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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.
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.
Professional Magician and Illusionist Timothy Drake performs a very unique and professional magic show for special events, galas, corporate banquets, galas and family events. Drake has been a corporate entertainer in Toronto and the surrounding area for over 15 years. During that time Timothy has logged thousands of hrs in front of audiences and has used that experience to build a show designed to entertain on all levels.
” Its about connecting with the audience” says Drake. The audience has to like the magician to the point they are willing to lower their guard and simply enjoy the magic rather than seeing it as a challenge. The Toronto Illusionist performs many original illusions in his show which is heavy on audience participation. Audience members become part of the show at several points during the magical presentation.
Timothy has performed across Canada but entertains primary in Southwestern Ontario including Toronto, London, Windsor, Guelph, Kitchener, Sarnia, Mississauga, Oakville, Owen Sound and many more cities across the province.
Special event planners in Toronto Ontario agree that quality entertainment is a top priority to ensure a successful dinner event, banquet, gala, fundraiser or corporate gathering. Many choose Toronto Magician and Illusionist Timothy Drake to provide such entertainment for their corporate and VIP clients. Drake has been a professional entertainer in the Greater Toronto Area for 16 years and it shows in his stage show. Timothy presents a mixture of amazing magic, large scale illusions, ( an audience member floats in the air and girls vanish and appear ) , comedy and audience participation.
Drake is the designer of many custom illusions and also acts as magic consultant to other performers, theatres, television, magicians and illusionists across North America. He travels across Canada performing for crowds big and small but focuses mainly on Southwestern Ontario as well as Toronto and the GTA. Timothy’s magic shows range from intimate close up magic where audience volunteers experience the magic happen right in their hands or larger las vegas style magic where pretty girls are levitated or vanished only a few feet in front of the audience members.
In recent weeks Drake has performed in Ontario cities such as Missiissauga, Oakville, London, Brampton, North York, Newmarket, Vaughan, Barrie, Windsor, Sarnia, Toronto, Collingwood, Hamilton, Etobicoke and Scarborough.
Professional Toronto Magician and Illusionist Timothy Drake
Mississauga Magician Timothy Drake recently performed his unique brand of magic and illusion at the Apollo Convention Centre in Mississauga Ontario. Timothy was the featured entertainer at a formal dinner party held by University Students.
Drake has been a professional magician in Toronto and the GTA for over 16 years and it shows in his very polished, very professional illusion show which makes him a first choice for many event planners in Toronto and across southwestern ontario. The Canadian illusionist most often performs as after dinner entertainment at corporate and special events in Toronto including banquets, dinners, galas, fundraisers and company parties.
Drake goes right to work at the beginning of his magic and illusion show to win his audience over immediately and he does. Timothy includes a lot of audience participation in his show where the audience becomes part of the magic. One lovely lady from the audience is even levitated in the air to the astonishment of both her and the audience.
Timothy Drake performs across Canada but focuses primarily on bookings in Southwestern Ontario. Recent shows include performances in Newmarket, Mississauga, Guelph, Toronto, Sarnia, Oakville, Oshawa, Barrie, London, Brantford, Windsor, Etobicoke, Owen Sound and Collingwood.
Illusionist Timothy Drake is a professional magician in Mississauga Ontario Canada
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
The Canadian Magician and Illusionist entertains at special events and corporate events such as banquets, galas, fundraisers, press releases and awards dinners. His show offers audiences a mixture of amazing magic, illusion, drama, comedy and audience interaction. Audience members who join Timothy on stage experience magic happening in their own hands and become the stars of the show.
Drake performs across Canada and southwestern ontario. Recent magic show performances included shows in Guelph, Barrie, London, North York, Brampton, Newmarket, Mississauga, Sarnia, Windsor, Brantford, Oakville and of course Toronto.
Timothy Drake – Professional Magician in Toronto Ontario
Magician Timothy Drake is a special events entertainer in Collingwood and Ontario Canada. The Toronto Illusionist travels southwestern ontario performing at corporate events, banquets, dinners, fundraisers and special events. Timothy Drake has been a professional magician in Canada for over 15 years. His interest in the magical arts began long before that but Drake spent years perfecting his act to a point he decided to become a full time professional magician in the corporate market.
Drakes magic show included a lot of amazement, drama, laughs, comedy and audience participation. It is guaranteed to impress any audience and will be something that is long remembered by those who see it. Event planners across Toronto and the GTA choose Timothy Drake when quality matters.
Recent southwestern ontario magic shows include performances in London, North York, Collingwood, Newmarket, Guleph, Kitchener, Brampton, Barrie, Sarnia and Windsor.
Toronto Magician Timothy Drake performs across Southwestern Ontario including Collingwood.
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.
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.
Timothys corporate show is also suitable for family and private special occasions. It includes amazing magic effects, comedy, drama, and audience participation. Drake offers magic ranging from smaller effects to large scale vegas style illusions. Timothy is the creator of many custom special effects and illusions featured at corporate events and trade shows across North America.
Magician Timothy Drake shares a laugh at at corporate magic show.
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.
Magician Timothy Drake performs a wide variety of magical illusions in his corporate and special events magic shows. Drake performs his illusion show as after dinner entertainment at corporate banquets, dinners, awards ceremonies and meetings in Toronto, the GTA and Southwestern Ontario including cities such as Mississauga, Guelph, Oakville, Niagara Falls, Hamilton, Kitchener and London.
Magician Timothy Drake vanishes a girl in an Illusion show at a corporate holiday party.
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.
Magician Timothy Drake is a Corporate Entertainer who performs at various special events and banquets as after dinner entertainment in Ontario. Timothy entertains audiences across Ontario including shows in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Cambridge, Stratford, London, the GTA and anywhere else across in the south western ontario area. Drakes magic show features not only some amazing original magic and illusions but also includes some audience participation that is sure to delight. Making the audience part of the magic is important to Drake as the Toronto Magician knows what it takes give them an experience they will not forget.
Toronto Magician Timothy Drake jokes with an audience member during a show in Tiverton Ontario.
MagicianTimothy Drake has always had a soft spot for Halloween and the entire fun spooky atmosphere it creates. As a child Drake made his own costumes as the small town he grew up in didn’t have any of the large costume shops like McCullochs Costumes in London. McCullochs features both London’s largest assortment of costume rentals and londons largest collection of costume sales. They pride themselves on being the ultimate halloween supply shop and also carry a complete line of halloween decorations. McCullochs provided spooky special effects, costumes and decorations to the Shriners Haunted Mansion for its entire 8 year run.
So many Halloween Costumes to chose from at McCullochs Costume in London
Try your Halloween Costume on at McCullochs Costume in London
For many years magician Timothy Drake utilized a 3D Holographic project effect at the Shriners Haunted Mansion to created the virtual ghost special effects seen wandering its spooky halls. The illusion of objects floating in mid air is created for the viewer. That special effect eventually found its way into multiple trade shows across North America. Recently Toronto Magician Timothy Drake was asked to recreate that effect but in a much larger scale for a corporate client in Ottawa, Ontario. Objects up to 10 feet wide appeared, floated and vanished in mid air. Fellow London Magician Peter Mennie joined Timothy in Ottawa for the two day build. It proved a very large ( pardon the pun) success.
Back in 2004 we were in our 6th year of the Shriners Haunted Mansion in London. The local tv news channel would stop by and visit us each year as part of their early morning broadcast. That was always tough on me as I was usually up late the night before doing repairs and maintenance to the displays that needed attention. It shows in some of my early morning tv appearances more than others. Often I’d get to bed at 3 and them have to be at the Haunted Mansion to welcome the news crew at 6 am. Watch the official Shriners Haunted Mansion blog for more video soon.
2000 was the second year of the annual Shriners Haunted Mansion in London. The local tv news stopped by to visit and do some coverage for the evening news. In this video you’ll see the a very different Haunted Mansion than we ended up with. It was year 2 and everything we had fit into my garage and one semi trailer. We ended up with 5 semi trailers full in later years. You’ll also see a much younger Timothy Drake. LOL
Back in 1999 I built the first ever Shriners Haunted Mansion. It was quite small compared to the monster it became. It was located at the Oxbury Mall in London Ontario and was my first attempt of mixing some of my favourite things together. ( Magic and Halloween ).Here is some tv news coverage from that very first year.
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.
I am often asked WHERE the Haunted Mansion is when it is not assembled and operating during the Halloween season. The truth is I am hiding it in plain site yet many people pass by it all day and never notice it. The Haunted Mansion is stored in 5 semi trailers at a Forest City Storage in London.
We had a lot of fun with this illusion at London’s annual Western Fair several years ago. I was given the opportunity to perform on the Western Fair Grandstand stage and wanted to do something BIG. I decided to vanish 7 people at once. I chose 7 local celebrities and Audience members were chosen by lottery draw to come on stage and act as audience witnesses.
About the 3rd or 4th year I did the Shriners Haunted Mansion we got a call from some very nice people who owned a junkyard ( or.. auto recycling yard as they call them these days ). They had this very nice car that they thought we might like to have as gift for the Haunted Mansion. They were RIGHT!
Black Beauty as I found her
There was one little problem. The hearse had been junked in the first place because the front end had been burned off. Now that is not a problem for a determined illusionist who has friends who can weld! The junk yard ( er… ah.. auto recycling people ) gave us the front end of a Lincoln to weld onto the back end of our Cadillac. We called the finished product a Clinkon but more affectionately called her Black Beauty. Below you can see the before and after pics.
Two Cars become one.
I can’t find any photos of the car in the Mansion but I do have this one of its driver.