Last weekend I went to sunny Bournemouth for SEMC - the South East Magic Convention. There were stands selling various magical items, lectures, demonstrations and plenty of food and drink, with the added bonus of the seaside right on the doorstep! Despite being late January the weather was surprisingly warm and pleasant.
A personal highlight was meeting Luke Jermay. He may not be a household name in the UK but he has done "behind the scenes" work for Derren Brown, David Blaine and Dynamo - three of the biggest names in magic at the moment. He has also had his own long-running show in Las Vegas, so it was a real pleasure to seem him performing live and then explaining some of his top secret techniques. I'll definitely be adding some of these into my future shows.
All-in-all a great couple of days and I'm looking forward to SEMC 2013 in twelve months time!
Last night I went to the Blue Mountain golf club in Bracknell to entertain at Caroline's birthday party. I arrived early and warmed up by trying some new routines on the bar staff and DJ, then as the first guests started to turn up I went straight into the main magic of the evening. It was an excellent party and everyone was in the mood to have a good time. The magic was enthusiastically received and many people asked for my business card.
The highlight of the night was my lottery prediction. Someone is asked to think of six numbers between 1 and 49, just as if they were doing the National Lottery. I put my prediction down in front of them and then they write down the six numbers they were thinking of, look at my prediction and, all being well, it is a perfect match! Obviously doing something so completely impossible is a bit of a challenge and it doesn't always work, but this time the prediction was 100% correct and got a large round of applause and general looks of astonishment.
Thanks to Caroline for asking me to entertain at her party and to Blue Mountain for providing such a great venue.
Earlier today I drove to Shepperton Studios to join in with the filming of a special bit of magic for the BBC's TV series "The Magicians". On arrival I was directed to the studio's multi-storey carpark which was very tricky to drive around. The concrete was crumbling and the turns were ridiculously tight - in fact I saw a small Fiat hit a pillar and virtual pull its rear bumper off! Luckily I managed to park safely and then headed to the "waiting area" where we waited and waited (and waited). Eventually (over two hours late) we were allowed into the studio to participate in a magical spectacular which you will be able to see onTV in the near future.
SPOILER WARNING - if you don't want to know what happened then don't read on! Magician Jason Latimer came on stage and was joined by a special top-secret guest star, who turned out to be David "The Hoff" Hasselhoff! Flanked by two glamorous assistants The Hoff worked the crowd into a frenzy and then started to throw t-shirts out into the crowd. It quickly became obvious that these t-shirts each had one large letter written on the front. Jason then threw ping-pong balls into the crowd and these helped select four random people. They were brought to the front of the stage and Jason announced that their completely randomly selected t-shirts would spell "HOFF" - but they didn't, instead they spelt "KITT", David's computerised supercar from classic series KnightRider. David asked his assistants to hold up a banner they had brought on stage with them and, in huge letters it said "KITT"! Big round of applause. But then they dropped the banner and there on the stage was KITT itself, appeared out of nowhere. Gasps from the audience and huge applause! A great routine and brilliant ending - congratulations to Jason and David for putting on such an amazing illusion. Can't wait to see it on TV.
After the filming I headed back to the carpark, taking in the sights of Shepperton Studios on the way. The studio buildings are huge and I was told that one of them is currently being used to film the new series of cult sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf. I also saw some of the modelling workshops that were busy creating all sorts of props including canoes, trees, medals, laser guns, masks and a 20' long submarine! What an amazing place and I hope to be back soon.
Last night I spent a couple of hours entertaining at Philippa and Andrew's wedding. They had chosen the fantastic surroundings of Beaumont House and its wonderful chapel setting - with painted ceiling and huge stained glass windows. I arrived at 7pm as agreed but the speeches were overrunning a little, as often happens at weddings, so I didn't start until about 7.20pm. It's important to be flexible at events like this and I'm always happy to adjust things to fit in with everything that is going on. We had plenty of card magic, some metal bending and a bit of lottery predicting which is always fun. It was a great night and many congratulations to Philippa and Andrew.
As 2011 drew to a close there were parties going on everywhere. However there were very few events that all of the family could enjoy together and it was a great idea by the Blue Mountain Golf Club to put on just such a family party. Food, drink, a prize quiz, live music, karoke, disco and some magic were all mixed together to provide a great night out for people of all ages. I arrived at 6.30pm as the party started and worked my way around the 30 tables for the next few hours. There were plenty of balloon animals and hats for the children and a lot of magic for the adults. A few lucky people got to see my new "Uri Geller" metal bending routine - see a fork bend right in front of you and then bend even more in your own hands! It was a long exhausting night but lots of fun and a great way to wrap up 2011 and start 2012. Thanks to Blue Mountain for organising everything and I look forward to being back there again soon.
On 24th March 2012 there is going to be a charity event for DEBRA (www.debra.org.uk) held at Blue Mountain golf club in Bracknell. This promises to be a great night for a very worthy cause. There will be food, drink, music, comedy and I will be there from 6.30pm doing close-up magic for guests as they arrive. You can buy tickets here www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220927562444#ht_1712wt_1139 please come along if you can.
I'm now on Twitter. If you want to see what I've been up to in minute-by-minute detail then you can follow me here - @MikeStoner1 - although be prepared for all sorts of non-magic tweets about having a cup of coffee, going shopping and other general waffle. I'm not sure that I fully understand Twitter yet, so it might be a bit bizarre and/or pointless to begin with, but everyone says it's useful once you get used it to so we shall see. If you want to join the "adventure" then follow @MikeStoner1 and, if you're not on Twitter yourself, why not give it a go, it's free and might be great fun!
A few days ago I was invited along to the Cambridge Theatre in London's West End to perform some close-up magic. Their current show is "Matilda - The Musical" based on the Roald Dahl book about a young girl who has magical powers, so a bit of magic before the show was quite appropriate. I arrived early and did a few routines for the staff before the guests arrived. Then it was on with the show and a mixture of card magic, mind-reading, some balloon teddybears for the children and a new "water into snowstorm" illusion. The magic was very well received and I hope to be back performing at the Cambridge Theatre again soon. And if you want to see an excellent show for all the family that is getting plenty of five-star reviews then Matilda comes highly recommended!