May 2018 Chatter

Posted at 30/04/18 - 05:59 PM

As I write this blog in mid-April I am about to embark on a two week trip to the States where I will be presenting 6 lectures in 8 days at different venues on the east side of the country, and then finish by attending the incomparable 4Fs Close Up Convention.

When you have overseas lecturers visiting your club and you are sitting at home and wondering whether you are going to make the effort to turn up to listen to him, have you ever stopped for a minute to consider what that person has had to go through in order to be there in your clubroom?

Obviously I can’t speak for all overseas visiting lecturers, but I can tell you what it is like for me going to the US.

Organising the tour dates. First I have to get someone to sort out the interested clubs and put together an itinerary that makes logistical sense. The distance between venues has to be manageable in the course of one travel day.

Lecture contents. The material has to be practical to travel with, and needs ideally to be varied enough to be of interest to a potentially wide range of magicians.

Flights. Suitable flights have to be found and booked.

Car hire. I prefer to drive between lectures so I have to arrange for car hire to be in place.

Accommodation. Clubs provide an overnight for the evening of my lecture, but any spare nights I need to research and book hotels in the right places.

ESTA. I need to check that my Visa Waiver documentation is current, and also whether my passport is still valid!

Because I have to fly from London, and I live in the West Country, I need to book rail travel to get me to the airport.

Before I can set off I need to ensure that all the regular things that normally would happen while I am away have been prepared in advance. So, all of my website and E-Club Pro updates need to be finished and ready to go live on the day that I fly back into the UK. This takes a lot of time and planning!

Once I get over to the States, my first lecture is 24hrs after I arrive. So I need to be able to lecture even if I am feeling a bit jet lagged.

While in the States I will be finding my way round in a hire car that I don’t ‘know’, driving on the wrong side of the road (!), and grappling with finding places to eat in areas that are not familiar to me.

On turning up at the lecture venues I have to be sufficiently organised and up together to deliver a professional lecture and to give the club members a good experience.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining because I love this type of tour and really enjoy lecturing to magicians who I wouldn’t normally get to meet. But from this quick overview you can see that there is a lot that any overseas lecturer has to cope with when he visits your club, so when you are idly considering whether you want to go and watch him, don’t forget that he’s made a lot more effort than you to get there!.

Author: Mark Leveridge

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