2019 – A Year In The Life of a Big Wizard
When people find out that I’m a magician, they often have a lot of questions. Questions like “how tall are you?”, “are your parents tall?” and “is it hard finding clothes that fit?”. The answers, respectively, are “6 foot 7”, “not particularly”, and “evidently”.
If, however, they were to ask about my career as London’s best magician instead (author’s own opinion but also scientific fact), I’d point them in the direction of this blog post, an end-of-year round up of what exactly I think I’ve been playing at for the last 365 days.
Coaching Jude Law
January started well. Jude Law had recently mentioned me on the Graham Norton show after I coached him for his Dumbledore role, so my diary was filling up nicely. Dropped a name there but I don’t think anyone noticed.
Corporate Event Magician
Loads of corporate and private events happened, as usual, including performing close up magic at lots of weddings, hosting a few charity fundraisers, one job in Copenhagen, one amazing private party in the South of France, and loads of corporate events in and around London, for everyone from Aviva to Google.
I don’t have a lot to say about my London magician work, other than it happened, it was fun, and that putting the phrase “corporate magician London” into my blog seems like a good thing to do, SEO wise. Same probably applies to “street magician”, “wedding magician” and “magician for hire”, now I think of it.
Speaking of self-promotion, I designed a snazzy new business card that looks like this. I like it.
Edinburgh Fringe Show
Let’s move on. In August I took a one-hour solo show to the Edinburgh Fringe festival. This was my third Fringe show, and I had a great time as ever. I called the show Massive Wizard, for obvious reasons. Here’s me next to my poster:
It was a comedy magic show, in a 160 seat venue called the Gilded Balloon (huge, considering my previous show seated 50). The show was about time travel and my imminent fame, and it ended with me being murdered by Dynamo. Standard stuff. I performed it every night for a month, in between eating fried things and staying in some extortionately priced student accommodation. I learned a lot over that month, including the fact that I was severely allergic to Irn Bru. Even opening a can makes me have a coughing fit (not a joke, just a weird fact).
Something else that I learned was that if I persuade some of my magician and comedian friends to come to a show, that will be the night that only 12 people show up, and I will have a terrible gig and a mild nervous breakdown live on stage . Great stuff.
The reason most performers do the Fringe is that it’s a good way to raise your profile, get contacts in TV and theatre, and work your show in, making it tighter and more polished. I can genuinely say that I achieved almost 1 of those goals.
People don’t go to make money, because it’s hard to do that unless you’re a household name. I think I proved that conclusively. All that said, I did, largely, have fun. Here are some nice audience reviews. I particularly like the one that describes my show as a cross between a Netflix special and an overenthusiastic neighbour.
Jo Malone Christmas Campaign
When I got back from Edinburgh I got a great job working on the Jo Malone Christmas campaign (the perfume company), eventually appearing in a string of magic-themed adverts for social media and their instore video screens. I created and performed 10 original magic tricks over two shoots. This meant I got sent a load of candles and perfumes to practice with, and now my house smells amazing. I also appeared in person at two launch events for their campaigns, where I got to perform close-up magic for various celebrities and influencers, including Poppy Delevingne (who is, predictably, lovely) and a load of others. At the end I got given even more product as a thank you gift, which is why if you got a present from me it was almost definitely a posh candle. Here’s one of the tricks:
BBC 3 Street Magician Pilot
In Autumn and Winter of 2019 I shot a TV pilot for BBC 3, alongside two other magicians, Ashley Turner and Magic Singh. Our role in the show has been not just to perform but also to teach. I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to say about this yet but I loved doing it. It’ll be on iPlayer soon, and I’ll be sharing the link everywhere when it appears. By the way, the term “pilot” means that it will either be picked up and turned into a full series, or… it won’t. Depends on the audience reaction. We’ll see.
After a ridiculous number of Christmas gigs and a complete lack of social life, I ended the year on a boat, on the Thames, directly under the (genuinely amazing) midnight fireworks. Another corporate event. As soon as the fireworks were over I snuck off, or rather I tried to, but was instead involved in some festive police kettling. I would post a video of the fireworks but you can probably imagine it. It looked like fireworks.
That’s my year, I feel the post started strong and fizzled out a bit, but just think of the SEO!
That’s your lot. Please hire me in 2020 to give me material for even more fantastic stories.