2009 Los Angeles Conference on Magic History

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby sko » 11/05/09 03:15 AM

Though the festivities have already begun in the hotel bar, everything officially starts on Thursday. Now seems like a good time to start a thread. As always, I'm sure it will be a great convention.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/05/09 01:13 PM

Okay, I just woke up and it's the often-seen gray hazy morning in LA, prior to the haze burning off around noon.
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Postby Bill McFadden » 11/05/09 10:00 PM

Snobbiest event on the magic calendar . . .
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Postby Kent Blackmore » 11/05/09 11:49 PM

Mmm, Bill, with only a single line of text and no explanation as to why you think the LA Conference is snobby, your post looks like a cheap shot rather than an informed commentary.
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Postby Travis » 11/06/09 12:56 AM

This is the only magic convention I have an interest in attending. Guys, please keep us filled in on all the details!
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Postby Richard Hatch » 11/06/09 04:17 AM

Johnny Carson's nephew and CEO of Carson productions, Jeff Sotzing, spoke on Johnny's magic involvement this afternoon, Burton Sperber spoke on a set of 19th advertising cards teaching sophisticated card tricks and generously provided a book of full color reproductions for all attendants. Illusionist Chuck Jones spoke about his mentor, magicienne Dell O'Dell. This evening Mike Caveney spoke about the Ediophusikon, which will be demonstrated tomorrow. Jim Steinmeyer spoke about (and demonstrated aspects of) Devant's lost Beau Brocade illusion which will be performed on Saturday, and irrepressible sideshow showman and legend Ward Hall spoke on his life ("interviewed" by Todd Robbins, but the interview format didn't apply as Ward was off and running with stories before reaching his seat on stage...) and performed the classic blade box illusion and blow off. Dealer room buzz is mostly about the big Taschen book.
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Postby mrgoat » 11/06/09 08:27 AM

Kent Blackmore wrote:Mmm, Bill, with only a single line of text and no explanation as to why you think the LA Conference is snobby, your post looks like a cheap shot rather than an informed commentary.


I guess someone didn't get an invite.

;)
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Postby mrgoat » 11/06/09 09:29 AM

Richard Hatch wrote:Johnny Carson's nephew and CEO of Carson productions, Jeff Sotzing, spoke on Johnny's magic involvement this afternoon, Burton Sperber spoke on a set of 19th advertising cards teaching sophisticated card tricks and generously provided a book of full color reproductions for all attendants. Illusionist Chuck Jones spoke about his mentor, magicienne Dell O'Dell. This evening Mike Caveney spoke about the Ediophusikon, which will be demonstrated tomorrow. Jim Steinmeyer spoke about (and demonstrated aspects of) Devant's lost Beau Brocade illusion which will be performed on Saturday, and irrepressible sideshow showman and legend Ward Hall spoke on his life ("interviewed" by Todd Robbins, but the interview format didn't apply as Ward was off and running with stories before reaching his seat on stage...) and performed the classic blade box illusion and blow off. Dealer room buzz is mostly about the big Taschen book.


Do keep info coming! Thanks for posting.
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Postby mai-ling » 11/06/09 10:17 AM

the conference seems earlier than previous.
i would love to be able to go.

Richard Hatch wrote: and performed the classic blade box illusion and blow off.


is that the one the Todd Robbin's used in his show
that my dad built for Uncle Jay?
you will remember my name
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/06/09 12:31 PM

Bill McFadden wrote:Snobbiest event on the magic calendar . . .

There is only one snob here. I know this for a fact because no others attended the meeting with me last night.

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Postby John Signa » 11/06/09 04:59 PM

Dustin Stinett wrote:There is only one snob here. I know this for a fact because no others attended the meeting with me last night.


Maybe the others were too good to show up.
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Postby magicam » 11/06/09 07:25 PM

Dustin Stinett wrote:
Bill McFadden wrote:Snobbiest event on the magic calendar . . .
There is only one snob here ...
Yeah, D., you completely ignored me outside of the dealer's room ...

Bill, here's an old L.A. Times article sure to please Dustin: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-et ... full.story
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Postby Bill McFadden » 11/06/09 08:45 PM

Yessir, it's that old air of exclusivity that can make a guy feel like the Irish Catholic businessman who keeps getting turned down for membership in the WASP country club. Ask the organizers about getting on the list and they just laugh at you.

Other than that, it's beyond compare as conferences go. And I think most of those cognoscenti and illuminati in attendance are all very nice people to one another.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/07/09 05:53 AM

Sorry Clay, I seem to be suffering from deafness this week. I've been inadvertently (honest Bill) ignoring folks; I'm just not hearing them! I take it you did have the chance to see Dr. Dawes (and we know what a "snob" he is...). Glad you made it up.

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Postby Richard Hatch » 11/07/09 11:53 AM

Yesterday's program included performances of the Eidophusikon (a "moving" picture from 1781!), Will Houstoun speaking on The Notebook (a circa 1800 manuscript of card magic in the Magic Circle library, much of it surprisingly modern in approach), Chris Woodward on the Great Rameses, David Charvet on Ade Duval, Richard Lane on fake vaudeville hypnotists, Peter Lamont on Annemann and Dr. Rhine, and a performance by John Carney of Robert-Houdin's Miraculous Orange Tree. Today the big event (until the evening presentations) will be a field trip visit to John Gaughan's new workshop/museum. Buses are standing by!
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Postby Tabman » 11/07/09 12:10 PM

Wow!!! Keep 'em coming. LA has its drawbacks but this aint one of em. Pictures???
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Postby Jim Martin » 11/07/09 12:52 PM

Was John C's 'Miraculous Orange Tree' from the Gaughan collection?
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Postby Magic Newswire » 11/07/09 01:23 PM

It was. I hear that John was pacing back stage while Carney performed it because he was so excited.
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Postby Diego » 11/07/09 02:04 PM

Ward Hall is the man! As expected, Ward Hall, with Todd Robbins, grabbed the audience with his amazing stories of 60 years in show business, fascinating and funny at the same time!
Great to see Ward do the blade box as it has been done and should be done!

Wonderful at The History Conference, to see the man who is living history.
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Postby Jim Riser » 11/08/09 12:14 AM

Snobs? I think not. It is my firm belief that any group of people has the right to assemble peaceably and to restrict their own membership. I have not been invited and I certainly do not feel snubbed. I know several people fortunate enough to attend these events and consider them friends not snobs. I will most likely never be invited. I can live with this. I go places and do things the attendees can not or do not do - this is as it should be. The is the natural order of things.

Fortunately I grew up learning that I was not entitled to anything just because I wanted it or was here on earth. Such is life - no big deal. I certainly hold no ill will towards the participants.

In fact, I very much enjoy and appreciate the info and pictures shared by the attendees. These conferences benefit all in the magic community not merely the few able at attend. They should enjoy our support rather than hear accusations of snobbery.

I wish them all the best and look forward to what trickles down to the rest of us.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/08/09 01:51 PM

The tone of this thread is just plain stupid. The size of the convention is limited by the size of the venue, and the size of the venue is limited so everyone can see!
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Postby Magic Newswire » 11/08/09 02:06 PM

It is a shame that the original purpose of the thread was derailed by some of these comments. It would have been fun to hear some day to day comments on what people were seeing and doing in LA.
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Postby Travis » 11/08/09 02:45 PM

Why has this thread taken such a ridiculous, childish turn? I would love to hear more from those who attended. Please share more details on the events, lectures, etc.

Was there a featured reproduction of a classic illusion this year?

Photos anyone?
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Postby magicalt » 11/08/09 10:25 PM

I have a few friends who attend this conference and I dont believe them to be snobs. They are very giving people who do not hesitate to help out when ever they can. So I too would like to hear more about what is going on in LA.
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Postby Michael Edwards » 11/08/09 11:46 PM

Travis wrote:Was there a featured reproduction of a classic illusion this year?


The Eidophuikon, Robert-Houdin's Miraculous Orange Tree, Devant's disappearing lady "Beau Brocade"; the Houdini/Morritt vanishing lady "Goodbye Winter," Paul Valadon's vanishing lady "Well, I'm...!" and "The Drum that Can't Be Beat."
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Postby Tabman » 11/09/09 12:35 PM

Maybe the head Genii covered it for Genii and we'll get to read about it soon.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/09/09 12:41 PM

You'll find extensive coverage in the January issue of Genii written by Dustin Stinett and photographed by Damon Webster.
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Postby Magic Newswire » 11/09/09 01:50 PM

I am very much looking forward to that and knew that Richard would deliver.
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Postby Magic Newswire » 11/09/09 04:40 PM

Just posted several interviews and some coverage of the conference for those interested. READ MORE AND LISTEN HERE
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/09/09 05:23 PM

I would like to share a couple of personal notes that will not be a part of the article.

As has been my belief since my first one (the seventh edition), the History Conference is the only magic event that I feel the need to attend. If I go to no other event, I would be perfectly happy with just this one that happens every other year.

Besides the joy of seeing old friends and making new ones, this year had a special touch in that there where many newand youngfaces. One, who Ive known for about ten years, was especially fun to watch. I had the opportunity to introduce him to folks that hed only read about. I got a real kick out of seeing these fresh faces walking about in a state of awe and wonderment. It made me think of how I must have looked at my first event, and it reminded me that I still have that same feeling every time the conference starts.

Attending the conference reminds me of how generous many of these folks truly are (these snobs as someone has intimated). The young man I alluded to abovea student of the work of Dai Vernonwas given, without solicitation, several Vernon pieces by a couple of these wonderful people simply because they found out where his interests lay. I was given a Johnny Carson piece, two books, and I also received a valuable lesson in a technique Id never known. Furthermore, I had many conversations with people where stories, facts, and factoids where shared. These, of course, only add to my knowledge base. I have absolutely no doubt that my young friends and my stories are not unique; I suspect there is a lot of this going on. So not only are these people generous with their propertysomething that can be quantifiedthey are also generous with their time and knowledge. You cannot put a price on that.

And, of course, the organizerswho do this because they love to do it (because they sure as hell arent making any money on it)are unbelievably generous. They dont have to put on this event. But they want to do it and those of us lucky enoughand thats what it is; being lucky enoughto be on the invitee list give them an excuse to spend the enormous amounts of time, energy, and money that they do to do it.

I cannot thank Jim Steinmeyer, Frankie Glass, Mike Caveney, John Gaughan, Joan Lawton, and their amazing all volunteer staff enough for including me.

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Postby Tabman » 11/09/09 07:48 PM

Magic Newswire wrote:Just posted several interviews and some coverage of the conference for those interested. READ MORE AND LISTEN HERE


Great!! Thanks.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/10/09 04:15 PM

Magic Newswire wrote:Just posted several interviews and some coverage of the conference for those interested.

A fine job as usual Dodd. However, a quick correction: Ricky Jay is not one of the organizers of the event. He stopped doing that a long time ago.

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Postby Scotto » 11/10/09 04:38 PM

I also want to thank Mike and Jim for what was for me the high light of the conference. Mike's wonderful performance of "Ring Flight"
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Postby Magic Newswire » 11/10/09 05:08 PM

Dustin Stinett wrote:
Magic Newswire wrote:Just posted several interviews and some coverage of the conference for those interested.

A fine job as usual Dodd. However, a quick correction: Ricky Jay is not one of the organizers of the event. He stopped doing that a long time ago.

Dustin


Ahhh.. Thanks Dustin. My error.
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Postby Travis » 11/10/09 05:51 PM

Scotto,

Can you share more details on Mike's 'Ring Flight'?
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 11/10/09 05:56 PM

I'll clue you in on the "Ring Flight," Travis.

Mike Caveney selected a spectator from the audience, borrowed her ring, vanished it, and caused it to reappear in his key case. Except that it wasn't the ring that she'd loaned to him. Scotto was called onto the stage from his crew-member position behind the curtain, and asked to try to determine the nature of the problem of this seemingly-flubbed trick. Scotto took the ring from Mike's key case in order to examine it - and got down on his knee and proposed to the lady.

Congratulations, Scotto and Pamela!
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Postby erdnasephile » 11/10/09 06:06 PM

Good show, Scotto! Many congrats!
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Postby Travis » 11/10/09 07:37 PM

Excellent!
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Postby Scotto » 11/10/09 07:44 PM

And to give full credit to Mike, he then pulled out a second "Ring Flight" with the correct ring on it. He told me before we started, that it might be a life changing event to me, but he had a reputation to uphold, and had to complete the effect correctly.
Thank you again Mike
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Postby JimAlfredson » 11/10/09 10:10 PM

All I can add to the positive comments on the LA Conference is Amen! Amen! Amen! And, like you Dustin, I wouldn't miss it. It was first-rate, as usual, and nobody works harder than that crew. No, mai-ling, it was not Louie's blade box, but was borrowed locally.
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