Time to look back on the crazy and unpredictable year that was 2021.
JANUARY/FEBRUARY – Australia was out of lockdown and enjoying the summer. I had shows here in The Laneway Theatre and was also out and about doing shows for school holiday programs and even a Zoom Show for a library in Sydney. In February I also did a private show for one of my very first clients, Wal Glaser, who wrote a feature story about me in the Melburnian Magazine back in the early 80s. It was so great to see him and his wife again. I also did a couple of Zoom shows including a sensational one for Deakin University!
MARCH/APRIL/MAY – It was very much business as usual as I travelled around Melbourne performing a variety of different shows as well as setting up press interviews to promote our upcoming Melbourne Magic Festival. May was a surprisingly busy time for school shows. I did a mix of magic shows and workshops at schools all over Victoria. I also did a Zoom Lecture for The Japanese Magicians Association which was surprisingly delightful!
In May we also had a snap two week lockdown, so we slipped in three Zoom Magic Shows as the future of The Melbourne Magic Festival started to be in doubt.
JUNE – June began with restrictions tightened as we cautiously emerged from lockdown. Many shows were postponed or cancelled, and shows in The Laneway Theatre went from 32 to just 15 guests to cater to social distancing. I began working on my new shows for Cruise Ships as my agent said they expect to be back in August. (Spoiler alert: It’s now December 30 and we expect them to be back by late February now…)
The last week of June was the first week of The Melbourne Magic Festival. We had programmed this week to be only Satellite Venues like The Butterfly Club, Trades Hall, The Magic School of Confidence, and The Laneway Theatre. (The Laneway Theatre Experience got a great review here https://www.weekendnotes.com/the-laneway-theatre-magic-unlimited/ ) One of the highlights of our publicity blitz was having The Today Show AND Studio 10 BOTH broadcasting live from The Laneway Theatre!
We also had appearances on 3RR, 3AW, SmoothFM and the ABC with Libbi Gorr.
JULY/AUGUST – The first week of July was the second week of The Melbourne Magic Festival and our first time in our new home, The Arrow on Swanston right in the heart of the CBD. It was an unbelievable week with 70 of the 122 shows SOLD OUT! Of the 10,220 tickets we had on offer, 8,200 were sold!
Then, as soon as the Festival was over, (and totally unrelated!) Melbourne was plunged into yet another lockdown. In-person shows were cancelled, people were reluctant to book Zoom shows because of the uncertainty, so going from a massively busy two weeks we hit a completely empty four weeks with no shows whatsoever.
On July 17 we held the first of our Saturday Night Zoom Magic Shows where guests could pay as they please and enjoy a night of live, interactive entertainment at home. As we got a LOT of regular guests, we decided to make each show completely different. That ended up being 14 shows and an incredible total of fourteen hours of material.
On July 29 I was honored to appear on the famous Magic and Martinis podcast live with Scott Wells.
SEPTEMBER – Zoom shows for schools really took off as I performed an average of ten a week, then when school holidays kicked in, I was kept busy with holiday programs and corporate Zoom Shows.
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER – We finally started to emerge from the lockdown, but I still had a LOT of Zoom shows to do for schools and corporations. October 16 saw the final edition of our Saturday Night Zoom Shows, but as people were still wary or going out to shows, in-person performances didn’t start happening again until early November, with The Laneway Theatre Experience finally returning on Nov 20.
One absolute highlight was a presenting my full Zoom Show for The Vancouver Magic Circle’s Virtual Christmas Party.
DECEMBER – Back with lots and lots on in-person shows, and just one Zoom corporate celebration, it was my busiest December in years! There were Mad Hatter Shows, strolling magic gigs, company celebrations, the final performances of The Laneway Theatre Experience, and a lot of last minute bookings. I’m talking about “Are you available tonight?” I even got to try out my brand new illusion… sawing a child in half!!!
As we look towards 2022 I have a lot of work to do before shows start kicking in again on January 8:
- Brand new Laneway Theatre Show: The Magic Menu, Live!
- Two new 45 minute no-contact shows for Cruise Ships.
- A Mad Hatter MUSICAL magic show for The Melbourne Magic Festival.
- The Melbourne Magic Festival returning for two full weeks to the Arrow on Swanston.
Here’s hoping we all have a magical new year, and a covid-free 2022 and beyond!