Why 'Stage, Parlour & Close-Up Magician?'

When I began performing professionally - July 2017 if my memory serves - I obviously had to try and come up with some sort of professional name to go by. I personally don't believe in giving oneself a silly stage name, of which there are several examples I could give here, but I shan't because I'm nice :) , but I also didn't really want to just stick to my full name of Jonathan Blythe.

I used to go by Jon (still do sometimes), but that always causes confusion because people never know whether to include the 'h' or not. I'm not a big fan of the name 'Johnny', with respect to those with the name of course.

For a time, I did consider either simply adding the 'h' to Jon to become 'John Blythe' or just dropping the name altogether and go by 'J' or 'Jay'. However, I remembered a name that my cousins used to call me when we were kids, which I always kind of liked. Jono.

So, with 'Jono Blythe' chosen, I then had to come up with a catchy line to inform people of what it is that I do. Well, when I first started out, I focused on close-up magic. I was always tinkering with playing cards and learning impromptu tricks from books, etc. So, I initially went by 'Jono Blythe, Close-Up Magician'.

I still do love and perform close-up magic, of course, but in the last few years (particularly in my spare time during Covid) I have come to realise that stage magic is something I also enjoy, maybe not 'more' than close-up magic, but I certainly enjoy it in a different way. In my experience, it gets more of the audience involved and adds more of a buzz to proceedings.

Stage magic is also highly engaging and incredibly visual. It draws the whole audience in, as opposed to individual smaller groups at a time, and gets everybody talking about this trick or that trick.

So, because I wanted my potential bookers to be aware of the benefits of adding a bit of stage magic to their events, I turned 'Jono Blythe, Close-Up Magician' into...

'Jono Blythe, Stage, Parlour & Close-Up Magician.

'Jono, what's Parlour magic?'

Parlour magic is basically a close-up stage show, or stage magic that can be performed without an actual stage - like at the end of a very large banquet table, for instance, where everyone sat around it can watch. Parlour magic is actually more common than one might think, I've performed a parlour show many times, each time a great success for me and the audience.

How do I work out which kind of performance is best suited for your event?

When you book me, I always want to make sure that I am ready for pretty much any situation and any kind of event. When you and I discuss your event, I'll ask questions like how big the audience will be and maybe the average age range. Letting me know the name and address of the venue you've hired can also help, because then I can look it up and see the space for myself. Also, you can maybe let me know the specific set up for your event - the number of tables, how many to a table and that sort of thing.

Say, for example, you tell me you are having a work party. I ask you the number of people attending and you say about 30. I ask you where this will be and you say in a function room of a hotel. I ask you the set up and you say there will be two large banquet tables with 15 people at each. With this information, I can then suggest that maybe a parlour show would be suitable.

I only make professional suggestions, of course. You, as the booker, always have the final decision on the kind of magic you would like for your event. Just take into account, however, that stage, parlour AND close-up magic can provide a fun and fantastic event for everyone.

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