I’ve just returned from attending the annual convention of the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. This year my wife came with me, the second time in twenty years, simply because it was held in Scotland. Although not really into magic she did enjoy the shows and many of the lectures as well as the Scottish scenery.
It was the first time in over 60 years that the convention was held in Scotland and the organizing team had really put in a lot of effort making it a very enjoyable occasion for all who attended.
The new President of the Ring is Richard Cadell and Sooty was inducted as his Presidential Partner with his own chain of office. It should be a fun year.
Having been performing professionally for over 20 years I’ve decided to cut back on my children’s and cabaret shows. I will continue to take bookings from regular and past clients and will continue with close up magic for adults at weddings, dinners, parties etc and will take restaurant bookings. I shall also be happy to perform at care homes during the week.
Magic for children is often requested at a function for adults such as parties to mark important birthdays or weddings but on Monday last I performed at the 50th birthday party of the Ist Nursling and Rownhams Brownie group.
The show went very well, the children were well behaved and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.The children did too judging by the email I received from their leader. “Thank you Ian, the Brownies certainly enjoyed themselves and when I asked them at the end of the party if they’d had a good time the reply was a resounding yes.
Dad liked the photos (of Houdini with founder members of the A.W.S taken in 1913 in Southampton) and no doubt will mention them to his magical friends.
The magic show put on by the Southampton based Associated Wizards of the South (see www.awsmagic.co.uk ) last Saturday 11th February in the Freemantle and Shirley Community Centre was a great success. The hall was filled to capacity, all the tickets having been sold a week before the show.
There were seven acts in the 2.5 hour show. These included a specialist children’s act and a Punch and Judy show for the younger children which seemed to be enjoyed equally by the mums and dads. The other acts covered a wide variety of magic, comedy and illusion suitable for all the family. The photograph shows Ian performing the dagger chest illusion assisted by Mirrah.
Magic shows such as this were a regular event at one time but the club had not given one for about ten years for a variety of reasons. Given the success of last Saturday’s show, the proceeds from which were donated to charity through “Just Giving,” it won’t be long before another show is arranged.
The Southampton based Associated Wizards of the South (see www.awsmagic.co.uk) is promoting a Magic Show for all the Family on Saturday 11th February 2017. It will be held at Freemantle and Shirley Community Centre, starting at 7.00pm, doors open 6.30. It will be a mixture of magic, comedy and illusion. Tickets are only £5.00 per seat so we expect the show to be a sell out. Tickets are available from Geoff Gould, 35 Mountfield, Hythe SO45 5AQ, telephone 023 8084 4677. Enclose an SAE or email address for return of tickets. Hope to see you there.
Magic at Christmas is universally popular. It’s certainly the busiest time of year for magicians and children’s entertainers. I entertain both adults and children (see the relevant pages on the website and the Clients and Testimonials page to see what past bookers think of me.) I perform close up magic or cabaret for the adults and an action packed magic show for children. I have just a bit of space in the diary for last minute bookings, but not for Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.
Magic for summer fetes can be a good attraction. I have performed at several this year and last Sunday had the pleasure of performing at Mottisfont Village Fete which is fairly close to where I live. I did not perform a show as such but stood at my stand and entertained passers by with a variety of close up magic effects for both adults and children. I was there for 3.5 hours and during that time hardly stopped. It was quite tiring but very enjoyable with a lot of interest shown by members of the public. The photograph shows me teaching some children how to spin a plate, always popular at this type of event.
I was pleased to learn form the person who booked me that my appearance at the fete had been sponsored by local estate agents Hamilton Parker Buckingham so “thank you” to them as well as to the organizers for booking me.
Magic for children is how I started performing magic professionally some 20 years ago. Although I soon started performing close up magic for adults and developed a cabaret act, I still enjoy performing magic shows for children. At least I do most of the time.
Yesterday, 3rd December 2016, I entertained some thirty five year olds at a birthday party.They were an absolute delight, responding well to everything I did.
I was a bit apprehensive at first as there were almost as many parents present and so often they talk throughout the show which is disruptive for the children and off-putting for the performer. I need not have feared as the parents watched throughout and I never heard a word of conversation. If only it were always the case.
It is understandable that parents stay on when the children are small and we welcome that as it can lead to further bookings. However, it does seem strange when they can spoil the show through constant chatter when the booker has paid good money for the children to be entertained.
Children’s parties sometimes turn into parties for the adults with the children’s entertainer left to entertain the children while the adults, who sometimes outnumber the children, enjoy themselves at the back of the room. This can be very off putting for the entertainer and can distract the children.
Thank you to the parents who were at Motcombe Village Hall yesterday, you were great.
Magic for pre-school groups can be challenging but is also a lot of fun both for the children and the performer.
I performed a 45 minute show for a pre-school group in Eastleigh this morning.The children were very lively and very confident for their age. They were a great audience and everything I did was well received with lots of laughter and amazement. This was the fifth time I have performed for this pre-school group and hopefully I can now regard them as a regular client.
Magic is an ideal form of entertainment for young children from the age of 3 (younger children do not understand what is going on and when I have been asked to perform at parties for two year olds I respectfully advise the enquirer to wait another year.)
I include in my show for pe-school groups a lot of traditional magic effects that have stood the test of time and are much loved by even the youngest. I get as many children as possible up to help during the show which adds to the fun and helps to keep their attention.
Magic in the summer usually involves lots of requests to perform outdoors. June and July are the months when villages, schools, churches and many other organizations hold their summer fetes. I have performed at several this year.
Performing close up magic for small groups of people, adults or children, works very well. This can be done either by strolling around performing for people as the magician meets them or working from a base with a table and entertaining people as they go past. I often attract attention with some plate spinning which is very visual and which children of ALL ages (I’ve had people in their eighties having a go) enjoy trying to do.
Performing a magic show for children, which is often requested, is another matter and I generally decline unless the show can be performed indoors which is seldom the case. I have found over the last 20 years that magic shows work best when performed indoors. The reasons are many, the weather being a major factor. The possibility of rain in our country is obvious but sunny days also bring problems in that the sun can be in the eyes of the performer or those of the audience. Gusts of wind can also wreak havoc with the magician’s props, often to the amusement of the audience but difficult for the magician. It is also difficult to hold the attention of the audience with constant chatter from parents and people walking past. If the organizers insist on an outdoor performance I normally recommend a Punch and Judy Show where the operator is in an enclosed booth oblivious to what else is going on around him.
Recently I was asked to perform a show at a school fete. I explained my views to the enquirer and declined the booking. However, she was very persuasive and on the promise of being given a marquee in which to perform, against my better judgment I agreed. When I arrived at the venue I asked where I should go and was pointed to a two sided gazebo about eight feet by eight. I expressed my doubts but said I would do my best. Despite my use of a PA system I could still hear some of the mums chattering close by which is off putting and sad to say all too common. It was also a windy evening and the sides of the gazebo kept blowing in and knocking over some of my props. I was on my last trick of the second of two 20 minute shows when the heavens opened and the audience made a dash for the shelter of my gazebo with obvious effects on my speakers which were knocked over but fortunately not damaged.
Only yesterday I was asked to perform a show in the open air. I declined.