One of the things I love most about my job is getting to visit new places each week. The travel itself isn't such a joy, particularly the trip I have to take around the M25 most days but when I arrive in a new place it's always fun to explore. I always like to arrive at a venue a few hours before performing to give myself time to set up. This is usually far too early so gives me time to have a look around the area. Last week I found myself driving through a very rural part of Surrey, with the occasional traditional English village. Driving through one, I have no idea what it was called, I notices an antique/junk shop. Many years ago I worked as an antique restorer and will always stop at an antique shop when I see one. My great passion is for antique books, my house is full of them, with creaking shelves in every room. I've got to the point where I have to sneak books into the house as I've been forbidden from buying more!

The shop itself was a veritable treasure chest of junk, they had one small shelf of books and sitting amongst them I found a first edition of The Magician, The Witch and The law by Peter Edwards for a mere 50p! I've been after a copy of this for a while. A few years ago I performed for a law society who asked me to give a brief speech as part of the show detailing how the law effects performing as a magician. This book came to my attention whilst researching that performance but I never managed to get hold of a copy

The book looks at how magic in the middle ages was associated with heresy and sorcery and how the magician and the witch could be punished for such. It's fair to say the book is fairly dry in style as it is written from a scholarly point of view and therefore only for those truly interested in the subject of the occult in the middle ages. Ultimately what I take from it is if I had been performing at this period I almost certainly would have been burnt at the stake! With that in mind, how can I resist buying more books when on my travels around this world, if I was to ever be sent back in time I've learnt it's very important not to tell people I can read minds, this book may have saved my life!

Edward Crawford is a full time professional magician and mind reader (known as a mentalist). In this particular case he was performing in Surrey so if you're after a magician in the Surrey area feel free to go to the Surrey Magician page. For everyone else, click the Home button in the top menu.


Whilst generally in this blog I discuss the esoteric field of mentalism and mind reading in a general manner I thought I'd use this opportunity to discuss a specific booking in some details. Approximately 70% of my work falls into the area of corporate entertainment, a mixture of trade shows, conferences, dinner parties and drinks parties. I have a number of shows designed for these events including a stage show for the largest events, my parlour show for smaller events, dinner show for dinners, unsurprisingly and a close up performance for more informal dinner and drink parties. I will always add an element to the show that is relevant to the event and will often a theme or create entire routines relevant to the company.

For this particular performance I was hired by an events company to perform for a large pharmaceutical company. The event was taking place at The Grand Hotel in Brighton, one of my favourite places to perform. The staff are super friendly and organised and it's always a really lovely environment. The event was a 3 day sales conference culminating in a dinner and drinks party, This is the part of the event I was hired for. I would say this is about as standard as any of my bookings ever get. The original discussion was for a close up performance just for the dinner but I suggested performing throughout the drinks reception as well (as people first arrive) this gives me more time to get around everyone. I should add here that I don't charge extra for the drinks reception as well as the dinner. I have a standard fee for a close up performance so whether it's an hour or 3 it really doesn't matter.

On the night in question I arrived about an hour early. Even when it's a venue I'm familiar with I like to arrive early, this gives me a chance to meet with the staff at the venue, check everything I need is in place and that there are no last minute changes to plans. It also gives me some breathing space if there is a problem with traffic on the journey. I met up with the events organiser to discuss the evening. Thankfully they were extremely organised and everything was ready to go and running on time. At 7pm on the dot the guests started to arrive in the bar area and I got started performing. At this point in the evening I always like to keep things informal. I mixed and mingled with the guests as they drank performing for small groups at a time. For each group I would perform a short routine making sure to include all the guests. Here's a typical routine I performed at this time. I would write something down and place it on the floor, I would then ask the guests between them to imagine a pack of playing cards and imagine taking a card out of the deck, whatever the card they named would be what I had written down earlier! I perform this routine to demonstrate suggestion and how it is possible to put thoughts into peoples heads. After this I would perform something a little more random. I may ask someone to draw a picture, I would then attempt to read their minds and draw an identical picture!

At 8pm all the guests (about 100) went through to the dining room were there were 10 round tables. For dinners of this nature I will perform between the courses of the meal and if necessary whilst the starter and desert are served just to ensure I get around everyone but I will always stop whilst the main course is served. There was some time pressure here as they had a band ready to start at 9.30pm. I performed at each table (a five to ten minute routine per table), again I ensured everyone at the tables were involved in further feats of mind reading and psychological magic.  Coming towards the end of the evening the event organiser informed that the CEO of the company wanted to see more so I decided a really memorable way to end the evening would be to perform a routine from my cabaret show for everyone to watch at the same time. Thankfully microphones were in place so I called up the CEO and one of hos colleagues and performed a routine that involves and demonstrates how we're all capable of reading minds! This is a really powerful routine and I was pleased to receive a standing ovation. After this performance the band started up and I went off to the bar to pack up but ended up staying another hour as people approached me wanting to see more, always my favourite compliment. It was a really fun evening and was very pleased to be asked to perform at another event later in the year for the same company.

I hope this gives a basic idea of a corporate performance. There are in fact no typical performances and every show is tailored to suit the client. For more details here's my corporate entertainment page ,for general details click on the home button above or give me a call to discuss your event.

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