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.