Any press is good press – especially GREAT press

Last week a newspaper did an article about an Ottawa Magician, luckily for me, that magician was myself.

The Metro is a daily paper which has a huge distribution throughout the Ottawa area – the reason why is because its FREE. Every bus stop, hundreds of restaurants, malls and outlets all feature this newspaper and by noon, they are VERY hard to find. They called me up randomly and asked if they could do a story about me – little did I know it was going to be a full page spread and a spot on the cover. I’ve been featured in other papers and done other media interview requests, but this was a very nice surprise. I was very thankful to say the least.

Here is the scans and here is the link to the article online.

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Click here for a link to the online version of this article.

 

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Different Strokes for Different Folks…

Michael Bourada dazzles in Fenn Lounge | Charlatan.

In 2011 I decided to brand my show for Universities…here is a snippet from a show I did. I was always nervous performing for this type of crowd – turns out I loved it and so did they!

Practice makes perfect…

Looking back on things, I sometimes can’t believe how things have changed. One of the pictures below was taken early in my career, I used to end my show with the snow storm. Now, pending which show you see of mine, I sometimes still do as well, but the only difference is the progression it has made…you can see how far its come along…

2004:

Snow Storm 2004

2007:

2007 Snow Storm

2011:

2011 Snow Storm

It just goes to show how much time, effort, money and research goes into things; I still think it could be even better!

Its always on my mind…

Magic is truly my life. I am so very blessed to be able to do what I love everyday and make a living at it. That said, sometimes it consumes me to the point that it also creeps into my life outside of magic.

For those that don’t know me, I am a HUGE hockey fan. Love the game, breath the game – always have and always will. I play it, follow the NHL and really can’t get enough. A few years back I started my own team in one of the local leagues I play in. We got incredibly nice jerseys done (home and away), really we have fun with – all the guys are buddies, we’re pretty good and its a great time. Being that I run the team, I fittingly named it the MAGIC. How original right…

Im a goalie and this year I did something I always wanted to do, get my own custom mask painted, like the pros! Its something I wanted forever and finally I treated myself.

Here are the concepts I had done by the artist…

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And here is the final product. I wear it proudly and likely will have it for years to come. As my Dad always said, if you don’t play good – you gotta look good! Thankfully I’m not bad 😉

 

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Motivation…

As someone who runs there own business, you need to find ways to keep motivated and keep working. In show business, there are two words….Show AND Business. Getting business is never easy for anyone and every once and awhile you need to ‘change it up’ to ‘keep it up’.

Before:

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After:

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I just need to add all of the filler now. I give it a week before it becomes cluttered 🙂

Is it easy being a kids performer?

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Being this is my first blog, I thought I would jump right into what I do. I perform magic for a living. A lot of people have a hard time seeing how one can make their living doing this, but I found a way – it wasn’t easy, but thankfully I made it work. I do on average about 200 shows each year, ranging from Birthdays to Company Events to Schools to FULL BLOWN theatre shows. 75% of my shows are done in my home town and the capital of Canada – Ottawa Ontario. I used to do a lot of work out of town and have hopes of being the next big MEGA illusionist, but realistically its very hard to become that person. I still own some biggie illusions where you see people appear, disappear, float etc, but I have shifted my attention to doing a bulk of my work in one city, rather than many cities. After all, home is where the heart is; I got married a few years ago and now have a little one on the way – I don’t want to be away for extended periods of time, I don’t want to miss anything. An acquaintance of mine and fellow magician who travels extensively once told me he gets paid to drive and he performs for free…I have a lot of respect for this person, but just couldn’t imagine continuously living that lifestyle of being on the road – but he loves it and thats what matters.

I won’t get into the history of how I made it to where I am today, at least not right away, rather a glimpse of some of the day to day things I see in my crazy world of magic.

A typical weekend in the summer usually means Birthdays. All I can say is thank god for A/C 🙂

Today I had birthday parties on the schedule, two of them – which is a relatively light day. For these shows my day begins around 3 hours before the first actual show. I get up, brush my teeth, steam iron my clothes, make sure I’m clean and shaven and put on the outfit – I then put my bird in his travel carrier, pack my magic trunk and load up. I arrive around 30 min prior to each show and really am always curious to what I am about to walk into. When I am booked for these, I get a general idea of what the party will be like (amount of people, neighbourhood, age of kids etc), but you never really know til you get there. Sometimes you walk into pure chaos; imagine 25 kids all high on sugar screaming and yelling and you’re expected to jump in and entertain these kids. Sometimes you get kids that are just a bit more mild mannered…thats usually a BIG relief. Most people – especially some friends of mine – think my job is easy and that anyone can do it….to answer that, I say read on…

For example in Show 1 today, I walked in and it was relatively quiet, they followed my ‘helpful hints’ to a tee…had a room set up for me to get prepared in and away we went….I thought it was going to be a cake walk, but that wasn’t til the kids came down…there was about 12 kids and another 4-5 parents…now generally my rule of thumb is no toys, balloons, blowers or anything ‘distracting’ is allowed in the show area, I tell the parents this ahead of time…What a lot of parents really fail to understand is that kids have a short attention span and no matter how good you are, its almost impossible to keep each and every one of them glued to you for the 35 minute show. Think about that, you’re asking a child to sit and watch someone for 35 whole minutes….they have there friends all there, no teachers to keep them in line and they have likely been inhaling sugar for some time now ;). Thats why I respect elementary school teachers so much – what a hard job that must be at times! A lot of parents don’t understand that they too have to play a small role in making the ‘perfect show’ which they hope will happen.

That said, almost all of the kids gave me there undivided attention, but there is sometimes one child who just lacks that necessary attention span and this one child can create a domino effect like nothing else….sure enough the domino’s fell for about 1 minute where one distracted boy found a way to get distract about 4. For whatever reason, this one child just up and got the urge to jump and dance at one of the more hilarious parts of the show…this led to 3 more doing the same – monkey see, monkey do. Of coarse, its not my job to really discipline the kids, its my job to entertain them; I like that they are having a good time, but you can quickly have a good show go wrong with letting the kids get crazy, in the end its a show and you want them to enjoy that show….to this I always want to ask the parents why they just sit there and allow this LOL…some don’t get it and I think I have only had one incident (which I will share soon, quite a funny story) where I went out and begged  ASKED a parent to step in…thankfully I have seen this exact scenario before and managed to get the kids back sitting and dazzled for the end of the show; but I know in my early career, I had a few incidents like this where it would get out of hand. I was only 14-15 years old and really lacked the necessary confidence to take control in a calm, professional manner and needed parents help. Obviously this doesn’t happen in every show, I’d say about 5% have something like this, most of the times its more than manageable, but I really can’t stress how great support from the parents truly is…

Everything really varies by age and by day. In this blog, I will be honest about some of the things I experience, whether it be poor decisions made by parents or just some of the bizarre things kids do – it will be no holds barred! Of that one story I spoke of, I will share it soon when I get a bigger audience…looking back on it, its pretty hilarious to say the least.

Anyways, thats it for my opening. I hope to have many other posts about the shows I do, some behind the scenes fun and just stuff about my life in general.

Tell a friend =)

Michael