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Virtual Zoom Magic Show and Live Close-up magic – on the same day!

Live magic vs Zoom magic

Well, I knew this day was coming but last week I did it. Last Saturday, I worked as a wedding magician in Cambridge in the day time and then drove home to perform a virtual Zoom magic show for a 40th birthday. 

Wedding Magician in Cambridge

I’ve been to Cambridge many times over the years to perform close up magic and always had a great time. It’s a beautiful city but the knock on effect of having a thousand-year old roads means that they are a nightmare to drive around! Some of them are so thin that it looks like the road markings were painted on as a practical joke.

The wedding I was performing at was held in the beautiful grounds of Cambridge university college. It was only a small wedding for 30 people but they weren’t lacking for entertainment, as well as my magical stylings they also had a great band playing (apologies but I didn’t catch their name). We were outside so I couldn’t perform my iPad magic as the sun was so bright it was impossible to see the screen, but the good news is I have two decades of experience performing sleight of hand close up magic at weddings and other events, so I’m not short of material.

After I finished in Cambridge, I dashed home and just had time for a quick shower before needing to set up for the Zoom magic show. Setting up for a virtual magic show is very different to setting up for walkaround or table magic event, there is just so much tech involved and I always want to be sure there isn’t going to be a glitch during the show. I’ve built a broadcast quality studio in my spare bedroom and I have 72 point check list that needs to be checked over before I can start the show. It takes quite a bit of time to make sure everything will go without a hitch and then I have to make sure all my magic is set.

Virtual Zoom Magic Show for 40th Birthday Party

The actual Zoom show itself was a blast. Normally it’s a bunch of different screens logging in from across the UK/world but for this particular show, everybody was in the same house watching on a huge telly. My performance was a surprise and it was great to see the face of the birthday boy when he realised it was going to be a virtual magic show! The only real difference from a regular performance of my virtual magic show is that usually I have the luxury of seeing the names on the screens, for this I had to  describe people if I wanted to use them in the show…. “Ok, so the guy who’s left elbow is in shot, could you ask the woman who’s behind your elbow to come closer to the screen, thanks”. The finish of my Zoom magic show has an interactive element where everybody takes part, usually in their own houses but it was really special to watch 30 people all reacting and laughing together to the big finish.

The world has changed so much in the last 18 months. Government restrictions are now removed so people can hire me to perform anywhere but that doesn’t mean that Zoom entertainment is dead. There are many times where virtual entertainment is a good solution especially if geography makes it impossible for the family to all be together or maybe it’s too short a timescale to get everybody together. Also it’s a perfect solution for corporate events where the team are scattered around the world

The Future of Zoom Magic Shows

What does the future hold? I’m certain that virtual online entertainment will be here for years to come. This might have been the first day I performed an in-person gig and a Zoom show in the same day but it won’t be the last. I’m fairly confident that this coming Christmas will be incredibly busy as everybody has been starved of entertainment. Last December was very busy with corporate virtual Zoom shows and they are usually afternoon and during the week. I haven’t really thought too much what I will do if I have an in person magic show and immediately afterwards have a Zoom show; possibly I’d bring a portable version of my show set up and then see if I can hire/use a room in the venue I’m performing. I’ve joked with some of my magician friends about doing Zoom shows in the car to a live gig but I don’t think that will be happening anytime soon!