The Days are Getting Shorter. And the Months?

This was a popular meme around Halloween.  As Halloween ends, Christmas begins.  Well, for children’s entertainers, that’s pretty much true.  Last Sunday, I finished my last Halloween show of 2018 and packed away my props for the year. And on Monday I dived into the Magic Room and took out the props I’ll be using for my Christmas shows.

And not before time.  My last Halloween show was on 4 November; my first Christmas show is on 1 December.  Just 26 days to rehearse and refine my Magic of Christmas 2018 show.  Are the months getting shorter?

Each year I put together a brand new Christmas show.  I’m not one to roll out the same old tricks year after year.  So this year’s show will be entirely different from last year’s – and the year before’s.  This year’s show will feature the North Pole (yes, the real North Pole, I promise!), Santa’s official Naughty or Nice List, an idea for magically recycling Christmas wrapping paper, Santa’s elves, the ‘Elf Transporter’ and Tommy the Toucan, who’s invited his family over for Christmas.

The show finishes, as always, with racing snowmen – and why not!  From beginning to end, it is full of the elements of a fantastic Christmas – Santa, Rudolph, the North Pole, elves, Christmas trees, snowmen – everything to get the kids in the festive spirit.

My diary is pretty full.  The last week of school is booked solid with school shows, but I do still have spaces for shows on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 December.  So if you still haven’t booked your entertainment or if your entertainer has let you down (sadly, as in all industries, we do have our cowboys), drop me an email or give me a call and I’ll do my best to squeeze you in.

I may not post a blog again before Christmas – it’ll be a busy few weeks – so can I thank everyone who has asked me to perform for them.  I’ve had a fantastic year, and I’ve had huge amounts of fun performing for you.  And if I don’t speak to you before, can I wish you, your family and friends a very merry Christmas and a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.

Does Balloon Modelling Harm the Environment?

Like many people, I’m concerned about the environment, and I’ve been asked whether balloons are putting our environment at risk.

Certainly printed birthday balloons made of plastic and foil and usually filled with helium are as damaging as any other product made from these materials, but I only use Qualatex balloons made from 100% natural latex – not plastic or foil.

Latex is collected by cutting the tree’s bark, then catching the latex in a cup, not from cutting down the tree, so Qualatex balloons are not contributing to deforestation: in fact, they are giving latex farmers a good living from a naturally renewable source.

Qualatex balloons are 100% biodegradable and decompose as fast as an oak leaf in the forest! So although there may be a short-term litter problem, they are not causing a long-term environmental headache, And when I make balloon models, whether indoors or outdoors, I do my damnedest to pick up all my litter – latex and anything else I’ve dropped – and take it home and dispose of it responsibly. As I’m sure we all do, right?

So if you book me to make balloon models at your event, you needn’t worry about creating environmental issues – unless, of course, you count accidentally bursting balloons as noise pollution!

Making YOUR Child the Star

First there was The Big Fish Race.  I ended each party with this game, where the birthday child raced his or her fish against three grown-ups to see who would win the Star Prize!  (Spoiler Alert: The game is actually a magic trick, and despite the fact that the child can choose any coloured fish, and that two independent adults shuffle the cards, the child ALWAYS wins, guaranteed!) It’s a wonderful way to end a party, with the birthday child being the star of the show, all their friends cheering on their fish, beating the grown-ups  and winning a special prize as well.

Next came The Space Race, with the child racing their rocket against the grown-ups’ to win a race across the universe.

Then came The Wacky Winter Race.  Crazy snowmen on skis racing to the North Pole.  And each time, the child beats the grown-ups and wins a special prize at the end of the party.  This one is GREAT for Christmas parties.

Then last year I invested in The Spooky Race: witches on broomsticks in a race across a very spooky landscape.

And now comes The Super Hero Race.  Four super heroes race across the city to save mankind. And d’ya know what?  The birthday child’s super hero always wins. A really super hero!

Why am I telling you all this?  Well, a number of reasons, really.

The first is to say that if you book me for your child’s party, he or she will be the star of the show.  The Race Games are just one of the ways I’ll make your son or daughter feel special on her special day – like these twins playing The Big Fish Race recently.

And because I have a number of different versions already, I can adapt my show to your party.  I always try to personalise the content of my show to the birthday child’s interests.  Last weekend it was a young man who loved Spiderman, so of course we played The Super Hero Race game, and low and behold he won a special Spiderman prize at the end of the show.

I do the same at Halloween and at Christmas. At these times of year I design special shows to match the seasonal celebrations.  At Halloween I produce a show full of creepy crawlies, monsters, ghosts and ghouls.  And each year I develop a new Christmas show with Santa and Rudolph, presents and snowmen, so The Wacky Winter Race is an ideal climax to Christmas parties, as you can see below.

The fact is, that with enough notice and for a small fee, I can make a race game to precisely match the theme of your son or daughter’s birthday party.  You want racing unicorns? You’ve got it!  Racing cars? No problem! Racing princesses? You’re on.

The more notice you give me, the more chance I have to make your party unique, but even at short notice I will always do my best to personalise my show to your child and to your party.  If you’re planning something special, why not drop me a line and ask me what I can do?  I’ll be more than happy to help.

If you’ve been to a Magic Peter party and seen the Big Race Games in action, post a comment and let everyone know how loudly the kids cheered on the birthday child and how excited her or she was at beating the grown-ups and winning the star prize.

Check back for more blogs soon.

More Than Just Birthday Parties

It’s been a while since I posted a blog entry, so my apologies for that, but it’s been a busy time here at Magic HQ. It struck me that many people will think of a children or family magician as someone just for birthday parties.  Far from it, as the past few weeks – and some varied bookings – will demonstrate.

First off, and for the third year running, I’ll be back at Millets Farm Centre for nine shows over the February school half-term week. Three shows a day at 10.30am, 1.00pm and 3.00pm on Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 February.

As always, when I return to Millets, this is a brand new show full of brand new tricks – but sadly the same old jokes!  Some shows are already sold out, so check here to book your seats at one of the remaining shows while there’s still time.

Then, on  Sunday 6 May, I’ll performing at the Abingdon Air and Country Show at Dalton Barracks, near Abingdon.  As well as performing a number of magic shows, I’ll be making balloon models while the flying displays are going on overhead.

This’ll be like coming home for me. My late father was a parachute training instructor at the base when it was known as RAF Abingdon, so I know the airfield pretty well and remember many RAF open days from my youth.

Staying with the RAF, I’ll be performing magic and making balloon models at RAF Brize Norton on Saturday 30 June to celebrate Armed Forces Day, and I’ll be providing similar attractions at a number of village and school fetes throughout the summer. I have a couple of bookings to entertain the children at weddings, too, so together with the ‘bread and butter’ birthday party bookings, I’ll be criss-crossing Oxfordshire this summer.

Finally,  on Sunday 12 August, I’ll be performing at the Green Meadows Festival in the grounds of Elton Hall near Peterborough. I’m looking forward to this booking; as a keen music fan, the idea of being paid to be at a music festival just goes to remind me what a fabulous job I have.

So don’t imagine for one moment that Oxfordshire’s Magical Children’s Entertainer is only for birthday parties.  I can, do, and will perform at any event where children get together for fun and laughter.  To book me for your event, contact me now before the gaps in my diary are filled.

I hope to see you somewhere on my travels this spring and summer.  Fingers crossed for some sunny days.

I Had a Great Time

I love my job.

It would be very easy to turn up, do the show, take the money, go home.

But that’s not how I do things. I like to get to know my hosts.  True, I have bills to pay and this is how I make my living, so the money is important.  But the reason I enjoy my job is that I meet such wonderful people.  Like George: a quiet boy, and such a lovely young man.  He was a real pleasure to be with today, and comments like this from George’s parents are what really make my job so fulfilling:

“Thanks so much for all your hard work. You do a great job! George and all of his friends had a wonderful time. He’s usually such a shy boy so it was lovely to see him letting himself go when he was up with you.”

If it was just about paying the bills, I would indeed just turn up, do the show, take the money, go home. But I cared about George.  A birthday is a big day in the life of a child.  With all his friends there, he wants his party to be a GREAT party.  So do his parents.

So do I.

I care about all the Georges, and the Miahs and Zaks and Scarlets and Angels and Paightons (to name just my most recent parties).  I want their parties to be their best days of the year. And, frankly, if they’re having fun, I’m having fun.

I’m really privileged to have such a great job.

Thank you, George (and Miah and Zak and Scarlet and Angel and Paighton) and everyone else for inviting me to your parties.  I had a great time.

A New, Responsive Web Site

Well, after one or two hiccups over the weekend that took Magic Peter off the World Wide Web for a couple of days, he’s back … and with a brand new web site.  (But you know that – you’re reading this on the new web site.)

So what’s new? Well, it’s written to be responsive on any platform.

“In English?”

Sorry.

It means it will resize itself to fit your computer, tablet or smartphone (see photo).

Which means you can read and see all of the website, whether you’re using a laptop (as I most often do), a tablet (as my wife does) or a phone (as many people do in this up-to-the-minute, on-the-move, I-need-it-now world we live in).

Making it this flexible does means it has to be slightly simpler, but as I get to grips with the new software it’s written in, I hope to make it slightly more adventurous.  Watch this space.