by David Charvet
One the bread and butter "gigs" of the contemporary working magician is the afterdinner, or banquet show. Generally this involves performing for an audience of anywhere from 50 to several hundred people, in a venue (usually the banquet room of a hotel) which is usually less than ideal. In The Banquet Magician's Handbook, David Charvet has put together some excellent advice for anyone who wants to be successful doing this type of show.
The first half of the book concerns the "nuts and bolts" of banquet work: What types of banquet work is available; 10 important points for designing a banquet act; valuable suggestions on incorporating illusions into the banquet show; hints on sound and lighting, including the plans for Walter Blaney's "Zaney Lights," a very practical portable lighting system; advice on how to get the jobs, including a standard booking sheet and a sample contract; excellent suggestions on how to set up the show and deal with the hotel staff; and advise on getting repeat bookings. All the material here is practical and worthwhile.
The second half of the book contains advice from some successful banquet show performers including George Johnstone, Walter Blaney, Dick Newton, and Stan Kramien. You will find some valuable information here. Of particular interest to me was an interview with Becky Stroebel, who is a booking agent in the Portland area. Ms. Stroebel's comments will give you insight into what an agent is looking for, and how to develop a strong working relationship with an agent.
This is a slender volume, but it is crammed with useful information. If you are currently doing banquet shows, or if you want to start, this book will be a valuable resource. Highly recommended.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.