Over the last 40 years, I have attended numerous magic conferences and conventions including Supreme Magic Super days, Blackpool magicians club, Larry Weeks conventions in New York City, IBM, SAM and many others. I had heard much gossip about Kidabra, generally positive, but not always. I decided to attend this year, and, as with everything in life, I had no expectations.
I am here to report that I have had a fabulous five days in the Smokey Mountains, attending the greatest conference/convention of my life. Mark and Tami Daniel can be proud of all they have achieved with their little baby! I am not going to go through each lecture with a review, as others are doing that. I will make a few general observations about why I enjoyed this conference so much.
It was not a non-stop dealers dem by the lecturers. With Creativity as the theme, the lecturers made us all think. It was not about the latest and greatest new magic trick. It was about taking what we already have, and re-thinking the working of the effect, elevating it to a new level. This was particularly evident in David Kayes lecture.
It was a conference where the vast majority of attendees had a positive outlook on both themselves and their chosen profession. Because of this energy, I saw little signs of the usual ego attitude of Im better than you! which frequently occurs at other conventions. The experienced mingled with the beginner.
There was a sense of honesty I felt when it came to the delicate subjects of such matters as fees, number of shows performed, marketing tips that worked etc. Because of this, I found there was rather more networking than I have experienced at other conventions, and I was willing to participate in this.
The creativity showed through even in such events as the marathon auction and dealers dem, with little skits and adlibs which was a pleasant diversion from the norm.
My personal favourite lecturers were Doug Sheer on school assemblies, and Mike Amato on the years with Supreme magic. I also loved Chris Capeharts interview with Skip Way. Chris is about the same age as me, and we reminisced on several occasions about 1976, when I was living and working out of New York City, and Chris was busking in Times square..with my old friend Jeff Sheriden in Central Park. However, there were many other great lectures such as David Kaye and Brian Daniel of Creative Magic to name just two. My least favourite event was probably the daycare show, where I felt much of the material was not suitable for the under fives.
The days were long, and packed. I rarely got to bed before 4am, and was always up by 8am. The convention hotel was ok, but it seemed odd to me that there was no bar or restaurant in the hotel. I had a good trip back to Phoenix with my friend Christopher Weed, who managed to get me upgraded to first class!!
I made many new friends like Mark, Tammi, Doug, David, Dave, Brian, Stan, Jim, Dennis, Mike, Chris, Ken, Skip, and others. Will I go again? You bet I will! JR