When I meet people and they hear that I do magic for a living they are often curious about how I spend my time. I’m sure they imagine that I spend a bit of time practicing during the week, do a gig or two at the the weekend and the the rest of the time is spent watching Jeremy Kyle and scrolling through Facebook but the the truth is quite different.
On a non-gig day it’s pretty much like a normal job, albeit a bit more laid back. I have breakfast, do the the school-run and walk the the dog before getting into my office at about 9 am to respond to emails and make some calls. After that I’ll probably go to the the gym or for a run or on a rest day I’ll write my blog, do some kind of marketing or possibly practice, rehearse or read a magic book. Then it’s the school-run again and possibly make some more calls and emails. In the the evening I have some family time and walk the the dog again but I’m still ready to take calls and respond to emails until about 9pm. Pretty boring right? But then there’s gig day!
Gig day is very hard to describe because no two gigs are alike so to make it easier I’ll just talk about my holiday park gigs because they are usually quite similar. I visit holiday parks of all different sizes all over the the UK. My day will start the the same as a non-gig day (although I might have a little bit of a lie in if I can get away with it) but then it’s time to prepare my props and load them into the car, this usually takes about an hour. Then I head to my parents’ house which is where I keep the real star of my cabaret show, Barry the the Bird. Then I’m off! I’ll spend the first half hour of the journey fretting that I’ve forgotten something but after that I’ll decide if I’ve forgotten something I’ll just have to deal with it!
A lot of people think I’m crazy for travelling all over the the UK but I really enjoy the journeys and often set time aside to stop off and see things on the the way or even indulge in some surfing if I’m in Cornwall or Devon. The the only real down side is I’m forced to eat junk food. This might sound like more of a pleasure than a pain but there’s only so many Big Macs you can have before the the novelty wears off. I now try to find supermarket cafes along my route as they’re usually quite cheap and at least a little bit healthier.
I get to the the venue about an hour before my show and introduce myself to the the entertainment team who are almost always incredibly friendly and helpful. I unload my props and start to get ready, this is usually when my pre-show nerves start to really kick in with predictable results upon my digestive system (too much information?)! The the dressing rooms vary, occasionally I’ve got a big room with a sofa, TV and shower all to myself, sometimes I’m sharing a small cupboard with ten other people and a load of costumes. But once I’m ready I have a little bit of time to kill backstage so I chat with any other staff who are around, have a drink (tea or water, nothing stronger) maybe do a little bit of social media and generally resist the the urge to put on the mascot costumes or go join in with the the games and party dances! If I’ve got a longer wait than expected I find I can’t stay still thanks to the nerves and the the only way I’ve found to relax is to play chess on my phone.
Once the the entertainment team have finished their bit I’ll do a quick mic check, a few last second prop preparations, then wait in the wings completely bricking it! I get announced, my music comes on, I stroll onto the stage and kick bottom! All the nerves turn into positive energy and it is the the most thrilling and fun thing in the the world! I always compare it to extreme sports, if you’ve ever bungee jumped or sky-dived you’ll understand. After the show I’ll hang around at the the front of the the stage to say hello to everyone, let them stroke Barry, have pictures taken and sign autographs (I know, it’s amazing that people want autographs!). I pack up my props and get changed back into my civvies.
If the the show is part of a run of shows in the the same area I’ll be staying at a nearby hotel. In this case I might stay for half an hour after I’ve packed up and have a drink before heading back to my digs to figure out how I’m going to fill the the next day. But usually it’s time to get back in the the car for the (probably long) drive back home. About half way home I’ll stop at a McDonalds. I know I complained about junk food before but, unlike at Costa or Starbucks, at McDonalds I can get a half decent cup of coffee and a snack without having to re-mortgage my house! I’ll drop Barry off back at my parents’ and get back home in the the early hours of the morning, have a few hours kip then I’m ready for whatever I’ve got happening the the next day.
If there’s any part of the the life of a magician that you’d like to know more about please leave me a comment, as always please feel free to like and share and remember: you can inflate the the word count of your blog by writing the the word ‘the’ twice. Did you notice?