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Children's Entertainer | Magician | Andy's Magic

"The Magician, The Magic Shows and The Entertainment"

22 July 2011

Andy's Gigs: 17th - 22nd July

Rory and Lois' Party

Rory and Lois' joint party was held at the Lickhill Memorial Hall in Stourport. My mission was entertain a 25 strong group of 4 year-olds and keep them happy for an hour. I think I succeeded.

Starting with Name that TV theme tune, the kids loved guessing the tunes and being first to shout out the correct answers and win a prize. Then straight into the magic show, loads of fun and magic and both Rory and Lois became my Helpers, and they were both great.

The whole hour was rounded off with all the kids getting a balloon animal of their choice. It was lovely to meet everyone including their mums, and may I wish a big Happy Birthday to Rory and Lois.



Theo, Jack, Nell and Frayer's Party

It wasn't just one birthday that was being celebrated at the Bentley Heath Community Centre, today, or even two; it was four. Yes, a joint birthday party for four, five year olds -Theo, Jack, Nell and Frayer (see photo's). They, and all their friends, were very quick to join in, dancing in the bubbles and trying hard to win prizes.

All four youngsters helped me in the magic show. Frayer helped me magically join four coloured handkerchiefs together. Theo was transformed into a pirate with a balloon sword, parrot and hat, while Jack waved the wand and made the black and White pictures in my colouring book, turn into nice, bright and colourful ones. And last but, certainly not least, was Nell who said the magic words and produced a whole load of sweets for everyone to share.

Everyone went home with a balloon animal and party bag; a great way to end any party. Happy Birthday to Theo, Jack, Nell and Frayer.



St Oswald's School Funday

I really enjoyed being part of the St Oswald's School fun day. At 10.00am, ninety odd children, accompanied by their parents, all entered the school hall where I was ready and waiting. I started with the popular Name that TV Theme tune, and these kids were right on the ball. Within seconds of starting to play a tune, someone would get the answer - very quick indeed this bunch.

With lots of prizes won, it was on with the magic show and I think all the kids would have gladly volunteered to help me in the show, but unfortunately the show just was not long enough for that. Those that did help where fantastic, and very funny too.

The audience, and I include the adults here, were very responsive and joined in with everything. An hour of magic, fun and laughter flew by and it was lovely to get so many "Thank you's" from the children as they filed pasted me, on their way to their next, fun-day, activity. I look forward to returning to St Oswalds soon.



The Calsot Road Playgroup leavers Party

It's always nice to get rebooking's, and it was a pleasure to return to the Calsott Road Playgroup in Great Barr. Though young, the 22 children that attended were all ready to party. They loved the dancing in the bubbles and loads of them won prizes during the games. A great selection of party food was available during the break including good-old jelly and ice-cream. The party was rounded off with the magic show, featuring Max the Magic Dog and balloon animal for all. Great fun and thanks to the Staff for refreshments provided. :)




     KinderCare Day Nursery Leavers Party

It was my first visit to the Kindercare Day Nursery, in Stetchford, Birmingham and it was great to see so many lovely, smiling faces. I just new from the outset that I was in for good session, and I was right.

Forty plus children can be a hand full at the best of times but there was no problem here. Well organised and ready to join in, these kids loved very minute of the party. An hour of entertainment, kicked off a game and a chance prizes. This was followed by the magic show. The kids laughed Long and loud as I got hit on the head with the wand by the little girl who was helping me. max the Magic Dog got more laughs and applause as he performed his trick. It was great session and as I packed away the kids were being presented with certificates and they all looked very proud. I wish them all luck with their  move to the big school.



The Whizz Kids Community Nursery Leavers Party
Whizz Kids is charity based, Nursery and great job the staff do, giving the kids a safe and happy environment to be in.The leavers party went superbly well. I was impressed with how well everything was organised and thank the staff for all their help.

The Two Hour Package was ideal for this group. They absolutely loved jumping around in the bubbles and they went crazy during the magic show, laughing and clapping all the way. Loads of fun was had, I'm sure everyone, Including the staff, enjoyed it. I look forward to seeing you all again at Christmas.



15 July 2011

Who to book: Full-timer or Side-liner?

As a full-time entertainer, one question I get asked a lot is:  "Would I be better off booking a full-time entertainer rather than one that does as a side-line?"
I don't think it matters. What I think you should be looking for is someone who is professional in their approach to his or her business and this should in turn lead you to a good and competent performer.
So, to get the best entertainer possible for your party follow these guide-lines:
  • Firstly, get a recommendation from a friend or relative; if they've seen a good, reliable and professional entertainer and enjoyed his show, the likelihood is, you will too.
  • Nowadays, most good entertainers will have their own website and this should give you plenty of information, not just about what services they offer, but about previous and satisfied customers; check their guestbook for customer feedback and comments.
  • Those who are professional, and understand the business, will try and offer you the sort of entertainment you require, tailored for the age of the children they will be entertaining, and they should also be able to offer advise on varying parts of your party planning.
  • They should be fully insured (public liability insurance), CRB Checked and have all their electrical equipment P.A.T Tested — it's not in your interest to book an entertainer without these. And don't take their word for it, ask to see the certificates. If any or all of these aren't forth-coming think carefully before you book.
  • You should also expect to get some sort of contract (where practical) confirming the entertainment you'll be receiving; this way you will both be clear on what was agreed.
  • If you are paying a deposit make sure you get a receipt.
  • Ask if they're a member of any professional organisations like: Equity, The Magic Circle or any local magic society; this will show an on-going commitment to their careers.
  • Children can be a tough audience, as you will know if your a parent. Working with children requires patience, understanding, flexibility, and versatility. Performing for kids is no different, but not all entertainers understand this. Just because they perform magic it doesn't mean you're automatically guaranteed a great show.
  • What you really need is someone who will entertain them, make them laugh, amaze them and hold their attention from start to finish; a skilled entertainer will be able to do this.
  • The more you pay doesn't necessarily guarantee a better quality of entertainer, but you should expect to pay more for one who has got all the correct checks, insurances and who is paying tax on his earnings.
  • If you're unhappy with any aspect of their performance, don't be afraid to complain; a professional entertainer will do his utmost to put things right and should welcome constructive criticism. But remember,  you're booking an entertainer and not a baby-sitter and, as such, you should always be aware, and ready to deal with, any distressed or disruptive children.
If you follow these guide-lines then you should be able to book someone who is professional and who will supply a good service. I believe a professional entertainer will always make your party a success — simply because they love what they do.

4 July 2011

Penn and Teller: Fool Us

Back in May I was lucky enough to get hold of a couple of tickets for the live recording of the new smash hit ITV series Penn and Teller: Fool Us - and what great day it was. Filming, at the Fountain Studio's in Wembley, took nearly four-hours, for what evntually becomes a one-hour TV show. But it certainly didn't feel like fours hours, the time flew by, with a great warm up comedian (can't remember his name, unfortunately) and lots of audiance interaction from Host, Jonathan Ross and Penn and Teller.

The show see's master magicians and experts in the art of deception, Penn and Teller, throwing down the gauntlet and challenging magicians from all over the country to appear on the show and perform their most mystifying magic in an attempt to fool them.


The pilot episode saw Ben Earl and John Archer succeed, as they managed to fool Penn and Teller. The reward to anyone who accomplishes this feat is a five star trip to Las Vegas where they will perform on Penn and Teller's world famous magic show at the Rio Hotel and Casino. Ben and John have already been over to the city that never sleeps and it all went very well for them; especially for John Archer who managed to get a standing ovation. So congratulations to Ben and John, and also to Graham Jolly and Mathieu Bich who in this new series have also managed to fool Penn and Teller. And you can catch up with how all the winners did in Vegas. on the Christmas Special in December.


You couldn't have a show like this without a big name host and Jonathan Ross fits the bill perfectly here. Ross, introduces the acts, links each part of the show and even becomes magicians assistant, where required, and all done in Wossy's own inevitable way. All in all, it's a great show and, in my humble opinion, it's the best magic show to hit our tv screens in many a year. Not since The Paul Daniel's Magic Show or the Best of Magic have we seen such a high profile magic show. But not all are agreeing with my point of view...


Some, mainly magicians, are upset by the exposure aspect of the show. Penn and Teller do, indeed, explain how the tricks are done, but for me, I don't feel there is enough detail for the lay audience to fully understand what is being said. In fact they do try and keep the explanation to a minimum. It's not exactly a cut-throat exposure show like the Masked Magician did, so I for one won't be worrying about that side of it. I've also heard magicians saying that this show is in danger of turning magic into a puzzle. Instead of watching the show and being entertained, the audience may become too tied up with figuring out how the trick was done and won't be able to concentrate fully on the actual act itself. Again, I disagree! To me magic is a puzzle, the audience are always trying to catch the magician out. It's up to those magicians to make sure they aren't caught out; If their acts are entertaining enough the audience will soon forget about solving the puzzle. Thankfully, the vast majority of people seem to be enjoying the chance to see the great magic show, which encompasses a wide range of performing styles and varieties of magic.

In the main, most of these acts will not fool Penn and Teller, but they will certainly have a chance to impress the tv audiences, raise their own profiles and further their own careers. Take for instance, Piff the Magic Dragon. His dead pan, comedy magic act was so totally different and original that he stole last Saturdays show; it's seems everyone loved him. So congratulation to Piff - a star in the making.


The culmination of each show, see's Penn and Teller perform their own brand of magic and they also get their chance to not only fool us, but prove exactly why they are at the top of their game. it's an hour of great magical entertainment, so don't forget to tune in next week and every week for Penn and Teller: Fool us.


 P.s. If you'd like to follow Penn and Teller:Fool Us on Facebook or Twitter you can do that as follows:




Tweeter@FoolUsTV


And


On Facebook search FoolUs, send a friend request and it will be accepted.