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.
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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.
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Under the hustle and bustle of a busy wedding my magic flows from group to group, table to table and the time (an average of 2 hours) just flies by. It is always nice to reflect back on memories of the day on my drive home and i’m always smiling about various conversations, moments and reactions I get.
Without the help of good photographers and videographers, those memories are just that. Not something I can share visually, through text and blogs like this of course, but for you to be able to visualize those moments through a photo or video is really something special for yourselves and I.
I was delighted when yesterday, after a recent wedding I was sent this wonderful clip, which I really feel captures some nice moments. Albeit brief, it does give a flavor of what I do – you’ll have to forgive my appearance, this was one of the hottest days in the 2016 calendar.
The venue was Hertford Castle and the video shot and supplied kindly by Robert from CCS Video http://www.ccsvideo.co.uk/
I hope you enjoy it.
The weekend of 17th September 2016 was a particularly exciting one for me. I was asked to perform at a 30th birthday party, organised a few months in advance by Emma, for her own birthday. During the initial email, the performance period was decided, in this case 1 hour for 80 people and the venue was a local pub. I was told it would be a mixture of family and friends, young an old. These are always exciting parties for me as a performer, as the different ages bring very different magic and memories.Emma was very organised and had managesd to book a balloon artist called JoJo – who I happen to know from my local magic club and is indeed an amazing talent. Along with bouncy castles, garden games, karaoke and disco, I knew this was going to be a fun party.
Now, here is where the excitement begins – the day before the party I was called by Chris, Emma’s partner, a call I will never forget. Chris had been with Emma for 8 years, they had a wonderful family together but he had never proposed. Chris decided to use the party, given there was going to be all their friends and family there, to propose to Emma. The reason for the call to me? Chris wanted my ideas on how to make this moment even more magical.
He had already thought about doing it over karaoke, but wanted something a little more special. So we chatted through a few ideas, I could have produced the ring from the inside of a kinder egg or appear in an envelope. It was decided I would perform a ring on string routine, a particular favourite of mine, which normally uses a borrowed ring. Of course, we did not want to use THE ring, that would have spoiled the surprise, also Chris explained he was not a ring wearer, I had to somehow get both up, without Emma having any clue what was happening. So we decided I would use my own ring (actually a cheap dressing up ring I use to practise with), I would explain this ring was valuable and belonged to my Grandmother and that the string routine was the first and favourite I ever learnt. When speaking to Chris we arranged that he would give me an envelope on arrival and inside the envelope would be the ring.
Once I arrived, 30 minutes early, Chris came up to me in the car park toi introduce himself, he was clearly nervous but /I put his mind at rest that he could relax, enjoy the party and I would handle everything for him from here on in. After 1 hour performing for all the family, at tables, at the bar and outside 3pm came around and it was time. I had already explained to everyone that I was going to perform one last trick to the whole room, so everyone although not realising the extent of the magic about to happen. Only a handful of people knew, which was really handy – when trying to gather a room together you always get a few that will still chat away, so when gathering, those that knew, really helped to get everyones attention. I took the microphone and asked Emma and Chris to come up for one last trick.
Emma was clearly unaware of what was about to happen, how exciting.
I started my ring routine, the ring comes away for the string, it moves from hand to hand magically and then vanishes. As the finale I explain that in my wallet is and envelope, I asked Emma if she knew what was inside and she said, “yes, the ring” – everyone laughed. I ask Chris to open it and handed it to him, he then opened and inside was a lovely small black velvet bag, which he handed to Emma and then got down on one knee. At this point the whole room erupted and I will never forget that moment. Emma was clearly shocked, overjoyed and the moment came, the room was so loud it was difficult to hear anything, even standing next to them – SHE SAID YES!
This for me was a truly magical moment and such an honour to be asked to do something so special, it reminded me just how powerful magic can be when used for something like this. The moment was about Emma and Chris, not me, but being able to use my performance to help Chris relax and also hide the pending question so well with a build up that Emma had no idea of, made me feel blessed I do what I do.
I hope you enjoyed my story as much as I enjoyed being there and please feel free to share this story among your friends.
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Using every day items, borrowed keys, money, rings – this really make the magic that much more personal to my audience.
Imagine the shock this bride, friends and family felt when after borrowing a £10 note I was able to take a ‘magical’ picture using the note as the camera.
The result? – the Queens face was no longer there, instead, the bride herself.
As you can see from the video, this was performed to the whole room as a final farewell. I almost felt like doing the ‘Dynamo walk off’ but could not get away easily after from the hugs, handshakes and amazement that followed. For everyone in the room, this was clearly the most impossible thing they had ever seen.
I often think about this moment, it is one that sticks out to me among others. I like to think this note has been framed and is perhaps a real reminder of what magic can bring.
Thank you for reading.