The convention reached its conclusion earlier today and it was an excellent convention. I can describe my personal highlight of the convention in two words.....Magic Christian.
Bill Larsen described Austria's Magic Christian as a 'brilliant young magician' back in the November 1980 issue of "Genii". Magic Christian would have been in his mid-30s at the time. By that time he'd won the second prize for manipulation at FISM in 1970, he'd won the first prize for manipulation at three consecutive FISM competitions (1973, 1976, 1979), and he'd won a first prize for 'close-up invention' at FISM in 1979 for his 'Ketten Zauber' routine. Impressive stuff.
I saw him perform in the International Close-Up Show and the Saturday evening stage show. Two excellent performances. I saw him present two lectures, his lecture on stage magic and his lecture on Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser. Two excellent lectures. His 'entrance' into the room during the International Close-Up Show was one of the most impressive entrances I've ever witnessed. I could sense immediately that I was about to witness something special, and special it was.
Here is a man who knows and understands our craft from its very core to its outermost peripheries. All of his magic is strong, practical, and well thought through, right down to the finest detail. You can see his knowledge, experience, skill, and passion in everything that he does. Bill Larsen's chosen adjective of 'brilliant' still applies to Magic Christian.
I was also fortunate to spend some time chatting with Magic Christian after his lecture on Hofzinser and I discovered something else about him. He's a nice guy. Friendly, approachable, down-to-earth, and possessing a keen sense of humour.
Wherever you are in the world, whatever aspect of our craft appeals to you, if you get an opportunity to see Magic Christian in action, in any way shape or form, do not let the opportunity pass you by. You will miss an opportunity to see a 'maestro' at work.