Mandy Davis - Diva of Deception

Mandy Davis - Diva of Deception - is a professional close up magician working for banquets, dinners, receptions, weddings, bar/batmitzvahs, private parties etc. A member of The Inner Magic Circle, she serves on their ruling Council and currently holds several posts. . Mandy is also a member of Equity and twice honoured with the Society of American Magicians' Presidential Citation.

Sunday, December 10, 2006



10.28 - Bruce emails to offer a job on Saturday evening 9th December. I answer it saying that I'm available.

11.24 - Bruce comes back to me, tells me to pencil his job in for now and he'd get back.
12.08 - Tim emails to forward one he'd received regarding a job on Saturday evening 9th December; his indicates he has put my name forward for this.

17.37 - The guy emails regarding Tim's job - asks if I'm available and what I'd charge. I reply immediately, as usual, explaining what i do and that I'm on hold at the moment and would have to let him know if I am free or not.

I also email Bruce and tell him to let me know asap as I can't hold the job for long; I give him till the morning to let me know.

20.59 - Bruce emails to say 'The client has told me that it is definite but am waiting for info to process the contract.'
I reply saying I look forward to receiving paperwor and I email the other job to say 'sorry, can't do it'.


Bruce calls in the afternoon; he tells me that he is going away to London from his home the next day so won't be around to coordinate the job so has asked the other agency (!) to deal with me directly. He gives me the name and phone number of the contact there and tells me to call them if I don't hear. They will be emailing me.


I am out but Rob receives a call from 'the other agency' giving him all the details of the job, time, venue etc plus contacts at the venue, the agency and even the client who is Gillette.


At 16.30 I receive a call from the girl at the agency to say the job has been cancelled! She is indignant about it but asks me if I belong to a union or similar as I should get them to fight it. She believes that there is a case to answer but she denies that it's her job as an agency to do this. I can't say too much as I have to leave home immediately to get to a booking.

Late that night I download the terms and conditions from that agency and they are quite clear that if clients cancel they will have to pay the fees.


I call another magician who was also booked on this job; he's been cancelled to but has a contract. It appears I also received one that morning in the post - it states that the client is Mapledurham House.

I call Bruce who more or less intimates that it's up to me to deal with the agency as he had bowed out but I point out his name is on the contract and he is not amused.

I call the venue number and speak to Hayley who tells me the contract is all wrong anyway as it's not MapleDurham House but MapleDurham Events. The client, Gillette, have drawn back on their original agreement to spend £3000 and have now only put £500 behind the bar and cancelled the entertainment. She claims to have called the agency to cancel at midday the day before. She also says that the contact for the client is a call centre in India. She also tells me to use Equity to fight the case but doesn't seem to think I will get money from her, just from Gilette.

And there you are - I am going to go to Equity on Monday morning - this whole thing is a farce and I lost a job I could've taken if I'd been less honorable. I should've taken the second job that came in and not waited to see whether this lot wanted me or not.

What a bummer!

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I enjoyed reading my friend Brian's list of favourite foods and wondered what would happen if I decided to do the same thing...

Well I know that Salt Beef and Latkas (or for the American market Corned Beef and potato pancakes) would be on there as would New Green or Polish Pickled Cucumbers. I guess a lot of my favourite flavours come from my Jewish background, memories of childhood - I love my grandmother's chicken soup and my aunt's chopped liver. I make both of those but I've discovered that no one's soup or liver taste the same even though we all use the same recipe, particularly when it's one handed down in a family.

One food memory reminds me of maybe '96 or '97 when Rob and I went to Cornwall and stayed in a modern four poster bed in a country house hotel in Cornwall. Neither of us can remember where exactly but it only had three or four couples staying and we were warned not to tell the others what we were paying as we'd found a special offer! The abiding memory is of the food cooked by the lady of the house, no choice of meal just - 'This is what we are having tonight, will you join us or not?' She made something I've never tasted the likes of before or since - Cointreau and Marmalade icecream made with cornish clotted icecream, it was heaven.

On the subject of icecream although chocolate is the preferred flavour, the best of these is Rocky Road from Dayville's or Baskin Robbins shops as it's full of marshmallows and whole almonds.

A late-in-life liking for olives means that my mouth waters at the thought of those stuffed with garlic cloves and - while we are on the subject of garlic - I must not forget my favourite pre-starter at our special restaurant in Cookham. We love their mixed breads and oil served with a whole large (not so large last time) garlic roasted in the oven so that you just plucked a clove and it popped all squelchy and flavoursome from it's papery covering to melt onto the bread and into one's mouth.

How can one write this without feeling ravenous? Even a guilty pleasure would do now - but McVitie's Plain Chocolate Digestives are only bought when guests are coming so I must invite someone for tea quickly.

I think that's ten - if you count the first two separate items but if it's a combined meal taste then I've room for one more, but only one sadly.

Which shall I choose? It could be Brian's choosing of Toast and Marmalade or his other one of Salted Popcorn (a vital ingredient to any movie-going) but i think it has to be a good Chinese feast of salt baked wings and duck with pancakes.

I think I've gone overboard here.....

Friday, December 01, 2006


At last I've found the time and the inclination to come off that treadmill and write here for my own sanity.

Life is a little calmer befoe the storm with a slightly changed and dimished (literally) YMC team. J-Day was a wonderful achievement and the whole thing went extremely well apart from a young upstart who planned, unknown to me, to perform for half an hour instead of the required fifteen minutes and threw all the timing out so that parents were ready to storm the auditorium in order to retrieve their offspring to get to stations on time for trains home! Luckily I was able to stem this tide and all ended relatively calmly although said upstart barely acknowledges me as he knows full well what an absolute rotter he was that day! That apart, all the planning and organising left for me to do went very well and the team followed their directions and were admirable on the day itself. We even made a satisfactory profit too!

J-Day was the day I 'launched' my new look and it seems to be approved - lots of people saying they like it anyway. Mandy F was told by one guy that he and his friends loved it but they were too shy to tell me! So that's nice - unsolicited praise is always good.

As soon as that was over the magazine had to be put together and that was done in good time - only to find that the printer made a huge mistake and had to redo the cover, causing everything to run later than planned. Oh well, the December issue will be out in December and not November - the first issue to come in a week after the usual end of previous month deadline...

Just had a wonderful weekend with a very satisfactory workshop day followed by an excellent concert with Max Somerset wowing the kids - I even got to perform some close up myself. Then to the International Weekend hotel to hang out with old friends. Sunday brought an unexpected kids' show for the family from hell (kids great but parents no help, not there and all facilities non-existent such as parking and help to get equipment to basement). Then hour and a quarter to get from Fulham to Kings Cross for the gala show which was wonderful. Tony Chapek is a real dish and his act is so very different with interactive TV screen and lots of magical moments too.

Then hanging out with everyone, handing out magazine copies and getting photos of 'stars' in return - from Tony to Mike Caveney and Tina Lennert, Lex and Alina (quick change act), and David Regal who spend two or three hours sitting at a table with Angelo, Ian Rowland, Mandy and me
while Max Somerset ran here and there being silly. John Archer joined us too - we had such a huge laugh till 5 a.m! Magic people are so warm and welcoming if you treat them right.

Tomorrow is 1st December and the start of the Christmas bookings. They add up OK although still room for improvement as not reached last year's target. Hopefully some last minute stuff will come in and fill the gaps.

Hope to blog more regularly now.....