There was no blog yesterday and for once it wasn’t down to my laziness. We were busy putting on a charity show in Pasedena and it was a great experience! It’s all been filmed for a possible DVD release and last night we watched it back and recorded a commentary track – great fun! The other great news was that David Kaye presented Tamar with her KGB pin!
Skipping back a bit – the last day of KGB was much more relaxed, kicking off with lunch at the magic castle and then a visit to the Castle library, where in the ‘For Sale’ section I found a copy of the first book on magic I ever read! I was happy to part with the one dollar asking price!
After that it was back to David’s suite for an afternoon discussing marketing. Tamar gave a presentation on Facebook and everyone else gave lots of great advice on a subject which I must confess is not my strongpoint.
Dinner was at Yamashiro – a beautiful Japanese restaurant sitting right at the top of the hill and commanding incredible views of downtown Los Angeles. The food was amazing and the bill was even more staggering!
Then it was back to the room for gift giving – among this years haul was a brand new doty-scope and rubber feet from Ken Scott, A fantastic pop-up book from Joaquin, KGB heat-sensitive mugs from Jozo, A great little heat sealer from Tamar, Giant Googly eyes from Mike, An emergency rubber chicken from Payne, A book from Norm (who couldn’t make it this year), Picture Fun from Gary, An exclusive (only 12 copies) DVD from me and our very own Evil hypnoitist monkey from Dave Cox.
It was with a heavy heart that we performed the closing ceremony and we chatted long into the night.
Today is our first day off – so we are heading to Disney!! yaaaay!
I’m finally back home after yet another 5 hour drive and feeling very happy to be part of what looks like a great new kid’s TV show. Shortly after my last blog post I was called to record my spot. It was nice to find out that I had already met the director and much of the crew when I was on ‘The Slammer’. I was the last of the three acts to be filmed and I performed on a small, high stage with the the audience of kids and adults standing.
Hmm – these guys look familiar!
More adoring fans!
The lovely Terri – Casting Researcher
Timo Marc – brilliant magician
My alternative dressing room
I’d asked if I could have a few minutes with the audience to warm them up prior to performing and this was great for helping to get rid of any last minute nerves. The two guys they’d picked as helpers for me were great and the whole thing went very quickly. My voice didn’t feel 100% – the results of doing 3 shows yesterday and recording early in the morning, but it was agreed that the one take was enough.
It was a lot of fun watching this show come together – Dick and Dom performed several truly surreal and hilarious pieces to camera and it was nice to chat to Dominic Wood afterwards about Supreme Magic and meeting him at the Reading Junior Day when he was a young lad. The boy has certainly done very well for himself!
I had one more piece to perform to camera – my introduction, from a rapidly spinning waltzer! I was in a car alongside Timo Marc and our brief was that he was supposed to appear super-relaxed, while I was to act terrified! I’m not a big fan of spinning rides, so my acting skills weren’t pushed too hard!
All that was left to do then was sign some autographs and say my goodbyes.
After filming wrapped I thought it would be fun to move the door sign from my trailer to a porta-loo and have a picture taken. Timo and Terri were up for this and we took some shots, only to realise that there was someone actually using the loo and afraid to come out while we were messing about outside. We all ran off like giggling school children.
So all in all, a very fun weekend – the cast and crew of this show is great and I can’t wait to see how it looks in September.
I’m off to bed now to sleep for a week!
Back to blogging! I know it’s been a while since I wrote anything and it’s certainly not been because I had nothing to write about. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been pretty busy and had some fun gigs. I particularly enjoyed returning as guest act for Britain Does Variety for the second year running. The standard of the acts this year was incredible – I’m really glad I wasn’t competing. The crowd were very nice to me though and gave me a really good reception.
Yesterday was probably the most tiring day I’ve had in years. I said goodbye to Tamar in the morning and drove to my first show, a birthday party in the north of Sheffield. That was followed closely after by another full 2 hour party in Chesterfield, then an evening show in a particularly soggy marquee in Winster. I finished my gigs at 9pm, exhausted – then had to drive nearly 300 miles to Devon, where I am filming for Dick and Dom’s new TV show, Hoopla.
It was a 7am call this morning. I got about 3 hours sleep and I staggered into Dingle’s Heritage Fairground bleary eyed and feeling pretty lousy. . I’m writing this in my trailer and people keep running back and forth Bringing me coffee and food, so I’m starting to pick up already! It’s a far cry from doing birthday parties, but it’s best not to get used to this kind of treatment. It doesn’t last long.
I’ll blog later when I’ve recorded my performance.
My Trailer / Dressing Room
As I write this, Practical’s Fireside Chat number 13 is rendering on my iMac. I finally managed to grab a couple of spare hours to piece it together and it should be online tonight.
Tamar and I headed off in different directions this morning for our Jubilee Shows – this celebration has certainly been good for business! We actually got to see some of the TV footage of the flotilla yesterday and think I can say with some confidence that the Queen and Prince Phillip would probably rather have watched our magic shows than that never ending procession of rather dreary canal boats in the pouring rain.
Here are a couple of pics from where I performed my first show today in Dore. I was on an outdoor stage with no steps up to it, just a rickety old plastic chair. It was difficult to get kids up on stage, but not impossible. Halfway through performing ‘Knitty Knitty Bang Bang’, my young helper announced that he needed the toilet and I could sense by the look of panic in his eyes that it was a matter of some urgency. Luckily we managed to get him down from the stage without any further embarrassment for the poor lad.
Ok, the Fireside chat has rendered – gonna get it uploaded to YouTube.
The Crowd at Dore Village.
- The wonderful stage plus rickety chair
Ok, the title is slightly inaccurate, but Wet Weekend in Dewsbury doesn’t sound anywhere near as good.
I only had one booking yesterday, due to the cancellation I mentioned in an earlier blog post. This was for the Schoolcroft Resident’s Comittee in Dewsbury. It was back to basics for a change as I had no power, so that meant no music and no microphone and we were outside in quite a small marquee, so the children and parents had to cram inside and it was a little more intimate than usual. Was a lot of fun and I actually ended up doing 10 minutes extra, trying out new material. Really enjoyed it. Today I’m off to Todwick for another Jubilee show, but this one’s been moved indoors due to rain so we’ll have to see how it goes.
Last night was fun – Tame and I went to see Ken Loach’s ‘The Angel’s Share’ at the cinema. It was a great film and terrifically acted by a largely unknown cast. I’d recommend it. It gets a Kimmo rating of 4 out of 5 stars. We also got tickets to see Prometheus tonight in Imax 3D, so looking forward to that.
After the movie we decided to go to the Flaming Dragon Oriental Buffet just outside the cinema. I used to love that place, but I’m not sure if it has gone downhill or all this fine dining Tamar and I have been doing since we got together has made me too much of a food snob to enjoy it. It had all the atmosphere of a school cafeteria, the food seemed really poor quality and it was by no means a cheap option, since we managed to drop close to £40 on a meal for two. Don’t think we’ll be going again. Tame didn’t even want to take a picture of her meal, so I knew it must be bad.
The Queen didn’t show, so Jambo and I got to cut the cake.
I won’t be blogging tonight as I have had a very busy day with shows and then spent all evening /night updating Tamar’s website – she wanted to include a guide to local halls and it was quite a lot of work.
My day started badly when I couldn’t find my phone, so I went onto iCloud to locate it. The wonders of modern technology! A few seconds of scanning and the computer reported back that my phone was on a trading estate in Rotherham. Tame and I went out for a meal and to the cinema up that way last night, so I presumed it had fallen out of my pocket and someone had picked it up and made off with it. It was with a heavy heart that I performed a remote wipe on the phone and then with an even heavier heart that I found the bloody thing in the kitchen, now completely bricked and useless because I’d just wiped it! I had no time to sort it out, so I was without my phone all day!
Things did get better when I arrived at Daniel’s party – Dan is 14 and lives in Maltby. I’ve done his parties before and I think he knows my act almost as well as I do. It was nice to see him and his friends again.
Then it was off to Barnsley for a very big party – 80 kids!! Henry (the birthday boy) and his friends were all little angels though and the venue was very high class! I did make the mistake of twisting 80 dog balloons and then allowing one of the kids to have a sword. Oops! Of course, after that EVERYONE wanted a sword and I was scared of being left with 80 balloon poodles that no one wanted. You’d think after nearly 30 years doing this job I’d know better.
So as I say – no blog today, I’m far too tired!
This is James, from Dan’s party
- The Bluebell Conference Centre in Dodworth – Classy venue!
Wow, the weather has been amazingly hot lately! I finish each show looking like Meatloaf in concert back in the 70s. I’m going to have to carry a couple of changes of clothes with me if this carries on. I had a friend who used to say he took extra shirts with him, packed in ice. I’m not sure if this was really true, but it sure sounds like a nice idea on days like this.
The kids meet Jambo Bananas.
My wonderful wife to be Tamar, a.k.a. Barmy Bella, Children’s Entertainer has changed my life in many, many ways – perhaps the most surprising of all though is that I have lately started doing full two hour children’s party packages. The latest of these was today, for a charming little girl called Hollie. I managed to snap a couple of pictures during the show, although most of the boys seemed very camera shy for some reason. The boys were very shy throughout the party actually – it took a great deal of encouragement to get any to come out for my ‘Princess in a Pickle’ bit and I ended up using a little girl called Tia as my contestant for ‘Watch the Water’, which is a role I always give to a boy.
They were a really fun crowd though.