Live Update from the MAGIC magazine convention in Las Vegas!

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/20/01 03:10 AM

I'm here in Las Vegas at the MAGIC convention, which looks to be a sellout.
At registration you were handed a custom looseleaf binder with a few nicely printed pages inside. These pages are for the Monday morning events. Additional pages will be handed out through the convention and added to the book (including free lecture notes). You also received a leather (or looks like leather) portfolio with pad and pen for taking notes--the MAGIC logo is blind-embossed on the front. We know where some of that registration money went!
The opening party was PACKED. As you entered the ballroom, each person was handed an envelope containing 12 identical trading cards of, say, the cover of MAGIC with Lance Burton on it. You got 12, and you had to trade with other people in the room who had a different 12. Eventually, if you were successful, you ended up with 12 DIFFERENT magazine covers in miniature! There was lots of trading going on for several hours ... lots of fun, and a great way to start the convention and encourage interaction among the attendees.
Stan Allen made a brief speech. Everyone was invited to get a miniature cover of MAGIC magazine with their photograph on it, done at a table on the side with computers and printers. These mini-covers are great, and they then become your convention badge.
After Stan's speech the 10th anniversary issue of MAGIC was unveiled with confetti cannons, and every participant was given a free, numbered (limited edition) version of the September issue.
Then, a wall of balloons magically gave way to reveal the dealers' room, into which many folks instantly skeedadled.
All that in the first 3 hours.
More on Monday!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/22/01 02:39 AM

Sorry, forgot to post this yesterday. I missed most of today's events, however the close-up tonight (Tuesday) was top notch: Chad Long opened, then Bill Malone, Guy Hollingworth, two 16-year-old twins Dave and Dan Buck who did 5000 flourishes in four minutes, never looking up at the audience, with Paul Gertner closing with his FISM act.
Here's what happened yesterday (anything with question marks indicates details I haven't filled in yet):
Monday August 20, 2001
First, the room lights dimmed and the large video screens grew bright: the voice of Robin Leach, host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, escorted the audience on a video trip through the offices of MAGIC. Then, the day began like the magazine, with "From the Editor." Stan Allen opened the convention with live editor's comments, finishing with an anecdote that he had originally promised to related many years ago in MAGIC, but never did, involving apparently sticking birdcages into garbage cans in Long Beach when he was 15-followed by his arrest for harrasing a waitress. That segued into "Letters," and a few were read aloud. Next Max Maven, who wrote the "Parallax" column for the first five years of MAGIC's existence, took the stage for a live "Parallax" monologue, savaging the famous right and left to uproarious laughter from the audience. Next up was Bill McIlhaney, whose series "Magic and the Movies" brought such a big response in MAGIC years ago, and he presented a number of rare film clips: Veronica Lake performing Chevez-taught billiard ball and card manipulations while singing in Alan Ladd's film, ???????, this was followed by a clip from ??????? starring Chester Morris as Boston Blackie, performing a Thayer Box illusion, and then a little-seen Henry Fonda Movie, ???????????, in which Vincent Price performed a magic act. The last piece was a promotional featurette made for The Cincinnati Kid, starring Steve McQueen and Edward G. Robinson, which centered around the film's magic consultant, Jay Ose. Then Jim Steinmeyer took the stage for an hour-long live presentation of his column "Conjuring," which ran in MAGIC for many years. He taught four routines and this ended the morning session. On the way out, everyone was handed a set of free lecture notes of the four items Steinmeyer explained, and these were already three-hole punched to fit into the looseleaf binder we'd been given on Sunday.
The Afternoon session started at 2 p.m. and was hosted by Mac King. Mac opened with a hilarious anecdote about having to perform at a local college minutes after a memorial service for a deceased student had ended-he was heckled throughout by Penn Gillette, who eventually took the stage and told his own story about a wealthy genious computer wizard/geek who demonstrated his spoon bending at a dinner party held at the home of a wealthy couple, and destroyed a rare $20,000 Paul Revere spoon, one of only 12 in the world. Big screams. Mac introduced Glen David Gold, author of the new novel Carter Beats the Devil, who proceeded to talk about how he became enmeshed in the world of magic during the course of writing his book. This was followed by a one-hour session based on the monthly column "Inner Workings," which I used to write and illustrate in MAGIC during its first three years of publication. I talked a bit about Stan Allen's prolonged procrastination in first starting the magazine, and then introduced four performers who had contributed tricks: Mark Phillips performed "??????????" a piece from his professional trade-show act; Mike Close performed "Red Hot Momma Fooler," and completely fooled everyone in the room; Jim Steinmeyer performed his "Nine-Card Problem" and a new version using a full deck; I told a funny story and performed Cliff Green's "Phoenix Aces"; finally Bill Malone did a wacky sandwhich effect and drew screams from the audience. Again, all the conventioneers were given free lecture notes to insert into their binders which explained all the tricks performed. After a short break, Lance Burton interviewed Channing Pollack for a segment called "In His Words." The interview was charming and funny and a fine way to end the first day's activities.
At 7:30 the first evening show began with the curtain parting to reveal The Pendragons, who performed their famous version of "Metamorphosis." Convention shows usually end that way, so things were off to a high-flying start. Emcee Mike Caveney appeared and introduced the next act, Joseph,, who performed his dove act. Caveney then introduced Dana Daniels and his bird Luigi, who are most often found performing in The Golden Horseshoe Revue at Disneyland, presenting a comedy mind-reading act. Jeff McBride was up next, performing a portion of his routine with mask productions and changes, then his well-know "Miser's Dream" assisted by a young man from the audience, and he closed with dynamic card manipulations. Emcee Caveney then performed his original act, juggling three arms while wearing an odd nose. Samurai Sam (Mark Kornhauser) performed a comedy "Card Sword" in bizarre Oriental/Italian garb and accent, followed by Mark Kornhauser again, this time doing a strange Elvis Presley multiple prediction based on random choices of words by audience members. The Pendragons then performed a new levitation whose subtlety was, I think, lost on the audience. The final act was FISM Grand-Prix winners Scott the Magician and Muriel, their first time in the United Stages. They're a funny act, but far from the funniest magicians I've ever seen, and it's hard to imagine how they won the Grand Prix.
At 10:30 the entire convention once again gathered in the theater for the quiz show, Who Wants to Be a Lifetime Subscriber?
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Postby Guest » 08/22/01 06:28 AM

Mark Phillip's routine is called Pegasus Bill to Envelope. At least that's what it says in the notes.

As for events that happened during the tuesday morning & afternoon sessions, there were some ups & downs. David Charvet was host for the morning session. Michael Ammar lectured on lecturing. He told a few anecdotes about lecturing, and the history of lecturing, and then he answered some questions from he audience. David Kay, aka Silly Billy, shared his thoughts on performing for children, and the different age groups within children. There was a lot of hilarity in David's presentation, a big part was how all his young assistants knew the method in which he was going to vanish a handkerchief. The session kind of dimmed down as Michael Diliberto focused on the Marketing aspect. He told a few stories about Paul Gertner and David Copperfield. A well-known trade magician, said that Michael didn't teach very much about marketing, but that was about all that the audience could handle. Tim Glancy, with the aid of 2 or 3 SMT members, went on to talk about SMT (Sports Magic Team). He mentioned how he uses various techniques to get crowds at sporting events energized during time-outs. He mentioned that there is a distinction between audience interaction and participation. He ended his presentation by throwing autographed t-shirts into sections of the audience made the most noise.

The afternoon session was awesome. Rory Johnston was in charge and started with a magic 101 vocabulary bit, which got a nice response. Gary Ouellet then talked of how magic is on TV, and how magicians should be careful of performing something on TV that is not ready to perform or is he wrong venue to perform it in. He then showed a clip of a magician doing a torn & restored paper, but he magician flashes a few times, and at the moment the paper has restored, a few torn up pieces have hit the ground.

Jon Racherbaumer showed us a trick with money, and how the amount of money in a stack of bills keeps changing. Gaston Quieto performed some wonderful sleight of hand magic. A coin production, a version of Matrix, a nice handling of McDonald's Aces, and a 4 coin routine. The audience seemed rather impressed on his method the classic palm a coin, when one is already classic palming another coin, and doing it silently. Greg Wilson got some huge responses of laughter as well as that "how did he do that?" reaction. He showed two routines involving pens. The first of the two was, Bic-Lette. There are several phases, and the kicker is that the pen is pushed into the cap, and now there is a tiny pen. And then he did re-cap, a 5-phase routine that is filled with vanishes and appearances of the pen and cap. Gaston then came out and 'mortified' the crowd, at least Greg Wilson had a frightening look on his face, to the audience's delight. There was a bad lighting angle which made it hard to see what Gaston did, but it appeared as if he swallowed a small piece of metal, and then after some by-play, it came out of his left eye. And that was the session closer.
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Postby Guest » 08/22/01 09:54 AM

Richard:

The Veronica Lake/Alan Ladd movie you are speaking of is This Gun For Hire (Lake & Ladd's first film together).

Great report, wish I could be there.
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Postby Jerry Harrell » 08/22/01 05:10 PM

The Henry Fonda film with Vincent Price is The Long Night (1947).
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/23/01 02:41 AM

Well, the convention is over. Frankly I'm too tired to write a long report, however it was a good day, a bit more interesting than Tuesday (from what I've heard.
The big "surprise" was an interview session with David Blaine conducted by Max Maven. It was general knowledge that Blaine had been partying in Vegas and had gone without sleep for 3 days. He appeared with a full beard, wearing a baseball cap pulled down so low over his face that you could not see his eyes. He appearedto be under the influence of some chemical substance and spoke in a catatonic monotone, often rambling incoherently. A number of people, including myself, walked out about halfway through.
He announced that he wanted to do a stunt on TV where he would be shot in the chest with a rifle, no shirt (bare chested). He assumed there would a fatality--perhaps his ratings? The whole thing was an embarrassment.
The final show of the convention was very good, with Mike Caveney again hosting. The performers included Nicholas Knight and Kinga, James Cielen (the only weak act), the juggler from Melinda's show at the Venetian (Anthony Gatto), Jeff Hobson, Mike Finney, Mike Michaels as the Robot Magician, that's all I can remember.
Everyone agreed that the convention as a whole was extremely good, with a lot of unusual events. I'll have a more complete write up in the October issue of Genii.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 08/23/01 08:40 AM

So when is the Genii Convention? ;)
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Postby Dan » 08/23/01 11:22 AM

I don't know about anyone else but I'm sick of Blain already. I look forward to years of Genii, flagrantly omitting him for the pages (of each on time issue).
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Postby Guest » 08/23/01 11:37 AM

If David Blaine showed up in that condition, I have no respect for him. How utterly irresponsible and disrespectful that is.

Despite that it sounds as if the convention was quite an experience. I am looking forward to the October full report.
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Postby Don Spurrier » 08/23/01 08:03 PM

Richard:

Thanks from us here in the hinterlands for the report of the MAGIC Convention. Will be interested in the full report. In regard to your remarks about David Blaine, other than the baseball cap, I didn't recognize any difference. Hmmm, wonder how the others will report this?

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Postby Raj Madhok » 08/23/01 11:30 PM

Also at the opening party for MAGIC Live! were performances by Bob Sheets and Cellini during the course of the evening.
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Postby MJE » 03/25/14 10:55 PM

Looks like MAGIC beat everyone to the punch this month. Yeah, Richard....I know, I know....we perhaps shouldn't compliment it, but I still like it. I used to enjoy it back when it was more of a newsletter thing, even.

But LR, MUM and Genii (my favorite, OF COURSE!!!!) hasn't gotten here yet. So, my magic fix is here for a few days. Besides that...

Fluff is.....well....fluffy. I like fluffy.

-MJ
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/26/14 01:08 AM

MJ, what are you referring to? This is a thread about the MAGIC Live! convention that took place last August.
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Postby John Signa » 03/26/14 01:47 AM

Actually the MAGIC Live from 13 years ago!
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Postby MJE » 03/26/14 10:59 PM

John Signa wrote:Actually the MAGIC Live from 13 years ago!


Arrrrgghhhh.......never mind.....

-MJ
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