Towards the end of 2014, I was asked by Careersoft to feature in a short 2 minute video briefly outlining what I do as a professional entertainer and magician, how I went about achieving my career and why I do it…
Careersoft – Job Explorer Database Entertainer Career
This short interview and video of me performing was going to represent the entire career and job description of an Entertainer in their Job Explorer Database, which is used by students in schools and colleges across the UK to help them find out more about career choices available and to motivate them to taking steps needed to enable them to start working in their desired field… no pressure then!
I almost forgot that I’d filmed this in December 2014, when a couple of days ago I received an email through with the video featuring last year’s former glorious goatie and a glimpse of my close up magic for customers at Red Hot World Buffet in Leeds – where you can currently find me most Saturday and Sunday afternoons between 12:30 – 3:30pm.
Professional Entertainer – Oliver Parker – Careersoft Entertainer Video
Of course, as soon as I’d finished the interview and the videographer had left I thought of a whole array of wonderful things I should have said. D’oh! Too late! But I’m quite happy with the above result – it’s interesting to know that this will be what teenagers see when browsing the database of 2200 job titles looking for something they actually want to do in life, hopefully I’m representing for all the other entertainers out there and inspiring enough for all those who wish to become one of us!
This has inspired me to write another post detailing my story of how I became a professional magician. Stay tuned to learn about my journey and tips of how to become a professional entertainer but until then, as I always say:
If you use Facebook or YouTube at all, recently you’ve probably had these Volvo Commuter Hijack adverts thrust in front of you. Basically 5 different people, selected via volvocommuterhijack.com, had £5000 each to spend on their Volvo Commuter Hijack day doing the most random, fun and entertaining stuff! They had a Volvo V40 R Design to transport them around on their day, along with Danny Wallace and a film crew to capture all their happenings, but they were only allowed to spend the money on experiences or something consumable (not a new tele or a load of beer unfortunately!). This is so that each of their days can then be judged by the public from the 10th April 2013 at volvocommuterhijack.com, giving each voter the chance of winning their own Volvo Commuter Hijack style experience day, I think with £5000 to spend on doing their own crazy things, but the person out of the 5 days already filmed who was voted to have put on the best experience wins the Volvo V40 R Design car!
So how are you involved in this, Oliver?
Last month, 20th March 2013, I received a very last-minute call at around midday from an agency asking if I was available to come to Millennium Square in Leeds to perform close up magic for an hour from about 3pm! After negotiating a fee they didn’t actually confirm they wanted to hire me until 2:20pm, which made things quite interesting, especially as I was already hired later that evening for another Co-operative Regional Operations Managers team building evening.
So I rushed to get ready and managed to make it there at the same time as my friends from The Dance Mob, who had also been hired for this Flash Mob type event along with an Elvis impersonator and lots of free pizza for passers-by.
After a few minutes of waiting around and still wondering what the heck was going on an entire film crew appeared from nowhere and we filmed a few shots of Will and Danny Wallace instructing us on our mission – to provide a flash mob and entertain the people of Leeds over the next 45 minutes or so!
I set to work astounding groups of students on their way to college, families having a day out in the centre and other randomers as the Dance Mob put on a stunning choreographed show, Elvis handed out free pizza and the film crew captured bits of what was going on.
With March being incredibly chilly in comparison with last year, my hands were freezing! It actually started hailing whilst I was performing for people so I was surprised I still managed to perform my sleight of hand close up magic!
Remember to vote for Will and his Leeds experience!
Well as you can see above, it’s now being aired! I received a text message from my brother one evening who actually saw it before I did on The Discovery Channel and instantly recognised my nimble fingers!
888 Poker – Magician Hand Model
Even though we filmed a whole day of awesome flourishes and fancy tricks with the iPhone’s I knew not to expect anything too flash in the final 10 second edit itself as they had to include all the info and 888 were very adamant that they didn’t want it to look at all ‘magicy’ – obviously as a gambling company, they want to keep some sort of confidence in their customers and having a magician on their advert doing deceiving things wouldn’t be the best of sales ideas.
So there it is, my hands in all of their 10 second iPhone shuffling glory for 888 Poker’s mobile app! If you’re into poker, why not check out their app via the 888 Poker website?
The monthly touring circus themed club night is in Bristol tonight!
Here’s a glimpse of the magic and mayhem from Nottingham in February:
Unfortunately, my hands/cards are only in the above video for a split second (3.7 Brownie Points if you actually spot me) but there’s plenty of footage of Bruce and Zayne – my friends/colleagues/crew members at work entertaining the crowds with acrobatic stilts, fire breathing/fire eating, angle grinding and general nonsense!
Last month’s Cirque Du Soul was awesome fun driving to Nottingham, watching Zayne and Bruce have a laugh with the queuing clubbers before my slot, then performing my close up magic from midnight until 2am. I met some lovely people, even received some tips and had a great time blowing peoples minds! I was trapped in one corner literally for about half an hour as a crowd began to grow and grow around me because everyone kept telling their friends to come over and check out how crazy my magic was!
I was disappointed that I didn’t take a change of clothes to the first event in Leeds in January, so I made sure I got changed out of my suit when nightclub magician mode was over and did a bit of b-boying (breakdancing) with the guys.
Then the most inspirational thing happened at the end of the night – a guy who’d been watching us dance got up and joined in… (this usually happens quite a lot with drunken idiots) he didn’t really know exactly what he was doing, but you could tell he had a huge amount of enthusiasm and passion to join in and be part of what we were doing, so he was going for it – then out of nowhere he just got up and tried to do a front somersault! His feet hit the floor, but he landed on his bum, so he got straight back up and tried again!
Bruce stepped in and gave him some quick tips and we all gave him some encouragement then he threw it again and landed it! BOOM! For the first time in his life, whilst drunk, this guy threw a front somersault and landed it on a hard floor!
You can tell when somebody is dedicated and just going to do something. You could see it in him, he was absolutely focussed, enthused and was determined to succeed… so he did!
Myself and Bruce had an in-depth conversation about this which lead to discussing psychology and other interesting things on the journey home.
We also stopped off at a service station just before 5am and whilst waiting for our food, Bruce couldn’t resist the temptation of a large smooth floor so tried to pull out some moves, haha! Here’s how that went:
So after dropping Bruce off, I didn’t get to bed until after 7am…
But tonight is going to be even more challenging as it’s twice as far to Bristol!
I wanted to stay over in Bristol and have a lovely day by the seaside, but I’ve been booked as a close up magician at a 40th Birthday Party in the afternoon on Saturday, so I have to come straight back!
It looks like tonight is going to be the 3rd Cirque Du Soul in a row to sell out so it should be a huge amount of fun all over again, can’t wait!
I should be fine for Saturday (in theory), but I apologise if I’m looking a little tired at Sunday’s Wedding Fayre at Southwood in Halifax…
If you’re getting married and planning your wedding, come along on Sunday 3rd March 2013 to see this wedding magician flaunting his skills in person – a great opportunity to meet me and see my magic in action as well as discuss any requirements or questions you might have. There’ll also be lots of other lovely suppliers to check out and get wedding ideas from, and probably cupcakes… there’s usually cupcakes
Valentine’s Day St. Pancras International Station – Magician London
Last Thursday (14th February 2013) I was hired by the fabulous handbag company Jack French London to be their corporate magician at a Valentine’s day promotional event held at London’s St. Pancras International Station with media and celebrity attendance, exciting stuff!
Keep read on to find out what happened…
Corporate magician – branding magic with Jack French London photo:
I prepared several brand specific magic tricks leading up to the event to help the name and image stick in people’s minds in a truly memorable way! There’s a video above of me showing my sceptical brother and his partner just one of the bits of magic I was performing on the day.
Last minute I also thought about doing something with one of the Jack French London t-shirts they gave me just a day before, but I wanted to dress marginally smarter on the day so decided not to go with a t-shirt, here’s a quick video of me practising though for your enjoyment:
Magician for promotional events – T-shirt magic trick:
(Apologies for the crumbs on the kitchen surface, I’d just made sandwiches to fuel me for the long day ahead!)
Thursday morning I hopped on the train straight to London for the grand unveiling – Jack French had designed a limited edition St. Pancras clutch bag with only 50 available, but not only that – they’d created a gigantic mock-up to style out the lady of the ‘Meeting place statue’ upstairs at the end of the Grand Terrace.
Before guests started to arrive I kept the waiting photographers and reporters happy with close up card magic, but a crowd quickly gathered around mid day for the big unveiling with press, photographers, videographers, a string quartet and ballroom dancers all building up the excitement…
Whilst I was in full mix and mingle magician mode with a group of guests, one of them turned and mentioned: “Oh, Kate’s arrived.” – Kate Moss was stood not too far away with her big anti-paparazzi sunglasses on, a second later a photographer pushed passed me and ran towards her! Unfortunately, the rush of photographers scared Kate Moss away before I had chance to meet her as she legged it into a nearby restaurant for lunch to avoid all the attention! But not before Jack French managed to get a photo with her – all good for their promotion I suppose!
So with the champagne distributed amongst the guests, Jack unveiled the spectacular clutch bag on the statue and things got started! Some guests moved into the private bar area for canapés and others headed straight for the pop up Jack French London shop, which is open until 13th March in St. Pancras station – if you’re passing and you like shopping, why not pop in? – Not me though, I hate shopping… and I’m also not camp enough to pull off a ladies handbag, but you might be…
Oliver performing for Martin Penny – GHD co-founder/Jack French London chairman and son James Penny – Jack French London Marketing Manager
During the 3 hours I was booked as their corporate magician I ‘worked my magic’ for their guests, press and also members of the company to give people something different to talk about, including:
Martin Penny, chairman and also the co-founder of your girlfriends favourite hair straightener company – GHD, who had this to say about me:
“It’s annoying how GOOD you are!”
Martin Penny – Jack French London LTD Chairman, GHD Co-founder
I also met legendary soul singer Beverley Knight who was so stunned when I got her and her friend involved in my close up magic, she couldn’t help but say:
“How the F@£K did you just do that with my phone?!”
I tweeted Beverley after the event and she replied with this lovely comment:
“Your act was insane! I cannot for the love of god figure out how you did that, ace!”
So throughout the afternoon people kept mentioning that Kate Moss might come back after her lunch but with about half an hour left of the event she contacted one of the staff to let them know she wasn’t up to all the media attention and wouldn’t be returning. Shame, I’ve read she’s a fan of magic too, her loss I suppose…
But sales were still ringing through in the shop and there were other VIP’s for me to entertain, so I was having a great time chatting to some exceptionally lovely people!
After the event I conveniently walked over the road to Kings Cross station and got on the train straight back to Leeds – easier than driving to a local event! Most importantly I was back in time to take my gorgeous girlfriend out for a delicious Thai meal – a magical day overall
Last month (January 2013) Cirque Du Soul launched with almighty success in Leeds, selling out of 500 tickets well in advance for their first of potentially 7 club nights across the country. I met the organiser/promoter behind Cirque Du Soul a couple of months in advance to demo my close up magic and after thoroughly amazing them in their home, himself and his house mates decided they needed me to entertain at their new club night. Awesome!
I knew it was going to be fun, but WOW – bad ass tunes were playing when we arrived early to meet the fire performers, dancers and other staff at Full Circle in Leeds. My friend and fellow b-boy (breakdance) crew member Bruce had also been hired to perform acrobatic stilts, dressed as a clown, as the clubbers were arriving to meet and greet them with something completely outrageous and memorable. Then it was my time to shine with a couple of hours of close up mix and mingle magic. Did you spot my dexterous hands briefly at a few points in the above video handling a pack of cards? The ravers minds were thoroughly blown and we had an incredible night!
But this is a touring circus themed club night… so we’re doing it all again tonight in Nottingham! I can’t wait, especially as I’ll be travelling down with Bruce again – much fun is about to be had! We may even get changed after ‘working’ and bust out a few b-boy moves, who knows. Apparently online tickets have now sold out and only a few physical paper tickets are left, so if you want to check out a future month’s Cirque Du Soul and see me performing close up magic in another city – get your tickets early!
So I recently purchased a shiny new camera – a Sony NEX-5R – which is basically a camera that has an image sensor much larger than your average point-and-shoot camera or consumer HD camcorder and allows interchangeable lenses without it being ridiculously huge and bulky (like a DSLR that you see pro photographers using). As it has a massive image sensor the quality is absolutely stunning, especially when combined with the additional portrait lens I got for it – making the important parts of the shot (me) really stand out from the background!
That’s lovely Oliver, I’m truly thrilled for you… but why are you telling me this? Well, the above video is the first one I’ve filmed using my new camera, whoop! The super high image quality results definitely justify my hefty purchase, in my mind at least! So to summarise, I’m well impressed with how professional the video looks and as a result I shall be expressing this excitement to you with more frequent video updates (maybe more photos too)! Yay!
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If you enjoyed my stupidity in this video – leave a comment to let me know your thoughts…
“Oh, it’s good Scottish weather, madam. The rain is falling straight down. Well, slightly to the side like.” William Wallace Braveheart