Category Archives: Corporate Functions

Maya’s Bat Mitzvah

Yesterday I performed at a Bat Mitzvah, which is the Jewish ceremony/celebration of a girl becoming of age. It happens when she turns 12 years old and is always such a milestone for the family. I was very fortunate to be invited to perform for the family and their close friends.

It was a special treat to see Maya who is very talented herself, and to watch her enjoy the magic as much as she did. It was like 2 talents were combined. She sings. I try to sing… I’m not good at it though. So overall I had fun and the comments I received from the guests and family were very positive.

You can see the pictures that were taken of the show in the Galleries tab at the top of the page. Feel free to leave a comment and please check me out on facebook https://www.facebook.com/GregGelbMagician where you can see more pics and notifications of my upcoming appearances in and around Cape Town.

As always if you want to book me for a show – just drop me an email. And if you want to hear what people are saying please click the Reviews tab at the top.

Now go and use your own magic to brighten others’ day!

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Magically launching Duvel Beer Tripel Hop

I was hired to perform last night at the Beerhouse on Long Street in Cape Town where the Belgian Beer Company launched Duvel Beer Tripel Hop. I arrived a few minutes early and was encouraged by the organisers of the event and the owner of the Beerhouse to warm up with some of the customers before the guests started to arrive. The tables that I did perform at loved the magic and they were just so welcoming of my presence. As I have mentioned in the previous post ,the table belongs to the people sitting there and it is their private space that I need permission to enter.

The Beerhouse on Long

The Beerhouse on Long

6pm arrived and off I went in my suit and purple tie to perform, “schvitzing” (Yiddish for “sweating”) already! I had 3 sets planned to do that night and I just chopped and changed and mixed and matched depending on my mood and depending on the group of people whom I was performing for.

It was so interesting because my opening effect for a lot of the magic was just burning a little bit of flash paper and producing a sponge ball – those balls I tell you, what a great, classic effect (#ThanksAlGoshman), obviously with the crude lines in, such as: “I’m gifted”, “cough” and “don’t squeeze them too hard, I feel that”, it went down really well. One must never underestimate the power of potentially an intro to an effect. Normally flash paper is used to introduce an object like a coin, ball, or silk and those are then used in the next effect. But just a little bit of paper really goes along way.

What was also interesting to note was that out of the 2 hours of constant performing, only one guy chose not to see the magic. The rest were so forthcoming and even the guests who towards the end of the night got a little tipsy (I use that word lightly because some guys got INCREDIBLY tipsy) enjoyed the magic even more. I am always wary about performing for drunk people because they can get quite rowdy and can unintentionally ruin the magic for others. But I also think it depends on the performer’s personality. The type of magic that I do is really relaxed and non-threatening, and I have a really open and friendly personality, so actually performing for those guys was really enjoyable for me. They even called me back for more magic, which is such a compliment.

Some of the effects that I did really got incredible reactions: the flash paper to sponge and into my sponge ball routine (spongey balls multiply in the spectators hand), flash paper to coin and into my coins to glass routine (Coins travel one at a time invisibly to an empty glass), ambitious card with a finale of their signed card landing up on a tag, ring leader (borrowed ring magically hopping on and off an examined piece of cord); and my invisible deck (spectator takes invisible deck of cards, picks a card and reverses it in the invisible pack, then in a normal deck of cards is produced and their thought-of card is the only one reversed in the pack).

Before I knew it, 8pm came and I had to bid farewell. I had such a great time performing for the guests and was so grateful for them allowing me to entertain them. They could have easily decided to say no and continue with their chats, but they were open and willing to see some magic. As important as it is to be thanked by the host for coming, it is equally as important to thank them and the audience for allowing you the opportunity to perform. So thank you to all who were there and all involved in getting me to the Beerhouse.

I look forward to many more opportunities to share my  magic.

Duvel-Tripel Hop

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Magic and YOU!

So 2014 is well under way and I must say so far it is going well. There are some awesome things ahead for me and I am excited to share them with you as they occur.

I finally finished my honours in clinical psychology and next year I will be tackling Masters. I am already thinking about a thesis and I think something along the lines of deception and magic will do me well.

So with me now, I am embarking on restaurant magic. And I have been thinking about the interactions between the magician and the customers in the restaurant. The table that they are sitting at is their table. It is their private place to communicate with each other and enjoy their meal together. So what right does the magician have for coming in and entering their space? Their personal and private space?

So as the hired magician, whether working for tips or getting paid a flat rate it is your job to be there! But walking up; throwing your cards on the table; pulling up a chair; taking a sip of someone’s coke is just not the right way I’m afraid.

Just because you have the right to be there, doesn’t mean they will let you enter their space. So you need to be wary of that. Your entry to their table in my opinion is stronger than your first effect. First effects are incredibly important – I mean if your first trick is pup and weak then I’m afraid the chance of the tip or them enjoying the magic is quite low. But if you barge in their space and blow their minds out of the water, they probably will think you have incredible skill but are incredibly arrogant and either won’t return to the restaurant because of the chance that you will be there or they will refuse to see your magic and complain to the manager, which will not bode well for your career at that particular restaurant or even the future.

You need to smile. Show dem white, clean teeth. Psychologically speaking, the way we look, our first impression is what remains. Smiling is non-threatening.

You want the customers to be intrigued as to what you have to offer. You don’t want them to go “oh f**k the clown is here to show off.” So the smile lowers their guard and opens them up to the interruption.

Talking in a friendly voice, showing interest in them as people and not just as a vending machine that can vomit out money instead of a cold coke. These are people; humans with feelings. Going up and saying something like “Hey there, how was your meal? Oh you haven’t gotten it yet? I’m sure it’s on its way but in the mean time how about I share with you something that will play with your mind?” That sort of approach shows them that you’re interested. Look, there are many, MANY opening lines that work, however this is the one that I like.

Some magicians say that the customers don’t have the authority to answer the question if they want to see some magic because not many people have seen a close-up magician in real life. They have seen Dynamo and David Blaine and clowns, but not a legit close-up magician. I hear that point and agree with it, but I think just walking up and going straight into an effect could seem invasive. Again I suppose it depends on the table as well as your style. I wouldn’t say “I’m a magician let me show you a trick” I would show them I am a magician. But I would ask if they would like to see something mind-boggling.

I guess after writing all this, the opening effect is YOU (and Eugene Burger agrees). So be the best you you can be and go and wow the next table you walk up to! I know I will.

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Resident Magician for PR-NET

It has been a while since I last wrote, but I have been very busy not only in studying for my upcoming postgraduate exams, but also more importantly (I hope my parents don’t read this… YOLO), taking my magic out into the Real World and entertaining strangers.

Recently I officially became the Resident Magician for PR-NET, a platform for media-related discussions to take place, develop media contacts, and interact with others from other businesses. They have weekly meetings both in Cape Town and Johannesburg and it there, in Cape Town specifically that I come, before the meeting begins, and entertain the guests. Guests range from managers of big companies to representatives and heads of social media departments.

Performing magic with PR-NET at the PUMA studios

Performing magic with PR-NET at the PUMA studios

I use this as a platform for me to meet important people and establish a connection with them as well as practice new material and continuously perform for strangers in real-world environments.

Performing at 12 Apostles with PR-Net

Performing at 12 Apostles with PR-Net

The last meeting was held in Tokai (still a part of Cape Town but more southwards) and it was with the TV Manager of Top Billing, a prestigious local TV show. I had loads of fun performing for Patience Stevens, who is the executive producer and creator of the show, and tried my best to show her hard-hitting, hard-to-forget-me magic, so come December, I will get a call to entertain the team for Christmas. Listen guys: If your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough!

The challenge with the weekly/fortnightly performing is that most of the same people come to the events, which means I have to have new material to show them. This challenge is welcomed and as Barney Stinson says: “Challenge accepted!”

My thoughts on the constant performing is that something will bite, and until then I’m going to keep wowing people, enjoying what I do, gaining confidence and making connections with important people.

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