This is one of the busiest times of the year for magicians. Simply because there are so many events happening around the country. Weddings, cocktail parties, corporate events and anniversary parties are just a few to mention. The simple fact is that more events are organised when the evenings are longer and the weather is nicer. Who wants to have a celebration in November and January, when Christmas overshadows it slightly and you are force put to book an indoor venue, regardless of the weather?
I am fortune enough to keep very busy and this season has been the busiest yet. I absolutely love it too! The busier I am the better I will become as a performer.
Part of striving to become a better magician is adding new material to my act, which is something I am trying to do. This surprisingly isn’t easy. At every event I want to the best job I possibly can and this is clearly not the time to test out new material and iron out the glitches.
As I am heavily involved in the Magic Circle, I network with magicians every week. Most of my best friends are also magicians and we do meet up to share ideas, routines and work on new material. I can then put this into practice on other friends and family before spreading the net wider at unpaid events and in bars/restaurants etc. The worst thing that I can do is perform 2nd rate, underworked material at a professional event. It does me no favours whatsoever and it will certainly not impress the booker. Keeping the standards as high as possible will only lead to more work and keep me even busier in the future.
Every event I go to, I try my very best to embrace and gauge the atmosphere appropriately. Clearly a formal diamond wedding anniversary celebration will have a different ambience than that of an 18th birthday party. Empathising with the group of guests I perform to and trying to understand how I would feel if I were interrupted in a conversation, is something I am always aware of. I pride myself on having a polite but confident approach. Certainly, when performing at academic conferences, I interrupt conversations that are deep and meaningful and I am mindful of this. I also try my best to understand how the orangiser of the event must be feeling. Apprehensive, with lots of things to remember and organise.
Weddings are no exception and are among the best events to perform at. However, it wasn’t until I actually got married myself that I could truly understand how people feel on their wedding day.
Typically for a wedding, I recommend some magic during any drinks reception, followed by some table magic in between the courses of the wedding breakfast. 9 time out of 10 I will perform for the head table after the main course and in the lead up to the speeches. The logic is that they are more relaxed and settled by the time I get to their table. However, on my own wedding day the 3 people making speeches (myself included) were nervous. Would I have liked to have seen a magician at this point when I am concerned about remembering certain anecdotes and thank you’s for the day? Probably not.
I have learnt a lot from the experience of organising my own wedding day and I genuinely feel I understand the day and industry better than before. I guess it’s all part of the experience as I strive to improve my performance and ability as a magician.
When is the “Wedding Season”? I’m lucky enough to perform at weddings all year round and it seems to me that there is a 12 month window for the so called Wedding Season.
Having said that, I have performed at 5 weddings in the past 2 weeks and there is no doubt that the summer months are the most popular.
Weddings are among the best events to do, in my opinion. The whole feel of the day is a celebration and that makes the Magic all that more successful. (A stark contrast from entertaining some corporate guests, who have been in meetings and seminars all day).
Typically for most weddings, I’ll perform at the drinks reception and then follow this with some table magic, in between the courses of the wedding breakfast.
This tends to work well as it’s an icebreaker to begin with and allows me to meet most guests prior to approaching the tables. (A fair criticism of wearing a tie and a suit to perform in is that I could be confused for an Estate Agent, or double glazing salesman?!). Breaking the ice and creating a bit of a buzz during the drinks reception, immediately disarms any scepticism when I approach tables later.
I’m getting married next year and the process of organising my wedding has given me a renewed empathy and understanding for each wedding I attend. It’s a real honour to be invited to entertain the guests and make an impact on a day that will be so memorable.
When is the wedding season? Who cares, I love the wedding season!