Can You Make My Belly Disappear?

Can you make my belly disappear?

It’s one of those questions magicians get asked a lot it’s up there with;

1)      Can you make my wife disappear?

2)      What do you think of Dynamo?

3)      How did you get into magic?

4)      Can I be your Debbie McGhee?

And my personal favourite… “Do you know Harry Potter?”

 

However, my answer to the ‘Can You Make My Belly Disappear?’ has always been.  “If I could do that I’d start with my own”.  However, it’s true…I have actually managed to make my belly disappear…well some of it anyway and I have to say it’s been easier than expected and dare I say fun?   Let me explain; it’s my 30th in April and at New Years I decided that I wanted to be a healthy weight for my birthday.  So I started running but I managed to pull my hamstring and no I can’t “magic it better” and that’s when it hit me I needed something else, something special I needed a magic assistant…well two to be exact.  So I’ve enlisted the services of Jen & Elle – 2 female Personal Trainers from Forward Fitness Glasgow and I’ve been taking their Pilates classes out in the west end of Glasgow and WOW.  I’ve done Pilates before but nothing like this.  It’s friggin amazing and it’s a full body workout as well as a good laugh.  So yeah it’s unfortunate that I can’t do my running as of yet but I’ve lost 8lb this month and the girls have taken good care of me.  Also, my magic shows as of recent times have been going amazingly well and at these shows I keep getting asked if I’m single which I can only conclude means that I’m wearing way to much aftershave (that joke got 19 likes on my facebook so I thought I’d throw it in_

So I’m not going to give you all weekly updates on how my health is going because who knows I could give up next week and then I’d feel stupid.  However, I have a funny feeling I won’t.  I have a feeling that I’ll actually stick with what I’m doing and lose some weight in the process.  Here are my secrets

1)      Eat when you’re hungry

2)      Eat whatever you want

3)      Stop when you’re full

4)      Go to pilates classes at http://www.forwardfitnessglasgow.com/pilates/

 

I was going to do this for charity but I’ve decided to be totally selfish and do it for myself.  I’m hoping to lose another 8-10lb in Feb and the same again in March.  Wish me luck folks!!

 

Magicians In Scotland Like Dynamo

Magician in Scotland like Dynamo

Are there any magicians in Scotland like Dynamo?d How Does Dynamo put the mobile phone in the bottle? These are 2 questions that I get asked every night at the moment and they’ve got me thinking about my own magic career and the perception that the public have on not just magicians but entertainers in general.  The thought is that the cream will always rise to the top and that Dynamo is heads and shoulders above the rest of us because he actually has magical powers.   Both of which are not the case and when I try to describe my thoughts on TV Magicians I’m often looked at with a kind of…”aren’t you just jealous?”

Performing Magic on TV

Be honest, if someone slightly weird looking approached you in the street and started staring at you intensely  how would you feel?  IDynamo Performing a fan with a deck of cards know I’d be freaked out and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone; however, picture the same scene, a weird looking guy approaches you but this time there’s a TV cameras and a sound boom and god knows what else.  The first thing to go through your head is probably –“ I’m going to be on TV” and the second thought is – “hey there’s that guy off the telly”  Now I will add, as far as I’m aware, there are no camera tricks on his show.

The Last I was asked to perform magic on TV to demonstrate if magic could attract girls. Now believe it or not I’ve written a small book on the psychology of approaching groups but all my experience and knowledge could be thrown out the window when you approach with a camera crew behind you…and I’m not even famous.  The girls were happily enjoying their lunch so this situation would normally take two minutes of introduction & rapport building to provide the girls with a pleasurable magic experience (not that type of experience for my normal readers) However, the lights were on, the camera was on and as soon as I approached the girls were more than happy to be on camera. 

What am I trying to say?  If you would like a magician like dynamo to perform at your event you have to ask yourself this question?

Do I want the magician to give my guests a demonstration of magic…or do I want my guests to be entertained via magic?

Magician vs Magical Entertainer

For the last 9 years I have asked my clients, “why are you considering hiring a magician” and they’ve always had the same answers,

  • We want something different
  • We want some entertainment during the break
  • I’m just a big kid and I like magic

However, in all my experience I’ve never had one enquiry asking me to make their guests believe in magic or to do a demonstrations of magic.

Am I better or worse than Dynamo?

In all honesty we’re just different performers.  I do like his show though and magicians love him because he’s made magic popular again so more bookings for us.  So yes Magicians in Scotland do like Dynamo  to find out more about him visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamo_(magician)

 

 

Enterteasement Friday December 9th Classic Grand

Magician On The Radio

There’s 3 letters I love more than anything else.  BBC.  When the BBC call asking for me to perform that wee “I want to be a celebrity”  voice in my head get’s louder.  The amount of doors it could open, the bragging rights and above all – it makes a great facebook update.

I was asked if I could perform a trick for the McCauley & CO radio listeners on BBC Radio Scotland.  Now the tricks I perform are all very visual but I thought “BBC, I can do it”

So  I said, “Yes I could do that”

Then BBC Paul said, “And could you teach that trick to the audience at home?”

Even the books I learn magic tricks from have pictures in them but teaching a trick over the radio – that’s a challenge.  However, my brain said, “BBC, I can do it”

So I said, “Yes I could do that”

And then he said, “And it will be performed close-up to Fred but also to an audience of 200”

By that point I was in for a penny in for a pound.

So I replied “ No problem”

Then he asked if I could teach a trick to Richard ‘The Challenge Guy’ Now this is something I love doing so I was really looking forward to it.

Choosing tricks to perform on the radio

I’ve heard about 5 magicians perform magic on the radio.  All 5 have performed mind-reading and 3 have performed the same trick.  Why?  Because mindreading works on the radio as it happens in the person’s mind.  Whereas magic is more visual.  So I decided I would perform a card trick (as requested) but I would perform it in a mind-reading style.

Teaching a trick for the radio

I was told I had an hour with Richard. As Richard has performed lots of challenges and even a good few magic challenges, I didn’t have to worry about him dealing with stage fright or performance issues.  So what was my goal?  No disrespect to the other tricks that he’d learned but they are what we refer to in the magic business as “Self Working Magic” These are similar to the trick I taught in the original piece.  So I had the option of teaching Richard one of these tricks in 10 minutes and play it safe.  But that’s not what I wanted.  I’ve spoken to a few magicians who have changed careers and I’ve asked them if it was hard to re-learn.  They’ve always answered with…”It’s not like learning how to do x shuffle or y move” And this is what I wanted to do with Richard.  It was my goal to push him and show how complicated magic can be to learn.  So I taught him one of my favourite tricks.  If I had 40 minutes I wouldn’t have taught him it but I knew I could teach him it in an hour.

30 minutes in and I wasn’t so sure but by the time we were on the 40 minute mark he had it and the last 20 minutes we polished it up and added some showmanship and presentation.

Showtime – Woody On The Radio

I arrived and met the team which was weird as the co-host was my friends ex-girlfriend and I met 2 comedians I know as well.  I then Met Fred McCauley who said it was nice to meet me,  I informed him we had met before and I could sense his embarrasement at not remembering my face but I put him at ease by telling him he wouldn’t remember me as it a) it was only a brief encounter b) it was 8 years ago and c) I was dresses as Santa Clause at the time.

When the show started I walked on and started telling my magic story.  When It came time for me to teach the trick Fred semed surprised and asked if the Magic Circle would be annoyed and I replied by saying, “Only if you pay your fees”.  I’d just received a letter saying mine are due so this got an audience laugh.  However after performing my magic and teaching the effect he asked if I could perform some mind-reading.  This caught me off gaurd as it wasn’t in the script at all and I’d given away the pack of cards.  I did however have a dowsing pendulum with me so I brought that out but to be honest I don’t think it’s the type of trick that works on radio.

Push a 10p into a can of irn-bru.  Unbeknown to me at the time, you’re not allowed to say products name’s over the radio but I must have said it 5 times – oops

It was time for Richards performance – we were told we were really short on time and that the piece may be cancelled.  However, we were told we had a maximum of 2 minutes.  More pressure on Richard so he started the trick and he hit the coin into the can and rather than the coin go in the can the can shot halfway across from the stage – Doh!

Now for those of you who know me will know I’m Mr Back-up so behind Richard, I had a spare can of Irn-bru or as Fred referred to it – “A can of a very popular Scottish fizzy drink”.

Richard continued and performed the trick really well and got a great reaction from the audience.  Afterwards Richard said he had performed 900 challenges and this was the one that made him most nervous.  So I feel like I’ve done myself proud and whenever Richard talks about his challenges he’ll always talk about how complexities of sleight of hand.

As the link to the radio will die in the middle of December I’m not going to post it but hopefully I’ll have a link up soon.

In conclusion, magic on the radio was fun!!

 

magic mind reading show Friday October 28th Glasgow

Would you like to see me perform part of my mind reading show? As many of you know I’m a magician & mind-reader; but, I really love live entertainment so I decided to set up my own night called Enterteasement. It’s a mixture of comedy, magic & burlesque. My next show is on Friday the 28th of October in The Admiral on Waterloo Street Glasgow. It’s basically right next to central station. If you’d like to buy tickets for this event you can on http://enterteasement.eventbrite.com or via http://www.woodyallanvarietyacts.co.uk

On the same bill are 3 of the top comedians in Scotland, 3 beautiful burlesque acts and a cheeky surprise finish

Magician in Jumping Jacks Glasgow

If you attended the Glasgow Jumpin Jacks anytime between 2001 – 2004 chances are a really adorable drunken magician would be using his magic to try and chat you up. Ladies, that gentleman was me! Yes it’s true, a venue where I probably got a knock back off every girl in the venue (several times) is now going to be paying me to go in there and flirt with girls. I will be performing close-up magic in Jumping Jacks Every Saturday night in October except Halloween. To see me you have to book a party in there which can be done by visiting http://www.jaksglasgow.com/

My Magic Show’s At The Fringe

That’s right folks, I have a few Edinburgh dates left at this years fringe.  I’ll be doing comedy at Rat Ar&&d, Magic and I don’t know what I’m doing at For Chris’ Sake yet as I might be compering.

For Chris’ Sake: Sunday 21st 3 sisters (room with a view) 139 CowgateEH1 1JSFree5pm

There are several comedians in Scotland called Chris and one of them, Chris Stephen, decided to put on an event for Comedians Called Chris.  I might be compering this one so lots of stage time.

Rat Ars&d: Friday 26th Rat Arsed 9 Shandwhich place EH2 4RGfree 9 pm

A collection of the up and coming Scottish talent.  It’s free so it might be pants, but you could be pleasantly surprised.

Lou Hickey live at Ghillie Dhu: Sunday 28th Ghillie Dhu2 Rutland PlaceEdinburghEH1 2AD£4 8:30 – 11:00pm

I performed at the launch of this and it’s a fantastic wee night.  I think the tickets are £4 which is a total bargain.  The venue is amazing and they have fantastic acts on.  Lou Hickey is pretty famous, she was Scotland’s most Eligible woman and has had Albums in the charts and all that jive.  It’s a cracking wee show.

 

New website now live!!!

Howdy People this is version 4 of my website. For those of you who know don’t know me, mention of the word website turns me from mild mannered magician into The Hulk.
However, the good news is – this is my new site and I’m really happy to say it’s looking quite nice and it’s quite easy to use – if you do spot a problem, please let me know and i’ll remedy it asap
I’m totally in charge of this website and I’ve got some really cool features that I’ll be unleashing in the next few days

Best review ever

I was performing at an Asian wedding in Edinburgh which is a bit strange as lots of the audience couldn’t speak English. Luckily I’m from Glasgow where most of us don’t speak English either so I’m used to adapting my patter.
Many years ago, when I was learning my trade, I performed in a lot of night clubs, busy bars and at events also featuring music. I quickly learned that visual magic tricks worked far better than ones that needed verbal accompaniment. Basically, when the rope snaps in half, I can say something but as long as the audience see the rope in 2 pieces they understand the magic has just happened.

Near the end of the show I was having a chat with the Event Organiser, he wasn’t wearing a badge or anything and he just looked like a guest. He asked me how the show was going but before I had time to answer we were interrupted by the videographer.

He was very enthusiastic and proceeded to critique of my performance. You literally can’t pay for advertising like this.

“I’ve been Videoing weddings for 7 years and I must have seen 50 of you guys [magicians] and without a shadow of a doubt you’re the best. None of the others let me film them in case something goes wrong. But you, with that rope, and those cards, I’ve never seen anything like it but you’re also dead funny – can I have your card”

When he left I said to the organizer, “That’s how it went”

Stand Gig Continued – funny story

Do you drink when performing?

No, never…well sometimes.  On rare occasions such as seeing one of my friends for the first time in 14 months I’ll have a Shandy – as long as it’s finished  30 minutes before I walk on stage and sometimes after a gig I carry a shandy to be seen as more approachable.  But I have a confession, I’m addicted to tea.  I actually carry tea bags with me and have been known to take a flask of tea with me to gigs.  At the time of writing this I’m drinking a cup of Pukka’s Nettle tea – it’s basically the bomb, I’d taken 6 of these flavoured tea bags with me but unfortunately the kettle had been stolen.

After my performance, which is on the previous blog, I had a celebratory Shandy as well although I secretly wanted the nettle tea.

Romance or OCD

Afterwards I went with Zhara to the very place we had went on our first date and stood in the location where we had our first drink – awww, I’m still trying to figure out if I’m romantic or suffering from OCD.  However, it was time to go and as Zhara was heading off, I didn’t want to rush to the bathroom so thought I’d just hold it in till I got home

OCD 0 Romance 1

Driving home – the adventure begins

I can safely say I’ve never been drunk driving apart from when I actually passed my test.  I got the dates mixed up and was at a party next thing I knew I was woken up and I was in the car before I knew it heading for my driving test.  However, that’s a story for another day.  This day I’ve consumed 2 units of alcohol over 5 hours – I’m safe to drive.  However as I hardly ever drink these day’s I’m still a little nervous, especially as I passed by the cops.  The  cops were writing down the details of some prostitutes.  I thought it might make a funny facebook update to say they were trying to get there phone numbers.  However, before I could think of the punch line I spotted a fight.  One guy was on top of the other guy slapping him so I thought I’d better call the cops then intervene.  Just then I remembered the cops were just around the corner so I thought it would be more efficient to go back and get them.  The cops had just left the prostitutes; I flashed my lights, told them of the fight and assumed my karma points were sky high.

The cops drove off in the same direction as me but when they go there the 2 gentlemen had vanished (get it – magic, vanished – sigh)

Was the Adventure over or was it just about to begin

So the next thing I know I’m being flashed, I thought they were going to ask me for more details but it turns out they weren’t interested in the assault, they were more interested in my 2 shandies. They didn’t ask about the nettle tea so I decided not to mention it as the time didn’t seem right.

So at this point I’m out the car and they have to order a breathalyser, I asked if I could go to the toilet but they said no.  I said, I would keep the sample but they said no.  When talking to the police the main objective is to look calm.  However, I’m seriously thinking, I’m going to create a puddle down one of my legs and get a fine.   So I’m now getting nervous and decide to tell the cops my joke about them taking down the girls numbers…they didn’t find it funny.

The cop said my eyes looked glazed and could I explain that? He was obviously hinting at drink and drugs but I thought – there’s only certain situations where it’s ok to name drop so I launch into my Kevin Bridges story.  By this point I may have been calling him Kev by next week we’ll be moving in with each other.

So the breathaliser appears and he reads me my rights – (one of the rights you don’t have is the right to go to the toilet.)

He say’s “blow into this tube, it doesn’t have to be a hard blow just a long blow”

My comedy mind takes over with a bunch of things to say but my bladder kicks in, tells my brain to shut up and my lips to blow…and blow they did!

Cop looks at me smiles and say’s, “Positive”

I say confused, “positive”

He say’s, “positive”

At this point I know the machine is broke but the idea of soiling myself in the back of a cop car is not the most appealing.

So it was time for a to employ some Derren Brown Jedi Mind trickery.  So I said in a louder voice, Positive?

He looks back at the thing and say’s, “NO SORRY, I mean negative”

“So I’m free to go then?” I said.

He replied yes and started to say something about how it was only his job and such like, but I said, the words of Forrest Gump, “I have to go pee” and I ran to the toilet.

A twist in the tail?

On arrival I realised I had not only left my car illegally parked but the windows were down.  There were 2 junkies looking in my car and not the Fun junkes from earlier.  At that time, I had my Iphone, camcorder, microphones & magic gear in the car – so we’re talking an easy £2k.  Plus I have £200 in my pocket sitting safely next to my tea bags.

So I run up and tell them it’s my car at which point they inform me I’m not allowed to park there.  This really isn’t my day! So I explain the situation with the cops and when I mention the fight one say’s,

“Yeah, that was us”

Then one of them asks me

If I can give him £2.05 for a can of beer.

And all I can think of is the Kevin Bridges Bus Stop Joke.

And as I reached into my pocket I found £4.20 so I handed it over with a smile when he asks me the question you don’t want to hear

Junkie: “Can I ask another favour?”

Me: “fire away chief”

Junkie: “Will you vote for SNP at the next election?”

Me:  “I’ll try my hardest” (I still don’t know what this means”

He then continued to tell me how Scotland needed to be more of a socialist society but still support the queen whilst promoting our independence.

At the end of it he asked if I could tell if he was homeless, and I said

“I can tell you’re homeless but more importantly I can tell you’re a gentleman”

We shook hands and he said his name was John and I said my name’s Chris and that was the end of the conversation.

In conclusion

The knock on effect of positive action in my life and a willingness to help people. I got to perform at the Stand, meet Kevin Bridges,” because I alerted the police, I got to meet the John the Junkie and because I spoke to him he’s no longer John the Junkie but John the Gent.

Loving life right now – still not loving the police

 

New Show March 23rd

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