We're Back From the Genii Bash!

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/09/12 02:39 PM

The videos were made purely for our archival purposes and will not be released.

And, yes, David Ben's lecture on Ross Bertram was a highlight--I loved hearing the guys in the audience gasp when David explained a method that was exactly the opposite of what they were thinking!
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Postby Tom Frame » 10/09/12 03:00 PM

All right, damn it! I cant stand it, I tell ya! I hereby appoint myself official Spokesman for the unfortunate souls who didn't attend this stellar convention. We need information about everything that occurred. Specifically:

1) An obsessively detailed description of every single formal performance and lecture.
2) An obsessively detailed description of every single informal session.
3) Lurid stories of chemically-induced merriment and mayhem.
4) The good, the bad and the ugly experiences in the dealers room.
5) Assessment of the venue, scheduling and organization.
6) Assessment of the technical, production values.
7) The contents of the Swag Bag.

Yes, we should have attended. Yes, we will devote the rest of our lives to remorseful self-flagellation for missing out on this once in a lifetime event. Yes, we have no business asking about the wondrous experiences that occurred.

But please, oh please, throw us a meaty bone. Inquiring, masochistic minds need to know.
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Postby NCMarsh » 10/09/12 03:39 PM

Thank you Richard, Margret, Liza, Dustin, the Solomons....people I'm probably forgetting...this was an incredible event!

Personal highlights:

- Uri Geller! Seeing him perform live was a revelation. Learned a helluva lot and will be processing that talk for a long time to come. Wow. His challenge to "do something viral" has me hitting the mindmapping hard...As a performer, his presentation of material -- the finger tip lift and the revelation of the thought of word -- was the most compelling, engaging, and flabbergasting performance of mentalism that I have seen live...the man has drive, charisma, and balls of titanium...there is a lot to learn from watching him (as I write this I see the banner ad that says "Uri Geller Will Mesmerize You" -- boy did you guys deliver on that for me)
- Rob Zabrecky -- clear character with total commitment.
- Seeing Conover's Cylinder and Coins in the hands of Eric Mead...elegant, elegant, construction...clarity of effect...just a beautiful piece of magic and I thought it was classy of Eric to mention that he was in Tim's reflected light (I thought the performance was masterful)
- Charlie Frye's ending build -- strong, energetic "finish" had us on our feet; and then less than 10 seconds later the hat and vest had us right back...we didn't think it could be topped, then it was (same for Tamariz' repeat of the Larry Grey Cards Across with the inner jacket pocket ending)...has me thinking about my own closing number and how I can goose it into that next gear
- Peter Samelson! The smoke transforming into coins inside the wineglass was gorgeous...and his remains the premiere presentation of snowstorm (and the reason I won't do it -- I feel like his interpretation is definitive, though I'd be happy to be proven wrong
- Lukas' barehanded vanishes -- deserved Max Maven's "so that's what manipulation is supposed to look like..."
- Maven on equivoque -- I've read his booklet, the Berglas material, and studied the DVD...but seeing it live really helped to have the mindset sink in deeper...I've done it with random objects at parties before, and it always plays very strongly. But last night for the first time did it on stage with a client's products -- and I feel it was MUCH stronger for having seen Max so recently before...I'm going to have a lot of fun exploring in this area further...
-Tomo Maedo's restored balloon
- Christian Engblom's vanishing pocket
- Tom Stone!
- Jim Steinmeyer on the presentation of illusions...I've just begun, in the last 10 months, to perform metamorphosis...and the transition from performing stage and close-up magic to performing an illusion has been one of the greatest challenges of my career (even more than making the jump from the restaurant table to the platform -- which seemed a huge leap at the time)...it has opened a whole galaxy of considerations that weren't there...and it was very helpful to hear Jim talk about that process and the differences required by the genres (and as someone who has made a living for 8 years performing sleight-of-hand; his comments on the smug stereotype about easy "box tricks" from close-up magicians are dead-on...it ain't as easy as it looks)...also Jim's notes on writing material for Ginger Leigh ("She was beautiful and didn't say much, so when she did it was important") had me thinking about my assistant's role and what I have her saying (and singing in our case)...it feels, at times, like a jumbled mess and I think Jim's process is giving me a bit of a clear path (I'm devouring Technique and Understanding this week)

While not part of the convention, I lump together in my experience of the week The Magic Estate's jam session on the first night of the convention. The Magic Estate is a home shared by four young magicians in Orlando, that is known for hosting epic parties/jam sessions. Several of the convention goers who were in the loop made it out, and were treated to a performance from Giovanni Livera for 120 people jammed into the house's indoor theater -- Gio featured his beautifully constructed Coins and Salt routine and had the room on fire. Following that we headed outside for shows from 20 penny circus, the Naked Mentalist (both of whom are currently performing an extended run at Universal Studios as a featured part of Halloween Horror Nights), followed by a show stopping performance from Boston-based Comedy Stuntman Wacky Chad...A very memorable night that made for an incredible opening to my Genii week experience...

Thanks to all who made this happen!

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Postby Tom Frame » 10/09/12 03:56 PM

Ah, yummy!

Those are the details that we crave. Thanks Nathan!

Keep 'em coming guys.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 10/09/12 04:04 PM

Doc Eason tells me that he's sold a few copies of Leading With your Head since the weekend, so I know at least some people were listening to what I had to say...
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Postby Travis » 10/09/12 05:17 PM

Nathan, I've so got your back re illusions. :)

I'm grateful, as you no doubt are, that before I became a stage illusionist I had the benefit of Jim's body of work and knowledge on the subject of illusions, their history, and performing them. Incredibly valuable.

You are absolutely correct that the close-up guys who delight in calling illusionists 'box pushers' (and I readily admit, many are and have no business performing them) or claiming that performing illusions on stage is 'easy and that anyone could do it' don't know what they're talking about. I've done close-up and stage (parlor) magic all my life, and I would not hesitate to say that performing illusions is the most challenging of them all. And I don't necessarily mean technically difficult, though that can sometimes be the case. I think every close up magician would benefit from performing illusions on the stage at some point, if only to gain a stronger knowledge of the theatrical nature of magic to then apply to their close-up performances.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/09/12 05:32 PM

You asked for it! Here is the letter that came in the gift bag explaining the contents:

Your Genii 75th Anniversary Birthday Bash Gift Bag


This folio containing your gifts was generously donated by my friend David Copperfield in celebration of Geniis 75th anniversary.

Your gifts, a token of our appreciation for attending our celebration, are described below. Some items are readily visible in the folio, but others are hidden in various pockets. Have fun exploring! (One helpful hint: some of the instructions for the card tricks are in the zippered mesh compartment under the large flap on the left side.)
Thanks for attending our 75th Anniversary Bash and enjoy this wonderful folio of gifts donated by the many generous dealers, advertisers, and friends of Genii, The Conjurors Magazine.
Richard Kaufman

Juan Pair, donated by Juan Tamariz, Stephen Minch, and Genii
The publication of any new effect by the master Juan Tamariz is cause for celebration, but the publication of two, his handlings for an ungimmicked Rising Cards and Vernons Travelers, makes it a doubly special event. Written by Stephen Minch of Hermetic Press, these delightful routines will introduce you to a new culling technique by Juan as well as give you the usual Tamarizian lessons in the psychology of expert card handling.

The Blue Crown DVD Sampler, donated by The Blue Crown
Alex Pandrea, chief of The Blue Crown, has put together this special sampler of their DVD line just for our convention. It features David Roth performing and explaining his classic Hanging Coins, Tony Changs mind-banging Sandwiches, Richard Huckos clever Hucko Steal, and an excellent tutorial on The Turnover Pass by Pandrea, a true master of the sleight.

Branded donated by Tim Trono
Tim Tronos amazing extension of Jack Tillars effect Blister will allow you to cause an ostensibly normal blister on your finger to visibly morph into the index of a chosen cardboth the numeral and pip (and there are several to choose from). Your hands dont go into your pockets and its something the spectator will never forget. This new handling contains a devilishly easy and deceptive force by Paul Wilson.

Lennart Green Deck (plus discount coupon for EMC products) donated by Luis de Matos and EMC
If theres anyone who doesnt think Lennart Green is cool I havent met him. And what better way to celebrate this Swedish maestro of the pasteboards than with a Lennart Green deck of cards, courtesy of Luis de Matos and the Essential Magic Collection. Dont miss the wrapper on the deck because it offers you a 10 percent online discount off products from the Essential Magic Collection at essentialmagiccollection.com

Olram Aces Plus, donated by Jon Racherbaumer, Tim Trono, and Genii
There have been an untold number of versions of what most people think of as McDonalds Aces, actually a routine of Johann Hofzinsers dating back to 1850 called The Power of Faith. One of the best is Jon Racherbaumers Olram Aces, presented here in a new handling including the necessary gimmicked cards.

Big Blind Media DVD Sampler, donated by Big Blind Media
Owen Packard and Big Blind Media, purveyors of fine digital magic, have provided this DVD sampler which highlights their excellent YouTube channel and DVD sets, and has performances and explains of seven excellent effects from Cameron Francis, Joshua Jay, Terry Lagerould, Alan Rorrison, John Bannon, Dave Solomon, and Liam Montier.

Mosers Miracle Monte, donated by Vanishing Inc.

Of all the Monte tricks inspired by Theodore DeLands Pickitout from 1907 (and that includes those by Eddie Taytelbaum, Mike Skinner, and Mike Rogers), the first real enhancement came from Harry Anderson. Wolfgang Mosers handling takes that a step farther and is one of the most commercial tricks on the market. You receive the special cards and instructions.

Intuition, donated by Real Secrets
Since everything from Real Secrets is, well, a real secret, theoretically I cant tell you about this. But that seems to be a contradiction since its being given to you in this gift bag! I guess I can tell you about it. One of the things which the Real Secrets team is very good at is disguising magical props as ordinary objectsin this case, an effect normally done with playing cards masquerades as one of those ubiquitous blow-in cards that are always falling out of magazines. The Intuition Development Center is going to help you expand your inner senses by separating red and black squares. I think youll be tickled by the method.

Reel Magic No.28 DVD, donated by Kozmo Magic

Reel Magic is a magazine-on-DVD, the only one of its kind in our field, and were very pleased that Kozmo, the brains behind it all, has donated the latest issue to all of you. The feature interview is with Josh Jay. The DVD features columns by Jon Armstrong, Garrett Thomas, and Simon Lovell; reviews by Wayne Kawamoto and David Regal; tricks explained by Josh Jay, David Acer, and Jim Loscutoff; and move monkeys with Steve Bargatze, Lou Carreon, and Kenny Shelton. Lots of fun stuff to watch and learn in this issue of Reel Magic.

Genii 75th Anniversary Magic Set donated by Hanky Panky Toys
Hanky Panky was very kind in donating a magic set for each one of you to celebrate Geniis 75th birthday. As the only maker of magic sets endorsed by FISM, Hanky Panky has been making European magic sets for decades. For us, they have produced a miniature set containing half a dozen effectsall quite good, whether classic or new. Hanky Panky also manufactures custom magic sets for various magicians around the world.

Cheating at Cheating, donated by Magicana
After some generous words of welcome in which David Ben explains the mission of Magicana, his non-profit organization in Canada dedicated to the exploration of magic as a performing art, he treats us to a tricky bit of video titled Cheating at Cheating. In it he demonstrates but does not explain various bits of amazing card handling, much of which comes from The Expert at the Card Table. This is followed by an excerpt from a recent issue of Magicol titled Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Erdnase. Navigate through the excerpt using the arrow keys on your DVD remote control or computer keyboard (not your mouse). If you find viewing it on the screen inconvenient, you may download the article for free from www.magicana.com/geniibash.

Jay Sankeys The Fine Print, donated by Elmwood Magic
Jay Sankey has created magic since the early 1980s, and I was pleased to write, illustrate, and publish his first two books Sankey Panky and 100% Sankey. This effect from Elmwood Magic emphasizes the simpler side of Sankeya card force and the supplied special card produce a memorable miracle. Elmwood Magic will be having a drawing in the dealer room each night for a $100 gift certificates worth of products from their website.

Mahatma, donated by The Conjuring Arts Research Center
While magic had a rich history in Asia, the United Kingdom, and Europe, it was a bit of a slow-starter in the new United States, where the earliest magic dealers, the Lubins, C. Milton Chases father Nathaniel, and Joseph Hartz, didnt open shops until somewhere between 1851 and 1860. The first magazine didnt appear until 1895, but once it got going after a few false starts and different owners, Mahatma became an invaluable source of information and the progenitor of all American magic magazines that followed, including The Sphinx and, later, Genii. Published for 11 years, obtaining a full file of Mahatma over 100 years after it ceased publication was a Herculean task. The Conjuring Arts Research Center presents this CD-Rom containing every issue of Mahatma in full color, in fully-searchable PDF format. Note that this disc must be used in your computer, not a stand-alone DVD player.

Alan Alans Dual Control donated by L&L Publishing

Dual Control is an amazing utility gimmick. If youve ever wanted to perform the Magnetized Pencils or Magnetized Cards, where objects adhere to your skin as if by magic, or the Rising Cards with a borrowed deck, Alans handling of the Dual Control gimmick will enable you to do all that and more. I used to visit Alan Alans shop The Magic Spot and see him demonstrate this behind the counter and it always fooled me. Patrick Page hosts this DVD and also assists Alan with explaining the methods. Its amusing to watch these two old pros (and friends) as Pat is trying to move Alan along during the explanations, with Alan having a hard time getting a word in. And take special note of the extra handling by Fred Kaps for the Magnetized Pencil.

Mutanz or Headhunter, donated by Robert Farmer
From the mysterious Mr. Farmer youll receive one of two of his most amazing packet tricks, both involving secretly gimmicked cards and mind-bending psychology for the utmost packeteers escape from reality.

Jerry Andruss Spook Blocks, donated by Genii and the Estate of Jerry Andrus
Ive always been a big fan of both of Jerry Andruss passions: magic and optical illusions. While I have published his optical illusion Parabox several times in the past, for our gift bag I sought out one of his more advanced items that has not been widely reproduced: Spook Blocks. It takes the simple optical effect of Parabox, where a concave three-dimensional item appears to become convex, and amplifies it, making your head spin with the impossibility of what youre seeing.

The Magic of Mlis DVD, donated by Kino Video and Genii

Kino Video produces this wonderful DVD containing 15 films by Georges Mlis followed by a documentary George Mlis: Cinema Magician. Mlis was a magician and the manager of the Theatre Robert-Houdin, as well as one of the earliest film-makers and the discoverer of the special effect in cinema. In these films, some of which feature magical effects achieved through early special effects, you can still see the charm Mlis captured in his work. If youve seen Martin Scorseses extraordinary film Hugo, then get ready to experience the original Magic of Mlis.

Dr. Sawas Fortune-Telling Card, donated by Genii
When I published Sawas Library of Magic in the late 1980s, one of my favorite effects required a unique gimmicked card that allows you to reveal four predicted cards in different sizes and shapes. Ive not seen a single person perform it even though it requires no sleight of hand and is unique in all of card magic. Youll find new instructions herein along with the required special gimmickplease try it out.

Scarnes Ace Cutting, donated by Ray Goulet
In his autobiography The Odds Against Me, John Scarne relates how he was able to cut to the Aces from a shuffled deck in the presence of well-known gamblers. The trick has been a legend for many years, and my guess is that Scarne used different methods based on the particular circumstance in which he found himself. Karl Fulves has published a riffle shuffle control that Scarne explained to him, and stated he used it for the Ace-cutting routine. Scarne tipped an entirely different method to Ray Goulet many decades ago. It is, Scarne told him, the technique he really used to cut to the Aces for Arnold Rothstein. Get ready to learn The Pinch.

Derek Dingles Lightning Card to Wallet, donated by Richard Kaufman
While later in life Derek Dingle, perhaps the greatest natural close-up sleight of hand artist of the 20th century, used the Card in Envelope style wallet usually credited to Paul LePaul, in the 1970s he used what is known as the Balducci/Kaps Wallet. Dereks handling for the repeat Card to Wallet has never been published, and with it Dingle was able to load a wallet and bring it out of his pocket faster than anyone Ive ever seen. Ive kept this a secret for 30 years, but now its time to share it with you.

Theodore DeLands Fadeaway Card, donated by Genii
The death of the back palm trumpeted the ads by Theodore DeLand in The Sphinx magazine in 1908. The Back Palm did not diefar from it; its performed by magicians all around the world every day. But the principle behind DeLands Fadeaway Card has been a secret that some wily magicians have been using under the radar, even in FISM competitions. Yes, it really works, and the gimmick is now printed by the United States Playing Card Company to match a Bicycle deck. Dont fool yourself by thinking that it doesnt work!

Theodore DeLands Eureka Card Trick, donated by Genii

Theodore DeLand invented the principle of printing overlapping playing cards on the face of a single card for his Phantom Card Trick in 1907. With the Eureka Card trick of 1913, he combined the idea with a double ended card printed on the opposite side, creating a new dimension in card magic. The gimmick is printed by the United States Playing Card Company to match a Bicycle deck.

Tom Palmers Insta-Flash! Illusion, donated by Paul Osborne Illusion Systems
The late Tony Andruzzis real name (well, his second real name) was Tom Palmer, and he was one of the most creative and funny magicians of his time. Paul Osborne, illusion designer and a Genii columnist for many years, has drawn up a previously unpublished illusion concept by Palmer in honor of our 75th Anniversary.

Friendly Fire, donated by Ben Harris
This 142-page ebook is a compilation of magic and theory from Ben Harriss New Directions Magazine, published from 1985 to 1987. The contributors include Jerry Andrus, Jon Racherbaumer, Jay Sankey, Steve Dusheck, Ian Baxter, Sixten Beme, Mike Gallo, Harry Lorayne, Ed Marlo, Richard Sanders and others. Locate the card in the folio with the URL and download the book. It expires on October 14, next Monday, so dont wait!

PLF Marked ESP Cards, donated by Tannens Magic
Ive been going to a magic shop owned by one of the Tannen brothers since the age of 7 or 8. First it was Mike Tannens Circle Magic, and then Lou Tannens at 1540 Broadway. Both were mystical places where dreams resided. Today Tannens Magic is owned and operated by Adam Blumenthal, an enterprising young man bringing back the great traditions of the company. Tannens Magic has donated a set of 5 specially-marked ParaLabs ESP symbol cards, which will allow you to perform some remarkable psychic miracles.

All Roads Lead to Genii, donated by Genii (of course)
Hideo Katos ingenious effect All Roads Lead to Rome appears in the November 1986 issue of Genii. For our 75th Anniversary, Ive produced a new and amusing version of this clever trick. No matter what magazine you try to read, all roads lead to Genii. But you already knew that or you wouldnt be here!

The Lost Dai Vernon Lecture DVD, donated by Genii and The Estate of Dai Vernon

Every lecture that Dai Vernon gave was different, even if he was lecturing on the same effects and routines. This particular lecture (shot in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1976) has never been released before, and it offers yet again stunning proof of his masterful insight and ability in all areas of magic. It pleases me no end to be able to present this DVD to you because it contains some things that I saw Vernon do in 1983 when we first met and never thought I would see again, such as The Berg Knot and his masterful handling of The Bottom Change. The natural ease with which Vernon executes the extremely difficult card sleights in the second half really takes your breath away. This is a lecture to be treasured. The time codes indicate where each item begins.
Cups and Balls (3:10)
Coins in Champaign Glass (18:10)
Coin Star (24:00)
Various Coin Vanishes (25:00)
The Tale of the Treasury-Worm (28:19)
The Daivergent Silk (Color-Changing Handkerchiefs) (30:50)
The Berg Knot (33:10)
Vernon on the Card Index (36:00)
Vernon Handling of the Sacks Dice Routine (39:25)
Salt Pour (43:05)
Four Balls in the Net (46:34)
The Peripatetic Walnuts (57:23)
Double-Backed Cards and The Trick that Fooled Houdini (1:02)
Talk about the Double Lift, The Progenys Transposition, Leipzigs Double Lift (1:05:30)
Talk about timing with the Pass and the Top Change (1:12:50)
Max Malini, Nail Nicking, and The Siamese Aces (1:13:45)
The Bottom Change (1:15:24)
The Top Change (1:16:24)
Color Changes, including Malini, Leipzig, and a Tenkai Palm Color Change (1:18:09)
Erdnase False Overhand ShuffleVernon Technique (1:21:27)
The Push-Through Shuffle and Cut (1:22:37)
Two Ways of Replacing a Palmed Card (1:23:53)
Riffle Pass, Diagonal Palm Shift, and Hand-Washing (1:25:43)
The Gamblers Palm (1:27:30)
Time to Change Palm (1:28:47)
Video Loss of 4 Minutes While Audio Continues (1:30:35)
Erdnase Pushoff Second Deal (1:34:30)
The New Theory Second Deal (1:36:57)
Bottom Deal (1:38:40)
More Talk About The Double Lift (1:40:06)
A Loose Lift (1:42:23)
Double Lift Unload (1:42:56)
The Fingerprint Trick (1:44:30)
Controlling a Card to the Top or Bottom (1:49:50)
Leipzig Hindu Shuffle Force (1:51:15)
The Spectator Peek (1:52:09)
French Shuffle Bottom Control (1:53:18)
Brother Hammans Pinochle Trick (1:53:52)
Video Loss, though patter continues, and Vernon explains how he ends the trick cleanly.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 10/09/12 05:49 PM

Besides my post at the House Left door of the main ballroom, my function at the Bash was to make an "obsessive" record of the event for the Chief Genii. I was able to see everything except all of Ian's morning events (only because I had other things I had to do, not because I wasn't awake). I will be reporting on everything to best of my meager abilities.

As for the event itself, I don't want to come off as hyperbolic, but I can honestly say that, for me, the Bash was the event of a lifetime. Besides all the amazing performers and lecturers, my favorite part was meeting all the people. I'm not going to list names because I'd leave someone out and I don't want to do that. Whether Forum regulars, lurkers, Genii readers, or my fellow Bash Staffers, you all know who you are and it was a pure delight to meet you. I hope our paths cross again!
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Postby Wayne Houchin » 10/09/12 06:08 PM

Wow. Sounds like a hell of a convention. Am sorry I couldn't make it.
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Postby Doomo » 10/09/12 06:57 PM

It was better than everyone here has indicated. This was the best convention ever. End of story. There were NO bad marks... The performers were unique in that they were people most of us had dreamed of seeing... Who actually lived up to the dream!

The venue itself was so good. I am just recovering from a heart attack... The hotel itself assigned someone to watch over me. Discretely mind you. I asked about this. I was told by the guy doing the watching that they do it all the time.

My wife Rose was totally blown away by the secondary guests... The ones who came to see the talent but were not advertised. Let me tell ya Mr. Goat was as charming as his name would not indicate! Simon and Ginny and Ray Kosby and Matt Fields Sebastien Clergue and so many others. Sorry if I am rambling here... Richard and his staff did so much to make everyone welcome. As to conventions... The bar is now set so high it is crazy...So good luck to anyone who wants to try...

Tony & Rose
RFA Productions yeah... It is cool stuff.

www.rfaproductions.com
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Postby MaxNY » 10/09/12 07:33 PM

I will have a nice long write-up, but I'm still recovering!

This was one of the top three conventions for me, and I have been going to about a convention a year since 1976.

The talent speaks for itself. This was a convention of "Made Magic Men." The Magic Mafia, Godfather's....Brother's.....many hiding in plain clothes, some in flashy suits.

Steve Klein (and crew) did one hell of a job!!! He succeeded in the impossible task of keeping the focus on entertainment, and education. He has raised the bar to a level professionalism not found at typical conventions.

I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't even cracked open my swag yet...and only spent 10 minutes in the Dealer's room. I attended almost every scheduled minute.

Uri Geller was my highlight. The 2 hours of his History, his life, and his theories on Fame, you couldn't put a price-tag on. The 20 minutes I spent with him at the Food Court.... to talk with him, grill him...and to challenge him, were inspirational. He seemed so at ease with any question, and didn't squirm from any topic.

25 years from now, people may ask me, if I was at the 75th Birthday Bash. Yes I was.... Wow, what a cool club to be in, and there were only 800 of us!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/09/12 07:59 PM

Max, I'm very pleased you were able to make it. In your gift bag you will find a big button that says, "I Was There!"

And I was amazed that Tony and Rose drove all the way from Ohio just a few weeks after Tony had a heart attack! Thankfully we didn't need the defibrillator and he sold lots of wallets and made some beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces for our giveaway.
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Postby Bill McFadden » 10/09/12 09:30 PM

This magnificent event made me feel so young: like a stammering, simpering 14-year-old (minus the horniness). Hanging around Bob White helped put a little hair on my sagging chest.

It was a privilege to be another face in the crowd; the atmosphere was non-stop, positive excitement - the mother of all love-ins.

It was truly a privilege to be in the presence of dedicated artists. Thank you, Richard. Stunningly flawless . . .
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Postby brianarudolph » 10/09/12 10:02 PM

There's just way too much to cover and provide all the incredible accolades everyone (especially Richard) deserves. Plus I just got home today (a day late) courtesy of multiple airplane mechanical problems and a weather delay leaving Orlando that finally afforded me the chance to experience the unbelievable luxury that is the Airport Ramada Inn in Newark, New Jersey - a pleasure I had heretofore stoically been denying myself all these years.

As such let me focus briefly on just one of the many headliners for now: Uri Geller. Frankly, I didn't know what to expect and I was worried that there might be an ego of indeterminable (but likely large) size involved.

I could not have been more happy to have been so wrong.

What I got was heart-felt, motivational, inspirational and at times almost spiritual. The life lessons imparted were worth their weight in gold. But the real pleasure came after Uri's presentation. When he met with the people, it wasn't merely just a quick book signing and a photo. Uri actually spent significant TIME with each person in line, genuinely talking to them and hearing their thoughts, concerns, dreams, etc. and offering his ideas based on his experiences. In my case, Uri's counsel hit me right between the eyes and allowed me to deal with a difficult situation that was going on at my day job. Uri even stayed an entire extra day and night just so he could meet with as many people who wanted to speak with him. He was not scheduled for a show or another lecture - he stayed because he wanted to.

I'm too tired to write much more at this point, but I absolutely have to write this: Uri Geller truly is mensch among mensches.
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Postby Don Hendrix » 10/09/12 10:36 PM

Yes, Uri was fantastic. Richard may yet receive a huge bill for missing silverware. When one had few minutes with Uri, he gave his total attention and made you feel that he was seriously interested in everything that you had to say. He is a master communicator, and his talk was a brilliant surprise. I was also thrilled that Rob Zabreky was present. Now, hundreds of people, who do not live on the West Coast, know about him and his marvelous stage persona. I hope that this leads to many more convention appearances for him.
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Postby Matthew Field » 10/10/12 04:04 AM

Bill -- crack open the swag bag. There's a 142 page download book -- the link will expire soon!!

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Postby RobertAllen » 10/10/12 02:50 PM

"Just one, with a gift bag that could never be duplicated and a line-up of performers that could never be duplicated."

I wasn't there, but I say to this "Yes yes yes!" Single events of the success this sounds like it was define for me the meaning of the word "magic".

Congrats to all who went!
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Postby Doug Thornton » 10/10/12 07:17 PM

-----Seems like not too long ago the Chief Genii posted a query, wondering what people thought of a 75th birthday celebration. My guess is he was already leaning towards doing it but our enthusiasm helped confirm what he already wisely knew. We knew it was a grand idea and most of us knew we wanted to be there.

-----(If someone would find that original thread, it would be interesting to revisit it. Thanks.)

-----Everyone here has covered a lot of the moments that made the Genii 75th Birthday Bash a huge success, so thanks for immortalizing it bit by bit through the written word. And the following are just a few thoughts on this remarkable event.

-----The gift bag was enough to keep one awake for days. I was giddy opening the panels, looking in the cleverly assimilated compartments, trying to figure out where to start, what I liked, what was challenging. Richard's attention to detail in his descriptions of the items was impressive. But wait, there was a convention ahead. Wait again, it was a birthday bash.

-----Me, I averaged about 3-1/2 to 4 hours sleep each night,scrambling to get to Ian Kendalls Basic Training class before the final 8 am bell. I had read his columns, and in them his humour shone through, but seeing him in person, he glowed. With clear, concise instruction peppered with witty asides, Ian set the tone for the fun of the rest of the days and evenings.

-----As an aside, during the first session a few people walked in late and they were announced by the opening and closing of the door in the back of the room. Ian said, OK, the next time that happens, no matter what Im doing, just burst into huge applause. There was a false start at one point, but then the moment arrived. The door opened, we heard it, Ian spread his arms like a peacock in applause cue, we all clapped, cheered and turned around to see who had opened the door.

-----It was Richard.

-----He was just checking on things and said, I never would have imagined that this many people would get up early for an 8 am lecture! But the two hundred or so of us wanted to learn some magic, and Ian delivered.

-----Mark Mason set up a fine dealers room which had space to move and mingle. (And there were donuts and coffee in the morning.) It was always lively and the hours seemed just about perfect so we could browse and buy and still be able to see all of the events.

-----Yes, I concur that no matter what prior opinions you had about Uri Geller (I learned its pronounced OR-Ree, not YOUR-Ree), he gave a remarkable talk about finding a way through adversity. I also had a moment (actually, two moments, more on that in a bit) with Mr. Geller who was down to earth and seemed genuinely interested in me. And on one day he spent some five hours - non-stop - talking to people, giving autographs and photo ops according to Tomo Maeda. Amazing.

-----Speaking of Tomo, it was a thrill to see him. I met him about twelve years ago when I lived in Japan and he was so kind and gracious then. It was fantastic to find a renewed friendship with him. We talked at length about his show and lecture and, as always with my Japanese friends, I felt warmly welcomed by his friends, including the lovely Yumi and Tenka Yuki. Tomo Maeda, to me, is one of the coolest guys on the planet. He is smart, gentle in his demeanor but strong in his opinions and he has a slyly disarming sense of humor. Check out Tomo via the Genii archives.

-----Chad Long? Bam! (He filled in for Michael Weber.) Chad Long?!? Never knew anything about him. Kapow! He runs around the stage, doing silly magic and great magic, constantly talking a narrative that hints he had escaped from an asylum. Funny and smart. (Have you ever pulled a playing card out of a wall? Mr. Long made it look like a CGI effect. Then he showed us that we could do it, too.)

-----We all became mere mortals, lower than Muggles, when Juan Tamariz took to the stage. Ha, ha, you missed it if you werent there. Thats OK, hes going to outlive us all, so youll get your chance someday to see the Maestro. Many of us have seen him before, but he soars higher every time.

-----Magic, magic, magic. Great shows. Great hotel. Great people.

-----Closing night show. It ends witha juggler. Huh? Really? The worlds greatest convention ends with a juggler? Yeah, and two standing ovations, so shut up. Charlie Frye and Company killed. There are standing ovations that evolve gradually. But these were the ones where its one crowd leaping to their feet as one. Shazam!

-----Sunday I went with friends to Universal Studios and stayed for the Halloween Horror Nights. My friends had expressed interest in going to Cape Canaveral for the rocket launch it was heading to the Space Station. But we opted for a different crowd. While waiting in line for an hour to visit Penn & Tellers Newked Las Vegas we saw through the clouds and darkness a bright glow in the sky. It was just for a few seconds, but we realized it was the glow from the rocketship. It was like being a kid. Magic.

-----And I have to share this story. On the final night, Saturday, the hotel key cards werent always working to access the elevators from the lobby level. My friend Tenka and I were walking to the elevator, and there was Uri Geller.....

........His hotel key could not open the elevator doors

-----Of course, we helped him, and as the elevator doors closed, he said to us, I want to say again, it was your love that made this so special for me! You all have so much love inside. Does that sound sappy? Not to me. It was touching and real. We all love magic, its why we were there. Its the other love that I needed to be reminded of. Thank you, Uri Geller, and everyone.

-----I have two questions. Why were we asked to give our birthdate when we registered and why was there a hole in our name tag that lined up with another hole in our name tag holder? (Wait, maybe I am saying too muchCould be a Real Secrets setup)

-----Thank you Richard and EVERYONE who worked seamlessly and seemingly effortlessly to put together this fantastic event.

-----Go to the list of performers and schedule on the site. I challenge you to review it and your experience and come up with a handful thats five fingers worth - of complaints. A few technical glitches? A few events running overtime, dislodging the schedule? A trick or two stumbling? Bah! Go to another convention and regret that theres a slim chance there will ever be one as cool as the Genii Birthday Bash.
Smiles all around
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/10/12 07:34 PM

As to why we were asking for your birthday when you registered: Dustin Stinett had this great idea to put in the gift bag. It would have been a sheet with the cover of Genii the month and year you were born, along with a synopsis of what was in it. The problem was that he was dealing with low-res cover images and we didn't have time to scan all of them for him. So it didn't happen.

And thanks for the kind words, Doug. I'm glad you had a memorable time. Me, too!
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 10/10/12 07:49 PM

Doug Thornton wrote:-----I have two questions. Why were we asked to give our birthdate when we registered and why was there a hole in our name tag that lined up with another hole in our name tag holder? (Wait, maybe I am saying too muchCould be a Real Secrets setup)

The hole was put there to show that you already received the Gift Folio.

The birthday [sigh]. This was a highly ambitious idea that I had--I will not go into detail--for a special gift for each person. At first it was accepted, hence the birthdate being part of the registration form, but it was later determined to be too costly and time consuming to do.

I still think it was a good idea...

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Postby Joe Pecore » 10/10/12 07:52 PM

Doug Thornton wrote: -----Seems like not too long ago the Chief Genii posted a query, wondering what people thought of a 75th birthday celebration. My guess is he was already leaning towards doing it but our enthusiasm helped confirm what he already wisely knew. We knew it was a grand idea and most of us knew we wanted to be there.

-----(If someone would find that original thread, it would be interesting to revisit it. Thanks.)

This one?:
http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... ber=254990
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 10/10/12 07:54 PM

Speaking of gifts: Don't forget that the free gift from Ben Harris is good for a limited time only! Check your goody bag for details (and no posting info here)! (Hint: It's in the zippered compartment--hurry!)

Thanks for the cool gift Ben!!!

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Postby Tom Gilbert » 10/11/12 12:47 AM

I have another moment now that the memory is kicking back in..
Jonathan Pendragon being back on top of his game. And beaming with his new bride.
How RK ever pulled off getting Uri Geller, I don't know, but very glad he did.
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Postby Doug Thornton » 10/11/12 01:59 AM

-----Yes, Joe Pecore, that's the thread! How the heck did you find it? I searched "convention" and only got as far back as August 15, 2012. Thank you, it was interesting, very interesting to read it again.
-----Dustin, no need to sigh. It was a great idea and it was clearly the logistics that denied it happening. :)
Besides, you are going to wow us with your write-up!
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Postby Doug Thornton » 10/11/12 04:45 AM

Hi Corbett, here's a clip from
Youtube of a performance of Scott Land presenting Carl Ballantine. Scott's unparalleled magic was just one more fun moment at the Bash.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPwzp7OU ... ata_player
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Postby Brad Henderson » 10/11/12 01:49 PM

I bought a book from Harris several months ago. Have followed up and be does not respond. Anyone else have similar experiences
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Postby Ian Kendall » 10/11/12 01:59 PM

Well, the Backstory project seems to have stalled for a few months now...
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Postby mrgoat » 10/11/12 02:29 PM

I'm really anxious I missed one of the bits of swag! I keep relooking to check. So much to go through!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/11/12 03:00 PM

Damian, contact me privately about your missing bits. :)
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Postby Bill Marquardt » 10/11/12 03:52 PM

It is only fair that there should be an 80th anniversary bash (or sooner!) and that it be conducted on the west coast. I will be the first to register.
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Postby Joe Naud » 10/11/12 04:10 PM

I'll be second to sign up.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/11/12 04:41 PM

Sorry, but that was it. The one and only.
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Postby Bill Marquardt » 10/11/12 04:45 PM

I will take that as a maybe.

Never say never. :)
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Postby West McDonough » 10/11/12 04:45 PM

Awww, surely you'll be ready again by the 100th anniversary! :)
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Postby Ian Kendall » 10/11/12 04:58 PM

I quite like the idea of just having one. Sequels are never quite as good as the originals (Woodstock II anyone?), and it will be nice to be able to look back and think 'I was part of that'.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/11/12 05:23 PM

That's why the large buttons in your gift bag read, "I Was There!"
There can never be another one.

And I'll be dead by the 100th anniversary so it'll be someone else's decision, but I'll never do another convention.
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Postby erdnasephile » 10/11/12 06:59 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:]...
There can never be another one.


Yep. (or is that, "There can only be one"?)

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/11/12 08:25 PM

Don't mess with Juan Snchez Villa-Lobos Ramrez!
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Postby AJM » 10/11/12 09:09 PM

Chief Metalurgisht to King Charlesh the Firsht of Shpain....
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Postby PerStr » 10/11/12 10:19 PM

Thanks Richard!
Now that my behind has recovered from eight hours a day on those chairs, I just want to thank you for the best convention ever.
It sure made an impression that lasts.
Next year, when I have had time to go through all the stuff in the portfolio, I may have to thank you again.
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