Sydney entertainer Trace Tam adores magic so much, she gave up a potential career in engineering to pursue her first love full time and, with an increase in demand for her shows, it’s a move that’s proved to be anything but hocus pocus.
Her business Trace of Magic specialises in providing magic shows at weddings and, for couples looking to add a little abracadabra to their wedding reception.
First things first. Is wedding magic like the magic we see in children’s books and on TV?
No! “Modern magic isn’t about pulling rabbits from a hat or sawing women in half,” says Trace. “It’s about having fun – and lots of it – by tailoring a unique show that makes the bride and groom the stars.
“I try to tailor every magical experience to offer the crowd something exciting to remember.”
Australians are really starting to embrace magic shows at weddings. Why do you think that is?
“Because it’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s interactive,” adds Trace.
Most weddings are run using a similar format, with the ceremony, pre-dinner drinks, food, speeches, cake and then dancing. Lots of weddings offer some form of entertainment, but magic at a wedding is still really new and offers something truly different and unique and, therefore, really tends to capture your guests’ attention.
What are the different ways you can incorporate magic into a wedding?
There’s two main ways to include magic into your big day.
“The first is a customised stage show, which is something I specialise in,” says Trace.
“Basically, you sit down with the bride and groom beforehand, get to know them as a couple and then create a show that captures the essence of their relationship in a fun-filled way and takes the guests on a romantic and magical journey filled with laughter.”
The other option is to include close-up magic experiences, which is a bit more intimate and can include everything from borrowing objects from guests to making souvenirs they can take home appear from thin air
“I particularly love this style because it’s a great way to welcome guests at the start of the reception and can also break the ice at the tables by encouraging guests to start interacting, especially if they don’t know each other,” she adds.
The most popular choice is a mix of close-up magic to bring people together at the start of the night, and then a stage show as a lively and engaging centrepiece.
Trace says that every wedding is different and that every couple makes a different request, so she prides herself on tailoring every performance to every crowd and couple.
The only common fact is that the bride and groom are usually the stars of the show.
“But I do like to play games with the groom by giving him little tests designed to prove that he is, absolutely, the perfect guy for the bride,” says Trace. “It’s a bit of fun that really tickles the crowd’s fancy.”
What questions should you ask before hiring a wedding magician?
- Do you have public liability insurance? This is a no brainer as you simply couldn’t use a performer without it … just in case.
- Can you supply references? This is one of the most important days of your life, so references are vital. Get the lowdown from someone who’s been there before.
- Is your show family friendly? Most receptions will have young guests, so you need to make sure the act isn’t for adults only. Trace says her shows are suitable for guests of all ages.
- Can I see a live demonstration? You wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving it, so the same rule applies here. A consultation will showcase a variety of tricks and give you an idea of what to expect on the day. Then, for a longer stage show, make sure to ask to see a show reel. You can see Trace’s one here.
Trace – who has always been passionate about magic – says demand for her talents came about organically.
Did you hire any furniture or styling props for your wedding?
“I went through a phase where all of my friends were getting married, and I wanted to give them something different, so I put together a magic show as a gift for one of their weddings,” she said.
“Other friends who were there asked me to do the same and, within 12 months, I’d done 10 of them. I also started getting referrals from other suppliers, with photographers, videographers and wedding planners contacting me about people who wanted magic at their wedding.
“So, I sort of stumbled on to it by chance and I’m thrilled that couples truly do love it!”
With a tour of America already under her belt, and the capacity to perform at weddings nationally, Trace – who prides herself on being flexible to suit client needs – now has a grand plan that aims to take her wedding magic around the world.
And she says the best argument for magic at a wedding is the simplest one of all. “It’s a magical day, and how could you have a magical day without any actual magic?”
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