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Speaking or performing for a live audience is more of an art form than people know. Its not just a matter of getting up there and doing your thing but rather creating the proper staging area so your performance area ensures a receptive audience. What makes a good staging area? Illusionist and Magician Timothy Drake shares some of the secrets he has learned in 20 years of performing for live audiences.
SILENCE PLEASE: Silence is not normally something a performer wants from their audience during their show ( applause is always welcomed ) but silence from an audience at the beginning of a show is when the magician can have the audiences full attention to create a needed connection with that audience. The performer should only introduced when the audience is quieted and a proper introduction can be delivered. If the performer is introduced while the audience is talking and not paying attention then not only is the audience missing the introduction but you are telling the audience that the performer is not worthy of their attention. This starts the show off to a very bad start where the performer has to struggle to gain the attention they didn’t get from the beginning. ” If I can start off with the audiences attention at the beginning of a show … I’ll have no trouble at all keeping it for the duration” says Drake. “The worst way to start a show is to be introduced while people are talking or still finding their seats”
CLOSE THE BAR: Many events feature a bar during dinner and dancing. During a live show however… ( especially a magic show ) the bar should be closed. A magic show is somewhat like a comedy show where there is a build up to a punch line. In this case the punchline is a surprise magic effect that the audience wasn’t expecting. If an audience member is on their way to or from the bar they are missing the set up for that effect as well as the final effect possibly. A line up of several guests at the bar is also an invitation to a conversation where the noise distracts from the performer on stage. It is recommended that the bar be closed before the show but not before guests have been notified that now is a good time to get drinks as the bar will soon be closing.
THE DANCE FLOOR OF DEATH: If you really really want to kill a magic show… put a big empty dance floor directly in front of the stage separating the performer from the audience they are trying to create a connection with. A magician needs to be able to look audience members in the eye if they want to connect with them. Drake likens an audience on the other side of a dance floor to a performer trying to get your attention from across the street. How much interest will you really have in them if you can’t see them clearly? When that interest fades in an audience the talking begins and you have lost your bond with them. Timothy’s show features lots of audience participation and when it comes time to choose a volunteer simply looking into the audience or stepping off stage into a crowd works well. It should be fun and quick so the show isn’t interrupted. If you have to leave the stage and run across a dance floor to search through the dark for a volunteer the momentum in the show lags along with audience attention as the stage is empty and boring in your absence. ” The dance floor of death is a hotly debated topic with many an inexperienced event organizer or catering manager.” explains the illusionist. ” My job as the performer is to ensure the audience has the very best show experience available. Sometimes the event organizer or catering manager simply wants whats easiest for them and not what is best for the show. When I show up to an event and discover and empty dance floor in front of the stage I speak with the person in charge about moving tables on to the dance floor for two reasons. The first is for the reasons stated above and the second is gives those tables in the back that were moved a much closer view and a more enjoyable show experience. Another alternative is to have chairs placed in front of the stage before the show starts. Guests in the back can sit in those chairs during showtime and when the show is over they simply return to their tables and the chairs are removed.
Either way…. there must be an audience in front of the stage. If those seated in front of the stage enjoy the show… everyone in the room will pay attention and enjoy the show. The Dance Floor of Death will kill the show… end of story.
VISIBILITY: As mentioned earlier an audience has to be able to clearly see a performer. If you have more than 100 guests then a stage or riser of some sort is needed to make sure everyone has a good view. The stage should be at least 12 inches to 24 inches high. The larger the crowd the higher the stage so all those in the back can see. Tall centrepieces on a table are a NO NO as well. Nothing blocks a audience members view of a stage like a bouquet of balloons rising up from every table or even a large floral arrangement. If you have ever sat behind a tall person at the movies… you know what we are referring to.
DINNER: And now the golden rule of ANY live entertainment at a banquet. There is a reason they call it AFTER DINNER entertainment and that is because its suppose to be after dinner and NEVER during dinner. If the event is running late on time they may encourage the performer to go on during dinner. No professional would ever do this. Dinner is for dining..aka…eating with focus being on the meal in front of you and in conversation. The guest should expect enjoy that experience and not have to focus on whatever is happening on stage. Imagine sitting at a round table with your back to the stage and being asked to watch the show while you eat? Its pretty much impossible to focus on entertainment while eating when at the same time servers are passing between tables delivering food and clearing dishes and asking you if you’d like more coffee.
If you can follow these rules your live entertainment has a much better chance of success in entertaining your group.
Magician Timothy Drake is a full time entertainer who has performed magic and illusion at banquets, corporate and special events across South Western Ontario and Canada for 20 years. The above mentioned tips are some of the hard earned lessons he claims to have learned the hard way. ” In the beginning I would give in to the caterer who didn’t want to move tables or the event planner more interested in the dancing after the show than the show” says Timothy. ” Then I learned that a poor decision on the event planners part… reflected on my show and not them. It made my show look bad. From that point on I stuck to my guns and insisted the room be set properly so the audience can experience a show they will enjoy.
Magician Timothy Drake performed a large stage show in Strathroy Ontario on March 6th to benefit the Strathroy Rotary Club. The 90 minute fundraiser was a financial success for the Rotary Club as well as a hit with the audience. Timothy performed several large scale magic illusions with audience members. Here you can see him cutting an audience member in half. Drake performs a wide range of magic shows for corporate audiences and at special events across south western ontario and nationwide.
Magician Timothy Drake performs in Strathroy Ontario
As a professional magician who performs mostly in Ontario Canada I don’t get a lot of chance to visit fellow magicians who perform far away. We run into each other at magic conventions or gatherings but other than travelling to see their show it doesn’t happen nearly enough. When another illusionist comes to a theatre near you its a treat to enjoy their show as well as visit them backstage. Comedy Magician Mac King recently performed at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre and brought the house down with his outstanding show. If you are ever in Las Vegas make sure to see his show which has played and will continue to play at Harrahs Casino for years. Its an afternoon show and ranks as one of the top shows in Las Vegas according to tripadvisor.
I have had the chance to see Mac’s show twice in Las Vegas but didn’t want to miss it in Burlington so I didn’t hesitate to get tickets. Mac takes the time to meet and greet the entire audience after the show, thats they type of guy he is. It was nice to catch up and have a quick visit backstage.
Visiting with Mac King backstage at the Burlington Arts Centre
As a professional magician in Toronto Ontario I have had the opportunity to work with many fellow professional entertainers. One such entertainer can be considered an expert in his field as he has a 60 year legacy performing for live audiences. Walter Zaney Blaney has over 4000 shows under his belt and knows what he is talking about. Here he explains the four stages of magic in a clip from Still Zaney After All These Years, a documentary series edited by Magician Timothy Drake and filmed by Illusionist Ryan Joyce.
As a professional magician I am often asked why Timothy Drake chose to be a magician. The reason is quite simple. I perform mostly for corporate audiences in South Western Ontario as well as private groups but people are all the same. During a live performance you connect with the audience in a special way in which for that short time all the outer problems of the world are forgotten. Its a magical time for both illusionist and audience alike. Much of my act was learned from magic legend Walter Zaney Blaney. For some time now I have been editing a documentary series on the many experiences Walter enjoyed during his 60 year career as a professional entertainer. In this video Walter sums up why he chose to be a magician / performer for all those years. Enjoy!
Several years ago myself and fellow magician Ryan Joyce decided to embark on the journey of sharing some of the life of Walter Blaney on video. If you know Walter personally you would have had the honour of being able to hear some wonderful stories from his 60 years in the magic business personally. It only made sense that these stories be shared so future generations of magicians and magic historians can experience them also.
Walter is best known in the magic world as the inventor of the famous Ladder Levitation Illusion. In this chapter of the documentary series titled ” Still Zaney After All These Years ” Walter tells the story of how after a very successful run performing his illusion exclusively he decided to pass the performing rights on to Illusionist David Copperfield. This chapter includes commentary from David Copperfield, Lance Burton and Magic Magazine Editor Stan Allen. To keep updated on additional chapters as they are added you can subscribe to the youtube channel or like the official Facebook page.
South Western Ontario Magician and Illusionist Timothy Drake never lets a moment of fun pass by without making it part of the entertainment factor in his corporate event or family event shows in Toronto and across Ontario. Quite often during Drakes magical performance moments of silliness break out and the Toronto Illusionist is not afraid to let them run their course. This photo taken in Brampton Ontario reflects some of those hilarious moments.
Clean Comedy Magician Timothy Drake has some fun with magic show volunteers on stage.
Toronto Magician and Corporate Illusionist Timothy Drake recently created a bit of magic with a performance at the Elm Hurst Inn and Spa located in Ingersoll Ontario. Drake is a professional illusionist who travels both South Western and Northern Ontario Canada performing magic and illusion at corporate and special events.
Drakes has been performing professionally for over 15 years and that experience has taught him that connecting with the audience is #1 in getting them to drop their guard and be able to experience the magic of the show. Timothy features a lot of comedy ( clean comedy ) and audience participation in his shows much to the delight of those who join the Canadian Illusionist on stage.
Recent performances include shows in Guelph, Toronto and the GTA, Sarnia, Etobicoke, Newmarket, Barrie, Vaughan, London, Oakville, Owen Sound and Collingwood.
Toronto Magician and Corporate Illusionist performs across Ontario Canada.
Special Events Illusionist Timothy Drake recently performed at the Best Western Inn on the Bay in Owen Sound Ontario. Timothys performance was part of a 3 day corporate conference and Drake provided the after dinner entertainment to the group.
Timothy would like to acknowledge his appreciation to the staff at the Best Western for both their professionalism and their hospitality.
Drake show featured both amazing illusions and audience participation resulting in some very funny moments. Seen below are photos of his interaction with an audience member who wished to record the show.
“Owen Sound audiences have always proven to be a fun crowd.” says Drake who performs his magic show at corporate events across Southwestern Ontario. Recent shows have included Windsor, Sarnia, Chatham, London, Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Guelph, Collingwood, Newmarket and Vaughan.
Canadian Illusionist Timothy Drake performing in Owen Sound Ontario.
Canadian Magician Timothy Drake is a special events professional magician in Toronto Ontario who performs at corporate events, banquets, dinners, galas, fundraisers, private and special occasions. Drake has been a professional corporate entertainer in Toronto for over 16 years and specializes in bringing memorable quality entertainment to special events. Timothy’s magic and illusion show rates high on the list of entertainment choices among special events planners in Toronto.
Drake prides himself of his ability to connect with an win over any audience. His show features a mix of magic, drama, comedy and audience participation unlike any other. He travels across Southwestern ontario but performs his magic show mostly in the Toronto and GTA. Recent performances include magic shows in cities like Guelph, Kitchener, London, North York, Barrie, Windsor, Collingwood, Brampton, Newmarket, Brantford, Mississauga, Vaughan and Sarnia.
Professional Magician in Toronto Ontario – Illusionist Timothy Drake
Magician and Illusionist Timothy Drake has been performing magic for over 20 years and professionally as a full time entertainer for the latter 15 years. The Canadian Illusionist is a corporate magician in Toronto, the GTA and across Southwestern Ontario Canada. Drake performs his unique presentation of magic and illusion with a professional class. His show is presented as serious magic where reality seems to bend ( sometimes in a volunteers own hands ) yet included a good dose of comedy and audience participation that ensures all around balanced entertainment suited for all audiences. Drake performs his show as after dinner entertainment at corporate events , banquets, dinners and conferences and is a popular choice among special event planners in the Toronto area. The show is also suited for family events or any special occasion where clean outstanding entertainment is preferred.
Recent engagements included corporate magic show performances in Mississauga, Oakville, Oshawa, Milton, Barrie, London, Newmarket, North York and across the GTA.
Toronto Magician and Illusionist Timothy Drake promises Amazement in his magic shows.
Canadian Magician Timothy Drake is a toronto illusionist who travels Canada performing magic and illusion at corporate events, theatres, banquets, fundraisers or any special occasion. Timothy‘s illusion show is a popular choice of entertainment event planners in Toronto, the GTA and across Southwestern Ontario. Drake performs a large variety of magic from baffling effects that happen in a persons own hands to full large scale illusions on stage. ( las vegas style magic )
Recent magic shows in Toronto and the GTA have included performances in Markham, Vaughan, Newmarket, Oshawa, Oakville, Mississauga, Barrie, Milton and Brampton Ontario.
Windsor Magician Timothy Drake is a corporate illusionist who performs his magic and illusion show at special events, corporate functions, banquets and theatres across Southwestern Ontario from Windsor to Toronto and the GTA. ( Newmarket, North York, Mississauga, Oakville, Markham ) The Canadian Illusionist is a popular choice with event planners, fundraisers and corporate entertainment planners in Ontario cities including Windsor, Chatham, Sarnia, London, Hamilton, Brantford, Owen Sound, Goderich and surrounding areas. Timothy performs his illusions primarily in the Toronto and GTA but travels province wide to perform at special events.
Canadian Magician and Illusionist Timothy Drake performs his signature trick.
North York Magician Timothy Drake is a corporate illusionist who performs primarily for as entertainment for corporate events in Toronto and the GTA. Timothy also performs at private functions and special events across Ontario, Canada. The Toronto Illusionist presents a combination of magic, illusion, drama, comedy , presentation skills and audience participation in his magic shows. After performing professionally for 15 years Drake has learned from experience exactly what it takes to draw an audience into the magic of the moment.
Timothy Drakes recent performance have included magic shows in Toronto, the GTA, Mississauga, North York, Vaughan, Oshawa, London, Sarnia, Windsor and Hamilton.
North York Magician Timothy Drake bends a wine glass in a woman’s hand.
Windsor Magician Timothy Drake offers professional entertainment for corporate and special events across southwestern ontario Canada. This corporate entertainer in Toronto offers a blend of magic, illusion, drama, comedy and audience participation in his after dinner show played at corporate banquets, dinners and special events.
As a professional Illusionist Drake entertains audiences of all sizes, backgrounds and ages. The show is fit for both corporate and family audiences. Drake performs across Ontario and recent shows have included magic performances in Toronto, the GTA, Scarborough, Oakville, Hamilton, Milton, London, Sarnia and Windsor Ontario.
Windsor Magician Timothy Drake performs a levitation with an audience member.
Corporate Magician in Windsor Ontario – Magician Timothy Drake performs magic and illusion designed for special events and corporate functions, dinners, banquets and ceremonies across southwestern Ontario Canada. Timothy travels across Canada presenting professional corporate entertainment for some of Canada’s top corporations.
As an illusionist in Ontario, Drake has developed original illusions to feature in his magic show that both amaze and entertain his audiences. Volunteers on stage have magic happen in their hands and some are even floated in the air. Timothy presents both the most intimate of close up magic to the largest of stage illusions.
Recent magic show performances have included bookings in Toronto, the GTA, Oshawa, Hamilton, Brantford, Stratford, London, Windsor, Goderich and Owen Sound.
The magic of Timothy Drake is show honed from 15 years of experience performing for corporate and special event audiences across Canada and Southwestern Ontario including Toronto, the GTA, Oakville, Mississauga, London, Sarnia and many more.
This corporate entertainer and illusionist combines amazing magic and illusions in his magic show but interjects some storytelling, drama, comedy and audience participation to make it a real crowd pleaser. He even offers clients a money back guarantee on the quality of his shows.
Timothy has been entertaining audiences in Ontario for over 15 years and that experience produces a show to delight audiences of all ages, all background and in any venue. Drakes shows are usually performed as after dinner entertainment at corporate parties and banquets in the Toronto area but Drake does travel across Canada to entertain audiences for all occasions.
Magician Timothy Drake enjoys some audience participation in a magic show performance at a corporate event.
Magician Timothy Drake often asks members of his magic show audience to join him on stage to help in performing an illusion. Timothy likes to blend both original and amazing magic in his corporate after dinner banquet shows. This Toronto Illusionist presents his show at corporate special events and banquets in the Toronto and GTA as well as across south western ontario. Sometimes audience members may be a bit timid about joining Drake on stage as they fear they will be embarrassed or made to look foolish. ” I’d never do such a thing” Drake says. ” I share some clean fun with some of them but for the most part its about making them the stars of the show.” In the photo below a volunteer who was at first skeptical is amazed at the magic that literally happens in her own hands.
Magician Timothy Drake performs at a corporate special event.
Magician Timothy Drake had the recent pleasure of performing his magic and illusion show at the Cutten Club located at Cutten Fields in Guelph Ontario. Timothy is a corporate magician who entertains at special and corporate events across Canada but mostly in Ontario cities including Toronto, London, Cambridge, Sarnia, Guelph, Kitchener and throughout South Western Ontario. Drake‘s show includes magic illusions and effects both large and small but all are guaranteed to delight. It starts with the volunteer on stage says Drake. Guests on stage are never embarrassed but rather made the stars of the show.
Toronto MagicianTimothy Drake prides himself on making a magical connection with those who attend his magic shows in Toronto, London, Stratford, the GTA or any other city in Ontario where he performs at corporate and special events. Drake is an illusionist in the Toronto area who performs at banquets and award shows as after dinner entertainment.
Guests enjoy talking magic with Drake after the shows.
MagicianTimothy Drake is an corporate entertainer in the London Ontario to Toronto and GTA area. Timothy performs his magic and illusion as after dinner entertainment at corporate banquets and special events across Ontario. Drakes magic show has been seen in Ontario cities like London, Ottawa, Sarnia, Guelph, Kitchener, Mississauga and Toronto including the GTA.
Magician Timothy Drake shares a laugh during a magic show near London Ontario
MagicianTimothy Drake is a magician and illusionist who performs at corporate banquets and special events across Ontario Canada including Toronto, London, the GTA, Brampton, Sarnia and any other city in South Western Ontario. Timothy performs original magic and illusions rarely seen by Ontario audiences. The magic show is interactive and often involves audience participation. Drake’s show is featured as after dinner entertainment throughout Canada and Ontario.
CorporateMagician Timothy Drake performs his magic across Canada but primarily in South Western Ontario including Toronto, London, Cambridge, Stratford, Hamilton, Sarnia and many others. Drake performs at corporate banquets and special events as after dinner entertainment. His magic and illusion show is sure to mystify and delight all.
IllusionistTimothy Drake has the honour of working with many talented performers in his magic career. Drake performs magic and illusions at special events and corporate events across Ontario and Canada, but primarily in the Toronto and South Western Ontario region. At a recent magic show in London, Ontario Magician Timothy Drake met up with Matt Elvis Martin. A very talented Elvis Impersonator in London. Matt worked the crowd close up performing many of the Kings classics. It was a performance enjoyed by all in attendance.
Magician Timothy Drake meets Elvis in London Ontario
Toronto MagicianTimothy Drake presents a style of magic and illusion like no other. Drake magic show is a class act. His illusions contain a blend of magic, illusion, storytelling, theatre, drama and have dusting of comedy. The act includes a lot of audience interaction which results in some comedic moments and some pretty astonished faces for those who participate on stage as often the magic happens in their very hands. He performs primarily in Toronto, Ontario and the GTA but also across Canada.
Timothy has developed many original magical effects for corporations across canada to be used in press releases or trade shows. He is one of the few magicians in Toronto who specialize in entertainment for corporate audiences.
Toronto MagicianTimothy Drake enjoys the audience interaction experienced during his illusion / magic shows in Toronto. Drake promises to never embarrass a volunteer for the show but instead likes to make them the star. Many guests at the corporate banquet shows he performs for are often hesitant participate but soon learn its a rewarding experience.
Toronto Magician Timothy Drake selects a volunteer.
Toronto MagicianTimothy Drake has been providing Canada’s top corporations with entertainment solutions for over 15 years. Illusion and the Magical Arts has been the focus for Timothy all of his life. Since childhood he has always strived to create ” magic ” through a wide range of custom creations and inventions.
Original magic effects are highlighted in Timothy’s shows from the most intimate of close up magic to the grandest of stage illusions. He performs primarily in Toronto, Ontario and the GTA performing his unique banquet (after dinner) act for corporate, private and special events across Canada.
He has also developed award winning custom illusions, special effects and displays for corporate clients including floating a car and Vanishing 7 people at once!
Timothy serves as Magic & Illusion Consultant to other illusionists in both Canada and the USA as well as CBC Television. His contributions to magic design have been used worldwide by other performers in their shows. He has won awards for both his custom illusions as well as written contributions to Magic industry publications.
Magician Timothy Drake specializes as a corporate entertainer in Toronto and the GTA for corporate audiences of all sizes. Timothy presents an illusion and magic show that offers a blend of magic and illusion with touch of drama, comedy and story telling. Audience participation plays a big part in Timothy’s corporate magic show as it’s Drakes way of connecting to his audience. Drakes after dinner banquet show is perfect for any corporate event or banquet in the Toronto area including as entertainment for company christmas parties in Toronto.
Magician Timothy Drake also designs and develops special effects for corporate press events and trade shows.
As a professional MagicianTimothy Drake has learned that you don’t move upward and onward in your career without the help and backing of your fellow magicians. From the birthday party to the largest of corporate entertainment shows, the success you may enjoy in that performance is due to the sharing of secrets, advice and assistance from friends in magic. A recent Holographic Project in Toronto would not have been successfully completed if not for the help of to good friends and fellow magicians, The Amazing Corbin and Peter Mennie.
Thats what magicians do….. they help other magicians to further their art. Drake has assisted in the past with media for both Peter and Corbin. Drake recently completed a long overdue website for The Amazing Corbin that you can see here. Its a circle that keeps repeating. Who knows what will happen next. No matter what… it promised to be yet another adventure.
When Toronto MagicianTimothy Drake first began performing he was quite sure that it was the amazing tricks, or the large props or the mystery created in his show that was what mattered most. Drake was wrong. As time and experience performing magic in front of an audience would eventually teach him… it wasn’t the tricks or effects that mattered. Connect with your audience in a magical way and you’ll see for yourself. It’s only the smiles in the audience that matter……. and thats all.
Well… thats what the job calls for doesn’t it? MagicianTimothy Drake enjoys performing magic designed to amaze and entertain his corporate audiences. Open mouths and smiles are always a sign he is doing it right. 😉
If you have ever heard magicians or illusionists ask you to not video tape or photograph their show … it is for a reason. The art of magic is all about fooling your senses and especially about fooling your eyes. Photos and video have the ability to expose the secrets of magic and thus are not welcomed by many magicians. Here is a secret my own camera exposed. This spinning buzz saw attraction at the Shriners Haunted Mansion in London proved to be a lot of fun but had to be retired after two years because some people were simply too afraid to pass through it. The illusion appeared to be large spinning buzz saws with sharp teeth that would come out of the walls at random times and threaten your safety as you walked down the corridor. It was in fact very safe but some visitors were frightened by the look of those giant blades. Here, with the aid of a motion stopping flash you can look closely and see that the blades were really only painted on and the discs were really smoothed edged in case you did get touched by them. When the blades were spinning you eye would not be able to see this and you would instead see only the teeth of the saw blade.
With Summer now a memory we are entering fall and I am dreading the return of the terrible white stuff. Call it white and fluffy and attach any Christmas memories to it but the fact remains that it’s a magicians nemesis. Many times I’ve come very close to having some serious accidents driving to and from shows on snow covered roads of Ontario in the winter. Such is life in Canada.
Back in 2005 a fundraising show I was hired to do was to take place on a Sunday Morning. I don’t know why they expected people to turn out for a magic show at 10:30 am but the client did and the client is always right so it was ON WITH THE SHOW.
Of course Mother Nature had different plans and dropped a blizzard on us in the early AM hrs blocking most roads for miles. Attendance for that show topped a whopping 25 people who braved the storm. We had seating for 275. Not one of my more happy shows I can tell you that. 😉 But the show DID go on and thats what matters. We still had fun.
After the show I decided to mark the occasion and take a photo that I could look back and laugh at some day. Ryan Joyce was a special guest at that show and posed in this photo with me.
On Sept 14th The Society of American Magicians awarded Illusionist David Copperfield the title of “Magician of the Century” as well as ” King of Magic”. Copperfield needs no introduction to either laymen ( what we magicians call you non-magicians ) or magicians. His pioneering magic and illusion had inspired many of todays magic performers around the world. I recently attended his show in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand and had the honor of meeting him backstage after the show. He proved a most gracious host.
Here is the illusion that inspired me to take the step into performing the Magic arts. I hope it will inspire others as well.
Congratulations David Copperfield….. you have earned it.