Mandy Davis - Diva of Deception

The Diva of Deception, Mandy Davis, is a professional close up magician and balloon modeller working for the corporate market as well as banquets, dinners, receptions, weddings, bar/batmitzvahs, private parties etc. As a member of The Magic Circle, she is chairman of the Young Magicians Club and editor of their coveted glossy magic magazine. Mandy is also a member of Equity.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

COMPUTER BLUES II

You take it for granted don't you?

Sitting down every morning to mindlessly delete all the penis enlargement ads or the selections of drugs available at the click of a button... reading the emails that actually are addressed to you from people you know.

Tell me - how did we manage without Google? Everything you want to know is there plus many things you didn't! Every twist and turn of your day can involve googling something that will improve life in general.... where is that restaurant Joe mentioned last night? Which is the best way to get to the next appointment? I must send flowers to friends in the US... I must buy that book they were talking about on the radio.. It's all there at the click of a google button - and then it isn't!

All I did was reboot, honest! I heard the start up sound, I heard certain programs whirring away and even the final opening of Skype which always signals the completion of 'restart' but... nothing! A bewildering black screen showing no light at the end of the imac tunnel. If in doubt - reboot again. So I did - and still nothing.

It was the end of the line for my five year old machine. I'd overworked it to extreme and it had decided enough was enough in spite of the extra memory and the recent clean up of files it had breathed its last. I needed to find a repair man - but I couldn't google it so had to rely on others t do that for me.

A mac specialist gave advice over the phone but it didn't help so he called back to make an appointment to visit.

'Tell me straight' I demanded, 'What are the chances of you coming over here and still telling me I have to buy a new one?' 'Extremely likely,' was his reply and so I knew what I had to do. I needed to look for a new computer - but I couldn't google it!

Eventually I did the only thing I could do - with no money available but a currently unused John Lewis store card in hand I drove down to Brent Cross and returned clutching the unlimited joys of a brand new machine with lots of exciting new on screen gadgets.

Now came a new problem - how to get the information, and some old familiar applications, from the old onto the new when you can't see what you are doing. It's easy, they said, just connect the two by firewire. So I tried but a photo of the backs of both proved that one had a 400 fitting and the other an 800 although the wire was the same at both ends - they don't warn you about this anywhere. A new cable had to be bought but this still didn't do the trick - and desktops are heavy to carry through heavy shopping centres to Mac Stores however helpful they profess to be.

In the end a PC experienced hardware friend came over and performed an autopsy, removed the hard drive and connected it, eventually. I had to check that he had the 'special screwdriver' that a friend in the US advised was needed. Turned out that he did have this but was thankful I'd mentioned it as he would not have brought it with him. The outside screws were quite normal but once you got inside.... However now I could transport most, but not all, of what I wanted and needed.


So here I am - a new computer with lots of things to play with. I haven't had time to do much investigating yet but I'm back with my beloved Google to answer everything once more. What more can a girl need?

Monday, June 01, 2009

MAGIC WORKSHOPS - THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

It's official - well put it this way: I have truly discovered my metier in this uncertain world of magical entertainment.

I have alway known that i could teach - just don't have formal qualifications. My problem was that I have never been that sure that I knew enough to set myself up as a teacher, even of the basics. So although I launched highly successful one-off corporate workshops, I couldn't bring myself to suggestion follow ups. I was an excellent tutor for people who have no knowledge of magic but would love to learn a little to impress friends and even to add to their selling techniques. These workshops have been very sought after and I continue to infiltrate corners of the City, working with companies who wish to entertain top clients and offer them meals plus something extra and different. However I've always kept these as one-offs, not prepared to go back and take these people to the next level. However...

Last week I ran a series of half-term workshops for teenagers in an East London borough. This time I'd be working with the same group for ten hours of instruction.

I have to say, though, it was great! The kids were very focussed and interested, only one had short concentration span and I had a very enthusiastic teaching assistant who helped out with one boy who was autistic. She had a brilliant time learning magic - and taught the crowd the infamous 21 card trick (every non-magician who says to a magician 'I can do a card trick, can I show you?' invariably does this one! Twelve had signed up for the course but we lost three brothers due to the fact that the eldest already had amazing card skills but wasn't interested in learning other tricks such as rope magic or mind reading so they only came along for the first day.

The remaining nine had to 'put on a show' in the last part of the last day, and that was particularly worrying, but they all came up trumps; they performed for thirty minutes and had a wow of a time. We ended up with only three card tricks, two rope tricks, one book test and one escape performed by two magicians simultaneously. So it was a varied show and their performance skills improved greatly over the four days. We had started with all of them shuffling their feet, swaying from side to side and talking to the floor. We ended up with them all looking at the audience and standing relatively still... although some forgot their opening line 'Hello, my name is ......... and I am a magician!'

I really enjoyed myself and am looking forward to repeating the exercise in August. Last week's group all professed a desire to continue to work with me but the organisers are loathe to do an improvers' group so I have to start again with new kids... let's hope they are just as good and as receptive and I have a super summer too.

So - now I can say, without hesitation, that I can take a group and give them a series of basic workshops covering various disciplines of magic so that everyone will have a really great time and learn something useful too! After all anything that helps you to stand up in front of a crowd and not fall flat on your face has to be a worthwhile endeavour!

So contact me for your group - but be warned, before you begin you have to sign a Magician's Oath not to tell.

Can you keep the secrets?