Friday 22 November 2013

Disappointing Christmas?

Well, we're about to enter the season of goodwill to all men; all men except for David Lemezmer it seems.

I have had little or no interest in my quest to search for a sponsor to enhance my magic act - as if you could really enhance perfection. In fact, none of my potential sponsors replied, with the exception of Duracell, which I regard as rather rude; that is the last time they'll hear from me.

My yearning to perform once more has gotten stronger as of late. After a really strong 2012, I am somewhat disappointed with how 2013 has gone. I am a natural performer, but have found it difficult to secure a gig since August and even that last performance was only a rather small village hall affair; a fund-raiser for the Dogs Trust. Actually, I am surprised that the Dogs Trust even needs to fund-raise what with all their clever dogs. I was once seriously thinking of sponsoring a dog but re-considered when the advert told me that when I became a sponsor, my new friend would write to me! If the dogs are that good, perhaps they should raise their own funds by writing a few books of their own to sell? At the very least they could help me with writing my autobiography! Perhaps I should write to them and ask them to sponsor me?

Talking about my autobiography, I'm sure that many people are asking the question, especially within the magic fraternity, "When can we expect David Lemezmer's thrilling book about his very successful life?" Well, there is good news and bad news on that front. The good news is that  I'm now halfway through chapter eight. The bad news is that I'm struggling to find a publisher that will take this project on. I must confess that it is quite annoying to see David Jason popping up everywhere on the television boasting about his just released autobiography. What a coincidence that it has been published just in time for Christmas? How lucky was that! We all know that David's just trying to cash-in on the Christmas market; although I can't really blame him. Not everyone can be like me and have a guaranteed bestseller on his hands. I am lucky that I can have my autobiography published at any time of the year and expect to see it shoot up the bestsellers list to a number 1 position. Poor David. Granted the guy's had a couple of successful TV shows in his time, but he's certainly no David Lemezmer when it comes to talent. However, I am perplexed at how on earth he found a publisher for his mediocre book; if I am finding it difficult to get a publisher, one can only assume that David's book was finalised several years ago and it has taken quite a long time to come to fruition. I understand that these things can take some time.

I'm sure you can look forward to seeing 'Make no Mistake' (the title of my autobiography) at some point next year, so make sure you stay with me for the rollercoaster ride that will be my life in 2014.

Saturday 13 July 2013

An EXCLUSIVE extract from my forthcoming book, Make No Mistake

On Monday, I sent out all of the letters seeking sponsorship (with the exception of Michelin Tyres, as I couldn't find a sensible address for them). A quick reply was received from Duracell (letter arrived Friday morning). Reading between the lines, it was a polite, "thanks for thinking of us, but no thanks." Quite surprising as I thought my quip about my magic being long-lasting in the minds of spectators was rather witty and clever. I also suggested that they might start an advertising campaign centred around my Britain's Got Talent performance where I lasted 103 seconds, "David Lemezmer is just like a Duracell battery - no other magician looks like him or lasts like him." Perhaps I'll have more interest from McDonalds or Coca-Cola.

I've had a lot of requests over the last couple of months, six e-mails to be precise, for more news on my forthcoming autobiography, Make No Mistake (if I ever get to find a publisher). The book is coming along nicely and five chapters have now been completed. While I'm not expecting it to win a Booker Prize or anything  (I seriously doubt it would win a Booker Prize as that award is reserved for fiction and this book is instead undeniable fact, with a capital F), a nomination would be nice.

As an exclusive to this blog, I thought I'd share a small extract from the book.
"I did not have very many friends at school, or indeed out of school. Even with the so-called friendship I had with Stan, I often found myself sitting alone in the classroom while the other children had fun playing games and enjoying Stan’s impromptu magic shows outside. These days, psychologists would be quick to bleat on about the supposed psychological damage this would inflict on a child. Some might agree with them, but not me. I am made of tougher stuff. I can now look back to that time and apply it, as an analogy, of what my future magic career was to hold in store for me. That is, I am in a class of my own. I think the majority of my readers would agree with that statement. That said, it was quite a depressing place to be in at the time and I suffered from low self esteem because of it. Children can be cruel.

The first magic trick that I presented in public, for some friends, was a trick that was known as ‘Monte Simplified’. This was a simplified version of the three card trick. It was marketed as ‘self-working and easy to do’, but I found it neither self-working, nor easy to do! Manufacturers often give misleading information regarding their respective effects. I learnt the hard way though, as the trick failed while I was performing it, making me look a little foolish and causing hilarity amongst my very few friends. Such was my disgust with the trick and to show my abhorrence of the manufacturer, I never performed Monte Simplified ever again.

Despite this small embarrassment, it was quite early on in my venture into magic that I knew I was destined for great things. In May 1974, while on a short break at a holiday camp near Burnham-on-Sea, I entered myself into the Burnham-on-Sea Young Magician of the Year contest, which just happened to be taking place during my stay. Due to my age, I was only just eligible for the event, if it had been the following month I would have been too old to compete. I remember the morning of the contest; wet and very, very windy! Although, there were four of us entered into the contest, one did not show up on the day, already expecting to lose, I suppose. The remaining entrants each had to perform a fifteen minute act in front of the three judges (which probably steeled me for my much later Britain’s Got Talent appearance). One of the entrants was overcome with nerves and had to retire prematurely from the event, which was a shame as he was expected to perform the classic Cut and Restored Rope routine; a routine that I’ve always been a fan of, but never been able to perfect (I can cut the rope, but restoring it is a completely different ball game).

My act went down a storm, quite literally, as my performance was interrupted by a rumble or two of thunder, which threw me off my stride a little. I went on stage expecting to finish my act to ‘thunderous’ applause from the crowd (there were at least a dozen people watching the event, although two left when I was called on for my act). The thunderous applause that I had been expecting never really happened, due to the unforeseen environmental circumstances; all I got was a ripple of appreciation.

Sadly, and I do stress that this was probably down to the unfortunate weather conditions on the day, I didn’t win the contest. The event was actually won by a nine-year-old girl, who presented a twenty minute act. I can’t help thinking that she should have been disqualified for over-running her allocated time allowance, although her performance was, admittedly, pretty good. Nevertheless, I came away with the accolade of being Runner-up in the 1974 Burnham-on-Sea Young Magician of the Year. Quite an achievement for one so young, I’m sure you’ll agree." 

I do hope this has whet your appetite to read more about my immensely fascinating life. Once published, it will be available from all good booksellers - indeed, I want this tome to be as widespread as possible, so hopefully you'll be able to find it at all bad booksellers as well.

Sunday 7 July 2013

Looking for sponsorship

Last week, the postman brought me a brand new magic catalogue. Well, when I say that the postman brought it, I don't mean that literally. It wasn't actually from the postman, he just posted it through my door. It was actually from Davenports Magic in London. It is quite a bumper catalogue full of exciting magic props. Unfortunately, work has been a little sparse recently and, to be absolutely frank and honest with you, I don't really have the funds to purchase some of the more exciting effects in that wonderful catalogue ready for my next performance. I hate going over old ground and performing the same tired routines that other magicians tend to do. I like to be fresh in my performances and always include new things that have not been seen before.

That said, the lack of funds has meant that I have been forced to consider rehashing old effects. However, it dawned on me that I might be able to procure some new funding in the form of sponsorship. Many TV shows are taking advantage of sponsorship these days and I wondered if that could be transferred to my magic show. Given the immense popularity of the David Lemezmer name you might have thought that prospective sponsors would be queuing up for a chance to have their brand associated with me. Apparently, it doesen't really work like that and it is up to me to go out and find those sponsors that would be willing to jump at the opportunity of working with me. I have tried it before and it can be a lot of work. In the past I have approached Universal Studios (granted, it was after the fact), Pearl & Dean and Rug-Doctor. All these have opposed my request, although Rug-Doctor was really nice about it and wanted to hear a bit more about my proposals (I've never got around to replying to them). This week, I am intending to send off letters to McDonalds, Michelin Tyres, Duracell, Coca Cola, Adidas, Lucozade and Costa. I am asking them to pay for my effects in return for some light advertising. Let's see what happens.

Thursday 9 May 2013

My very first interview and book news

Last week I was contacted by the good folks at Fenlands Church who said that they wanted to interview me for their interweb site. Naturally I said yes and invited one of them over to my home (I didn't want too many people muddying the carpet so one's enough). The interview was arranged for Thursday early morning, as the gentleman said that he had previous appointments Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,  and said he could possibly squeeze the interview in at that time (I wasn't as fussy as he was and it could have been any one of those days as I was not too busy). He promised me that I would feature prominently on their website. I've heard these sort of promises before, so imagine my surprise when the interview was posted in its entirety. Of course, I'm a little bit disappointed that some portions weren't edited before being made public but not to worry, at least the David Lemezmer name is getting further coverage which can't be a bad thing, can it?

A question I have been asked as a result of the interview, from the solitary e-mail I received, was regarding my autobiography (on another note, I wonder if my interweb connection to e-mails is playing up, as I expected a lot more feedback from such an in-depth interview). The respondent wanted to know a bit more about it and so I feel compelled to let you have a sneak peek at the cover. Although I have not found a publisher as yet - I really must start approaching potential publishers - I did spend a small sum of money on a mock-up of the book. I really hope this gives you an idea of what's in store.

Like I said, this is just a mock-up but it should save the eventual publishing house a bit of time as thay can simply use my design for the jacket cover (I will insist on a hardback version only). I can't promise a time frame on its release as, although I have been writing this for about nine months now, I have only completed three chapters (forty-two pages) and am running out of ideas of what to fill it with. However, avid followers to this blog will get first chance to grab a copy before they fly off the shelves.


Sunday 14 April 2013

Wedding Day Woes

Over recent months I have found myself less busy than expected. This was probably due to the abysmal winter that we have experienced. I have also allowed my blog updating to slip somewhat.

Last year, just before Christmas, I was booked to perform at a wedding. It was my very first wedding booking and I was really excited about this performance. A wedding booking is definitely an opportunity not to be missed. A successful wedding performance can really open the floodgates to future bookings (the wedding circuit is quite lucrative). However, due to an unfortunate mix up I ended up having to cancel my booking. Allow me to explain.

A few days before Christmas, tragedy had struck me and, for that matter, my entire family; my Sky+ box failed to record a repeat of Family Fortunes (on Challenge) with classic host Les Dennis. Les has always made me laugh; he's a very underrated comedian. Missing Family Fortunes meant that on this occasion I was unable to laugh along with him. My wife said that I had been in a mood for quite some time after realising this unfortunate incident, although I don't think it put me in that much of a downer.  Les has always been one of my comedy heroes and along with Bobby Davro, I consider them to be the inspiration that paved the way for the development of my own cutting-edge 'comedy genius' style. Anyway, I'm getting off the point, so let's get back onto the point. I had been booked to perform at a wedding. However, I was convinced that the guy that booked me said that the wedding would take place at 2, but when he called to check arrangements (on the morning of the wedding) the time for my performance had changed to 5.30!

As an aside, this guy has serious organisational issues as he had already spoken to me and confirmed the booking several times on the lead up to the wedding; I am astounded that he could not remember the original booking details; after all, he booked me! My advice to him - get a diary. It will save you a lot of unnecessary follow-up calls.

That said, when I double checked the booking against my organiser, I realised that I had actually been looking at the wrong month! I had a family wedding to attend (as a guest) in November - an easy mistake to make. The problem with this new time was that I could not possibly perform at the wedding and still get home to see Strictly Come Dancing (the special Christmas celebrity edition). The drive from Wigston is long one and it would have been impossible to make it back in time. To compound the problem, with my Sky+ box not working, I could not record the show for later viewing. I knew that I had to make a tough decision there and then, and I believe I made the only decision that could be made under the exceptional circumstances. That decision, and I'm sure you'll all agree with me, was to let the couple down on their special day.  The bookings guy was quite irate and rather rude to me - if you're reading this, it came over as quite unprofessional conduct and totally inappropriate. However, I did send them a couple of signed photographs in consolation for my absence which I'm sure would have quelled the waters somewhat.

The funny thing with all of this is that I actually missed Strictly Come Dancing (the special Christmas celebrity edition) as I was instead engrossed in watching a repeat run of In The Grid (another game show that starred Les Dennis). I didn't worry though as I simply watched Strictly Come Dancing (the special celebrity Christmas edition) on BBC iPlayer. I love TV on demand services!

Not to worry though, a quick call to Sky television (and a £65 payment) and they sent an engineer around to fix my box. Happy days!

Monday 17 December 2012

Christmas Greetings and a very Happy New Year

Time goes so quickly. I can't believe that Christmas is just around the corner and 2012 will be soon coming to an end. This year has been a roller-coaster ride for me and because of this, the world of magic, I believe, is better for that. I don't want this to come across as a review of my year, which might make me sound as if I'm boasting about my unmatched talent and incredible achievements, but nevertheless, here goes.

I'll start with Christmas, which was really last year, since Christmas 2012 has not quite arrived yet (for those still not sure,  I'm talking about Christmas 2011, although I'm not sure if it counts as part of a review of the year). Not only did I get a chance to perform at my very first Christmas gig, something that has never happened in the 40 years that I've been performing, but, little did I know, that I had just signed my ticket to the big time. This was because that in February I got my first repeat booking at the same venue - more on that later.

Anyway, in January I was booked to perform at a Rotary Club Variety Night. This was a very special and prestigious 'for one night only' event, and I topped the bill. I won't go in to the details here as that would be in bad taste and not really relevant to this short review, suffice to say that I was on top form that night, although I do apologise to the man who was wearing a toupee - I really didn't know and it was a genuine mistake. Oh, and to the lady with the wristwatch. It was a cheap Sekonda, so it wasn't too bad after all and, if you think about it, I probably did you a favour in the long run.

The repeat booking (spoken of earlier) meant that I had, at long last, turned professional and joined the ranks of the top flight entertainers. I can't tell you how elated I was when the phone call came inviting me for a return visit. My first repeat booking! This meant everything to my already blossoming career. The performance was to take place on Valentine's night no less. What a great night it was too; couples in love, fell in love with David Lemezmer (I mean my magic).

An Easter performance followed. Tricks with eggs always go down well... although the cost of dry cleaning, after the egg broke and went down my suit, was horrendous. Fortunately, this incident didn't dampen the spirits of those wanting to see more Lemezmer magic, although one or two critics were, shall we say, bad eggs.

During May, I was booked to perform at Mowsley Village Fête and Craft Fair. It was a disappointing turn out, but this can easily be blamed on bad management - even the car park had not been cleared of dangerous cobbles, causing me to stumble and pull a muscle in my leg. I doubt I'll be performing for them next year until some of my concerns are cleared up (along with the dangerous stones). However, they have yet to respond to my two page letter, detailing the changes that I would expect next time.

Next up though was a real opportunity for me to shine - the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration.  I admit that I was caught a little off guard as I was invited to stay over and perform a trick the following day for them, something that I hadn't planned for. However, I cunningly cut the finale from my act and performed it the next day for them. I don't think they noticed. Also, I really should take this opportunity to apologise to those in attendance, especially to parents with children, about the unfortunate incident with my underpants. Once again, it was a genuine mistake.

Despite the underpants hiccup, it was a truly great performance and in September I was invited to perform at a special variety show. This went really well, although I admit to being slightly embarrassed when I accidentally knocked over my finale, The Vase of Plenty, but I suppose it was a colourful display! I also remember that the compère for the evening, despite giving me a excellent (and worthy, I might add) introduction, was rather rude at the end. I still haven't been paid for this event.

Anyway, that brings me on to the present and the name of David Lemezmer continues to grow stronger every day. I have been booked for a wedding! My very first booking of this type. I know many professional magicians take on wedding bookings because they are very lucrative, but I have never been approached until just a couple of weeks ago. So, next Saturday, at 2pm prompt, just like last Valentine's night, I will be performing my magic for a couple in love (and their guests, who may or may not be in love, I don't know). I'm really looking forward to this particular chapter in my career. Perhaps this is the start of something big. I will be grabbing this amazing opportunity with two big hands - not that my hands are particularly big, but you get the metaphor. I am also quite sure that, as the wedding is on December 22nd, I can chalk this one up to not only being a wedding performance, but also as my second successive year being booked up for Christmas. I'll think that it would be prudent to add this wedding gig as two separate events to my burgeoning résumé.

Anyway, that's all for now. Thanks for being a very small part of my year and may I take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year, and I'm sure that you wish the same to me too.

Sunday 16 September 2012

Back with a BANG!

Last night was my first booking since Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee celebrations back in June, and it went with a bang! Quite literally in fact, as I went and accidentally knocked over my showpiece trick, 'Vase of Plenty'! The bang was the sound it made as it hit the table and I must confess that the colourful cascade of beads, balls and handkerchiefs was a little embarrassing. I had been practising this effect for well over a month (on and off), which, as some know, is quite unlike me, but I really wanted this to be a real highlight of my show and have people of all ages talking the world over about the magic of David Lemezmer. Sadly, I have seen one or two postings on Twitter this morning mentioning this unfortunate incident and thirty-seven retwits of these postings already. Taking consolation from this, I suppose it means that the world is talking about the magic of David Lemezmer, and that can only be a good thing. Anyway, that unfortunate incident aside, I believe that the show went rather well, although I doubt the gentleman with the newspaper will thank me - another story, another time.

I quite liked the compere, at the beginning anyway, as he gave me a fantastic introduction, quite fitting for a magician of my calibre (although, let me point out that I have never been involved with the X-Factor). Unfortunately, I am sure he got a cheap, below the belt, laugh at my expense at the end, just as I was leaving - completely unprofessional. I was going to stick around and watch the other acts on the card, but after his cruel jibe, I decided to just leave the venue after that - hopefully they'll send me my cheque in the post.

One of the surprise decisions of the organisers was the fact that I wasn't top-of-the-bill. Being the headline act was something I had assumed would naturally be the case, judging by the wording of an e-mail communication of the booking confirmation that I had received. I can only think that an error with their computer software was to blame. The first I knew of it was a programme being thrust into my hand as I arrived, which I glanced at as I was being hastily led to a sparse, but unusually warm, dressing room. I tried to bring the error to the attention of the organising committee, but alas, there was no time to change the arrangement.

Anyway, once again, a very successful performance that, despite a couple of glitches, can only reinforce the David Lemezmer name as being synonymous with top-class entertainment.