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Jono Blythe: Magician | Is so called 'Street Magic' for me?

When I lived in London, I had my first showreel made. This may not sound that exciting, but it turned out that I didn't have that much footage to use at the time. It was several years ago and I was just starting out as a professional magician.

I did have a little video footage to use, but not enough to fill a whole showreel. I, thusly, had to have more footage filmed.

I hired a London based videographer and had her follow me around the South Bank as I tried to find passers by to perform tricks to.

I bring this up, because the other day I was in Swansea and saw a fellow magician performing on the street, as I've also seen him do several times in Cardiff. He seems to do quite well and does a good job engaging with people and drawing people in. The idea of 'busking' as a magician has been presented to me before. I know a couple of magicians in London who perform at Covent Garden and they've asked me to try it with them. Seeing this chap in Swansea has got me thinking and I'm asking myself - is 'busking' or so called 'street magic' really for me?

Well, I cast my mind back to that day on the South Bank, which really is the closest I've come to street magic. I must admit, I didn't enjoy it. Not for a second.

Firstly, it was the beginning of December and it was absolutely ice cold. There I was, trying to look like the cool magician with my short sleeve jacket and t-shirt and I can't focus or concentrate because of how uncomfortable I was. My whole body was numb!

Secondly, getting people to actually stop to see a trick was damn near impossible. I could barely get past a simple hello before they were saying no to me and not even stopping to see what it was about.

I did manage to bring in a small handful of people and, to be fair, the finished article doesn't look terrible in my own opinion. It did take most of the day though and, as you can see, I could only put up with the freezing cold for so long -

Short sleeved jacket in this photo. Note how the others are dressed!

Hoodie and scarf in this photo!

Being on the autistic spectrum, approaching people is difficult enough for me. As a magician, it's something that I've had to learn how to do and I think I do it well. However, in a more contained environment, like a private event, it seems to be easier and more comfortable for me. I don't feel the same level of control or comfort out on the street, therefore, I don't think this street magic thing is for me.

However, I have recently had the idea of experimenting with craft and business networking fayres. I have performed at wedding fayres before and, whilst I enjoyed them, I found them to be very expensive.

Local craft fayres and business networking events are more affordable and I think might give me the chance to show some magic to people in a way that I would be more comfortable with.

I have recently been talking with Little Floral Gifts and may be attending their small business pop up market in March. I'm interested to see if this, like performing on the street, will be out of my comfort zone.

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