Halloween Magic Show

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A magic show and Halloween go together perfectly and here are some ideas on how to host a show for the season. Halloween falls on a Monday this year which means it will be a great weekend to combine the holiday with a party. Harry Houdini passed away on Halloween and so it has always been a special event for magicians.

I offer a kid-friendly Halloween show where a picture of a house magically becomes filled with ghosts and the kids get to meet my invisible ghost, Chester, who drinks a glass of milk and writes a message on a chalk slate. My costume fits the theme and many of my past clients make my show the big event at the end of their party.

Set up your house for a night of spooky happenings and check out Party City’s Halloween page at http://www.partycity.com/content/halloween+party+ideas.do . For the girls you can mix the theme with Frozen or a princess party and, for the boys, Batman is a natural fit. Ideas for activities include a scavenger hunt, costume contest and a Jack-o-Lantern piñata. While the party’s happening you can have a movie playing on the big screen and I suggest: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Sesame Street’s A Magical Halloween Adventure and Disney’s Wicked.

If your child’s birthday falls close to October 31st you can combine the two for a truly epic event. My show combines elements of the birthday party and the Halloween theme. If you’re in the Houston area, and like this idea, please contact me for a Halloween Magic Show at http://www.houstonmagician.com or you can e-mail me at houstonmagician@gmail.com. You can also give me a call at 281-433-8352. Thanks for reading! Steve Burton Magician

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Magic Birthday Party Checklist

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Have a plan for where you’re going to hold your party. See my suggestions in the post in December, 2014 on party places not in your home.

Ask your son or daughter who they would like to invite and get them to write down their names. Don’t forget cousins and other relatives along with their school chums.

Call me and see if I’m available on the day you have in mind. You might also check with important guests and see if they’re available on that date as well.

Make a list of party supplies including: invitations, thank you notes, decorations, tablecloths, napkins, cake, ice cream and a sign for the party. Beside each item on your list put a possible source either on the internet or at stores in the area. Your goal is to be able to get everything you need in one day if you have to go out shopping. Send out the invitations when they arrive and order things on the internet well in advance.

Think about the food you’re going to serve. Keep it simple with finger foods like celery with peanut butter filling, carrots, popcorn balls, little sandwiches and the like. Drinks can be purchased in advance and chilled the day of the event. When you decide what you’re going to serve; make a grocery list.

Order the cake so it will be ready ahead of time. If you have room in your fridge get the cake early so you don’t have as many errands the day of the party.

The day before your party decorate the house and do any last minute shopping. Prepare the finger foods and clean the house and back yard. You should be ready for a great party the next day when all you have to do is ice down the drinks, bring out the food, and put the sign in the front yard. You won’t have to worry about me as I will have confirmed my appearance a few days before. Get your son or daughter to lend a hand, after all it’s really their day and they should be happy to pitch in! Good luck!

Contact me at http://www.houstonmagician.com or call me

281-433-8352.

The Magical Cookie Cake!

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Have a look at what Staci and her Mom made for her son Quinn’s 6th birthday party. An easy to make chocolate chip cookie cake! Chocolate chip cookie dough was pressed into shape (make sure it’s thick enough to be a real cake) and baked. It’s like two big cookie cakes joined together. After that they used different colors of buttercream to make the rabbit in the hat, the wand and the stars. You can use a toothpick to dot out a guide and you may want to practice writing on a piece of parchment paper first to get your lettering correct. Use melted chocolate with a different coupler on your pastry bag for the edges. With Staci’s and her Mom’s template you should be able to create a delicious cake with very little expense and effort. Who says you have to buy an expensive store bought cake for a magical birthday?

Steve Burton

http://www.houstonmagician.com

steve@houstonmagician.com

Call me at 281-433-8352

Thanks for visiting!

 

Saving Money on Birthday Entertainment

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Would you be interested in saving 50% on entertainment at your next birthday party? This blog post will tell you how.

Entertainment costs are higher for magicians (as compared to other party activities such as “bounce” houses) because we have more up front costs. These include costume cleaning, taking care of animals, extra income tax for self-employeds, gas, toll roads, etc. These costs really add up; I’m one of few magicians in Houston that carry full insurance for my events, for instance.

Here’s how to save half your costs. When your child’s next birthday comes around pay attention to invitations you get to other children’s parties about the same time. Make a note of them and how close their birthday is to your child’s. Also, ask some of your relatives about any of their kids that are celebrating within a few weeks of  your date. Pay attention especially to any home-schooled kids in your circle and your neighborhood that have birthdays within a few days or weeks of your event.

When you’ve gathered that information, contact the parents and ask them about having a joint celebration where you split everything 50-50 when the birthday rolls around. This way your entertainment costs will be half what they would be if you took on the whole amount yourself.

This idea is something that has been around for a long time for parents whose children have birthdays close to the same time. But you can make it work for you too if you don’t mind sharing your event with one other child. Sometimes, it’s a friend of your son or daughter and it would be the same kids invited to both parties anyway. If you use a neighborhood clubhouse it’s even more of a win-win situation as neither of you will need use their home. As an entertainer it’s easy to work for two birthday children as I’ve had to prepare for that kind of show when the birthday kids are twins.

Contact me for your next party at http://houstonmagician.com and don’t forget to like my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Houston-Magician/112830932656

Thanks for reading!

 

What’s on the Houston Magician Blog?

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Hello! Thanks for checking my magic party blog.

Here are the topics we’ve covered so far, check the month and year at the left to access the posts. Mobile users will need to scroll down to see the content. Beginning at the first post we find:

In March, 2014 we discussed decorating for the party and what time to schedule the show on the day of the event.

In April, 2014 I talked about a clever hat invitation the you can make for special folks.

In May, 2014 we had a post on how to increase the visibility of your party from the street; this is a big help to your guests.

In June, 2014 the theme was Carnival Magic.

In July, 2014 I talked about how to protect your valuables during the party.

In August, 2014 I wrote about appropriate music for children’s parties.

In September, 2014 I detailed how to go about hiring my magic show for your event.

In October, 2014 I posted a neat idea on a rabbit in the hat birthday cake. Thanks Bethany!

In November, 2014 I told the best way to set up your living room for a magic show. I’ve had several parents tell me this was a big help when they hosted my show.

In December, 2014 we talked about finding the perfect place to have your party if you don’t want to have it in your home.

In January, 2015 I talked about my show for Cub Scout Blue and Gold banquets.

In February, 2015 I gave my reasons for having shows inside rather than outdoors and how to work around our weather.

In March, 2015 I discussed the reason a professional entertainer is your best choice.

In April, 2015 I created this table of contents.

In May, 2015 I gave a great idea on how to cut your entertainment costs in half.

In June, 2015 I revealed a great cookie cake that is both easy and fun to make. Thanks Staci!

Contact me on my website at http://www.houstonmagician.com or email me at steve@houstonmagician.com for more information on having a magic show for your next party!

Steve Burton Professional Magician

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Contact Steve Burton at (281) 433-8352 or email me at houstonmagician@gmail.com!

Yes, I’m a full-time professional magician which means magic shows are how I make my living. I read a book on Houdini when I was young and aspired to become a magician when I grew up. Some say this constitutes a “calling” but I see it more as an expression of my personality and my desire to share this wonderful craft that so captured my imagination when I was a boy. But I’ve discovered that this isn’t the case with many of the people who also perform magic shows in our area.

Some people who charge good money for shows are not really magicians in the strictest sense of the term. They are often puppeteers, jugglers, balloon artists, or clowns and they simply add in a little magic so they can book the shows under the “Magic Show” designation. There is nothing wrong with this unless they mislead their customers into thinking they’re going to perform as a magician. They are technically doing a Variety act that may or may not be what you’re looking for when you hire a magic show.

And you notice I said I’m a “full-time professional” magician and not a part-time performer. Why would this make a difference? Couldn’t someone do something in their spare time and do just as of a job as a professional? I think so, IF the person was conscientious and took the job seriously, they could do a competent show. But the problem comes when their full-time position interferes with their part-time ambitions. I don’t know how many times I’ve received a panicked telephone call on Friday night from a parent who just had their entertainer cancel at the last minute. It’s always sad and sometimes I can come to their rescue but often I’m booked and cannot help.

Here’s how it happens; the part-timer has the show on his or her calendar for a Saturday or Sunday. But it’s been a busy week and shows take preparation and they just haven’t had the time. They procrastinate, thinking they can get it all done the night before and be ready by the weekend. But rush hour traffic, last minute dinner preparations or family issues in general eat up their Friday time and they realize they will need to stay up late preparing and practicing in order to make it happen the next day. That’s when they give up, pick up the phone and call you citing “family issues” as their reason for the cancellation.

When you hire me you will not need to worry about this situation. I’ll call and confirm both by email and telephone the week prior and cancellation (especially the night before!) is not my way of doing business. Think about it, if you were to hire a plumber, a lawyer, or any other service person, would you want someone who does it as a hobby?

I hope you’ll give me a chance to show you my magic and make your event a real success. My website is http://www.houstonmagician.com or you can email me at houstonmagician@gmail.com. Thanks for reading!

Outdoor Parties in Houston

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Yes, our weather in the Houston area can be a real challenge sometimes, but we love it anyway! They say, if you don’t like Texas weather, just wait a few minutes and it will change. Wait long enough and you can experience our yearlong merry-go-round of hot, humid, cool, pleasant, wet, and sometimes “hurricaney” outdoor extremes. That being said, I love the weather on the Texas Gulf Coast especially  in the months of October, November, February, March and April. However, I don’t do my show outdoors for a number of reasons. That doesn’t mean you can’t have your party outside, it just means that the show portion must be held inside away from the elements in order for it to work.

The wind causes major headaches for me and my props. I often use light articles like cards, silk handkerchiefs and the like, so in a windy environment my props go sailing away. So no matter how nice the weather is that day, the wind will interfere with my show. I also use live animals and my bunny rabbit and dove can be hurt if they’re kept too long enclosed in a hot and humid environment. Also, if I do my show outside the noise can be real problem. It seems that as soon as I would begin, that’s when the lawn crew would show up to mow the yard next door.

So how can you have an outdoor party and still have a great magic show for everyone to enjoy? It’s simple really and I’ve done it many times. The show is set-up in the living room and the guests are kept outside. When it’s time for the performance the kids line up outside and are marched into the living room. They then have a seat on floor (see my other blog posts on how to set up your living room for this); watch the show and when it’s over they get in line for me to give them their goody bags. Then we take them right back outside for the cake ceremony and the rest of the party. They only come in for the show and leave right after so they do not inhabit your living room for very long. Your house has to be somewhat open anyway for your guests to use the rest room so you need to have some access to your inside area regardless. So do plan your party outside but follow my suggestions for planning for the magic show.

Thanks for your kind attention!

Write me at houstonmagician@gmail.com or visit my website at http://www.houstonmagician.com.

Magic shows for birthday parties and all family events!