I know I’m very lucky – I have a great job which takes me around the world and it’s also enabled me to meet so many lovely people as well as a lot of celebrities, e.g. Paul McCartney (well, if you’re going to be called “bloody brilliant”, you might as well be called it by one of the biggest names in music… ever!).
This year I’ve done close up magic in weddings all over the UK and abroad, entertained at corporate events, including one in Geneva, done cabaret appearances and have run training workshops for budding magicians. For me, there were a few stand-out events:
One booking I was extremely proud of was to entertain at a formal party for 700 squaddies in Devon. It was held in the Officers’ Mess which meant that everyone was in full military dress, but it was relaxed and fun and everyone had a good time. Whilst it was rewarding for me to entertain the men and women in the forces, they were a tough crowd! To begin with, I went round the room doing close up magic, then later in the evening I did a 15 minute set as part of the cabaret which was fun because it enabled me to pull some of the soldiers out of the crowd.
A couple of months ago I was invited to perform at the wedding of a big name theatre and TV producer. As you’d expect, there were some top names from the industry as well as celebrities such as Christopher Biggins, Brian Connelly and Paul Zerdin, the 2015 winner of America’s Got Talent. The producer of the London Palladium was also there, and he told me that he’d seen a lot of magic done on the stage, but had never seen it close up before!
One thing I’ve learned about this business is that you never know what’ll happen next. As a result of performing at this wedding, I’ve been contacted by a London theatre producer who wants me to teach a few magic tricks to a cast member of a major new show in February next year. Obviously I’ve said yes, although I don’t actually know what the show is yet!
I was honoured to be asked to perform close up magic at a charity event run by Anna Kennedy OBE. For the last two decades, Anna has campaigned on behalf of children with autism and Asperger’s. She set up her own specialist school in 1999, which is now the largest school for autistic children in the country. This year she launched a national anti-bullying campaign to prevent the targeting of children with autism. It was an absolute privilege to work for such an inspirational person like Anna.
I’m actually asked to do a lot of charity events which attract people from the world of showbiz, and in May I performed at one where the guests included Stephen Fry who thought my act was “utter madness but sheer brilliance”, and Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville who said it was “a magnificent eye catching performance”. When what you do is held in such high esteem that busy celebrities like these are happy to take the time to give you feedback, you know you’ve done well!
After a fantastic year in 2016 where I met so many lovely people, I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2017 will bring. If you want my magic to be a part of your year, please contact me for more information.