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Off The Cuff Magic Show

OffTheCuffOn Saturday 26th of March Chris Dinwoodie, aka Woody The Magician presents his Comedy / Magic show “Off The Cuff”  This will be a mixture of some of his classic routines and some never seen before miracles.

About Woody

  • Passed The Magic Circle exam with over 90%
  • International Magic Champion
  • 5 x Scottish Close-up Magic Champion
  • One of the few magicians to regularly perform on The Scottish Comedy Circuit.
  • Has performed for Royalty, Celebrities and Dave…not the TV show, just a guy called Dave.

Details

VENUE: The Admiral Bar, 72 Waterloo Street, Glasgow
DOORS: 7:30pm
SHOW 8  – 9pm
COST £10

TICKETS

http://www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com/shows/1315

Visiting Arran

Coincidence plays a big part of magic.  The spectator freely selects a card and by some magical coincidence it’s the same card the magician predicted at the start of the show; however, sometimes real life coincidence without any sleight of hand of trickery can be even more magical.

Let me share my favourite serendipity of the year.

Arran

SantaSparkleAt the end of November, I was performing magic over in Arran at the Santa Sparkle event, run by the guys at the Glenisle Hotel.   The event is staged in a Marquee across from their hotel.  The event has a light show, fireworks, a live band, Santa Clause & Mrs Clause, professional dancers, fantastic stalls…and moi.

The main show I’m meant to do is a stand-up comedy magic show.  That starts at 7pm, however since I’m there I’ve been signed up to do some close-up magic and balloon modelling during the day.

On paper, it all looks great, however, this is Scotland, the land where a lovely idea on paper can quickly turn to paper mache.   The event is taking place in a marquee said marquee is on the grass, next to the beach.  The day was meant to start with a santa parade, but unfortunately uninvited guest arrived called  Storm Clodagh.  She turned up bringing with her 80mph winds, hailstones and torrential rain.  Although the marquee didn’t blow away  there was now a permanent  water feature  running over the grass making it wet and muddy.  I wasn’t sure if the event would go ahead but these Arran folks are not to be put off by something as mild as a bit of a hurricane.

Balloons

My first show of the day begins and I’m providing balloon models for the kids.  This is not something I specialise in but I’m pretty quick at firing them out.  Queues aren’t the most exciting thing to wait in line for, especially when you’re standing in a puddle but the audience were there and they were happy to wait.  I’m making the balloon animals and the majority of the kids want a dog or a sword so the queue is moving pretty quickly and everyone is in high spirits.

Serendipity

Next in line is a young girl about eight years old.  I ask her what she would like but she doesn’t respond, I ask her again and she cuddles into her mum and avoids all eye contact.  I don’t know if she’s just painfully shy, she’s depressed because of the weather or if she’s sad because Mrs Clause and the dancers had to cancel.  What I do know is that she’s waited in a puddle for about 20 minutes so she clearly wants a balloon just not to communicate.   I’ve had this before.  The solution is normally just to start naming things you can make the child will nod or the parent will jump in and say, “Oh, you like dogs, will the nice man make you a pink dog?” I start saying things I can make.  I say would you like a dog?  teddy bear? a swan? a cat? snake?  giraffe..no reaction, no answer – I’m struggling so I change from animals to objects. “How about a flower? sword? wand? hat? heart? a machine gun?

The mother looked at me when I said machine gun like I’d lost my mind but could see I was trying my hardest to find something.

At this point,  I’m really struggling  and I’m running out of things I can remember how to make or even kid on I can make for that matter (I’ve sneakily passed on a few swords in my time cleverly disguised as light sabres and by disguise I mean, I’ve changed the name and let the child’s imagination do the rest)

So I say, “erm, how about a…octopus, or a…parrot…or erm, a snail? ” BOOM!!!The child & her mother jump into life like one of the fireworks has gone off.

 

Her mum says, “She loves snails!!”

I ask her: “Do you like snails?”

She says, “Yes, I love to draw them”

I said, “Well you’re not going to believe this, but my favourite thing to make from balloons are snails”

(This is actually true, I think of all the animals the snail is the most lifelike and the antenna give it character. )

seventy five seconds later I hand over her snail.  She smiles and reaches into her pocket.   I start to get embarrassed.  Lots of times people think they have to pay for the balloons because they don’t realise unlike the stalls, I’m paid to be there.  But it’s too late, the wee girl has reached into her pocket and has come out with an outstretched arm and a clenched hand.  I really don’t want to take this wee girls sweetie money especially as she’s started off so shy and has now really come out of her shell (no pun intended)

So I’m thinking, “I’ll open my hand, she’ll drop a pound in there, I’ll vanish it, make it appear from her ear, give it back to her and say it’s a magic coin and ask her to keep it safe for me”

I open my hand and she gives me…a beautiful white snail shell.

I don’t know if this was her lucky shell,  she may have had a full pocket full of them for all I know but I was really taken aback at this wee gift and I shall keep it with me always.  I’ve even named it Shelly 🙂

 

snailshell

 

 

 

Wedding on a Farm in Newton Stewart

All weddings are missing…

Wedding dogsWell I was the Wedding Magician in Newton Stewart on Saturday and after a 2.5 hour drive most of which was around winding country roads that made me think the obesity epidemic is actually caused by the introduction of power stearing.  You heard it here first folks the weighted steering wheel workout will be making a come back at some point in the next 2000 years or so.

Anyhow, I finally arrived and it was my first wedding on a farm!  Yip, cows and everything just wandering around – it was mad.  These people love animals so much they even had a dog at it. Yes, in the Marquee was a wee dog walking up and down the aisle of the temporary church.  I think all weddings should have a dog as it gives people something to look at and just think if this happened.

“Does anyone here present know of any reason why these two people shouldn’t be married?”

“Woof”

Would that not be the highlight of your life?

Dynamo how you haunt me

Every 5 years we are presented with a new TV Magician and right now Dynamo is inspiring everyone under the age of 14 to pick up a deck of cards and with every shuffle of the cards they dream of becoming the next big thing.  It’s almost becoming rare to attend a wedding that I’m not introduced to someone who immediately asks if you can walk through walls.  Today was a little different…mainly because the closest wall had a gate on it and the others are made out of tarpaulin (or whatever marquees are made out of).  So I was presented with the customary 12 year old child Findlay who was going to show me a trick.  These things are always nerve wracking for me as there are literally a million tricks out there and I don’t know all of them.  It’s always that moment of, “I’m the professional magician and I don’t want to look stupid in front of a 12 year old”  Luckily for me…he got the trick wrong and I managed to keep my job for the day.

It’s nice to be nice

As the speeches started it was time for me to head back to Glasgow to teach magic followed by a gig in a comedy club.  However, before I left I noticed the cards young Findley was using and I thought it would be a nice gesture to leave a deck of unopened professional Bicycle cards for him in the house.  As I thought about it, I thought they’ll just assume I’ve left them by accident so I thought I’d better leave a note.  Trouble was I couldn’t find a piece of paper and I started to become really guilty at the thought I was wondering around someone’s house and if I was caught the excuse of “I was looking for a bit of paper ” wasn’t going to work.  Even as I mentally practiced it I didn’t believe myself.  (is it bad that a professional liar was essentially feeling guilty about telling the truth?)  Thankfully there was 1 piece of paper in the printer so I stole that, wrote a wee encouragement note and a p.s. of I’m sorry I stole the paper.    I got a lovey wee thank you from the client today to say.

Hi

Just a quick email to thank you for Saturday. Everyone loved it and you did a great job in terrible weather conditions. Thanks also for the cards you left for Findlay . He has not laid them down since !!

 

See me perform on March 9th in Glasgow

Is it too late to say Happy New Year? I’ve been a very bad magician and not been updating my blog but I’ve got some interesting stories for you.

Firstly – Come See Me Perform

On Saturday March 9th I’ll be performing my Mind-Reading routine. Basically I’ll be doing a growing head illusion, then putting a coin in a can and finishing off by putting my persuasion skills to the test in a famous magic routine involving a Spike. It’s a routine I haven’t performed for a while but I’ve decided to dust it off and spice it up a little.

Where Will I Be Performing It?

I’ll be performing it on my Sister Night. Yes, Top Class Magic is still my baby but I felt the time was right for my baby to have a wee sister and she’s called Enterteasement. Enterteasement is a Comedy, Magic, Burlesque night currently hosting monthly shows every second Saturday of the Month at The Admiral Bar in Glasgow. Although I’m totally biased it’s a cracking wee night featuring some of the best acts in Scotland. Also I’m hardly ever on the bill so it allows the audience to see different magicians every month.
Tickets and the full line-up are available over at www.enterteasement.com

Hope to see you there!

I Wouldn’t Want To Play Cards With You

It’s up there with “Can you make my wife disappear” as one of the commonly heard things heard as a magician. But is there any truth in it that magicians can cheat at cards?

Can Magicians Cheat At Poker?

Poker Picture
The short answer is yes…If a magician is in control of the cards and the audience aren’t used to seeing cards shuffled then it’s very easy for us to deal a Royal Flush or the 4 Aces. However, at the poker table it’s a different story because poker players and dealers all shuffle the cards a certain way so for us to pick the cards up and control the aces would look a little out of the ordinary. Also since the film Rounders came out people are very much aware of players working in together so the dealer isn’t winning the hand but a secret accomplice is picking up the winnings which they split at the end.

Are Magicians Good At Poker?

Well let’s ask Chris Dinwoodie (me) – Professional magician and The Autumn Nuts Poker League Poker Champion 2012.

“Magicians have high standards, are normally mathematically minded and are used to dealing with a lot of new people. Plus for those who take the profession seriously we have to learn to read people which is always a major advantage when playing poker.

The Tournament

To qualify for the event all players had to come in the top 25% of their club so that eliminates a large proportion of novices who turn up for their first tournament and get eaten alive by the experienced players.
So when it came to the big tournament there were 185 club players competing for the title and the big cheque. It was my first time there and I got off to a good start and I felt confident the way the table was playing that I was going to be knocking a few players out and gaining chips in a slow and steady fashion. But then we got a new player at the table and he played a style of poker that I hate because it’s very aggressive and hard to read.
Just before the break I lost about 1/3rd of my chips to him. I had a good hand and I made a good fold but most importantly to me I said to him “I know you’ve got pocket jacks” I folded and he turned over pocket jacks so I felt that my read was quite good and the break couldn’t have come at a better time.

How we learn

Pink DoughnutSo it was time to introduce a psychological gamble. See I can’t cheat at poker, in fact I’m not allowed to touch the cards. But we’re all trying to figure out what people have and how to outplay the other guy. But I know how people work and I also know the psychology behind gambling. The human mind looks for patterns. Let’s say you place a glass at the other side of the room and you try to throw a ball into it. If the ball doesn’t go far enough you try throwing it a little harder. Maybe the next time it goes too much to the left so you try and throw it to the right a little. But say you tried for hours and then you had a bite out of a doughnut and you threw the ball into the glass first time. Then you’d have yourself a lucky Doughnut and a superstition that you could throw the ball into the glass when you had a bite of the doughnut.
Now I don’t believe in any of that stuff which is why I don’t have a lucky hand or a lucky T shirt that I wear to these events. However, for most gamblers that’s exactly what they have. So I don’t need a lucky doughnut but I need them to believe in it.

After the Break

After coming back to the table I make the announcement that I have a magic Doughnut and everytime I take a bite out of it I win the hand. The table laugh but the message was sent. My first hand after taking a bite out of the doughnut was 7 4. As hands go…this one is pretty rubbish. However I was the big blind and no one bet so I was playing the hand. Flop 456. I check the hand because I’m thinking that an 8 would give me a straight. The next card is a 7. This gives me 2 pairs but if anyone has a 3 or an 8 then I’m in trouble. I raise and a guy goes all in. I sit and think about it for a while but I felt good and if I won the hand I would not only have more chips but I would have implanted my secret weapon of the doughnut.

I call and he turns over K7 giving him top pair and I win the hand with my 2 pairs.
Next hand pair of Kings. I win and I show the hand and tell the table again of the power of the doughnut.
So what does this mean. Well now as luck would have it everytime I take a bite out of the doughnut I can kind of tell what people have. Let me explain. See if you had a hand that you thought “is this feeling lucky” well you might play it or you might not. But see if you see that I’ve taken a bite out of the doughnut and you know that not only would you have to put up with loosing all your chips but also a really annoying guy across the table boasting about the power of his doughnut it means that you would question weather to play the hand or not.

So this means that I know that when someone plays a hand against me they are playing with something good and therefore I know how to play against them.
So anyway, this continued and after 10 hours of talking nonsesnse I was at the top table and after a wee bit of luck I found myself winning with what can only be described as the Doughnut hand 88 (the 8 has a 2 holes in it)

So was the whole thing luck?

No. Poker is a game I’ve studied over the last 10 years. I’ve read about 7 books on the subject and watched 4 DVDs and regularly watch the sky poker channel and talk to other good players. Half of poker is maths and I’m about as clued up on the maths as anyone else in the room was that day. Where my skill comes from is the ability to read people and understand their patterns. I often win hands and the person who has just lost a lot of money against me will just say I played the hand all wrong. I’m not arrogant with that I just sit back and make it look like beginner luck. As the game goes on people start playing a certain way and I change my style depending on the table.

With a bit of luck this won’t be the last time I win a big tournament.
Ironically I started playing poker again so I could develop an act that would allow me to go to the poker clubs and do a demonstration…but it’s far easier and more profitable to just play poker instead 

21st Birthday Party Edinburgh

Last week I was the house party entertainer / magician for the 21st birthday party of the lovely Esmee.  I was really looking forward to this gig because I’d chatted to the client (her mum) on the phone and she was lovely but more importantly…she got my sense of humour and liked my cheeky charm.  I knew she’d been in contact with a few other magicians and I thought it was my personality she’d fallen for but no…turns out her Daughters boyfriend is called Woody.  WTF? 2 Woody’s in the same room – don’t think I’ve ever met another Woody.
So I turned up still dying with my man flu; but, my body knows when it’s time to perform there’s no room for illness.  I’ve often joked that even when I die I’ve probably still got 2 or 3 gigs left in me.  Don’t know why – but something just kicks in and say’s “It’s show time”

The Show

 

The mum, Mary, had asked me to perform one of my cheeky opening lines which I was more than happy to do and within minutes we had started the show and as Kevin Bridges would say, “Everyone was having a good time”. However, someone was feeling a bit left out and decided to come and watch the show.  Yip I had a wee cheeky heckler – a dog!! Now I can’t remember the young pups name but he was very inquisitive and liked to watch the show and even participate on the odd occasion.  I think Pudsy from Britain’s Got Talent may have inspired dogs across the nation to move into the entertainment world

After Show

I’ve never been a ‘Gig And Run’ type of guy.  Being one of the more social magicians out there I quite like to stay for a coffee after a gig and have a wee chat with some people about magic.  With Dynamo being all the rage magic is all of a sudden interesting again.  People want to know about certain tricks, how we get into magic, who inspires us or sometimes just to learn a basic trick themselves.  So yeah, that’s all good and I’m more than happy to share my experiences.

At this show I was taken very good care of and I was even offered a bowl of soup.  I thought that might be overstaying my welcome but then I heard it was lentil (my favourite) but not only lentil…it was “Mental Lentil” How could I say no?  I have to admit…it was mental – very spicy – but just what the Doctor ordered.  So after a Q&A session and my bowl of vitamins it was time to head back to Costa Del Cambuslang.  On the drive him I received a lovely txt saying how much they had enjoyed my show and today I received the photo of the dog looking at me which i thought was a lovely touch.

 

Who Puts the fun into funerals?

It’s always been an in joke amongst magicians that we’re thinking about moving into the funeral market so you can imagine my surprise when I was contacted by a lady asking me to perform at the wake of her mother’s funeral. At first I was thinking a magician friend of mine had told someone to wind me up and I was thinking about going down the lines of, So do you want me to:
• Saw the coffin in half
• Do cards from corpse
• Contact the dead
• Etc

But there was something genuine about the girls voice and although laughing she said that they wanted to celebrate her mother’s life and therefore the colour black was banned, there would be music and a party afterwards. So a price was agreed, the gig was booked and I turned up nice and early.

The Wake

So I turn up, walk past the balloons and check with the staff and sure enough I was in the right place. When the guests arrived it met the daughters and both were bubbly, cheery and delightful.
As no one knew who I was or what I did it was time to introduce myself to the first table and there was no other opening I could use other than…”Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. My Name’s Woody and I’m here to put the fun into funeral” It’s just one of those lines that you have to convince yourself that there’s an autobiography in everyone of us and in mine there’s a chapter dedicated to weird gigs and this currently sits at the top of all the unusual events where I’ve performed. Anyhow, the gig went well, people laughed, clapped and I ended up doing about 4 hours. I was even hit on by possibly the campest man in the world which we’ll just say was an experience, performed magic for a girl who knew Dynamo and another girl who is sisters of a guy from magic club – weird.

Overall experience

I’ve always said; when you have a venue and people – you have an event. When you have me at an event, you have a special event that will stay in the minds of everyone forever as – “oh that was the event with the magician”.
With the funeral market it’s basically exactly the same as a corporate or a wedding. People are dressed up, they have a few drinks and they meet people they haven’t seen in a while. Where it can and does go differently is that you can either have a sad funeral or a happy one. We all mourn differently and if by me being there kept everyone upbeat and in happy then I done my job.
Thankfully I made a difference in this girls life and I’m only sorry that I never met her mother as she sounded absolutely amazing. RIP BABS.

Scottish Conjurers Association Close-Up Magic Contest 2012

March the 14th is a day a lot of men celebrate with a steak and some private time with their misses.  Not for me though.  Oh no, it was off to the magic club to compete in the annual Scottish Conjurers’ Association Close-Up Magic Contest.

What is The Scottish Conjurers Association?

Better known as the SCA, It’s the oldest and biggest magic club in Scotland.  It’s been going for 89 years now and has had some of the Uk’s top magicians as members.  Most notably I believe Jerry Sadowitz was a member at one point.  If you’d like to join the SCA Checkout their new website at: http://www.scamagic.org/

What is the Close-Up Contest?

Well it’s a lot easier to carry a pack of cards than it is to carry the Sawing In Half Illusion…So essentially, everyone in the club performs close-up magic so the contest is of a good standard.

The Story

I’d put my name down for the contest but I didn’t know what to perform.  I always like to perform at least 1 new super trick at each contest.  And this year’s winner was The Ninja Rings

Ninja Rings

The Linking Rings / Ninja rings are my Nemesis.  It’s not the version you’ve probably seen on the TV it’s the small version popularThe Linking Rings with the elite magicians in Japan.  I’ve been working on this trick for 4 years.  It’s so complicated that after a few day’s I always throw it back in the box and a month or 2 later I pick it up and play with it until the point of ultimate frustration at which point I make the decision of where they should be placed: In a box, on Ebay or in the bin.

I’d almost given up on it when I got to see the man who made the miracle famous-  Shoot Ogawa.  Shoot is a world legend and will be for eternity as he’s simply amazing.  So to see him perform anything live is always a treat and an education. And there I was at The Blackpool Magic Convention watching him and I couldn’t believe my eyes for 3 reasons:

  1. Even though I knew how it was done I was still fooled.
  2. Shoot Ogawa, the guy who teaches the trick, took 4 attempts to do one of the moves.
  3. I was on tequila (kidding)

At first I felt cheated that he hadn’t put this in his DVD but then I felt happy because I didn’t feel like such an idiot every time I got the move wrong.

But then I realised something.  I’m not Shoot.  He’s a magician with a mentor who’s been at it 14 hours a day since he was born.  I’m a magical entertainer.  So I decided to perform the linking rings my way.  I changed the presentation from a demonstration of magic to something more entertaining with a lot of my performing style in it.  So I locked myself in the garage with the camcorder and proceeded to practice till my hands couldn’t hold the rings anymore.  After 3 days I was happy with it and had scripted the routine and had it on video.  Finally finished practicing but was thinking about the contest and didn’t get to bed till 7am

Day Of The Contest

8am: The phone rings…. It’s my business mentor Stephen,

“Just thought I’d give you a call so you’d get up and start practicing”

At this time in the morning I couldn’t make a cup of tea never mind make magic happen.  But, by 8:40 I was up and having my first practice session of the day.  It was terrible.  I couldn’t perform the opening move.  Tried it 50 times and only hit it 2 or 3 times.  Decided I was too tired so went back to bed.

11am Practice session: I’m even worse! 200 attempts and I’m not even close.

1pm: I’m in a bad mood now so retire to my happy place Facebook.  I moan about how crap I am at it and take some words of wisdom from some people on board and try again.

3pm: With a little more self belief I’m hitting it a little more often but I’m considering taking it out of the act as although it’s a really beautiful opener, it isn’t required; But, then I saw this poster of Richard Branson on my friend Jacquie’s wall.

  • Calculate the risks and take them
  • Believe them
  • Enjoy the moment.

I was starting to believe that this poster was sent to find me and I remembered what Stephen Hendry ,the Snooker player, has always said.  He’d rather lose walking away from the table knowing he’d went for it rather than playing it safe.

With that in mind it was off to practice one last time, I broke the move down and BOOM.  For the first time in 24 hours I got it 5 times in a row.  I wasn’t getting it every time but about 60% which I could live with.

Magic Contest time

As it’s a contest and magicians are pretty picky I decided to make a new set of ropes so they are super clean, polish the shoes, press the suit and it’s off to the contest. They’re not magic ropes, just really nice silky rope but you need to glue the ends so the ends don’t fray.  After turning the house upside down looking for glue, it was off to the shops only to discover nobody was selling any.  So after a few detours it was off to the club.  I got there and discovered I was on 4th which gave me just enough time to glue the ropes and have a last practice with the rings. Managed to hit the move I’d been struggling with 2 times in a row so all happy J

Please welcome to the stage – Woody

I’ll be honest, I was sh***ing it.  The 3 acts on before me had all done really well and no one had made a mistake.  I on the other hand hadn’t done my act without mistakes J

Woody is my magic character,  this might sound arrogant but…I was born to perform magic, when I’m in character I feel like I’m one with the universe.  The rings were brought out and the opening move…BOOM! First time I hit it.  Was very happy.  Most the jokes went well and then came to the second danger bit.  The bit Shoot Ogawa, the legend of the rings got wrong 4 times.  First attempt I missed it.  The way I’ve set it up I can actually disguise that and make it out as if I’ve missed it on purpose the first 2 times.  Second attempt: I hit it! Pfew.  All happy. Continued with the ropes and some audience interaction and all went well.  Finished with a big applause

In the second half 2 new club members got up and both did really well.  I have to admit, I thought one of them was the favourite for the trophy, then the next act came on and did even better.  The general feeling in the room was, “I wouldn’t like to be a judge right now” as there really was very little between the top 5.  When this happens, small details like, who had the shiniest shoes comes into play.  I was happy I’d used clean ropes J.  My thinking was, that they had performed without any mistakes but although I’d made 3 minor mistakes I had more entertainment in my routines and a stronger performing character…plus unbeknown to the others…I’d been praying for the last 5 minutes.  So I also had God on my side.

The Results.

The guy who I thought would win came 3rd so took a bit of the pressure off.

The Spanish guy’s name was announced next.  As he was my main competitor I was not more confident but by no means would I have been betting myself for the win.  Out came my name as first place.

I walked up and was tempted to hug the trophy but decided against it.  Walked off and gave the judges a big hug which looking back on it…probably wasn’t my best idea as people will no doubt think it was a fix and walking off someone said, why don’t you kiss them, so I saw a guy on the front row and decided to plant one on his cheek which got a big laugh.

Took the trophy home and went to my happy place – Facebook.  At the time of writing this my update got 89 likes – which I believe is a record for me.

Final thoughts.

This is the 4th time I’ve won this contest and they all meant different things.  The first was special because it was the first time I’d won it.  The second was special because so few people defend their title.  The 3rd was special because no one had ever won it 3 years in a row.

However, this one is probably the most special.  I hadn’t prepared or performed very well at the last 2 contests and deep down I was wondering if I’d maybe lost something.  Also, the standard at the club has really improved and this year’s contest was the toughest by far.

Also I’m now only the second person to ever win the cup 4 times.  Not bad when you consider the clubs being going for 89 years.   The only other person who has done this was the guy to hand me the trophy, who’s not only a great magician he’s a friend of mine as well.  So that makes it all the more special.

 

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)

 

 

Magician At The Stand Glasgow

I Performed as the comedy magician at The Glasgow Stand for the Fun Junkies night, got to hang out with Kevin Bridges, I farted all the acts had to leave the changing room and on the way home something really funny happened with the police and real Fun Junkies.

The Stand Comedy Club Glasgow

When you say you’re a magician people ask, “Are you in the Magic Circle” When you say you’re a comedian people ask, “Have you gigged at The Stand”.  It’s widely regarded as the best comedy Club in the UK.  As all the TV comedians have played there Ron Burgundy would say, “It’s kind of a big deal”

The last ever Fun Junkies – The Best of

Fun Junkies is a comedy variety night and has an excellent reputation –  It’s organised by a Stand regular: Chris Forbes.  The bill was hosted by Des Clarke,TV/radio Comedian, who was excellent as always

Stu and Garry – Top Improv group in Scotland – think Who’s Line Is It Anyway but in Glasgow.

James Kirk So You Think You’re Funny Winner 2010 (national contest Peter Kay won) James has also appeared on TV in Gary Tank Commander

Jay the guitar funny man and a mime who’s name I can’t remember, I was going to ask him but as he’s a mime I was worried he might not tell me.

Kevin Bridges

As I entered The Stand I saw Kevin Bridges, one of the most famous comedians in the UK and one of my favourites.  I didn’t know what to do/say so I just gave a wee comedy bow and then to my surprise Kevin Bridges Said, “Hi Woody”

Hi Woody?? Now I don’t get star struck but I nearly had to sit down so I could fall off my chair.

He wasn’t on the bill that night but pops into The Stand from time to time to hang out with the acts.  So I actually got to hang out with Kevin Bridges and Des Clarke backstage – if It wasn’t a Wednesday night I’d have thought I’d have made it big time.  So what can I say, Kevin’s a funny fu**er off stage as well and as a total open book  He was telling embarrassing stories just like the rest of us perhaps even more so.  I always thought he’d be a normal Glasgow guy and happy to say I wasn’t disappointed.  I would have asked for a photo but as he was chilling out I thought it wasn’t the done thing.

Do I still get nervous performing magic?

The answer is very rarely.  However, being in a room with the best in the business that’ve all been on TV not to mention performing in front of a girl I used to have a thing for (she knocked me back) gave me a lovely adrenaline rush some people would call nerves.  I’ve missed that feeling but I haven’t missed the smell.  Yes in a dressing room the size of a single bedroom I let out a quarter fart but it was enough to empty the room.  Thankfully it was time for me to go on stage.  And after the 2147th check that all my props were in the correct place it was time to hit the stage.

So I done the show and all went well.  I’ll never be at my best at The Stand as you can’t see the audience because of the bright lights.  So it’s difficult to gauge what’s working  but I still done pretty well and I got lots of positive feedback after the show including:

“I really enjoyed your act, funny and great magic” Kevin Bridges

“Great reaction from the audience” Des Clarke

All the acts done excellent on the night and I can it was an honour to be asked to perform on the same bill as these guys.  Shame it’s over but there’s still plenty of amazing nights to be had at The Stand and who know’s maybe I’ll even headline in there as there comedy magician.

 

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