Anatomy of Magic -Cancelled

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Postby Doc Eason » 04/28/05 04:49 PM

i am aghast ... i got a phone call from the folks at Kennesaw Magic who were organizing teh Anatomy of Magic convention that was to start next week and was told that it was cancelled! A week out!?

I cannot begin to imagine how the people who have already sent money to these guys feel...

i cannot begin to imagine how McBride, Finney, Cellini, Ammar, the Buck twins, Racherbaumer, and the rest feel at this point...

i am more than upset...

my apologies ... i was SO looking forward to this time...

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/28/05 06:33 PM

A real bummer for all the people who bought non-refundable plane tickets!
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Postby Tommy Brown » 04/28/05 08:14 PM

I hadn't made plans to attend, but I know lots of guys who did.

What a shame.
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Postby Tabman » 04/28/05 08:23 PM

Not much publicity maybe??? This is the first time I've heard about it.

(er um dept!) Edited - Doc just emailed me and told me it was all over the mags, internet, chat rooms.

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Postby Robert Allen » 04/28/05 08:48 PM

"mags, internet, chat rooms".

No wonder I didn't hear about it either. I skip all the glossy ads in Genii, don't frequent chat rooms, and occasionally read the forum here. That's it.
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Postby Doc Eason » 04/28/05 08:56 PM

whether or not *you* saw it..

the point is you may be the lucky one...

I was told there were over 200 paid registrants from mostly the southeast... the boys claimed they were thrilled with the advance sales...more coming in 3-4 per day... they couldnt really handle more than 300 which was their target..

hotel deposits? Non refundable airtickets... ? not a pretty picture...

someone has some splainin to do.
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Postby Guest » 04/28/05 10:06 PM

Wow! Lucy and I had other plans, but I got two emails yesterday asking that we come. Today I got an email from Paul Sponaugle (before lunch 4/28) about silks but he didn't mention it! That is really hard to believe. I understand that the shop has new owners CHRIS & AMANDA. It was expected to be a real improvement. Maybe it's just learning curve. Atlanta is really a good city for magic conventions. Folks over there know how to make you glad you're there.

It looked like a lot of good work had gone into it. I saw nothing posted on PMZZ or The Magic Cafe about the cancellation.

Please keep us posted!

Bob Sanders
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Doc,
you got my line:

"someone has some splainin to do." (Poor Lucy!)
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 04/28/05 10:13 PM

This is disappointing and discouraging news. I am in Batavia right now but saw the announcement earlier tonight on the Ring 9 forum.

I was not planning to attend this convention due to the fact that I'll be out of town the entire following week, and so I was going to spend the weekend with my family. That said, it was exciting to see such an ambitious convention planned for Atlanta, which is a city which truly should be capable of supporting multiple magic conventions. The Harvest is a wonderful regional event, but Atlanta is certainly able to host a national-scale convention and this looked promising.

I cannot imagine what sort of decision-making went into the choice to cancel at this point. The folks putting it together certainly had plenty of ambition and eagerness, but perhaps inexperience simply outweighed the other factors. It certainly will make it difficult to garner enough goodwill to ever try again -- among both attendees and talent. Yikes.

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Postby Guest » 04/28/05 10:16 PM

I just checked The Magic Cafe advance search for "Anatomy of Magic" and nothing in over a week had been posted about it by name.

That seems odd!

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Postby Allan Given » 04/29/05 07:45 AM

Thanks for the heads up Doc...I was actually booking my travel today for Atlanta!

I just looked and their website is still up and the registration page is still up and running though...not sure what that means...

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Postby Guest » 04/29/05 07:49 AM

I was in the shop last week (buying Genii!) and they were pointing out the ad and asking if I could make it... no indication of trouble. Sad day for magic in the ATL. Instead of Anatomy now we have the Autopsy.
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 04/29/05 09:44 AM

Originally posted by Allan Given:
I just looked and their website is still up and the registration page is still up and running though...not sure what that means...

Allan
It means that whoever is maintaining the site needs to get on the ball.

I have yet to hear a reason for the cancellation.

JMT
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Postby Guest » 04/29/05 09:56 AM

Originally posted by Asrah:
I was in the shop last week (buying Genii!) and they were pointing out the ad and asking if I could make it... no indication of trouble. Sad day for magic in the ATL. Instead of Anatomy now we have the Autopsy.
Fred,

I like that! The subject has been covered from "A" to "A". That is specifically true for "A"tlanta. (I can't explain "a"d "a"nd "a"sking in the above.)

Of course, "A"srah would think in patterns like that.

Is that "A"typical?

On a serious note, I do hate to see this happen for the Atlanta magicians. Surely they'll spring back in a flash. I think a lot of those folks!

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Postby rich aviles » 04/29/05 10:03 AM

Joe:

Not sure who answered the phone but the shop said (unfortunately): "unforeseen financial problems."

Yikes.

I agree that the website needs to be updated immediately.
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 04/29/05 11:39 AM

Re: Atlanta magicians bouncing back...

The only Atlanta magicians that had any part of this convention in the planning/production area were the owners and employees of Kennesaw Magic. The convention was not affiliated with IBM Ring 9, SAM Assembly 30, or any specific magicians in town in terms of planning. The Atlanta magicians who were involved were booked as talent. The local clubs were informed about the convention and asked to register and stay in the hotel.

Atlanta is and will continue to be a great magic town. KM is a good store, but this is a really big ball to drop like this. Hopefully they can put together some kind of damage control and come up with some olive branch for those most affected -- performers, pre-registrants with non-refundable travel, etc.

It's a mess. Still no word on reason -- beyond what Rich posted above. That's the most I've heard.

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Postby Guest » 04/29/05 11:51 AM

Sander - why, it was the "ad" in Genii Magazine advertising the convention! They were "asking" if I could attend. Richard, hope you got your money!
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Postby Tabman » 04/29/05 12:03 PM

It would be interesting to see what part of the southern magic population read Genii Magazine. Most magic southerners I have personally surveyed do not subscribe. I would like to see that changed of course. We put Genii subscription forms (copied right from the subscription for in the magazine) in some of our packaging when send out orders from the shop here.

Richard, have you broken down your readership by state????

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Postby Dustin Stinett » 04/29/05 12:32 PM

Yeah Richard,

Send me your subscribers list and I will be happy to do an analysis for you. I can also do some demographics based on predominant ZIP codes if you want. (I usually charge $150 an hour for these services, but youll get a good deal!)

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Postby Guest » 04/29/05 12:34 PM

I like to follow up with Joe Turner said. The Kennesaw magic group had great ideas and I hate that this is happening to them. I think they may have over extended themselves on this convention. It is sad day for them but again like Joe said this was their project and as far as the clubs and or other magicians had nothing to do with this other than attending.

Keep in mind that Atlanta has one of the most succesfull southern convention every year for the past 27 years in that being the Atlanta Harvest of Magic that takes place in Nov. every year.

Sorry that this has happened was looking forward to hanging out with Finney.

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Postby Tommy Brown » 04/29/05 02:38 PM

I knew a friend of mine was going to be a dealer at this convention, so I dropped by today around noon to talk with him. The cancellation was news to him, as he wasn't notified of it yet. To say he was upset is an understatement. He called the shop and got the same answer as Rich, financial difficulties.
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Postby Robert Allen » 04/29/05 03:13 PM

Amazing. I wonder how many people will fly out and show up to a non-event given the lack of cancellation announcement?
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Postby Rick Ruhl » 04/29/05 03:49 PM

The web site now reflects the cancelation.
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Postby Doc Eason » 04/29/05 04:23 PM

as details emerge...

my pal Max Howard stopped by the shop... he sends along the following insights...Chris is Kennesaw Magic and the main man ...Jonathon is his lieutenant...

max writes...

Yes, I spent a few minutes scoping out the situation. Jonathan is a kid in his twenties and just overwhelmed! Chris has walked away and the whole outcome is on Jonathan.

Jonathan said it looked apparent to him some time ago that they weren't going to make the numbers but Chris held on.

He (J) thinks there will be enough money (after he liquidates the entire store stock and sells the cat) to take care of talent, vendors and (maybe) registrants. The hotel however, is another matter all together. Chris put them on the hook for a HUGE number of rooms and had a tiny number of registrants to back it up. Typical mistakes for a first time convention planner.

Jonathan seems like a sincere and earnest kid who very much wants this to work out. For everyone. He values his reputation and under the circumstances really doesn't know what to do. He asked Max to please explain to folks that he's doing his best and isn't responsible for any of this. And, frankly, knows little more than we do. (The plan seems to be -- sell everything, pay off everybody they can, declare bankruptcy and run. That's Chris' plan. Jonathan wants to stick around, make a living and not be forever thought of as dirt.)
_______________

that is the latest...

have mercy!

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Postby Tabman » 04/29/05 05:32 PM

Are you saying that Max said that in his opinion, Chris walked out and left Johathan holding the bag?? Tough duty if thats true.

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Postby Doc Eason » 04/29/05 07:40 PM

well, it isnot a job i would sign up for... apparently that is the deal... Jonathon is in the toughest spot. he is the hatchet man, and punching bag... and trying hard to do the right thing but not sure how that is supposed to look..

still unhappy...but not taking it out on Jonathon...

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Postby Guest » 04/29/05 09:15 PM

Originally posted by Asrah:
Sander - why, it was the "ad" in Genii Magazine advertising the convention! They were "asking" if I could attend. Richard, hope you got your money!
You know back in the 80s I wrote a poem for the Governor. The title was No State Has More "A"s Than Alabama. At the time I did not realize that the "Asrah" was so nearby.

Next time I'll just work on the "B"s in Bob! (The Tabman knows that my only title is "No Sir Re Bob".)

Hope I get to see you work next time. Sorry plans got changed.

Bob Sanders
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Postby Guest » 04/30/05 06:04 PM

Its' a sad situation. But nothing that communicating may have cured. If they would have spoken a little sooner the magic group would have had an opportunity to assist in the possible bailout. If the situation was known it could have been moved to a lesser expensive location. It appears that finances and communication. are the major cause. After all who would not want to personally see the line-up they had. Where can you get that talent at one time; all under one roof for that price? The Atlanta group of magicians are a prety resourceful group.They will rebound.
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Postby Tabman » 04/30/05 08:32 PM

Where is/was Kennesaw Magic located, ybarrm??? Is it way out at Kennesaw mt north of Atlanta??

It seems drastic that they will have to sell out and close up to straighten this out. Sorry to hear that. Maybe just some old fashioned hot tar and goose down would straighten this all out.

I hope things work out on the ok for everybody.

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Postby Guest » 04/30/05 08:53 PM

Ybarrm and others please don't think that this convention is an Atlanta thing. Again the clubs, local magicians had nothing to do with the convention other than just attending.

Again this is a Kennesaw magic problem not Atlanta problem. I feel for the Kennesaw magic group and I hope it works out OK for them.

Best,
Ken
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Postby Guest » 04/30/05 11:08 PM

Granted that it is not a pleasant situation, I don't think the magicians of Atlanta should fear any loss of image for a convention that, at best, they would only attend.

I for one, look forward to attending the next magic convention that the magicians of Atlanta present. Ive never been to a bad one. I find them to be a strong and effective team of magicians.

Bob Sanders
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Postby Doc Eason » 05/01/05 06:53 AM

With a cooler head...

yes of course, the Greater Atlanta magic community has NOTHING to do with this fiasco...

Jonathon has pledged that he will do all he can to sort this out. With the help, encouragement and advise from Max Howard, he is setting up a systematic way of dealing with the mess. He has the opportunity of emerging from this with his reputation intact.... cant say the same about Chris Finley who has crawled out of the fray and is in hiding.

It is a classic story of setting too high a goal and not recognizing impending disaster.

Time will tell how it all settles out... but I am hoping for the best. I hope to see my old pals in the SE soon.

Lets give this situation a little time to sort out and see what happens.

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Postby Doc Eason » 05/01/05 07:03 AM

I feel I should clarify ....

Max has NOTHING to do with this either (other than the fact that he sent money [for Diane and him] to attend himself)

He waded in to the mess to see about getting his money back and saw a young man who was overwhelmed with irate people demanding money and explanations. He also saw a young man who really wants to do right but is not sure of the correct way to proceed. So Max cooled his jets and is only trying to offer a path out of the swamp...

Max is *only* an advisor trying to help Jonathon do the right thing.... a noble gesture.

Dont aim at the piano player... !
:)
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Postby Guest » 05/02/05 05:28 PM

Hey all I just posted the below information on the Cafe' a few minutes ago, and here it is again:

Hey all,
OK Disclaimer time: I am in NO WAY affiliated with Kennesaw Magic.

Ok with that out of the way, I am a good friend of Jonathan's, and since he has no internet access there is no way for him to post anything here. He did ask me to pass some information on.

There isn't much info to give. The owner/responsible party for this has been completely out of contact since Thursday, leaving the responsiblity of cleaning this mess up completely on Jonathan's shoulders. As far as Kennesaw Magic as a business is concerned Jonathan is a nobody, he is nothing more than the hourly demonstrator. As a person he is AMAZING most of us would tell Chris where to stick it at this point, but Jonathan has been burdend with the task of trying to fix this. Please understand that he has been and is doing everything within his power, which isn't much, to repair the damage done.

Those of you that can cut him some slack in this chaos, he would greatly appriciate it if you would.

If I can get any more information I'll do my best to pass it on to you guys.


Signed the completely unattached to Kennesaw Magic,
Jason David
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Postby Tabman » 05/03/05 02:53 PM

Doc, whats the news on the recovery from Anatomy??

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/03/05 04:17 PM

Tabby, what recovery?
The guy who owned the business, Chris whatever his name is, just walked away from it.
He owes us for two full-page color ads and his credit card has been declined ... think we'll ever get paid?
Doubt it.
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Postby Tabman » 05/03/05 07:38 PM

Richard, I thought you magazine guys got your money up front??? I will have to take a look at those ads. I want to run an ad but I think I need someone to lay it out for me. Any suggestions???

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Postby Doc Eason » 05/03/05 09:38 PM

Chris Finley is his name.. his name might as well be dog s**t ...

no recovery yet ... and it is doubtful... as mentioned in this forum above... young Jonathon is trying to sort out who is owed what and see what money is in the coffers... (it doesnt look like much) ...Finley has disappeared and it looks like anyone who is owed money... like Richard... and me...( I dont know what deal the other headlinersmade with this guy) ... are left holding the bag... empty bag...
I have several hundred dollars of product... sitting back there.. I am hoping that it doesnt get caught up in the mess... and will be sent back ...I have pretty much given up on the airfare that I have already paid for .... arrgh... I am still quite steamed about all this but to rail on Jonathon isnt productive ...he is the only possible avenue to get the stock shipped back here...or some money out of Finley....(which seems unlikely)

if a registrant paid with a credit card ... there is apparently something that can be done...by contacting their ccard co...not sure about this.. if anyone out there has tried this.. let us know how it turned out...

class action...? sure..blood from a stone??? I dont think so... I dont hink he as a pot to pee in...

I have friends there at ground zero and they are keeping tabs on it...

doc
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 05/04/05 05:14 AM

Sadly, I don't expect anybody connected with this to get paid or reimbursed. Finley took his computer and a performing table out of the shop, and some inventory items are also missing -- doesn't sound like he plans to come back. He did return a laptop that he had borrowed from a local magician's wife.

Chris has only communicated with J through voice mails and notes at the shop, and nobody has the time to stake out the place 24/7 to catch up with him. There's no guarantee he would even stop if he saw cars in the parking lot. I think he's gone; don't know if anyone has made a trip to his house yet, though.

J has been advised by a couple of Atlanta magi to pay himself for the hours he has put in and to lock up the shop. Mail the key to C from the shop and call it a day. I think it's admirable but perhaps a bit foolhardy for him to continue to work to try to clean it up. There is nothing he can do to fix the situation and by continuing to operate, he is becoming the face of the disaster. I would hate for him to somehow assume some kind of liability or responsibility here by an inadvertent action, no matter how well-intended. But to my knowledge, he's still going to the shop each day and trying to work through some of the mess. I can only assume he's trying to make sure every registrant is notified; he simply doesn't have the resources to reimburse anyone, though. I think he may have let some local folks take reimbursement in merchandise, but that's not a solution that can be applied across the board.

Some in Atlanta are suggesting that we try to prop up the shop by supporting J and buying some product. I think that is spitting in the ocean. That shop is a goner and the sooner we leave it all in CF's hands, the better. Chris had plenty of resources to go to in Atlanta regarding planning conventions -- but he chose to do it himself and ignore cautionary warnings from those who have produced conventions before. Even at the end, he could have gone to many people for advice on how to deal with the mess honorably, but instead chose to cut and run.

I can't help but think there will be legal action of some kind, particularly from the hotel (apparently owed $100K+) -- but they have to find him first. I would love to know whether any $ is left in the account; with the credit card declined, though, I'd sure doubt it.

When was the last magic mess like this?

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Postby Guest » 05/04/05 06:49 AM

Drawing on my "Clark Howard" information... if you paid for your convention registration with a credit card, you can dispute the charge with the credit card company *IN WRITING* within 60 days of the original charge. You must use the address called for by your card issuer, not the address you send your payment to. Check your statement for the proper address. This way, you can at least recoup some of the money... Asrah
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Postby Tabman » 05/04/05 07:47 AM

Doc, maybe you ought to ask one of your local Atlanta contacts to go over there and pick up your product and ship it to you. I will be going down I75 in about a week too if you need.

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