Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to you all.

Sorry, I have been so busy doing lots of Christmas Magic Shows, birthday parties and some christmas shopping of my own, that I haven’t had time to do a video of my own so I thought I’d share some Muppet Christmas memories with you all.

Have a fantastic christmas and  look forward to seeing some of you in the new year.

Children In Need

I ran a competition for schools in Stroud to have Snot The Dragon and myself perform our magic show to raise money for children in need. I have decided to fill the day and perform at three schools. It will be a busy day , three children’s magic parties and lots of fun and laughter. Plenty of puppets and audience participation.

Look out for photos in The Stroud News and Journal next week.

What ever you are doing for Children In Need, have fun.

Snot The Dragon

Snot The Dragon

 

Competitions and why I do them!

Why would anyone want to face their peers to perform and be judged?

As a magician who specialises in children’s magic and family friendly corporate stage magic, it is often difficult to get an over view of where you sit in the magic community. Most of our work is for private clients so we don’t often get to see each other work in a real life situation so by taking part in a competition you also get to see others working. This does meen you are going to be judged along side them and lets face it, you might not win!

Winning is not and should not be your main aim in taking part in magic competitions, although it is nice to win. My aim when I take part in a magic competition is to move my magic up a level. It is too easy to coast along doing what you have always done but when it comes to performing magic in a competition it makes you re look at what you are doing and finding new ways to be the best magician you can be.

Magic competitions are usually much shorter performances than your normal show so everything has to be tighter. For this years Children’s Entertainer of The Year competition I used magic tricks that have been in my children’s parties for a while but due to the time constraints I tightened up the scripts and then added extra music to make the magic more dynamic. I was very please to be awarded first prize, best children’s entertainer 2014 but I am also please with how it has made my magic parties even better than they were before.

This week I also entered the Cotswold Magical Society’s stage competition, this had a separate category of best comedy magician, this was my goal. as all the stage magic I perform for adult and family audiences is done with humour. I put together a special 10 minute comedy magic stage show featuring the “lost sock mystery” and some comedy mind reading with a nod to Uri Geller. At the end of the evening I was awarded the Sylvester wand for Best Comedy Magician.

Stroud close up magician

Magician of the year 2014

Although as I said at the beginning, winning is not everything, it’s very nice.

 

Christmas Magic Fund Raiser

Children love magic shows and children love christmas so of course christmas is an ideal time for schools and playgroups to have a magician as a treat for all the boys and girls, but in these hard pressed times quality magicians can be quite expensive.

What if you could have the UK Children’s Entertainer of the Year 2014 entertain your children and still make money for you school or a favourite charity?

Colin Dymond and Snot the Dragon have such a solution. It’s a simple ticket share, you organise the children and sell tickets to the event, you can choose from an afternoon, just for children, event or an after school family cabaret. You sell the tickets and we split the sales 50/50 you can of course make some extra by selling drinks and snacks or you can include them in your ticket cost.

For more information on the shows available please fill in the contact form https://colindymond.com/contact-2/

Kidology trophy

Children’s Magic in hospitals

As today I head to Bristol Children’s Hospital for my monthly visit to entertain poorly children I thought i’d share some information about what I do and the great charity that make this happen.

Every month I perform up to seven shows in Hospitals in Bristol, Newport, Cardiff, Bridgend, and a few others, depending on where I am needed. The shows can either be complete 40 minute shows to a group of children in the play room or I go from bed to bed doing tricks or making balloon animals.

Children love magic and puppets so having a show to watch not only cheers them up but it takes their minds away from their illness for a while, it also relieves the boredom of a long hospital stay for the parents! If I am making balloons in out patients I just see the children before they called in, but when I perform in the Oncology wards or a burns unit the children can be there for months, or they have to keep coming back for regular visits, so these children I get to know quite well and they are always interested in what I am going to do next.

The charity that pays for entertainers in hospitals is called POD. All entertainers that they provide get paid, although we all do it at a very reduced fee, as they are all full time professionals and we have to attend various training sessions about infection control etc. Margret Munford MBE, who runs the charity organises about 200 shows per month in England Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland but there are still hospitals that would like more shows or some that don’t get any. The charity is funded by various groups and individuals, some companies sponsor  a

Hospital Magic

Performing in Frenchay Hospital

monthly show for their local hospital, shows cost £50 each. POD also receive money from Children In Need.

As an Children’s Entertainer I am used to seeing happy children and hearing them laugh so it is always a moving experience when after seeing a child a parent comes up to you and says that they haven’t heard their child laugh for weeks or months.

If you would like to help, please contact POD. http://www.podchildrenscharity.com as they say, every little helps.

 

New Ideas

After being awarded first place at the Kidology Children’s Entertainer competition, I now get to perform at The Winter Gardens in Blackpool in February. Time for something new. Watch this space for more news about a new character who is on his way.

UK Children’s Entertainer Of The Year

 

A new trophy for my cabinet! On Monday 8th September I was voted the winner at the Kidology Uk Children’s Entertainer of they Year competition.

I love the trophy although it does look a bit delicate. i hope it’s still in one piece when I have to hand it back in 12 months time.

 

Kidology trophy

Ventriloquist Convention

I have been asked to lecture at this years Ventarama convention on “Beginning Ventriloquism” I’m very excited and it’s going to be a great day. Beginners often ask me who is my favourite ventriloquist and as with most things it tends to be the ones you grew up with. The other question is about what sort of “figure” is the best? Well the answer to the first question is Ray Alan, with Shari Lewis coming a close second which kind of answers the second question with, there is no best figure. Ray used an expensive traditional “Doll” an Shari, well she used a sock!

Ray Alan and Lord Charles

Shari Lewis

Summer Holiday Fun

Have you seen the National Trust list of things to do before you are 11 3/4? I was lucky enough to grow up on the North Cornish coast so my summers were full of outside fun. As I write this the sun is shining so I hope you all have a great summer and remember the sunscrean!

https://www.50things.org.uk/activity-list.aspx

 

How to choose an entertainer

With so many entertainers on the internet how do you know which one to choose. Remember that this is a special occasion for your child, one that should give them lasting memories for all the right reasons. A great entertainer will turn up on time, looking professional and will have all the expertise needed to make it a great show.

I have seen and heard of magicians who turn up late, look scruffy, smell of alcohol or BO or both, act inappropriately with the children, aim jokes at the adults that they think go over the children’s heads, one entertainer might not have al these traits but how can you tell just from their web site?

Here are some questions to ask.

  • Are they a professional? Full time entertainers have to take more care of their business as it’s their only source of income. If you are just getting a bit of extra “cash in hand” at the weekend then it is not so important.
  • How long have they been professional? Experience counts, in my nearly 20 years of entertaining children I have seen and dealt with just about every scenario, I am constantly monitoring the children to see if the pace of the show needs changing and finding out who is the best child to pick to help for which trick.
  • Do they belong to The Magic Circle? There are lots of local magic clubs that do a great job in promoting magic, I am the president of The Cotswold Magical Society but The Magic Circle is the only club that you have to pass a strict exam to become a member. The highest exam you can take make you an associate of The Inner Magic Circle with silver star. I am very honoured to have been awarded this in 2012.
  • Do they have public liability insurance? If the magician knocks over your antique vase whilst bringing his props in to your house is he covered? I am a member of Equity and as a member I have £10 million pounds worth of cover.
  • Testimonials? Obviously these can be made up but if they have several and they are not too old then it’s worth checking them out.
  • How much should I pay? Like every thing in life there is a range of prices for children’s entertainers and most of the time you get what you pay for. A cheap entertainer might just be starting out, I was a lot cheeper 20 years ago! A lot of the money I earn gets put back into the business, keeping my equipment, props and puppets in the best order. I want my show to be the best experience for the audience and the booker, you will get a proper contract and invoice and I will do what has been quoted.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions about your event, please get in contact and I will do my best to help.