Later this week I will be at the Event Production Show 2011 (www.eventproductionshow.co.uk) in Olympia. It's always interesting to help out at a trade show, although some people aren't sure how a magician can help them. But once they see how something a bit different attracts people to the stand, keeps their attention and builds goodwill towards their company then it really makes sense.
Magical routines that involve a company's name, logo or products create a memorable impression and leave the potential customer with something they will want to talk about and show to others, with a direct link to your company. This is powerful advertising - different, immediate and personal. It's hard work performing as a trade show magician on an exhibition stand all day, but it really delivers strong benefits.
If you are organising a stand for a forthcoming show or exhibition get in touch for a quote. You'll be surprised how much return you can get for just a little investment in Mike Stoner the trade show magician.
I recently dined at the Mangal Restaurant in Reading (www.mangalreading.com) and thoroughly enjoyed one of their superb lamb dishes. The mix of Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine is unique in Berkshire and both their food and service is first class. Highly recommended. They have regular live music and belly dancing entertainment, but not an in-house restaurant magician - until now! I have been asked to appear next Thursday (3rd Feb) starting at 8pm and perform close-up magic round the tables, it should be a lot of fun. If you're free why not come along to enjoy the great food, atmosphere and magic!
On January 26th fifty of the UK's best magicians met up in London for a day of eating, drinking, chatting, swapping ideas and performing for any unsuspecting passerby. We do this every few weeks and it's always a lot of fun. We were joined by lots of "big names" including Richard Bellars who recently featured on the Penn & Teller: Fool Us TV show. A great time was had by all and I certainly picked up a few new ideas which will be incorporated in future performances.
Endemol, the company behind "Big Brother", are planning a new TV show for 2011 and asked for magicians to apply to take part. I thought it sounded like fun so, together with three of my magic buddies, put together an application as the "Magic All-Stars". Well, the good news is that we've had the call and are off to the TV studios in a couple of weeks for our full audition! Hopefully we'll end up on the finished show shortly afterwards - more info as I get it.
In the meantime here are the "Magic All-Stars" in all their glory: Mike Stoner, Ravi Mayar, Lee Smith and Vince Lynch...
A few days ago ITV broadcast "Penn and Teller - Fool Us" a show in which a number of the UK's top magicians tried to bamboozle the two Las Vegas stars. The winners where John Archer with his entertaining envelope routine and Ben Earl with his amazing "find the aces in a completely shuffled deck" performance - congratulations to both of them. If you missed the show, or would like to see these amazing bits of magic performed live in front of you, then you'll be pleased to hear that I have just introduced them into my repertoire. Come along to Old Orleans in Reading any Tuesday (8pm - 10pm) or book me for your forthcoming party, wedding or event and see the tricks that fooled Penn and Teller performed live before your very eyes!
Doing magic in a restaurant every week means that you are often surrounded by food, plates and cutlery. So, after checking it was OK with the management (!), I've started using my magical metal bending skills to bend forks using the power of the mind. Lots of fun and just a little bit spooky. If you book me for a party then I promise not to bend your best cutlery!
Just before Christmas I was invited to perform some magic at the wedding of Helen and Dave Voss. The ceremony and reception were being held at the marvellous Bay Tree Hotel in Burford near Oxford. The only problem was that the day before the wedding the whole area was covered in snow - and not just an inch or two, more like a foot of the white stuff! Driving in this weather was no fun but the magic must get through and get through it did! A few guests weren't able to make it due to the road conditions but enough people were there to make sure it was a great day with lots of fun and laughter as we all huddled in the warmth of the hotel. The magic went down really well, including some spectacular mind-reading in the hotel library - choose any book, choose any page and I'll tell you the word you are looking at! All-in-all a lovely wedding, a fantastic day and loads of fun for everyone. Congratulations Helen and Dave!
When you are out performing magic the most important thing to have with you is a good pack of cards. Fitting easily in your pocket they allow you to perform any number of mini-miracles. However after carrying a pack of cards around for a while they do tend to get a bit battered, so what you really need is a special protective box to keep them in. I've been on the look-out for a while and eventually came across this beauty. Hidden away in the back of an antique shop in amongst some smoky cigar boxes and old mirrors I spotted the perfect box which has previously belonged to a Mr Benedict-Harris. It is the perfect size to hold a pack of cards and looks great, while ensuring the cards within are kept in tip-top condition. Thank you Mr Benedict-Harris!
New Year's Eve is always a busy day for magicians and will often turn into a mad dash between various parties and events. I did a 30 minute magic show for some children in Reading, made a huge number of balloon animals, tried out a few new card routines, watched people getting more and more drunk (!), drove well over 200 miles in total and had loads of fun. Can't wait to do it all again in a year's time!
When you are out performing magic you never know who you might meet. Well, a few days ago I had the enormous pleasure to bump into rock legend Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. Only one of my all-time heroes! He was a great guy and it's so nice to find that someone that famous can still be friendly and down to earth.