I’ve just won my first every magic award! The famed Blackpool Impromptu Magic Trophy 2009! Nine applicants had less that half an hour to learn a magic trick before performing to a panel of expert judges. The judges then grade the participants on style, skill, entertainment and magic ability. My amazing presentation of perhaps the worst trick ever devised managed to convince the judges I was the man for the award!
The Annual magician’s conference (yes they do happen and they are very similar to physics conventions) in Blackpool had one superstar this year in the shape of David Blaine. When he wasn’t being Daniel Garcia’s straight man he was busy being flocked by inconsiderate magicians after a snap with the man himself. Fellow magician rob James posted this photo recently on his facebook http://www.facebook.com/inbox/#/photo.php?pid=1991330&id=562231875. Brilliant!
Once again I bought loads of useless props that will become less magical as time comes on, but was a great chance to catch up with all the other magic boys, Dan Alexander, Rob James, Alan Hudson, Magic Pete, Sav (owes me a pint), Rodney Piper, Noel Qualter, Kerry Scorah, Matt J Dowden and everyone else.
March and April 2009
This month I got involved with the Edinburgh International Science festival. www.sciencefestival.co.uk. What with me being an exphysicist, it was only a matter of time before I realised the scope for combining the two disciplines and coming up with a new concept. But first I gotta learn how to deal with kids, lots of kids, – albeit in a ‘controlled’ environment (the classroom).
I have travelled all over the UK teaching kids how to use robots in the class room and it has been an amazing experience. I believe that you can make a show, entertaining and funny for kids but still highly educational. And this show has really epitomised all my own views. Each part of the script, be it funny or entertaining, had a point – and that was to teach the kids something. I’m very proud of the script we came up with, and I look forward to working further with the festival in different exploits.
Every 10 years our branch of the McMahon Family has a reunion in our spiritual home of Queensferry. This year happened to be our most recent one and I was tasked with supplying entertainment for the evening. Firstly, it was a great big honour to be given such a responsibility, and I went about it with as much energy as I would give one of my normal magic gigs (a lot).
When the big day came, I managed to get uncle Martin’s DVD of the last 2 reunions (1988 and 1999) projected onto the big screen in the venue – a great start to the night. After we ate I compered the McMahon Family talent show. We had Scottish Country Dancing, Tap Dancing, Singing, Speeches from each of the 7 families, and a drink to those no longer with us, and of course Magic. We finished with a big knees up, with my sister leading the dancing for a Ceilidh! Great night, great memories. I wonder when we’ll get 100 McMahons in a room again?
Fringe month! Everything stops. I have nearly 20 magic shows to see and I’m reviewing every single one of them online at one4reviews. I love edinbrgh in August. So much to do and see. Had a chance to meet up with friends Phillip Escoffe, Alan Hudson, Rob James, Colin McLeod, Chris Cox as well as meeting the very talented John Van Der Put for the first time. John has the most amazing take on how magic should be performed. His phrase “I love magic, but I hate magic” has really struck a chord with me. John is developing a cross over between theatre and magic which I love. Best visit his site Stand Not Amazed. A great line of thinking that has already influence how I think about and perform my stage magic.
Svetlana Shevchenko has roped me into helping with production of the play “Bloody Mary”. I can already see myself painting sets and sticking things to walls. I love the Theatre. The show was a great success and had good audiences each night. I look forward to working with Svetlana in the future!
OK – big news, myself and friend Colin McLeod have teamed up to create a new Halloween show. The show will be previewing in the UK’s most haunted city, Edinburgh. What with colin being a contempory mind reader and me being more of a sleight of hand artist, the combination will be interesting. I hope to try out some more theatrical interpretations of various spooky scenes. Some of my stuff is a bit out there, but I’m now standing my my original premise of using characters to convey the magic. After my frige show in 2006 people enjoyed seeing me, more than they did the characters. But now I think I have got it. Each character has a bit of myself in it. This means that the character should be more likeable to the general public and therefore more successful an act. We’ll see…
Halloween show now finished. You can catch the details of the show here: Son of a Witch