I don't think Johnny mentioned anything about a book.
Master Payne was one of many highlights. He had great barbs while a visual power point presentation kept us all laughing at ourselves.
The Film Festival was a huge hit. 8 or 9 films were shown, they all were shot by very talented magicians. Some films may be viewed on the Magic Live after Midnight news reels. The winner was "The Magician's Wife" and can be viewed on the evening news reels. Williamson put together his own film, about having to sit through viewing these...of course his piece was the best. I believe parodies are easy today, I was hoping a serious film would have won...like mine (see other thread under Buzz).
"Divided We Stand" was a real treat. David Charvet as Harry Blackstone Jr. was too eerie. About a hundred guys had to stop him in the halls, just to hear his Blackstone voice. The hairs on the back of my neck rose up. He spent some time talking about how he insisted that 2 of Blackstone's original helpers be present, and also Bill Smith. He even dressed in Blackstone's Tux! It was good to see Pendragon back up on stage too. The Charvet piece was the convention highlight for many.
"Darkness" brought about many polarized opinions. I loved it. 2,000 ushers made sure you were blindfolded, then comfortably seated. A box was velcro'ed to your thigh. Great fun. many fell asleep, as you put blindfolds on guys who had sleep deprivation... I had an older brother who was blind, so this hit home for me. I wish he could have experienced this.
Dealers were great. Pure was the biggest hit. A terrific price point, and a wonderful illusion. I take back the crap I said about smoke from the mouth of a close-up contestant at SAM. I thought this guy was using poisonous chemicals, Boy was I wrong. I think we were all wondering just how Michaels would top his Helicopter from two years ago, but he did with a giant Scorpion. (check my avatar). I have a thing for Scorpions...especially the Italian car. Eric Jones is the coolest cat working today. I heard a buzz about some new Roughing stuff, but that is all I can tell you about it.
Spina showed a clip from Mr. Electric, then put newer music over it. I never, ever like lyrics in my magic music, she doesn't seem to mind. And, as we watched Mr. Roy pull about 60 bulbs from his mouth, a friends couldn't help but notice that some guys today are pulling only about 3 feet of LCD's.....? from their mouths. Jimi played it loud. You think these guys could fit 80 feet of LCD's.....anyway.
Some guys are looking old...I guess that happens.
Biggest surprise was the attendance of the Wilson's! Mark, Nani and Greg were selling off old scripts, DVD's all kinds of stuff from the vaults. Greg has the best smile, this guy is the real deal, and you can tell that he was in heaven. Great stories about the New York World's Fair...they showed some of their old corporate illusions. Huge! Tell me where else are you going to talk with one of your childhood idols? There was the Train Track Saw In Half performed during the "Divided We Stand" Show, with Mark and Nani on the big screen behind Greg and Company in front, just wonderful.
...and speaking of Swiss, he was there! This guy doesn't go to any magic get-togethers.
Hobson was on fire, and he knew it! My God was he hot during my show, (two Carnival shows the last night) "Bob" makes me laugh still, just hearing him say a stupid accent from a man's name. Hobson stole the show, and was there after hours trying to meet everyone that wanted to say hello..all 1,200 of us. I don't know how he smoldered that night. How does a guy who gives such a hot set like that, cool down?
No color scanning or cardboard paper at the Hotel Copy Center WTF?
Lack of water everywhere. Since the General sessions were held at the theatre...there was no decanter of water in the lobby. The few times I found a decanter, it was empty. I had to carry my water bottle around 21 hours out of the day.
The last evening's cake was loaded with rum, no warning. I have been sober for 13 years, I can't eat any rum cake....If I do, I'll be smoking crack with the bitches behind the Car Wash till 7am. A small sign would have been nice.
Weber was on Fire doing the news. He poked fun at all the guys who needed to be jabbed, including Bob Markwood......Groans from the whole audience. "What, too early?" It is a great sound to hear a whole audience groan, than a whole audience laugh. I viewed both his sets, after viewing the first, I went out of my way to view it again. But, again with the split groups, the "too early" joke wasn't delivered the second time around. I just didn't like the split groups..at all.
Technically the conventions was flawless. A few dead batteries during power point presentations, but there was always Scott backstage waiting with a replacement. The close-up focus session (not my choice) without cameras was voiced by many.
The laminated passes need to change. There was a 2 or 3 hour wait between the photo being taken, and the picture delivered. many guys just hung around, as you were told that you needed photo passes to get into the opening night's show. As soon as they realized that was NEVER going to happen, they allowed you inside with a temp pass. One fella had a great idea, and that was to send your photo ahead of the convention. I like the idea of the photo, but the crew must be doubled for the first and second day.
The time you found out that your ticket had either an "A" or a "B" or a "C" , that correlated to when you could take a seat ( a reward to those who registered early)...it was too late. This seating arrangement was not discussed with anyone during the time we picked up our convention programs. It would have been nice to sit closer to the stage, as this was my 5th Magic Live. Crowds outside Carival of Wonders shows looked like the Who General Admission Shows from the early 80's.
I loved the "Final" captions that we all were encouraged to add, during past Live conventions, guess that got voted down this year.
Toupees, Tattoos, coiffed facial hair, and mail order brides were down this year.
Best deal are the $1.50 hot dogs by the Sports section.
Sos did a small lecture where he showed you some costume tucks that had us all squirming in our seats.
Chocolate bars seem to be the biggest new thing to hit all of the Vegas Hotels.
Mark Kalen uses way too much fire. Every illusion has burning this, or flaming that......I swear I was too nervous watching his hair get thisclose to the flames. Pyro....Jing daring, that man is dangerous...Let me take you away from all of those flames...
A lot of kids in diapers running around...
And Adults too.