Tony Griffith's Creative Magic Teach-In Day
Sunday 6th July, Bristol
Reviewed by Grant Willcox
A Polished Professional
In my opinion, Tony Griffith is one of the top close-up magicians in the UK today, and certainly one of the most likeable magicians you will ever meet.
When I saw that Tony was doing a teach-in day, I jumped at the chance to spend an intensive day of learning with a gentleman of much experience. Although I have watched Tony work on a few occasions, this was a chance to get to the detail on the real secrets of close-up and corporate performance.
After a warm greeting into Tony's home by his wife Judith, the select group settled with Tony into a day of much interest and inspiration, and got to learn some of the history behind where he finds himself today, as one of the best close-up workers in the field. In a well organised but relaxed day, Tony taught the group about 'Corporate Entertainment', which he describes as magic performed to any organisation where a degree of management is involved. We found out that this included after-dinner speaking and trade shows, as well as close-up magic, and Tony gave practical performances of the type of material that he has used successfully throughout these arenas, all of which were based on subtlety, fine routining and entertainment value. What strikes you about all of Tony's magic is that it is all highly "do-able", and very commercial, as well as being well thought out. It would have been very hard for anyone in attendance not to come away with at least 3 items or ideas that could be put into practical use.
After a fine buffet lunch in the afternoon, Tony continued with the day discussing trade shows and after dinner speaking, giving many valuable insights into both fields of work. He also displayed some of the technical equipment that he uses on a regular basis, including microphones, PA equipment, and portable graphic backdrops. I found this area useful, as I certainly wouldn't know where to start looking for such equipment. He concluded this section by detailing some of the administrative/organisational systems that he uses on a day to day basis, which covered the essential business side of things. Again, Tony's professional attitude to all things shone through here, where his methodical approach has been used to obtain a really slick operation.
The proceedings for the day were closed by an informal Q & A session, which I must say was a little quiet - mainly because Tony had explained everything so well throughout the day. After this, we had a superb afternoon tea, before departing for the journey home. I left Tony's house with a great deal of insight and some wonderful ideas that I could apply to my magic. Later I found that the info pack that we were all presented with also contained some great summary notes, as well as a free trick, promotional items, and other useful material.
This was a day full of enrichment for all who attended, and at the reasonable ticket price of £25, represented brilliant value for money, considering the fine level of tuition we had received throughout the day. A Real 'Masterclass'.
© Grant Wilcox July 2003