image001

Close Up Magic

Christmas Parties, add a touch of magic

Christmas parties and related events keep us magicians very busy at this time of year. Magic is an ideal form of entertainment whether for children or adults. I have a good number of bookings ranging from Christmas parties for preschool groups to shows in care homes at the other end of the age range and close up magic performances at more formal Christmas dinners.

It’s always nice to have repeat bookings and among those I have this year are a preschool group and a formal Christmas dinner at a public school in Croydon, both of which have booked me since 2007.

On Friday night I entertained children and their parents queuing to see Father Christmas at the late night Christmas shopping evening in my local town of Romsey. In contrast, away from the Christmas theme, last night I performed close up magic and a children’s show for a French couple in Basingstoke at the lady’s 40th birthday party which was a very enjoyable evening.

I still have a few dates available for Christmas parties so if you would like to make your Christmas party really magical do give me a call on 01794 324345 or complete the enquiry form or email me at magician@ianmarriott.co.uk.

I’m also looking forward to performing close up magic at the Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton on New Year’s Eve.

Happy Christmas to all my readers.

Ian

Entertainers and magicians – how to book one

Entertainers and magicians are available for all sorts of events. Booking entertainers is not something most people do every day. My comments are intended to be helpful to people inquiring about booking entertainers, in particular a magician or children’s entertainer for a children’s party, dinner or wedding etc. Whilst no doubt there are many people who frequently organize such events, for the vast majority it is something special.

Most magicians and children’s entertainers now have websites which give a good idea of the sort of thing they do. Once you have studied a few and decided which might be of interest to you, it is best to telephone the entertainer(s) concerned. Talk through your requirements with them. This will enable the entertainer to get a good understanding of your requirements and ensure that they can be met. They can then give you a firm quotation based on those requirements, hopefully at a reasonable price.

Most people seem to prefer to email, which is cheap and easy to do to multiple entertainers. (I remember once submitting a quote and received an acknowledgment telling me that he was waiting for the other 39 to reply before making a decision!) Emails are fine if you know what you want and you are clear about your requirements in the email. However, I often get inquiries asking how much I charge for a magic show without even saying whether it is for adults or children or where it is to be held. On occasions I have asked where the show would be and then been told that it would be “at home.” Trying to quote with inadequate information is like selling a car without saying whether it’s a Smart Car, a Rolls or something in between.

Speak to a small number of entertainers. Have a chat about your requirements and ask for the advice of the entertainer. Obtain a price for the different options. This will enable you to make an informed decision based on the advice that each entertainer gives you. You can assess whether you like the sound of the person on the other end of the phone. Is that person’s style, manner etc right for you? It works both ways of course and there have been one or two occasions when I have felt that I was not the right magician for a particular job and have recommended someone else.

Magicians vary considerably in what they do.

Some children’s entertainers perform only for younger children from about 3 to 6 years. Some use puppets and/or make balloon animals. Others, including myself, also cater for older children. For most eight or nine year olds I tend to perform more grown up effects from my cabaret act for adults.

Some magicians specialize in close up or table magic and do not entertain children at all. Others perform only stage or cabaret acts. These can vary considerably from the mind magic of Derren Browne to the grand illusions usually performed in a theatre.

Many magicians argue that it is important to specialize in a particular branch of magic. Otherwise you can be a jack of all trades and master of none. That is true to an extent. Whilst the world champion of close up magic is unlikely to do a stage or children’s show there are many competent magicians who can successfully entertain both children and adults. A magician who entertains both children and adults for example, is very often a good choice for a wedding where the children can be entertained during the speeches.

To sum up, when seeking a quote, provide as much information as possible and better still, have a chat on the phone to get the best impression of whether the entertainer is the right one for your event.

Table Magic

Professional Magician Perfoming in Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Wiltshire, Dorset and other Southern Counties

Table Magic_Card Trick 3

Table magic (see also close up magic) as the name suggests, involves me performing to people sitting at tables in restaurants, at a formal dinner or at a wedding reception.

I perform between courses, seldom while people are eating and depending on the occasion and the number of tables to go round, usually perform for between 6 and 10 minutes at each table.

For large events e.g. a company dinner, more than one magician may be needed so I work with a colleague to ensure everybody is entertained in the time available. Working in a restaurant is less formal and I will often go back to a table if requested to do so.

Close Up Magic

Close Up Magician_Table Magic 1

Close up magic, often referred to as table magic, is performed right under the noses of small groups of spectators and is very popular at all sorts of events ranging from weddings, parties and dinners to corporate events, product promotions and trade shows. It can be performed almost anywhere, outdoors or inside. Close up magicians are often employed by restaurants to entertain the diners.

Close Up Magician_Table Magic 2

Whether moving from table to table between courses, entertaining in the bar or performing throughout your event, I offer an engaging style covering a wide variety of magical effects using cards, coins, rope and everyday objects sometimes borrowed from a spectator, guaranteed to enhance your event.

My number one priority is ensuring you and your guests have a good time whether it’s your wedding, dinner party or at a small informal gathering of friends who want to be entertained with something different.

Sometimes the magic even happens in a spectator’s hands!