Playing outside of the tricks

I’ve always found it hard to explain my approach to magic to people who are prepared to throw some cash at me to do tricks for their nearest and dearest.

‘It’s not about the tricks’, I always say.

Truth is, it’s never been about the tricks for me. If you’re looking for a slick magician to perform flashy, visual, eye-popping magic at your guests at a rate that would make a machine gun blush, I’m not the magician for you.

I often use the word “banter” to describe what I do, but that makes it sound unprofessional, like I just showed up, randomly found a pack of cards in the bar and thought I’d ‘have a go at some tricks’.

For me, magic has always been about creating unique moments with your guests. This sounds very arty-farty, but I really don’t know how else to describe it.

‘I enjoy playing with guests’ sounds even worse, possibly criminal.

The point is that it’s the stuff that happens outside of the tricks that really makes me come alive. It’s also the stuff that happens outside of the tricks that your guests will remember…possibly forever (if you’re having a free bar, change the word “forever” to “twenty minutes”).

Like the moment your well-to-do Aunt laughs so hard that she snorts – really loudly – and the whole table spends the next ten minutes trying to make her do it again (if she does, and they always do, I always get someone else to keep a ‘snort count’).

Or this excerpt from a testimonial I got after a gig I did at a sheltered housing scheme:

“you obviously brought out the devil in some people. You have a great personality….making grannies wanting to pole dance and several apartment keys being waved under your nose!

It’s these moments – when I’m not even doing a trick – that make for great memories.

They’re spontaneous, fun, interactive, unique and memorable – all of the things your special day should be.

It’s genuinely funny, special and memorable because it could ONLY have happened with US…only HERE…at THIS specific moment.

A different time, a different place and a different group and it wouldn’t be the same.

Unique, but not the same.

Anyway, yesterday – finally – I found a better way to communicate this idea and, like most of the good things in my life, I have my wife to thank. She pointed me in the direction of an old game show clip of Michael Barrymore on Strike It Rich.

Here’s the clip:

It’s taken from a game show, but it’s not the game show that makes it funny. It could be any game show. There are prizes on offer, but it’s not the prizes that make it memorable. Questions will be asked, but no one will remember them. The video went viral, not because of the quiz show, but because of what happened outside of it.

This is just one example. If you search for funny moments on quiz shows, you’ll find thousands of unique interactions that people have felt worthy of uploading for others to share. I’m willing to bet that none of these moments will be about “the show”.

It’s the same for your event too. You don’t have to book a TV game show host to keep your guests happy, but don’t book a magician just because of the tricks, book one because of what they do outside of the tricks.

Are you having a party soon and looking for someone to “play” with your guests and get them laughing? Why not fill in the form below and tell me all about your event? I’ll see if I can help make it an awesome night for you all!