If you read my Facebook page and the ‘about me’ section on my site, you will already know that I not only perform magic but I also lecture to magic clubs around the country and even sell my magic creations to other magicians all over the world.
On Saturday 22nd October I had a stand at the Magic Circle dealers day in London.
Here, anyone that is a member of the Magic Circle who also owns a shop/online store/sells magic to others, is invited to have a stall. The day is a fun day, where I get to perform my magic all day long and discuss my theories. I came away with lots of sales but wanted to share this little video clip with you all.
Here I am totally fooling Britain’s Got Talent 2nd place (let’s not mention the dog/dogs) Winner and Stage Illusion tour magician Jamie Raven. Jamie is such a lovely down to Earth magician and is often seen on TV bamboozling celebs from all over the World, so it’s a nice turn-around to say I managed to fool him this time.
He does swear, so please be aware if you have children nearby.
So this is about Fifi and others like her. Fifi was special in a number of ways.
Being a busy working magician I get to know an audience and I am able to read their characters quite well on approach. Being able to do that is important as an entertainer and especially as a magician.
I understand that not everyone loves magic the way I do, everyone has different experiences in life which shape what we do like, what we don’t like and what we love.
Being a resident magician on Sunday at Waterlane in Bishops Stortford has really helped me. On a Sunday lunchtime, mostly everyone enjoys and wants to see magic, they come specifically to the restaurant for the entertainment, good food and service. I say mostly, because on occasion, as I approach and introduce myself, some people don’t want to see magic. They may have had a bad day, be in a hurry, they may want to just catch up with an old friend or even sometimes do not actually like magic. They may not like magic because they saw a bad magician in the past or they might be the type of person that does not like the feeling of not knowing how something is done. I’ve learnt all this through experience over the years. Knowing this means I know how to approach people and am also not worried if people do not want to see any magic.
When I approach people, I very rarely tell them I am a magician straight off. I engage a group first, by saying hello, asking how they are etc…I dress smart, i’m polite and friendly and this helps relax people before I announce what I do. It’s at this point 99.9% of the time, people become enthusiastic and giddy at the thought of seeing a magician live and up close.
Sometimes if I have worked a room, i’ll approach a group and one of the group has already seen me or perhaps they have watched from afar and know who I am. It was just this happening as I approached Fifi’s group.
Before I could even get past hello, one of the group announced “this is the magician, he’s amazing”. That in itself is the best introduction any magician could ask for, it’s like having your own announcer on stage before a show, it sets the scene for you and from a credited source like a spectator, is even more powerful.
When that was announced, I noticed this one lady let out a little scream, literally, a bursting with excitement, then trying to hide it scream. I immediately honed in on her and ask her name, giddily she replied ‘Fifi’. I offered my hand to shake and she looked me in the eye direct, smiling and said, ‘hi’.
Asking if she had ever seen a magician before she said ‘no not a real one’. I love these reactions, I then explained I am likely to be the best she has ever seen, obviously tongue in cheek as by default that is true but also announcing to her she was going to see something special.
Being able to perform to someone that excited about magic, that has never seen a magician live is a special moment. I know that if I get this moment right, they will not only have a lasting positive impression of magic and magicians but more importantly, will never, ever forget their first time seeing one, I was blessed to be that person for Fifi.
Her giddy enthusiasm spread through the group, we had fun, laughter, shocked moments, gasps and tears – every possible positive reaction you can imagine came in those 5 or so minutes I shared with the group.
Here’s a little video I caught at the end, you can still see the excitement all over.
Fifi, you are a star, you rock and I love you.
So if you read the recent post about helping someone to propose with magic, (if you didn’t, please do, its a great story), then here is in fact the complete opposite end of the spectrum.
The enquiry for my services came after Pat and Paul had attended a wedding at Shendish Manor in 2015. I was performing there for Mel and Steve during the Reception drinks and Wedding Breakfast, and had obviously made a lasting impression, enough for Pat to mail me directly.
Now a referral is one thing, but for someone to see me and be impressed enough to enquire about thier own event really is a big compliment to me and shows i’m doing something right.
Pat was looking for a magician, specifically me ;), to perform at St. Michael’s Manor in St. Albans for thier 50th Wedding anniversary. Now if you do not know St. Michaels Manor, please take a look, it really is a fabulous venue.
After the email process of finding out date, times, numbers and plans and confirming my fees Pat decided to book me and the date was secure in the diary. This was to be around 80 people, a few children (in fact only 4) and a canopé reception drinks on the balcony followed by more formal sit down meal with 9 tables beautifully laid out. I suggested 2 hours would be a good timeframe to ensure everyone got to see me.
On arrival, as always I spoke to the staff about plans for the day and met Pat, whom I immediately recognised from the wedding, she was such fun, I could not forget. I performed some close-up reception drinks magic two small groups outside, giving them a flavour of what I can do and establishing myself among them as something fun and exciting they could all see during dinner…and talk about afterwards.
It was during this time that Paul said “oh go away…no, please don’t you are amazing, stay” – he was frustrated that I was able to read his mind so well.
The reception drink was over in a flash, around 45 minutes and now on to the main proceedings.
Understanding the flow and order of service at each table, I started off at the main table for Pat and Paul. For occasions where a couple is the main event, I always like to perform one or two things entirely bespoke to them. It’s such a specially occasion and I always feel a lasting memory, a memento of the day is a nice touch – in this instance, Pat signed a £2 coin, Paul signed a 10p coin, holding the coins in their clasped hands they glanced into each others eyes to make a wish. They open theirs hands and now both signatures are on the 10p coin, one either side, symbolising thier unity. This of course got gasps and applause and i’m pleased to say, one guest sat at the table, who had identified himself as a ‘non-believer’ shouted out, “now even I believe in magic”.
After this, I flowed around the room from table to table between courses being careful not to disrupt natural conversation. I must say the crowd was so much fun, applause and hand shake, even fist bumps, everyone was smiling and clearly enjoying the magic.
My finale piece was to the whole room in which Pat’s grand daughter managed to win some delicious chocolates.
So, why title this post ‘Something for us all to aim for’?
What really stood out for me on this wonderful afternoon, was how amazing it is that a couple can be married for 50 years and still clearly have so much love for each other. The room was filled with guests all enjoying each others company. Some knew each other for many years, some only just met, some were even at the wedding. The strength of bond was clear to see and was amazingly inspiring.
Life throws various obstacles in our way, some knock us down, some we get up from, but with the love of those around us, the love we share both near and far, life is and can be a wonderful thing. Take stock of those you are blessed to know and love and try not to let the humdrum of life, get in the way of what truly matters.
Congratulations Pat and Paul and thank you allowing me to come along and share the fun and laughter with you all….and thank you for such wonderful feedback.