If somebody had told me, almost two years ago, that the world would be hit by a devastating pandemic that meant all communications would be done online, I would have laughed.
I would have laughed even harder if they told me that I'd somehow need to transfer my skills as a Magician and Corporate Entertainer to the Virtual World! It would have seemed ridiculous and downright impossible at the time.
But, we all know by now how THAT whole thing went! The words 'Work From Home' will stay in our minds forever, right?
While everybody faced insurmountable challenges and personal loss, one of the industries that got hit the hardest was the live entertainment events sector. Where most companies continued on working and just told staff to do what they've always done, but from their kitchens, the live events industry couldn't really follow suit so easily.
I personally was the first Irish magician to pivot into the virtual world with an original online show called Magic For Exiles, because I had such a long list of corporate clients that needed something unique and special to entertain their clients through their laptop screens. A nice camera, a decent mic and lighting kit were purchased, and off I went!
Going from an in-person magician to a virtual one was a serious challenge, and I was never really sure how well it work...until I hit 100 virtual shows in total last December, and just accepted that it was in fact working, and being a virtual magician is not only possible, it's kind of fun too!
At that same time, I was approached by one of my favourite live event entertainment companies - FUEL, to be their star magician for one of the world's biggest virtual corporate entertainment events at the time which was for PayPal's ALL TOGETHER GATHERING 2020.
For the first time ever, PayPal wanted to host a global virtual around the world celebration and gathering for their employees for their end of year party. When PayPal reached out to Fuel to try and create this incredible idea during the height of the pandemic, ‘’The All Together Gathering’’ was born. This global gathering took place in December 2020 and was a virtual and immersive event which connected employees with their fellow colleagues to enjoy unique experiences, created exclusively, just for PayPal employees across the world. This global gathering took place live across eight time-zone specific programmes, 24 hours, 52 cities and 13 countries. Over 72 hours of content was programmed and produced exclusively for PayPal employees which included music, dance, spectacle, magic and more, all beamed directly into employees homes. - FUEL
I was tasked with creating a few bespoke pieces of Magic that would work on live on screen, for viewers of various nationalities and english speaking levels. I'll be honest and say that it was a big undertaking, as I couldn't even engage, speak to or even interact with the audience who were watching at home.
But together with Aidan and the other superstar acts like Lyra, Gavin James, The Coronas and many more, it's safe to say we brought the house down and showed the world that a virtual party can still be great fun. Us performers are nothing without a solid crew helping us, and FUEL were simply incredible from start to finish.
I've just heard that the event has won the prestigious title of BEST CORPORATE EVENT at the 2021 Event Industry Awards in Ireland, and I couldn't be happier for the amazing team involved. It also took home Gold and Silver at the 11th Global Eventex Awards as well, so double kudos to Ireland's most exciting live events agency, and a massive thanks for letting me be a part of it.