"A fast paced and well balanced show has always been our aim" says Convention director Noel Britten, "and this year the show looks to be another corker, including three overseas magic acts and an absolutely astounding juggler all making their English debuts at the Convention.
asked if there was a point where Paul decided not to do the show of the crowd was too low - "if you took 20 mins to set up and had 3 people u might carry on" was his reply.
Introduced by James Freedman, Noel
spoke about his Comedy Walk in Bath, which having started in 1991 has remarkably run for 23 years, now doing seven days a week for seven months of the year.
started in magic at the age of seven and went on to study Business at university.
spent much of his
time on London's South Bank and Covent Garden watching street performers (Duncan Trillo being one of them); he
then started busking (making £18.73 on first show).
enjoyed the concept of street performing and in particular the independence it offered; he
could do a show whenever and wherever he
wanted, and the money he
received was in direct relation to the quality of the magic.
After finishing university 6-7 years Noels would travel the UK in summer and then go to Australia in winter
The first quality Noel
suggests a successful street performer needs is the commitment to graft to do shows - some performers only did shows when they were skint, got the money and didn't perform again until they were skint again!
explained that a good street type act could be taken anywhere much like a good close-up set, working theme parks, festivals trade shows, road shows, firework displays etc. True street performers (unlike the trade show magician or theme park magician has no boss so you have 'the freedom of the open road'.
took opposite view about height being important to the street performer and worked low down close to the ground doing an escapology effect - which worked better for him as the felt the crowd came in closer and paid more
then went on to discuss some of the disadvantages that were starting with street performing; whatever style of magic you do there become downsides of street performers.
More performers were coming out whereby he
ended up having to get up at 5am to try and get a pitch, only to see when his
time came it might have started to rain and the performance was cancelled!
Because of the number of performers now performing a good hat (money collected0 wasn't reflected by quality of show.
wanted to finish street performing he
considered doing a ghost walk, but after attending a comedy walk he
was inspired to try something similar
had never liked or done close-up magic (a rejection thing!) and much preferred performing to a large crowd (preferably paying to come and see him).
decided to do a double act 'walk' with Jay Jay, and together they worked six nights a week for six months; on the walk they would take it in turns to go on ahead during the walk and set things up for the next part.
The starting point for the walk is a pub - which paid dividends in a number of ways - people could wait inside, props could be stored there, and there was a reciprocal benefit between the walk and the pub and there was an added benefit when no one turned up for the walk.
They had a vow that even if only one person turned up and wanted to do the walk they done it.
Some nights no one turned up but the beauty was that It also didn't matter how many people turned up - whether it was 18 or -180 people, as it worked equally well with any number (unlike 50 people turning up to a 500 seater theatre!).
Problems included inclement weather (rain was a spoiler)
The material on walk should be environmentally based and includes a blindfold walk by Noel
to lead a phase of the walk, vanishing objects to impossible locations (you need to see this one), a 'just chance' routine and a river stunt.
To work and get booked as a street type performer Noel's three bits of advice were - be the best, do something different and be cheap (preferably a combination of the first two); choose your material a specific to your environment and stay in touch with your own value.
A final greta piece of advice was to work out when you have down time - e..g if you're working on a show and don't tend to work much on a Tuesday - book a local arts centre on a Tuesday night and put the show on!
After 23 years of walking the walk, this was the first time Noel
had talked the talk.
Any doubts or concerns over the uncertainty of the contents of the first day of this year's Festival Of Magic were quickly dispelled within moments of the first session this morning and full praise must again go to coordinator of events Noel Britten.
opened the day with a brief introduction setting the scene with the question "Why we do magic?