview with popular BBC Gloucestershire presenter, John Rockley about my life as a close-up magician in Gloucester. I created three new tricks especially for the show, which all went down incredibly well. John seemed to be genuinely amazed with the tricks that I performed, which included divining his son’s middle name and predicting a card that he would pick by posting it on Twitter an hour before the show. The interview will air on BBC Gloucestershire as a week long series early next year.
After the interview, I jumped straight into the car to drive to west Wales where I performed close-up magic at a company’s Christmas party. It was a great party with lots of surprises for the employees. TV presenter (and “I’m a Celebrity…” star) Anna Ryder Richardson was the special guest. She was completely amazed by the magic and seemed to be having a great time!