Favorite Lectures You Have Attended

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 08/02/01 08:04 AM

I'm sure one of you will follow up with "least favorite lectures", which I'm sure will be interesting reading!

One of my favorites was a lecture by Bob Sheets. He is wonderfully entertaining and has some good takes on some of Heba Haba's material.

Another lecture which gets better every time I see it is "From a Shuffled Deck In Use" by Paul Cummins.

Postby Guest » 08/02/01 08:29 AM

Great topic !!

I've seen some really good lectures.

Bob Sheets - Very funny and very talented performer. I enjoyed his lecture very much.

Darwin Ortiz - Top notch and very commercial magic. He is one of the only magicians my wife likes.

Juan Tamariz - He lectured prior to one of the World Summit's in DC. He fooled me consistently and I was thoroughly entertained.

Rene Lavand - I have seen him lecture twice. The first time I saw him lecture I almost left before the explanations because I did not want to know how he did what he did. Incredible.

Doc Eason - He was one of the first magicians I ever saw lecture. He was really nice and (I would find out later) heavily influenced by Bob Sheets. I remember this lecture very well despite that it occurred 10 years ago.

Docc Hilford - He lectured prior to the PEA convention in DC in the early 1990's. He was quite a character and did some great stuff.

David Roth - I don't do coins but I will go see David perform anytime. His stuff looks great.

Michael Close - Very good lecture. One of the few magicians I have ever seen lecture that does commercial magic for laypeople. Plus he is a musician and I really admire that.

I have also seen some really bad lectures. Lectures where I had high hopes only to be completely disappointed when the person was finished. That will probably be another topic.

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 08/02/01 09:38 AM

I've only been to two lectures - Eugene Burger and David Roth.

Eugene Burger was, of course, excellent. I cannot speak highly enough about him. His magic was strong, his presentations compelling, and his thinking perfect. He has probably influenced the way I look at magic more than any other magician.

David Roth was good because he got my technical creative juices flowing. As soon as I had a chance, I ran over to Tannen's to pick up a half shell so I could work on his Coins Across. The only problem I had with his lecture was that I don't find his presentations particularly interesting. The effects are great, though.

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Postby Guest » 08/02/01 10:42 AM

Michael ammar is for my money the best lecturer and teacher in magic. His lecture was awesome. He shared beatiful magic but beyond that he shared himself. We met his wife and his baby and he also shared embarassing stories and insights into creating magic.In the end he recieved a standing ovation, it was GREAT!

Postby Guest » 08/02/01 02:55 PM

I have been to very few lectures, but all of them were good.

My favorites were David Roth and Eugene Burger. Each had strong points. Eugene had an incredible amount of imformation on timing and WHY the effects have the impact they do. He had a great sense of humor and was just fun.

Roth had a ton of amazing effects that blew me away.Even though don't do much coins, that lecture supllied me with very good information.

I also enjoyed Max Maven's lecture. Very good material and very interesting personality ;)

I will be seeing Michael Finney lecture soon and that should be a lot of fun.

Postby Brian Marks » 08/02/01 09:10 PM

Martin Lewis gave a fantastic lecture with comercial magic thats easy to do.

Rene Lavand as previously mentioned in the thread was great.

Simon Lovel is another person I particulary liked.

Of all the lecturers Ive seen these guys are the only guys I remember the lecture
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Postby Jeff Haas » 08/03/01 01:33 AM

Darn, you guys mentioned most of my favorites already. Here's one you didn't bring up:

Lennart Green!

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Postby Guest » 08/03/01 02:00 AM

Well, it's not entirely a close-up lecture, but my favorite lecture was Lee Earle's Best of SYZYGY tour. I saw the first one, and loved it -- it's what started getting me hooked on mentalism.

Lee's very personable, has great presentation, brilliant insight, and really comes across as having a true love for the subject -- it's almost infectious :o)

Postby Jamie Badman » 08/08/01 04:26 AM

Best lecture for me was Alex Elmsley; the chance to see someone of his calibre actually demonstrate and explain his work was an incredible experience.

Regarding the other notes here, I see that many of the names mentioned are going to be lecturing at Blackpool (England) next year at the convention there... Juan Tamariz, Bob Sheets, Lennart Green, Michael Ammar, David Williamson, Jay Sankey, Jeff McBride.

It's going to be mindblowing to see so many good lectures in just three days!!! Can't wait!

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Postby Michael Edwards » 08/08/01 07:04 AM

So what is it that makes a lecture great?
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Postby HighQ » 08/08/01 01:09 PM

I've seen many, many lectures. Ones that stand out are Mark Mason, Aldo Colombini, and Dave Williamson (Rocky has the be the funniest 5 minutes in magic! Although Jon Allen's Quadro Chick is a close second!)
The common link to those are that each are very funny and genuinely nice people.
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Postby Mark Jensen » 08/08/01 02:30 PM

Favorite Lecture's...mmmm

How about Tom Mullica - I laughed so hard my side ached for a month.

How about Jay Sankey - Back when he had hair


I'd have to finish with Lennart Green. But I'm biased, he stayed at my house when he lectured here and it was one fantastic weekend.

Interesting note - The turn out for Lennart's lecture was fairly large, including several of the working pros, etc. However, the comment I heard the most is that no one can do what he does - it's too hard, they just came to see him perform.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/08/01 03:52 PM

Rene Lavand's lectures are astounding and spellbinding. He doesn't spend too much time on the explanations, which is both good and bad.
Jean Merlin also gave one of the best lectures I've ever seen--entirely on rope magic!
The best lecture I have ever seen, however, was a lecture that Larry Jennings gave in Yokohama the year before he died. He was in a great mood (he'd just eaten 50 pieces of sushi!!!) and the lecture was attended by large group of intensely interested cardmen all crammed into a small room. It was electric. Jennings did the most incredible, difficult material and just breezed through all the palms, passes, and culls like water.
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Postby Steve Hook » 08/08/01 05:34 PM


J.C. Wagner had an excellent lecture years back.

Ditto Rick Johnsson

The Larry Becker / Lee Earle tour

Bob Kohler

Dan Fleshman

Bob King

...were all fun and informative lectures.
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Postby Guest » 08/10/01 10:50 AM

I was lucky to see Roberto Giobbi lecture in england at the Mark Leveridge organised symposium. This man is seriously clever and his lecture was very thought provoking.

The detail put that this man puts into his routines is incredible. Genius is a word that trips of the tongue all too easily but in this case it is truly justified.

Postby David Moore » 08/10/01 11:20 AM


When and where did you see Jean Merlin's rope lecture? I saw it over twenty years ago at the Castle (actually the Masquers Club) and will never forget it. I still have the lecture notes showing his eyes boring in on his right hand while his left hand does the dirty business. I learned more about misdirection from that lecture than from the Slydini lecture I also saw at the Masquers.
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Postby Guest » 08/10/01 11:47 AM

Many of my favorite lecturers are on the post already. A few that weren't Chad Long he is funny ,technically sound, great lecture! Steve Beam again very funny great material (Multiple Impact...WOW!). Finally, Steve Bedwell, not only because he is a good friend but the level of thought that goes into his lecture is truly amazing. He has great chops with a deck of cards, and his method of teaching is wonderful. I have spent countless hours hanging out with Steve and he really is a great guy. We are lucky that he gave up medicine. By the way Steve if you read this, Could you take a look at my arm it seems to be hurti............. ;)

Postby Dave Shepherd » 08/10/01 12:34 PM

One of the most entertaining lectures I've seen was Chad Long's at IBM in 1998. And I use The Shuffling Lesson a lot, despite its appearance in Magic for Dummies.

But overall I would have to say that the most important lecture I've seen in the past five years was that of Jamy Ian Swiss. Jamy's lecture changed the way I think about magic and about myself as a magician.

Since that lecture I approach magic the way I have previously approached instrumental music performance: with some single-mindedness and longer periods of serious practice.

I too would be curious to hear how people would define a "good lecture." Is it a lecture with a lot of neat new stuff, or one with a lot of challenging and thought-provoking ideas, or one that is very entertaining?

I have never had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Eugene Burger, but I would like to. I think I'd take away the same kinds of personal challenges that Jamy gave me.

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Postby Harp » 08/10/01 04:22 PM

had the good fortune to see paul harris a few years ago. i have been to many lectures and paul was by far my favorite. great with everyone attending. "whack your pack" still one of my all time favorite routines.
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Postby David Acer » 08/10/01 05:22 PM

Gene Anderson is one of the most engaging lecturers I have ever seen, and yet, he rarely seems to make it onto lists such as these. End transmission.
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Postby Robert Kane » 08/14/01 09:21 PM

I personally derived a lot from lectures by:
1. Roger Klause ($100 Bill Switch/Whispering Stack);
2. Jon Racherbaumer (Olram Aces):
3. James Lewis (Copper, Silver, Brass/Sack Dice Routine);
4. Michael Ammar (Cups & Balls);
5. Juan Tamariz (concepts of audience attention);
6. Tom Mullica (I am not sure I learned much technically from Mullica, but his approach and presentation were so incredibly funny and entertaining. I can't understand why he is not more of a commercial success, especially with the Duke the Rabbit act.)
7. Whit Haydn (Color changing knives/3 Shell Game)

My only problem with lectures is that I am naturally fidgety and have a low attention span...so I find it difficult to keep my energy and interest. I notice this problem especially at conventions...I really want to listen but I fade out...too much of a good thing I guess.
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Postby Guest » 08/17/01 01:36 PM

I just went to a Michael Finney Lecture. GREAT LECTURE! I was laughing so hard at his card on forehead, even though I've already seen it quite a few times.

If you EVER get the rare chance of seeing Michael Finney lecture, TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY!

Postby Guest » 08/17/01 03:40 PM

What is the criteria for judging the lecture? If it is energy, enthusaism and an obvious passion for what he does, I have seen none better than Jay Sankey. I saw him for the first time at the New York Magic Symposium and was captivated for an hour with his magic and ideas. When it was all over I felt exhausted. I have seen him several times since and still believe he is one of the best. If I want a well presented lecture with very usable material for most everyone--simply, lots of good stuff to buy, Michael Ammar is a great edutainer.

Postby Bill Duncan » 08/19/01 02:27 AM

Eugene Burger
After a couple of hours at one of his lectures (even repeats) I'm energised and creative for months.

Michael Ammar
I've learned more magic that I still use from Michael than anyone else.

Jamy Ian Swiss
Thoughtful and clever sleight of hand and a charming fellow. Plus, he turned me on to Zabaglione "and I never wrote thanked him" :)
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Postby Andi » 08/20/01 10:36 AM

At last year's Blackpool convention (UK) Topas was on the bill. I'd only ever seen his shades manip act and just considered him to be 'the cheesy German with a cool act.' I went to the lecture, and he blew my mind - magically and theoretically!

Using simple magic techniques and extraordinarily interesting dramatic conventions this man fooled everyone present! So, along with Sankey, (the other) Greg Wilson and Chad Long, Topas is at the top of my list! Come to think about it... they were all at the Blackpool convention - now I know why I enjoyed it so much! :eek:


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Postby Guest » 08/31/01 08:24 PM

I have'nt been to more than a hand full of lectures, but the best I've attended so far has to be Paul Wilson's. His material is all top notch, and the bulk of it is within the reach of a beginner/intermediate. Also, Steve Beam's lecture was very good, but it was early in the morning and I was hung over and not in an academic frame of mind, so I did'nt come away with nearly as much as I would've otherwise...
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Postby Pete McCabe » 09/01/01 01:10 AM

At the A-1 Convention a few years ago, there were back to back lectures by Jay Sankey and Juan Tamariz. My sides were killing me for days from laughing.

Aside from being funny, both bring great energy and creativeness. I could see Jay do the same lecture over and over again.

But I have to say, when Juan began talking about how at this point in the routine you have to point your feet in this direction, I knew I was seeing something very special.

Just among people not yet mentioned on this thread, I have seen Guy Hollingworth twice and Tommy Wonder once, and I can't wait to add to these numbers. They are so good and such nice people they make you want to work harder at your magic. What more is there?
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Postby Curtis Kam » 09/01/01 03:47 PM

Pete, thanks for reminding me. Without a doubt, Tommy Wonder's lecture has got to be the best combination of technical brilliance, theatrical insight, years of experience, and just plain Inspiration that exists in the magic lecture universe.

Were I in charge of such things, I would have Mr. Wonder deliver the same lecture at a major convention every year, so that each new crop of aspiring young magicians would have a chance to experience it.

Honest, Tommy Wonder's lecture has changed the direction of a number of magical careers that I'm aware of. I know he has set several others on the right path, as well.
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Postby Brian Morton » 09/04/01 11:36 PM

Wow. What a question.

I'd have to say that my idea of great lectures has changed greatly over the course of my life, along with where I was in magic and my skill level and interests at the time. I honestly can't give an overall "best" -- just "bests" for their category...

I saw Darwin Ortiz in 1978 or '79 at Barry's Magic Shop in Wheaton and the moments _after_ the lecture, where he just did stuff without tipping it -- it made my brain whirl for the better part of a decade. A few years ago he was stunned to see those lecture notes when I presented them to him and he chuckled, "Oh, I'm _much_ better now."

For a flat-out hilarious lecture combined with real-world tricks and real-world bar-restaurant experience, Simon Lovell. Simon first convinced me of how you really *sell* an effect. plus, well, he's just _nuts_.

For sheer poetry, Rene Lavand. Period. Darwin did a great service in translating, but for once, the years of Spanish I forgot from my childhood in South America came back that night and I was able to see and hear what he was saying almost without 'losing anything in the translation.'

For learning how to 'act' as a magician, Whit Haydn. His ideas on movement and its relationship to script were wonderful. And he's great to chat about politics with at the bar at the end of the night at the Castle!

For diabolical thinking: Howie Schwarzman. He doesn't lecture much but he knows things a lot of people don't, and all you have to do is ask him.

For magical epiphanies on the issue of specific sleights: David Williamson on the top change, Tom Mullica on palming and Whit Haydn on "miscalling the double face down."

For contemplative thinking on the structure and meaning of any trick you do -- it's a tie, and they'd both laugh at the fact that I put them both here: Jamy Swiss and Eugene Burger. I've seen both lecture three times, and had both teach me things I probably would never have gotten without the constant mental beatings administered in genteel situations. Both have fried me, over and over and over again, both have contributed immensely to my personal growth in magic, and I'm proud to call both of them my friend.

Oh, and although it had absolutely nothing to do with anything I do from day to day, Danny Sylvester on creativity at the '99 Cape Cod Conclave. Just an amzing glimpse into the world of a guy who created an act totally different from the world at large, and how he went about doing it.

On the way to these few, I've seen a world of crappy lectures, but you know what they say -- discretion is the better part of valor...

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Postby Guest » 09/05/01 12:03 AM

Most of the lecturers that I would mention have already been mentioned, but I'll second on the one's I've seen that have impacted me.

Martin Lewis- hands down, one of the best lectures you could ever attend in magic (I also now have a new friend in magic).

Gene Anderson - David's right. He's a wonderful man, incredible performer. He has a lot of information that is very usable (do not use his Si Stebbins 3 phase routine, I don't want you to...ok, I'm selfish, it's great!!)

Tom Mullica - I came within minutes of having to go put on a pair of Depends! Tom is truly one of the most gifted entertainers in magic.

There are others, but I don't have enough time to get to them all.


Postby Ryan Swigert » 10/02/01 11:10 PM

The Sal Piacente lecture was unreal!!! Went over a ton of gambling sleights, memory techniques, shuffle tracking, and he's just an overall great guy. If you have a chance to see him lecture- don't pass up the opportunity.
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Postby sleightly » 10/02/01 11:59 PM

Bob Read: Bad stories & jokes, incredible ideas on performance, plus a double production that comes from nowhere!

Patrick Page: He knows it all and does it all: extremely well...

My .02...
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/03/01 08:47 AM

Who the heck is Sal Piacente?
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Postby Paul Mellan » 06/21/08 11:59 AM

One thing that makes a lecture great is actually being able to perform the magic that is taught. Steve Dusheck's lecture is the best I've seen! His magic is astounding and I always cary one of his effects with me - magic I can perform. Steve is also a wonderful person and one of the most knowledgeable people in magic alive! All of his books are oop,unfortunately, but they are filled with the most amaazixg close up magic in existence! Steve's Copper/Silver Transposition ( a part of his lecture) is second to none in practicality and wonderment-an instant reset, too! When Steve had his booth at Tannen's Jubilee, it was the most crowded booth and he usually sold out of everything!
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Postby mrgoat » 06/21/08 12:29 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Who the heck is Sal Piacente?

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe ... te&spell=1
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 06/21/08 01:11 PM

Wow, old old thread...
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Postby Dr. Mitch Magic » 06/21/08 04:27 PM

Great topic !!

It seems to me, that "lectures" are now just dealer demos in disguise. I've seen in the past few years a LOT of magicians who make products present a "lecture", in which the only effects shown involved special equipment sold by said "lecturer"..... translation ....dealer demo.

However, my favorite lecture, the one where I've learned the most information, which I've been able to use in the most applications, without purchasing special equipment sold ONLY by that lecturer, was actually done by a dealer. PETER WHITE of P&A Silks gives, without a doubt, the best, most informative lecture regarding silk magic, that I've ever seen. Did I buy silks from him ? No, not at the lecture, but over the years, I keep buying his product. The lecture we had ran for almost 5 hours....and he could have kept going !!

I hope some of you lecturers are reading this....because I for one never hesitated to pay my lecture fee and then buy lecture notes for a good lecture, but I'm no longer going to pay to go to dealer demos disguised as lectures.

I have not mentioned who this applies to, nor will I, but the list of names is a "who's who" in current magic....
...for shame...put the LECTURE back in the LECTURE.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 06/21/08 05:58 PM

Just curious - how many who have posted here have ever attended one of my magic lectures. Again, just curious. HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 06/22/08 11:23 AM

In '78 you lectured at the Waldorf SAM convention. I was "chosen" by you to be your at table assistant. One of my better magic experiences.

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Postby Bob Postelnik » 06/22/08 11:55 AM

I always cary one of his effects with me - magic I can perform

Can you share with us which effect that would be? Thanks!
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