Most of my magic is done at weddings and parties, but for the last three Mondays I've been doing something a bit different. I was contacted by one of the masters at Haileybury Independent School in Hertfordshire and asked if I could help out with their after school activities. I suggested doing three one-hour magic shows and maybe teaching a trick or two, which everyone agreed would work very nicely.
On arrival on the first Monday I was shown to the Alan Ayckbourn theatre (he was a former pupil), given help setting everything up by Toby and Kate (thanks!) and awaited the arrival of the audience. There were about 40 of them, all aged 13 to 14, plus a few interested members of staff. The show went really well, with plenty of volunteers and audience interaction. Great fun! The next two Mondays I performed variations on the show for two other groups, adding in a couple of quick teaching sessions to give everyone a magic trick that they could learn and show their friends.
Many thanks to Charles and Angus for organising everything and I will be back at Haileybury in the near future to perform at one of their special school events.
Wedding season is well and truly here and over the last few days I've been doing my wedding magic in Reading and Southampton. It's always a pleasure to perform in Reading as it's only a few minutes drive from my home in Wokingham - but Southampton is a bit further to go and luckily the reception that I got made it all worthwhile. I had been booked as a surprise by the bride's mother and no-one else knew that I was going to be there, which certainly added an interesting twist to things. Luckily everyone loved it and one of the guests has already enquired about booking me for their wedding later this year! The hotel used for the wedding reception had arranged everything perfectly, the weather was good (after thunderstorms the night before) and everyone was in a great mood. There was also a glass elevator on the outside of the hotel and the photographer got some rather unusual shots of the bride and groom travelling up and down inside it, which will be interesting for the wedding album. I was also rather stunned by the cruise liner docked just across the road from the hotel - it was absolutely massive and towered over everything, an amazing sight. I then drove back to Reading for Nikki and Martin's wedding at the Crowne Plaza where the party was in full swing. A particular highlight was meeting someone who said "You'd better be good, I've seen Dynamo". I thought he meant on TV (as booking a personal appearance by Dynamo himself costs many thousands of pounds) but it turned out he was school friends with footballer Theo Walcott, had been invited to Theo's birthday party and Theo, on his footballer's wages, could easily afford Dynamo's fee! This certainly put the pressure on a bit so I went straight into one of my strongest magical routines. I put a playing card face down on the table, asked him to name any card and then had him turn over the card on the table - it was the card he'd just named. That's some powerful magic right there! He was suitably impressed and asked for two business cards, one for himself and one to pass on to Theo for when he has another party.
If you've got a party coming up and can't afford Dynamo then give me a ring!
I download a lot of podcasts. When driving around between events it's good to have something to listen to in the car and you can't always rely on the radio to grab your interest. Some of my current favourite podcasts are "Answer Me This", "99% Invisible" and "No Such Thing as a Fish" but I especially enjoy Leila Johnston's new one called "Hack Circus".
Hack Circus (http://www.hackcircus.com/) has the tag line "Bringing Impossible Ideas to Life" and Leila herself is a bundle of energy and enthusiasm who brings together elements of technology, media, art and creativity to form something new, exciting, challenging and inspiring. I was delighted when she got in touch a while back and asked if we could meet up to record an interview for a forthcoming episode of her podcast. Well, we record it today and it was loads of fun - a funny, rambling, enjoyable talk about the world of magic, mind-reading and the business/psychology behind it all.
The podcast will be up soon and I'll post a link when it's available. If you like podcasts then subscribing to Hack Circus is highly recommended - thanks Leila!
The best thing about being a magician is that you get to be part of so many special events. You turn up, do lots of amazing things and leave people with great memories. I sometimes meet someone who saw me perform months or years in the past and they are still carrying around the signed playing card that magically appeared in their pocket, handbag or shoe! You also get phone calls out of the blue from people who picked up a business card at a wedding fair or event long ago, have kept it safe, suddenly found that they need a magician for a forthcoming event and give me a ring.
2014 is already on track to be my busiest year of magic so far, and I thought doing 158 events in 2013 was good going!
Over the last couple of weeks I've done magic at five parties and weddings, including a huge spectacular Indian wedding in Hounslow. I've also performed on stage at the world famous "Magic Circle" and been back for my regular slot at Heathrow Airport amazing passengers in Terminal 5. You can see some pictures from these events shown below.
My diary for the rest of 2014 is filling up quickly so if you need a party magician or wedding magician get in touch soon and we can get everything arranged to amaze your guests!