(Frequently Asked Questions)
“Can you make my wife disappear?” - well intentioned but awkward party guest
"..." - Ash K.
What are Ash K.'s rates?
We charge market rates. Our more complex shows (which requires lighting equipment, a stage, crew, etc.) are more expensive of course than strolling magic, or a simple show as an interlude at your event. We offer discounts for multiple performances, no matter what your reason for requiring quality entertainment. Factors in pricing are probably what you’d expect: size of the audience, location, weekend/weekday/holiday, indoor/outdoor, stage/sound system/lighting system provided or not, length of show, and customization requirements.
Most importantly: we will match any written bid from any full-time magician. Relax: you're going to have fun, and pay no extra for having Ash K.
How far will Ash K. travel?
Anywhere on the planet, though of course we charge modest travel fees outside San Francisco.
What do I need to think about when planning for your show at my event?
Four simple things:
• A wall or screen behind him, and places for everyone to sit where they can see him. Believe it or not, he’s shown up to places where this wasn’t possible.
• A place for him to park. He has between 50 and 2,000 lbs. of equipment, so please save a space with a cone, chair, or actual car, and make his day!
• Privacy. To amaze you later, he needs to set up undisturbed in the room where he’ll be performing. He also needs privacy when putting his equipment away. Typically, venues have rolling screens for this.
• Timing. When he is your main act, we recommend scheduling the show towards the beginning of the party, to encourage guests to be punctual.
How long is the show?
As an MC, Ash typically performs for five minutes in between your evenings’ segments, plus a ten minute opening and closing sequence.
For his act, we offer everything from 10-minute shows to full 90-minute shows.
For strolling magic, we normally require a two-hour minimum, and he can perform for several hours beyond that.
What does Ash K. do in his show/what kind of magic does he do/what’s his show like?
Always in his comic style, Ash does every kind of magic, from making things and people disappear, appear, magically restored after complete destruction, float, or even reveal their secret thoughts. Please enjoy our videos to see for yourself, and read his numerous reviews at consumer and social networking websites.
Who are some of your clients/where can we see Ash?
The majority of his performances, just like your event for which you’re considering Ash K., are not open to the public. But Ash does perform all over the place, and here are some public places where you might have seen him!
• Peninsula Symphony, Palo Alto
• Holiday Tea, Top of the Mark
• Metropolitan Club, San Francisco
• San Francisco Symphony’s Holiday Program, Deck the Halls
• Chabot Space & Science Center
• Sausalito Art Festival
• The Fairmont, San Francisco
How do I book Ash K.?
Two easy, fast ways:
1) Use our form provided under “booking,” and his manager, Kevin, will get back to you, again typically within four hours of receipt.The more information you fill out in the form, the better.
2) Feel free to call. If Kevin (the manager) can’t take your call, leave him the event details, and he’ll call back to make sure Ash K. will be there for your guests!
What’s your job like?
For Ash K. or any performer, a typical small show is four hours of our effort, from the time Kevin works with you on your event details, to Ash K. loading the equipment, driving, setting-up, of course doing the show, breaking-down, returning home, and loading-out. Of course, Kevin spends many hours a week on all of the business aspect of the work, and Ash K. is weekly found studying, researching, and practicing many hours to hone his craft. It's a combination of hard work and fun we both like.
Where is Ash K. from, and how did he get that name?
Ash K. was born in Balka, which is slightly East of Poland. Don't try to find it on a map though: Liechtenstein looks like a vast empire compared to Balka. Ash's full name is "Ashkenazi," which most Americans find more or less impossible to say and remember, so he gave up, and had it surgically shortened. As to his title ("the Pretty Good"), his first manager hired a very inexpensive, and utterly incompetent translator, and as Ash had no idea that his correct title had been, shall we say, "mishandled" until about two years after his first gigs, it was by then too late to take back.
Please don't ask him what his correct title was - he sulks for a day or so afterwards.
How did Ash get into magic? Does his manager Kevin do magic, too?
Ash's grand-father was a professional magician, and his father was an accountant. He therefore did the proper thing and allowed the impractical gene to skip a generation.
Kevin did it as a small boy (as many do), and stopped doing it when he entered college to pursue very serious matters, which he did for some fifteen years before he accepted that he was better suited to un-serious matters.
Kevin also teaches after-school magic & juggling classes for kids.
How long does Ash K. spend grooming his mustache?
Typically, an hour a day, which candidly is MUCH more time than he spends on a day on card magic. He is horrifically vain.
I remember that Kevin used to provide jazz-based piano music & combos. Does he still?
Due to the declining interest and valuation in live performance of skilled musicians, not so much. If you have an additional budget for people who could have bought a house rather than learning how to play an instrument well, check out SF Bay Jazz With Kevin
Where did Ash K. learn German & French?
He lived and worked in France and Austria. Kevin would like to point out that though he too speaks the same languages and lived in those two countries, it is a fantastic coincidence beyond his control.
I have a fundraiser or non-profit event: would Ash like to perform for us?
Please submit the following information to get your request to the top of our list:
• Date of Event
• Production Company
• Public Relations Agency
• Needed as a) Headliner or b) MC
• Complete Contact Information
• List of other parties donating/participating
Can you tell us a bit more about Ash K., and how you guys formed a business partnership?
Northern California's Funniest Magician, Ash K. hales from Balka (a very small country East of Poland), and has lived in the San Francisco Bay ar ea for some sixteen years. While living in Sonoma County, he met his future manager Kevin at a gig a mere month after arriving to America, and Kevin has represented him since then.
Born to a family of professional entertainers in the Eastern European country of Balka, Ash K. began performing for paying audiences by age thirteen, and by age fourteen, allowed them to leave the room for additional payment.
Recently asked about his experience in America as a foreign national, Ash K. responded, “I like it here very much. For one, I have not been incarcerated, even briefly, which is a lot better than some folks are doing both home and here. AND not a single person has had another unfortunate moment with that guillotine illusion this year. Then again, I did take it out of the show last year.”
He enjoys reading about European and Asian history, crochet (traditionally, a man’s hobby in his country), and jogging.
What about his business partner, Kevin Madden’s history?
Kevin A. Madden was born in South Lake Tahoe, California, and is the fourth generation that he knows of, on both sides his family, to get paid for playing music. He was raised by parents who had worked for or performed with Igor Stravinsky, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Sarah Vaughn, Billy Eckstine, Glenn Campell, Hoagy Carmichael, Woody Herman’s Herd, the Gregg Smith Singers, Bob Florence, Harry James, Stan Getz, and Buddy Rich. If you don’t know who those people are, you will be unimpressed, and that is OK with Kevin.
He is not only the son of two professional musicians, but both of his parents’ grandparents were professional musicians as well: one great-great-grandparent played in the Czar’s army; another great-grandparent was in John Phillip Sousa’s Band. If you don’t know who those two people are, he thinks you should turn off the TV and read more books, but will not publicly say so because of his good boundaries.
As a child, Kevin’s other interests included (predictably) magic. His first business card was given to him as a gift by an aunt who daily prays for forgiveness. Kevin quit doing magic professionally when he went to college to do “serious” things, and has since lived in Davis, Boston, Vienna, Paris, a small town in Austria named Mattersburg, Napa, Petaluma, and he moved to San Francisco in 1999 to be an arts education administrator. He also taught music for many years in several Bay Area school districts.
Kevin attended UC Davis, intending to major in Political Science and minor in Japanese language, and finished an English major speaking fluent French and German. He later demonstrated his famous financial genius, and borrowed excessive amounts of money to earn a Master’s degree in education while further studying jazz piano. After finishing these programs, and doing yet more serious things in arts education, he decided he was far more adept at doing at silly things.
Kevin lives with his carnivorous plants and magic books in San Francisco, annually rejects nominations for the ADHD / A.D.D. Poster-Adult-of-the-Year, and is shocked to find himself regularly exercising these days.
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