The one thing that has been important to me from the get-go has been building relationships with fellow suppliers so that we can all grow together. The industry isn’t quite as cutthroat if we can just be friends! Now its been a while since I did some of my supplier features so I have asked around some of Gloucestershire’s best loved entertainers and they have come here to share a little bit of what makes them Ooba-Special for your wedding day!
Please let me introduce to you, Richard Parsons, an award winning, talented and busy FULL-TIME PROFESSIONAL close-up magician, table magician and pickpocket based in Gloucestershire, Richard is the ideal person to book if you are looking for professional entertainment. Although he lives in Gloucestershire Richard travels all over the South West, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds, London and internationally to perform at weddings, parties, trade shows and VIP corporate events.
I asked Richard just a few questions that I hope will help you in your alternative wedding planning journey!
So, Richard, how on earth did you end up here? Enlighten us on your journey!
Unlike a lot of magicians who had a magic kit when they were young I actually got into magic quite late when I was an adult. A friend of mine at a black tie dinner many years ago showed me a card trick which was incredible and he was also kind enough as I was so excited about it to send me a book and some decks of cards to get me started. His encouragement really ignited a desire to learn as much as I could about magic and close-up magic. He is also a member of The Magic Circle and I owe him a lot as he started this journey!
I kept learning and performing magic simply as a hobby and then the paid work started coming in so eventually I have ended up performing magic full-time as a career. I’m grateful that I get to do what I love as a profession. A real highlight was auditioning for The Magic Circle in November 2012 and being accepted on my first attempt. There are only about 1500 members of The Magic Circle club (headquarters in London) in the entire world.
What kind of occasions work best for what you do and why?
As a professional full time close up magician I perform at many different types of VIP events, some small private parties and other occasions can be huge black tie dinners with thousands of guests and quite a few magicians sharing the tables. I am often booked for weddings (e.g. drinks reception), private house or birthday parties, trade shows, corporate events, launch parties and much more. As a wedding magician based in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds I usually get booked to entertain the guests during the photos or after the meal in that evening ‘lull’. I really enjoy weddings, I genuinely feel privileged to be sharing part of someone’s special day and of courses all the guests are so happy (usually!).
Do you have a speciality or a ‘signature trick’ ?
Difficult to pick out on ‘trick’ as I like them all. There is one where I change a banknote and that always gets great reactions. And of course the pick-pocketing can produce moments of absolute hilarity amongst the guests.
What do you look for in potential ‘victims’?
Well I don’t see them as ‘victims’ but I know what you mean! I’d like to think after many many events as a magician that I’m a good judge of character so if I can sense that someone doesn’t want to engage or be the centre of attention I won’t choose them to help as I would not want to embarrass them. In every group or at every table at a wedding there is always a ‘loud’ person…you know the sort! Someone who is naturally bubbly, compliant, wants to join in – they are the best people to use in the trick because they enjoy being part of the limelight. And quite often they are the stars of the show when there is banter flying backwards and forwards between us all! This is one reason why I love my job as every group can be different and you really have to think on your feet. It’s a people job, you have to be really good with people.
Can you tell me your most memorable moment in your career.
Ah that’s easy – being booked for, and flown out to, Venice in Italy for five days last year. I was hired to perform at three events on alternate days, was picked up at the airport by a speedboat and taken to the JW Marriott hotel where I had a suite on a private island. I felt like I was a celebrity (briefly) and it was a wonderful experience combining work with sightseeing. The events were a huge success and I also made friends with some other performers and we remain friends to this day. This year I’m already booked for a destination wedding in Madrid and would like to work abroad more – I actually enjoy travelling.
Now this is the most important one. Marmite. Love or hate?