Bar Flairing

When I first met Brendan Rodrigues, I was still putting my legs behind my head for a living as a cabaret contortionist and Brendan was throwing bottles around. He was beginning to get really hot as a magician and over the next year the bar work fizzled away as his diary started bursting full with magic bookings.

Over the lockdown I knew Brendan was in the park practiving his old bar flair juggling skills mainly to keep fit and so I asked if he could give me a masterclass.

It was crazy fun. Check out the video. New funny videos every Wednesday.

We sat down for an interview on the same day.

Check out Brendan’s brilliant YouTube channel. Subscribe. He does great videos every week.

What’s in your magic case?!

It’s what all the kids want to know and all the magicians too. Who isn’t curious about all the nonsense that goes into a magicians case. I love the grand magic shows with immense sets behind curtains but there’s something special about the magician who walks into to any kind of room with a suitcase of nonsense, plonks it on a table and has a room full of people amazed and maybe laughing.

I love doing shows for kids. They have a great sense of wonder and a brilliant sense for comedy and daftness. But if your room is half full of adults which it usually is in British birthday parties, then why not try to entertain the whole room?

This video was enjoyable for me as I spent a great time going through not just my dusty props (from months of having no gigs thanks to Covid) but through so many photos and videos of my performances and even me playing around at home and with friends where a lot of tricks can get shaped and played with.

New funny videos every Wednesday. Please subscribe on YouTube. Thank you so much for the support!

Travelling around London is fun

I was going to make a YouTube video about my magician friend and dealer of highly illegal drugs. No, not really. He’s one of the only people in Camden not selling drugs. Michael sells magic tricks!

But my video ended up being too much fun to ignore the lovely journey through gorgeous central London. I took my first trip on a London hire bike. They are ace! Hire one. If you don’t want to ride round advertising that bank; wear a big ridiclous hat and everyone will not see the name on the bike.

Green Screen!

YES! So excited to finally get me a green screen for my YouTube videos. As a magician I have bought tons of props, gadgets and gimmicks for my shows and 90% have ended up boxed away or sold to other entertainers (they all do the same haha!)

The GS was one of these things where I thought I wanted it but had a feeling I would be selling it again soon. But NO! Loving my first attempts at having fun with this and it looks great and I have hardly opened my imagiantion on it yet.

The Elgato green screen if you can find one is so easy to set up and pack down. It’s a nice size for solo sit down or standing filming.

The part I am troubled by is how tricky to light they are. I wanted to update my video lights for a while but when I shone them on me and tried to film green screen oh boy did I need to get some new ones.

A lot of video tutorials on my dearest YouTube were frothing at the mouth over the Aputure 120D but it is rather big to set up in my shoe box sized flat. I was tempted though but when I realised that for green screening you need even lighting and not the artistic type with one key light, I looked for a set and came across the awesome and way more flat pack/plays big Aputure Amaran’s. They are iPad size and are fantastic. Battery and mains powered a variety of light types, really bright and REMOTE CONTROLLED BABY! Forget your videos, flash them at the neighbours when they put the bins out while I hide behind the curtains that what I am mostly using them for.

Check out my funny vlog about

Ages Editing This New Promo Video

I spent about 30 hours editing this! OK that might in part be because I was learning to use Adobe Premiere Pro. Wow, this software is so amazing! It was such a pleasure to play around with it. If you are a performer of any kind, I recommend very much to watch videos of your shows. It is very revealing and is helping me a lot to see the good things I do and the annoying habits that need to be dropped like laughing at my own jokes.

New blog every Tuesday!

Check out Ritchie’s Youtube channel here

Ritchie Rosson is a children’s entertainer & magician based in Sutton, London UK.

Having a Juggle

Playing should not just be for kids and while I went down there to do some filming, I ended up having great fun playing with Juggling Jake‘s mini-bike, tightrope and walking plant pot thingies. I am doing some magic shows at Swan Shopping Centre in Leatherhead as part of their awesome Magic Mondays events every week in August. I think me and Miranda had more fun there than the kids.

Juggling Jakes does brilliant juggling shows and his workshops are so fun. He had so many fun toys which of course the kids were all over but so were the mums and dads. Really was great family fun. My favourites were the mini bikes. I used to own one and right it quite easily now I can barely get going on it without pulling 12 muscles.

Come down to Leatherhead; Swan Shopping Centre next Monday 20th August and 27th August. Bring the little ones too! Like Swan Shopping’s Facebook page here. They have great shops and cafes and lots of brill events.

Why Balloon Modelling Is No Good For Children’s Birthday Parties

I got into working at children’s birthday parties because of balloon modelling. I bought a  balloon modelling DVD but couldn’t keep them from untwisting and popping. That week a friend introduced me to the man who changed my life, the very funny magic man, Michael Wo.

Michael Wo, Brendan Rodrigues and Ritchie Rosson circa 2015
Ritchie with Michael Wo and magician Brendan Rodrigues

Michael would carry a suitcase full of magic tricks and balloons wherever he went and I ended up doing the same for 3 years. He taught me to make balloon animals and we had great fun making them in the pubs for people and it earnt us free drinks, got us a few gigs and I got a wife from it (another story).

Balloon modelling is awesome. It has the wow factor. It has the aw factor.  You can produce a teddy bear, a hat, an alien out of a few pieces of rubber in your hand. That for me is magical!  Just check out the incredible things that David Crofts makes.

In around 2010, I wanted to become a clown much to the objections of my clown-fearing mother.  I bought a unicycle, boxes full of joke props, giant shoes and loads more nonsense including balloon modelling balloons and a pump. This is when I met Michael Wo. I made a few balloon animals and put a few pics up online. My Facebook friends loved them! Their enthusiasm and likes pushed me to make more and more and ended up getting gigs by billing myself as, “The Happy Balloon Man!” It was brilliant because, with half a dozen gigs in the diary, I could finally quit the painful job I had at the time of being a contortionist. See this blog to read about that

I worked at all sorts of events making balloons and it was great fun at times. At others, it was frankly horrid with queues of angry parents furiously demanding the most complicated balloons I could make, “Right mate, I need 3 aliens for these monsters and 4 teddy bears for my other kids that are in the car!

I ended up making balloons at a few children’s birthday parties. I was usually a  side act, while a magician/entertainer was doing a show and games for the children, which is where I first thought of doing that myself. The kids were having a brilliant time. They were totally engaged and were laughing their socks off.  I had never seen such an entertainer when I was a child. The shows and games I realised were much more fun than the balloon modelling that I was doing.

When I started doing children’s parties as an entertainer, I put a magic show together and then thought “I’ll make everyone balloons in the second half.”  30 happy laughing children in the first half became less and less so as they waited and started to get frustrated. Even with lots of jokes along the way, after 5 minutes, children get bored watching an entertainer making balloons and start to get frustrated that they haven’t got their balloon, then they may complain about the colour, the one they got, then comes the popping and crying.

Children hate the sound of balloons popping. Some are actually terrified of the sound. I often have requests from parents for ” no balloons!” Because they have had that wow pop cry* experience and it is something very sad for them that lingers.

What I have done for the last two years is stopped making everyone a balloon and tada, my parties are better than ever and my reviews are stronger. With plenty of music, magic shows, dancing, fun games, and a bubble machine, none of these issues arise and everybody is happy. What I still do is make a nice balloon for the birthday child in the calm of the food break. The other children understand that it is a present for the special child.

Balloon modelling I conclude is rubbish for birthday parties. If you are an entertainer reading this, consider dropping it from your party packages. Put fun games in that time instead or do more amazing magic routines.

For bigger events, DO book balloon modellers. But don’t just pick people who make amazing balloon models because I have seen “entertainers” grumpily making balloon in silence. But then I have worked with the fantastic Graham Lee, the awesome David Crofts and the dashing and glorious beast of a balloon superstar Russell Wells. If you are organising a large corporate event, fun day, festival do book a group of balloon modellers. Book 2 or 3 as demand will be high and they will quickly get swamped.

Pick and Mix Circus
The brilliant Russell Wells from South Wales.

* “Wow, pop, cry” is a phrase that brilliant South Wales based children’s entertainer Simon Sparkles came up with.

Check out Ritchie’s Youtube channel here

Ritchie Rosson is a children’s entertainer & magician based in Sutton, London UK.

cropped-cropped-picmonkey-collage1.jpg