It's the last day of August and even though we are still in Summer (what little we have had of it this year) thoughts turn to arranging those all-important Christmas parties for friends, family and workmates. Last December was a very busy month for me and lots of bookings for this December are already coming in. A bit of close-up magic is the ideal form of entertainment to accompany any meal or get-together and I can guarantee an excellent amazing time for all. If you want to add something magical to your party then get in touch now!
Magic is a largely visual art, so I thought it was about time that I put together a short promotional video. I've tried filming live performances in restaurants, but it's very difficult to do that in an interesting and engaging way. It's also hard to capture the right sound levels and to edit it all together into a coherent whole. Luckily I came across a young director by the name of Julian Palmer. We spoke about idea and concepts, then hired Alan (camera) and Tom (sound) and headed out to start filming! We used a mixture of indoor studio settings for camera close-ups and effects shots and outdoor shots for atmosphere and interaction with the public. It was a long hard day but we captured a lot of good footage and the work now begins to pick out the best elements and piece it together into a short showreel. The filming also featured the debut of my new purple top hat, which may (or may not!) become a regular feature.
The video will be ready in a week or two and you will of course be able to see it right here on this website.
Today I spent the afternoon at the Englemere Hotel in Ascot. Just round the corner from the famous racecourse this is a classy hotel that always offers first-class service. The grounds are also superb and it is really is the perfect venue for a wedding reception. Michael and Alex had seen me perform at a wedding fair a few months ago and decided that a bit of close-up magic was the ideal entertainment for their guests before the wedding breakfast. I turned up early and took a few pictures of the snacks that had been laid on to tempt people before the meal itself - including some excellent pork scratchings! The couple arrived in a very snazzy Rolls-Royce and we had lots of magic and mind-reading fun for the next couple of hours. A delightful afternoon for everyone and loads of fun.
Many congratulations to Michael and Alex - all the best for your future together!
On Sunday I spent a few hours performing magic at a wedding anniversary. But rather than hold this in a building or garden it was held on a steam boat! This gave a lovely setting, although with the afternoon being one of the warmest for quite a while the presence of a huge boiler powering the boat made things very hot and sticky in places. As we steamed from Runnymede to Windsor and back there was plenty of time to entertain the guests and, for the children on board, produce huge numbers of balloon animals. I also showed some of the most enthusiastic youngsters how to make balloon animals themselves, although at least one of these was lost overboard during a sudden gust of wind (the balloon animals - not the children!)
It was a magical afternoon and if you are interested in hiring a boat for an event then I highly recommend that you contact French Brothers (www.boat-trips.co.uk) for all the details.
A couple of weeks ago I had a phone call from Vicky, asking if I was available to do some magic at short notice at her wedding reception. She was keen to have some close-up magic for her guests and luckily there was a gap in my diary. We got everything set up and two weeks later I was there to provide two hours of entertainment between the wedding itself and the wedding breakfast. I even had the chance to spent some time doing magic for the happy couple themselves, which is a bit unusual as the bride and groom are often so busy being congratulated and having photos done that they can easily miss out on the magic altogether! It was a lovely afternoon and I was suprised to find that Vicky and I have both worked for YELL (formerly Yellow Pages) in the past- small world.
Many congratulations to Vicky and Jonathan - all the best for your future together.
On Friday I headed off to Farnham to perform close-up magic at Sam and Amy's wedding. The reception was held at the fabulous Frensham Pond Hotel, which is well worth a visit for the picturesque surroundings. As always I made sure to arrive early and, with some time to kill before the guests arrived, I explored the nearby countryside and came across a film crew! They were filming some of the final scenes for "47 Ronin" starring Keanu Reeves, although unfortunately I wasn't able to "star spot" him. Hopefully he will begin filming the long-awaited third "Bill & Ted" film next.
I then headed back to the hotel to see Sam and Amy arrive in a vintage RollsRoyce. As the guests drank champagne and chatted I mingled and performed close-up magic for everyone and made a few balloon animals for the younger ones. The weather forecast had been variable but luckily the sun shone throughout and there was a perfect celebratory atmosphere. The nearby lake prompted several people to ask me to "do a Dynamo" and walk across the water, but I must admit that is a magical skill I havne't mastered as yet!
Congratulations to Sam and Amy - all the best for your future together
At the weekend I was invited to do some magic at a 21st birthday party in Finchampstead. There was a great crowd of people in attendance and I mingled with the guests inbetween the live music and cake cutting. A bit of close-up magic is the perfect form of entertainment during parties like this and I mixed card tricks, mind-reading, psychological influencing and even some hypnotism to a great response. The weather was lovely and the party went really well, Happy Birthday Amanda!