FISM 2012 - Day Three

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby CraigMitchell » 07/11/12 08:07 PM

Day 3 Wed 12 July

Numbers are dwindling for the early morning start of the FISM close-up. Lets dive straight in:

1. Niki Sedlak Cards Tricky Niki Austria
Combining a ventriloquist voice with the magic Niki featured a repeated signed card under box, signed card in envelope and very visual bill to card. Not too bad for a Wednesday morning.

2. Michael Neto Micro England
A crazed scientist who required the use of two test subjects: Oh, look we have humans today. Coins thru table ... everything is better with Ellusionist smoke ... and a bunsen burner. The theme slowly degenerated as the act went on becoming a tad too juvenile for my liking.

3. Jan Logemann Cards Germany
A mini-boom box acted as a reoccurring feature with sound effects throughout the act. With a goldfish card shark some very visual card work a massive pyro and the signed selection ending in a solid block of glass we have our first standing ovation of the day.

4. Woody Aragon Cards Spain
A member of the newly formed Bring your own video camera to Blackpool society Woody featured a four card routine with letters & words and spell a card trick ... why we should be invested in such a premise no idea but the audience loved it nonetheless and up they got to stretch their legs and provide a second standing ovation.

5. Yu Cheung Parlor Frank Ong Hong Kong
An act that brought back memories of Boris Wilds Kiss performance but instead we have cards with pictures of roses. Card to confetti to rose ... with hearts that appear and vanish. No emotion and an attempt at being dramatic that unfortunately failed to hit its mark.

6. Patrick Lehnen Cards Germany
An entertaining set, reminiscent of Pit Hartlings Heinz character, of a remote control salesman hawking his latest deck invention. Fun and pleasing.

7. Alberto Del Negro Parlor Trabuk Italy
A bubbling street busker with oodles of energy performing a chop cup style of routine in Italian. Clearly a pro when it comes to working the streets as he had the audience completely engrossed in his antics.

8. Shih-Huang Tsai Micro Red Tsai Taiwan
Matrix with dice stacking, cups & balls with shot glass and dice, visual transposition of liquid in shot glasses all elegantly executed with plenty of skill. A magician pleaser and recipient of yet another standing ovation.

9. Liang-Shun Cards Shin Lim Canada
Shin Lim is a relatively young performer new to the FISM scene. With a curtain of hair covering his eyes, his performance is over the top dramatic both in presentation and delivery. Stories of dreams and nightmares with intense music to boot is all a little too much at times in our little word of card magic. Featured sections include everything is better with Ellusionist Smoke ... and a vanishing card in cellophane bag that provided plenty of eye candy for the assembled conjurors. While his mouth to card flopped ( turning your back and inserting card into mouth is not too magical when the microphone picks up the entire sequence ) magicians are a forgiving bunch and were so taken aback with the cellophane card changes they, too, jumped to their feet at the end of the act.

10. Olivier Macia Cards Olmac France
Four aces ( oh joy ), Ambitious card, visual changes with some serious angle restrictions and a novel effect which saw his jacket pockets disappear right off the suit.

11. Andreas Axmann Parlor Der Hauptstadtzaubere Germany
Set in an amusement parkr, a borrowed cellphone ends in a sealed can along with a vanishing and reappearing neck-tie and shirt. A fun interlude ...

12. Pattrick Przysiecki Micro USA
Ive seen this act before ... and unfortunately little has improved at Patricks Travel Agency. This travel-themed act is overly scripted, lacks finesse and one of those poor attempts at putting together an act that someone thought would work at the magic contest. The vanishing globe as the finale was ridiculous lift up the close-mat, promptly dump the globe behind the table and whisk said mat away convincing yourself that no one knows how your trick is done. Oh my.

12. Zhang Guozhou Micro Jo-Jo- China
Tea time with silk to saucer, appearing spoons, cups & balls with sugar cubes, chop cup with biscuit and glass and a complete tea & cake production as the finale. Smooth as anything and a chance to sit back and enjoy a well polished performance.

13. Alexander Merk Parlor Germany
Focusing on the concept of turning back time, a youngster is forced to say goodbye to his childhood teddy bear. He goes about destroying the bear only to endure a similar fate himself ... pulling cotton wool from his own torso ... ending with the bringing back to life of the bear. An act with great potential and creative premise but sadly not quite there yet in its execution. Alexander was an engaging storyteller and can only but hope he continues to develop and refine this

14. Jose Dominguez Micro Jaque Spain
With the sound of chanting monks filtering from the speakers expectations are of the Spikes of Doom or some grand death defying feat before me. Instead we get the coin matrix. Expectation mismatch ? Just maybe. Coins to poker chips to ice cubes with screaming cheers from related family and friends in the audience.
15. Matthew Wright Marvellous Matthew Wright England
Matt Lucas lost brother somebody is drinking his own Kool Aid in this highly camp performance of cards and coins ... bizarre.

16. Jerome Bourgeon Micro Candide France
Clutching his magic set out comes the cups & balls with mini magic instruction book. 3 cups change to 4 ... the mini book replaces the ball and we have a jumbo book at the end.

Another day of close-up draws to end ... with just 17 performances remaining tomorrow before we finish with the FISM 2012 Close-up Championships.

The quality of the acts is definitely on the up, Ellusionists Smoke is now the new snowstorm and if you are doing a close-up act dont think of arriving without your overly dramatic soundtrack.
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Postby erdnasephile » 07/11/12 08:12 PM

Craig:

Who are the FISM close-up judges please?
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Postby CraigMitchell » 07/11/12 08:20 PM

Side note ... it's now 1 am as these reports get typed up - and am having a blast with friends new & old from around the world at FISM 2012. Still to come - full reports on the afternoon stage contest & evening 'comedy' gala show.

But for those who can't wait - the "Comedy Capers" Gala Show was horrible at best. Let's do a 'comedy' show with cheap British 'humour' for an international audience of some 2500 magicians featuring performers who we saw on Monday - in what would appear to be a case of 'let's spend as little money as humanly possible on talent' and get them to do two acts for the price of one.

Thank goodness for the incomparable Stan Allen, though, for keeping it all together. Killer the Rabbit unquestionably stole the show ... and no disrespect to Stan, but that speaks volumes when a simple hand-puppet is one of the best things on the bill.

More of that in the morning. Sleep is calling.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 07/11/12 11:26 PM

Oh, look we have humans today.

Oh my is that ever a loaded line among a group of magicians!
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Postby Tim Ellis » 07/11/12 11:55 PM

Keep it up Craig... I know what you're going through but from experience you need to stay up typing til at least 2am ;)
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Postby Davide Brizio » 07/12/12 03:23 AM

Albert del Negro, Trabuk, wasn't speaking italian but a mix of italian, french, german, russian, english and latin (oh, and italian dialect "piemontese"). It's called grammelot, it is an old form of language used by street travelling artists centuries ago: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammelot

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Postby Davide Brizio » 07/12/12 03:26 AM

@erdnasephile: close-up judges are
Kate Medvedeva
Denis Behr
Charming Choi
Angel de Vicente
Henry Evans
SWn Farquahar
Dick Koorwinder
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Postby CraigMitchell » 07/12/12 08:31 AM

Wed Afternoon Stage

We are fast approaching the midpoint of the marathon that is FISM ... how much magic can one man watch in a week ? Time will soon tell ;-)

1. Raul Faig Raul Black Illusions Spain
A vampire illusionist with the typical look how wonderful I am demeanour with PVC clad assistants and exposed butt cheeks. Out come the toys ... water tank, sword chest, fire, and strange homemade contraption with cardboard teeth attached. Twilight fans would be proud.

2. Stefan Olschewski Mentalism Germany
Finally a mentalist who doesnt take himself seriously. He starts off with the stereotypical dark lighting, dramatic mood music and overly ridiculous prose ... only to then shout enough of this crap much to the delight of the assembled masses. In a rare coup Stefan brings Derek Lever on stage looking resplendent in his newly acquired snow white and the seven dwarfs hat as part of the routine ... no surprise which picture Richard will be featuring on the next Genii cover ;-)

3. Juan Jose Baron Bayal Magic Taps Comedy Magic Spain
A 1920s caricature of a dance-hall act which unfortunately is too close to reality. Fascinating how comedy magic is seldom funny and usually contains limited magic.

4. Osmany Lecusay Martin General Magic Germany
Its the fall of the German empire I am afraid. At one stage, Germany was producing hit act after hit act ... but no more unfortunately. Top hat & tails ( shoot me now ) ... canes to silk to confetti ... with umbrellas to boot. Note to performer: shouting to yourself on stage is just wrong.

5. Hector Lumbadini Lumbardini Manipulation Argentina
Waiter tuned magician with a hat on a thread in act that quickly lost interest.

6. Chih-Ping Huang Chipin Huang General Taiwan
A camera and photo-album act featuring pictures of magicians Copperfield, Tamariz, Topas etc. appearing on the back of card fans. Yes ... my response was the same.

7. Augusto Zanardi Larry Mentalism Argentina
A new punishment awaits those who fall foul of the world of magics by laws ... you will be forced to watch mentalism at FISM. Magic Larry has become the running gag at Blackpool ( as if we dont have enough ) due to his poor English and ending each sentence with Okay? Wearing a doppled-grey suit from the 1930s the audience cannot hear a word he says and fast grows restless. Punctuating his routines with my English not so good stating the obvious has never been more so than here. Heckled by the FISM masses the jury should have put him out of his misery but let the trainweck continue.
8. AbraCapella Comedy Magic Germany
A five person acapaella group who parodied everything that is wrong with the world of magic. Not exactly a FISM act ... but highly amusing and light relief.

9. Jean Paul Olhabery Manipulation - Chile
A wandering traveller-cum-busker with guitar case ... cards and contact juggling. Very theatrical.

10. Xavier Tapias General magic - Spain
Set in a railway station the act lacked oomph at the start. A cardboard box is fashioned into a chair, a dancing tie, animated bear and at the end he rides off in a car fashioned from the bric-and-brac on stage. Such animatronics may have been impressive 10 years back but with Steve Axtells wizardry so freely available ... are we applauding the performer or his equipment ?

11. Guy Garrett Illusions - England
Another generic illusionist. Giant turbine fan, dancing hank ( seriously a dancing handkerchief ) compressor / squasher vanish illusion and a custom zig-zag with upside down torso. Insert any performer in his place and we would know no different.

12. Vittorio Marino Comedy Magic - Italy
A midget magician ( the politically correct police can call me out for this now ) who starts off small on the left side of the stage and grows in size as he moves to the right. Nice concept but poorly executed ... and repeated to death. Sometimes less is more.

13. Juan M. Gallego Luque Juan Luque General Magic Spain
A painful piece to watch ... cut and restored rope, our first mirror glass at FISM ... and the person behind me saying he needs shampoo and a comb

14. Kim Hyun Joon Manipulation Korea
A Korean powerhouse with a kaleidoscope of color changing cards, incredible visual transformations and some moments of pure magic The danger the Koreans now face is that their performances now all start to blur. They are all so technically good that this is no longer a differentiating factor it is now the norm. Separating the one act from the other is proving to be more and more of a challenge.

15. Oliver Tabor General Magic England
Lets call it quits from the start when a vanishing dove cage is sighted on stage. I think FISM should offer contestants a guideline list of effects which they should avoid. Playing the transforming role of magician/musician we had piped applause, violin strings to rope ( that must have seemed like a good idea at the time ), dove from jacket, jumbo violin and a streamer confetti canon for the finale.

16. Miguel Pelegrin Doble Mandoble Comedy Magic Belgium
An novel entrance where Miguel walks across the stage and instantly reappears on the other side. An assistant in drag, lit match from crotch and vanishing linking rings. Different it was.

17. Chisato Suzuki Manipulation Japan
A throwback to the past ... cane to confetti, multiplying balls, color changing balls. And thats where the notes stopped.

18. Bond Lee General Magic China
Umbrellas, confetti, vanishing ball to confetti, appearing snowflake, cards and confetti, more of the same, an animated little snowman that came to life ... finishing with a massive snowstorm.

19. Jean-Phillipe Loupi Comedy Magic France
A mime/clowning act with a stretch of fabric across the stage. The performer mimes the appearance of going up and down an elevator, thrown across a treadmill, all whilst trying to catch an elusive camera behind the sheet. Lots of FISM flashes.


Another long, but enjoyable day of magic. Still two more days of acts to go!

Special mention must be made of one of the hardest working people here at FISM 2012 ... stage contest manager Gay Ljungberg. Enormous credit goes to him and his amazing crew for making sure things run like clockwork. Its a joy to be able to sit back and watch so many contest acts without a technical hitch in sight. Thank you, Gay !

Comedy Capers Gala Show


Deciding to do a comedy show for a multi-lingual audience is brave at best. Attempting to produce a show by spending the least amount of money possible is insulting ... especially when entrance was 500 Euros a piece.

The evenings line-up ... Veronin, Mr Blub and his Bubbles, John Archer, Clive Webb & Danny Adams, Stan Allen, The Great Nardini, Richard McDougall and Amethyst.

You would be forgiven for thinking some of these names sound familiar we saw three of them on Monday ... Veronin. Clive Webb. Danny Adams.

When you are having to recycle your performers on your evening gala show you know that something is very, very wrong or more plainly lets see if we can do our utmost not to book any extra talent.

Veronin starts the show with his comedy set featuring stage hands running across the stage knocking his table over. Repeatedly. Not funny in my book but comedy is clearly different in Britain as the audience ( which included lay people ) delighted in such antics.

From there we moved to Mr Blub and his Bubbles. A bubble artist at the best of comedy magic gala show ? Yes, that would make perfect sense.

Whilst still trying to work out the rationale, an 11 year old performer by the name of Tigran takes to the stage with his manipulation act. While the youngster is talented, this is a FISM World Championships of Magic stage gala show ... not the place to be featuring a junior performer in front of 2500 magicians who are expecting and deserve the best of the best.

The rationale I suspect is far more financial. Tigran is the son of excellent quick change artists, Sos & Victoria. Buy one act get the kid for free, was no doubt the thought process.

Comedian John Archer was next on our fast track to fun and had the unenviable task of performing for a not particularly appreciative audience. His set seemed to drag on for ages involving a whole long process to find a chosen key to open up a box containing his wallet and watch. One-liners were flying thick and fast and met with deafening silence ... and John knew it. Perhaps this plays big in a smoke-filled comedy club. But not on the Opera House stage.

My agony was not over yet. Clive Webb & Danny Adams returned from Mondays opening show with sad visual gags, puerile humour and men dressed in pink pixie outfits. They said it best themselves: I cant believe we get away with this crap.

Stan Allen somehow got himself involved in this delight of a gala ... and was its only highlight. His ten minutes with a puppet rabbit finding a selected card was amazing and proved just how skilled a performer he is ...Shawn Farquhars daughter, Hannah, added to the fun as Stans on-stage helper.

This moment of genuine enjoyment though fast vanished as Stan introduced our next torturous instalment - The Great Nardini. The name of the act should say it all. A parody of everything that is wrong with magic ... except in this case parody more closely reflected reality with dove pans, bird cages, metamorphosis and men in drag. Clive Webb & Danny Adams played the role of inept magicians ... why subject us to another depressing reflection of where our art is at ?

A brief interlude followed with Richard McDougalls well-known cigarette manipulation act before we reached the most disheartening of all - closing illusionist, Amethyst aka Danny Hunt. Complete with buxom assistant we were treated to a parade of the most uninspired presentation of illusions yet seen. This was every box available in the dealers catalogue wheeled on and wheeled off... mirror penetration, cube zag, sawing a woman in eighths, Pavels moving knot, Spike illusion and tiger cage. Zero originality. Zero presentation. Remove the performer and substitute with anyone else and we would be none the wiser. How a sad a statement is that ? And to make matters worse, Danny Hunt is one of the FISM jurors ( and so terribly upstaged the following day by The Netherlands Prince of Illusions who quite possibly presented one of the best illusion acts a FISM contest has seen in recent years!)

Our display of boxes finished with the production of an agitated 600lb Bengal tiger who clearly did not enjoy the pulsating music and flamethrower explosions. A Bengal tiger in Blackpool, England. The era of exotic animals in magic is fast coming to an end ... and the sooner the better.

On exiting the theatre many people were commenting: poor animal. The best response poor audience

Photos: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... 772&type=3
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Postby Tim Ellis » 07/12/12 09:31 AM

Thanks Craig, spotted any potential winners yet?
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Postby Andrew Martin Portala » 07/12/12 10:31 AM

Craig I been telling my wife about reports everyday. She said ,Who's reporting . I told her it was you. She knows you. So Hi from my wife ,Melissa (and Mimi says Hello too).
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Thanks for the reports
You are doing a great job.
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Postby Tom Stone » 07/12/12 11:17 AM

If the rumors are true, it seems a Belgian magician was forcibly ejected from FISM, solely because he had released a coin magic DVD with a "rude" title.
If so, I hope people take the individual initiative to protest against such silliness.
Ethics before morals - if they don't mind that there's a lot of pirated ripoffs in the dealer room, then they have no business to judge and enforce their own moral quirks upon paying visitors.
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Postby Michael Close » 07/12/12 11:17 AM

I'd like to second Craig's praise of Gay Ljungberg. He is a true professional, great to work with, and a really nice guy.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/12/12 11:54 AM

Yes, Tom, the name of the DVD in question is "F*ck Coin Magic," and has a picture of a woman's breasts on the cover with a coin stuck between them (nipples not visible). The photo was not the issue, just the F word in the title.

As the producer of an upcoming convention, my dealers are contractually not allowed to have anything with that type of language on the dealer table, so that is known to them in advance.

However, I wouldn't deal with it the way they did in Blackpool by kicking the kid out. I would have simply asked him to either remove the product from his table or go to the stationary story a block away, buy some stickers, and put them over the offending word.

Simple solution to a small problem.
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Postby Rolf Reiner » 07/12/12 11:55 AM

Tim,
Im not attending, but it should not require a mentalist to prognosticate Yann Frish as closeup champion and Jae Hoon Lim as stage champion.
Mikael Szaniel is likely to win comedy, all going well.

Thanks Craig for the heroic one-man reporting. Following the China FISM convention from afar was a lot easier, oddly. Their TV coverage was great and a special website carried all videos almost immediately.
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Postby Richard Hatch » 07/12/12 11:59 AM

Wittus Witt is posting updates daily in German with lots of photos. Here's his latest entry (I have trouble seeing this site in google chrome for some reason, but no problem in firefox):
http://www.european-magic-history.com/E ... se-up.html
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/12/12 11:59 AM

Ditto the above as far as the seeming Grand Prix winners. However, one must remember that the Grand Prix is now an entirely separate contest and the performers are judged solely on their showing in the final contest. We've seen people completely crap out and lose the Grand Prix in that final performance. There's always the possibility of an upset.
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Postby Tom Stone » 07/12/12 12:02 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:As the producer of an upcoming convention, my dealers are contractually not allowed to have anything with that type of language on the dealer table, so that is known to them in advance.

I guess such a contract would make sense in the US. They have the same thing in FISM:s dealer contracts?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/12/12 12:07 PM

There's a real difference in the perception of foul language between the US and the rest of the western world. In the United States, foul language is used extensively in the major cities on the east and west coast, but the smaller cities on the coasts and the entire middle of the US really considers the use of many words to be extraordinarily rude. So, when in Rome ...

Not sure what's in the FISM dealer contracts.
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Postby Richard Hatch » 07/12/12 12:18 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Yes, Tom, the name of the DVD in question is "F*ck Coin Magic," and has a picture of a woman's breasts on the cover with a coin stuck between them (nipples not visible).


With that image, he probably should have called the DVD "Coin Magic S*cks". And included the classic "nipples to dimes" trick...
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Postby Tom Stone » 07/12/12 12:24 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Not sure what's in the FISM dealer contracts.

I guess no one knows. My personal experience is that FISM organizers can make any decision in the spur of the moment, and refer to it as "according to the rules", and then refuse to disclose any material that proves that it's actually true and not simply made up. That kind of administrative dishonesty is the main reason I avoid FISM.
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Postby luigimar » 07/12/12 12:45 PM

Here, I found this page. Look at the bottom of the page, there's a link to a "Rules for dealers" PDF.

http://fismwcm2012.com/dealers.html
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Postby Tom Stone » 07/12/12 01:10 PM

luigimar wrote:Here, I found this page. Look at the bottom of the page, there's a link to a "Rules for dealers" PDF.

http://fismwcm2012.com/dealers.html

Thanks. Says nothing about expletives. And the cover is well within what can be shown in regular advertising and regular magazines.
There's no support for a total ban either:
In case of a violation of any of these rules by a Magic Dealer, the FISM Dealers Committee can recommend the Presidium of the FISM to take appropriate measures, including removal of a product from the Magic dealers product line, removal of the Magic Dealer from the Magic Dealers Exhibition and temporary non-admittance to a FISM Event.

However, it seems that the charge now is vandalism.
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Postby IrishMagicNews » 07/12/12 01:11 PM

CraigMitchell wrote:Special mention must be made of one of the hardest working people here at FISM 2012 ... stage contest manager Gay Ljungberg. Enormous credit goes to him and his amazing crew for making sure things run like clockwork. Its a joy to be able to sit back and watch so many contest acts without a technical hitch in sight. Thank you, Gay !



I have to say Gay is one of the nicest guys in magic. And he is working with possibly the best crew in magic. The local crew of Russ Brown, Tony Steven's, Juan Tirado and a rake of others are IMO superb. I know they are held in high regard. For instance, if I am not mistaken, when Rick Thomas was over a few years back he had nothing but praise for them.

As an aside I was one of the stage judges for the European Champs last year in Blackpool. The stage crew, who are friends of mine, and Gay were not happy about having to drop the curtain. This may be a reason it hasn't been done this time round.

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Postby Q. Kumber » 07/12/12 01:30 PM

I'm at FISM and appreciate all the reviews and news. I generally don't go to competitions but read all Craig"s write-ups with interest. Well done.
First I heard of the coin DVD incident was here on the Genii forum.
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Postby Andres Reynoso » 07/12/12 01:31 PM

CraigMitchell wrote:Wed Afternoon Stage
6. Chih-Ping Huang Chipin Huang General Taiwan
A camera and photo-album act featuring pictures of magicians Copperfield, Tamariz, Topas etc. appearing on the back of card fans. Yes ... my response was the same.


Craig, thank you for your reports.

My response was: coloring book/polaroid deck at a FISM? maybe my english isn't very well today and I didn't undertand well, I need to read it one more time ........ second time: dragon fanning deck at a FISM?
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Postby Rolf Reiner » 07/12/12 01:40 PM

Thanks for the link, Richard! Finally some well-shot images and another report.

Back to the subject of favorites, Yann and Jae are the obvious favorites. From my personal perspective, I would value originality above flashy dove work, and the act of one korean magician comes to mind... the one with the pinwheels. Anybody knows his name? I think Tim might know.
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Postby Rolf Reiner » 07/12/12 02:05 PM

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Postby IrishMagicNews » 07/12/12 02:07 PM

Surely Yu Ho Jin has Grand Prix written all over him? And Yann Frisch for close up.
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Postby Tom Stone » 07/12/12 02:09 PM

IrishMagicNews wrote:The stage crew, who are friends of mine, and Gay were not happy about having to drop the curtain. This may be a reason it hasn't been done this time round.

No one has been alexstoned this year?
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Postby Rolf Reiner » 07/12/12 02:22 PM

Ive been through Wittus Witts report and he mentions bitter behind-the-scenes fighting in the inner circle. No details, though.

"Ehe ich zum zweiten Teil der Bhnenwettbewerbe komme, ein paar Gerchte, die wohl eine gewisse Wahrheit enthalten. Hinter den Tren der FISM-Organisation scheint es heftig zu knallen. Der eine schimpft auf den anderen und jeder sieht sich hintergangen. Was da wirklich luft, entzieht sich meiner Kenntnis, aber DASS etwas luft, scheint sicher zu sein, sonst gbe es nicht so viele Gerchte
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Postby Richard Hatch » 07/12/12 04:43 PM

Also in Wittus' report, some questions about the official attendance figures. The official report is 2,400, but the close up gala venue apparently seats only 700 and the show was only done twice, meaning only 1,400 registrants could see it. And the company that offers a magic set to registrants in exchange for the coupon in their registration packet reported only 1,200 given out thus far...
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Postby CraigMitchell » 07/12/12 05:18 PM

.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/12/12 05:58 PM

The Close-Up Gala seats 600 (it's in the basement of the Winter Gardens in an area I'd never seen before called "The Olympia").

They did two shows for a total of 1200 registrants. The other 1200 registrants were not given tickets to the Close-Up Gala and knew nothing about it, nor did they understand they needed a ticket to see it.

Why not present the Close-Up Gala four times so all attendees (we all paid the same amount of money) can see it?

Another mystery with no one giving any answers.
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Postby Bizzaro » 07/12/12 07:29 PM

Michael Close wrote:I'd like to second Craig's praise of Gay Ljungberg. He is a true professional, great to work with, and a really nice guy.


Indeed. Met him last year in Europe whilst lecturing. A great host.
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Postby Ted M » 07/12/12 08:04 PM

Has anyone conducted an informal poll to sample what percentage of folks were not given tickets to the Close Up Gala?

That might provide some hint as to the actual attendance...
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Postby John Archer » 07/13/12 12:40 AM

I'm glad Craig hasn't got an axe to grind or these reviews would be hard to read.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 07/13/12 05:01 AM

@John - I've got no axe to grind ... I call it as I see it ... and my previous reports on numerous different events over the years reflect this - Blackpool or not.

With respect to your individual performance - I am sorry that I didnt enjoy it. Your humour can come across as border-line insulting to the spectator and is simply not endearing to me. Such is life and one of the inherent issues with comedy ... what works in one country doesn't often translate to another. I did find the set very long and premise of finding a lost key over 10+ minutes not appealing to me.

Having been fortunate enough to attend every FISM since '97 - the 'Comedy Capers' show had to be one of the most disappointing gala shows.

You don't need to agree with me. It is simply my view ... but from the numerous people I have spoken to, seems to be shared by quite a few others.

Not just Richard and I.
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Postby IrishMagicNews » 07/13/12 05:11 AM

Would hate to see this thread turn into personal attacks on any performer. In the case of Mr Archer it should be stated that he is one of the funniest acts around these parts and seems to constantly busy.

I've booked him previously and he was terrific. But don't just take it from me. John would be too self effacing to mention the following kind words but I will....

"Booking an act for my dad's 70th birthday, I wanted a great and went straight to John Archer - his reputation in the magic world is among the very best. Hysterically funny, and perfectly pitched for the occasion. He made the evening. I'd recommend him unreservedly" Derren Brown.
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Postby John McDonald » 07/13/12 07:24 AM

I found John's retort to Craig very, "Bon Mot!" John you are my hero xx
Best John
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Postby Glenn Ward » 07/13/12 09:02 AM

I was at the Comedy Capers show and I think Craigs review is very accurate. As a show it was dreadful. For me, Stan Allen and Amthyst saved the day somewhat but the rest, without exception - were poor at best. It wasn't comedy or entertaining, and all rather cringeworthy. Just my opinion, each to their own, and no offence.
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