What is my pre-show setup?

Every show is different, therefore, every setup is different. I could turn up to casual close-up event and simply be ready to go from the time I arrive. I'll have a pack of cards in my pocket and a few other bits and bobs in my jacket, but generally I'll be ready to go. All I really need to do on such an occasion is to make sure I know where I'm parking my car and to let you (the booker) know I've arrived. Then, all you need to do is point in the direction of the audience. Simples.

But what about the more formal occasions? Well, obviously a wedding would be a good example. I, of course, dress formally for a wedding unless it's themed in some way. That being said, I probably won't arrive wearing my smart suit - don't want to crease it in the car - so, it's important that I'm able to meet someone on arrival who can inform the bride and/or groom that I've arrived and who can direct me to a room where I can quickly change.

I'm generally a very prompt person (I hate being late for things, it's an autistic trait of mine), so I always plan to arrive at any event early, but this applies especially to weddings.

For a wedding, it's likely that I'll be booked for a good few hours, so there may be a couple of small things I require in order to help my performance run smoothly. First thing is a simple glass of water - it's thirsty work you know! Second thing is what I call 'reset time'. Reset time is basically a five or ten minute break where I made need to briefly disappear from view so I can 'reset' a couple of tricks I have performed - envelopes that get torn open, cards that get signed, props placed into different pockets - that sort of thing. But, as long as I have somewhere to go to reset everything, this isn't a problem.

In my experience, that's pretty much it as far as close-up performances go. Not much I require in most situations -

  • Parking spot

  • Awareness of my arrival

  • Glass of water (very important!)

  • Changing room

  • Reset time

Stage magic, on the other hand, does require a bit more of a setup. Don't fret, the setup for stage or parlour magic requires very little on your part. Some requirements I've mentioned will sometimes apply, but there are other things to consider.

First and foremost, where will the performance take place. This is obviously an easy question to answer if it's a stage show - just point me to the stage - but if it's a parlour show then it's important I know where I'll be performing. For instance, if you've booked a function room then there will need to be a space on the main floor for me to perform so that everyone can watch - so, maybe up front or keep a corner free of tables, etc.

Once the stage or space has been established, it's then up to me to set things up ready for the show. This does not, however, require hours of prep time like in the West End. Everything I need for my show packs up neatly into a single flight case and I can usually set everything up within 30 minutes. I generally don't require any music or special lighting, but I may need to use a microphone if it's a particularly large audience - this can be discussed during the booking process.

If you've booked me for a stage or parlour show, the main thing you really need to be aware of is the space. Just let me know in good time where the space will be and how big it is and I'll be able to fit my show accordingly. Knowing the size of the audience is also important as I'd rather not arrive to find I shouldn't have left my microphone at home!

If I find myself with some spare time during the event - say, if I arrive early and I have ten minutes before I'm due to start performing - then you may see me talking to my phone camera or maybe taking a few snaps of the venue. As a magician, it's important that I try and keep my website and social media up-to-date. That's why the photos and videos you provide me can be a real help to my business.

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