I was asked to perform as a St Albans magician at the local Waterstones situated on the high street in this beautiful Hertfordshire city. Normally the shop would be closed but on this day it was open late and could only be entered by invitations which were made well in advance.
Due to the interest in the new book, it was a sell out with people queuing on road outside.
When I arrived the building was full of very enthusiastic teenagers and parents all of which had a great interest in magic. The book was not to be revealed until late in the evening. To one side was a table covered with a blanket of gold under which were copies of the new release.
Puzzles and adventures were laid all around the shop on both floors. I watched eager children with paper in hand exploring the bookcases and racks looking for clues. The staff at Waterstones had certainly put a lot of effort into it and the children loved it.
I was given a small stage in the front of the store and asked to perform a thirty-minute cabaret for all the guests. Although the audience was standing it proved very successful. Many children were keen to help and it was a great atmosphere for such a magic show.
Harry Potter has had an incredible impact on magic and its popularity. It creates such an interested for the young and there is certainly more magic on television and more kids becoming hobbyists or even professional than a decade ago.
Once the show was over, I spent time performing close up magic for those that stayed and watching children perform their own tricks. By the time we finished it was quite late. When I left the book had still not been revealed, and tired but excited children still had to wait for a further hour before seeing the front cover.
I may have been a St Albans Magician but I think there might have been a slightly more popular one left behind in the store! Showbiz is tough.