FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

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Richard Kaufman
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FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 28th, 2009, 4:31 am

As noted at the end of the first FISM thread, it was behaving oddly because (I think) of all the photos. Since I want the photos to continue to appear, we'll pick things up with this thread starting Tuesday afternoon. At the moment many folks are watching Juan Tamariz's lecture.
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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby CraigMitchell » July 28th, 2009, 5:19 am

And now you agree with me. There was a reason behind my request, Richard to split day by day - if you aren't registered on the forum, the thread appears on one single page - along with all the pictures - and would take forever to download. Splitting as we now discover makes navigation so much simpler and allows posters to supplement by including additional items in sequence.

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby CraigMitchell » July 28th, 2009, 5:22 am

Richard writes: "As for Mr. Lin's comments re Peter Marvey's Dream Flying--it's China, get real. What do you expect?"

For Peter Marvey not to agree at a media conference that he is the greatest magician in the whole world. A little humility goes a long way.

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby CraigMitchell » July 28th, 2009, 5:41 am

Close-up Pics - Monday

Again, BIG thank you to Peter Din

Simon Coronel:
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Christian Bierbrauer
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Shunya Okuno aka Mr Lighter
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Mago Ernesto and regular volunteer, Joan Caesar
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Shohei Komoriya
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Rune - scary
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Cups & balls and rings
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Olmac
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Energizer bunny
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Gambling man
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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby CraigMitchell » July 28th, 2009, 6:22 am

MONDAY STAGE GALA SHOW - thanks to Peter Din

The Bellagio fountains
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Double Fantasy
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The One & Only - Mac King
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Give the magicians some acrobats to dazzle them
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Jorgos
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Lee Eun Gyeol
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Peter Marvey now known at FISM as the marionette
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Xmas decorations
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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby Rolf Reiner » July 28th, 2009, 7:03 am

Hi, since this thread starts with tuesday afternoon, where do we get the morning competition reports?

By the way, the strange bulge described in Double Fantasys Asrah is just her folded leg, the knee protuding.

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby Alex de Cova » July 28th, 2009, 7:43 am

A BIG thank you to all you guys out there reporting to the others in this forum! It is VERY much appreciated!
Thank you all for your time, energy and effort to enable us (the ones not being there) to grasp the atmosphere and the things going on at FISM!
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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby Rolf Reiner » July 28th, 2009, 8:01 am

Oops, the Asrah comment I made refers to a description Tim published in his blog, not here in this thread. Ive been reading the reports from all sources, and got things mixed up. Below is the original text form Tims blog, wich prompted my comment:

Next act was Double Fantasy from Ukraine & Belarus. They performed an elegant Artists Dream themed act which featured appearances, vanishes, transpositions and costume changes. It was an imaginative and well executed act that, despite some poor lighting choices and an inappropriate bulge in the Asrah, was very well received

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby Frank Dudgeon » July 28th, 2009, 8:16 am

May I add my thanks for the reports and pictures. It's generous of the posters to take the time to provide us non-registrants with news of this important event. I'm gobbling up all of it. Many thanks!

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby Shawn Farquhar » July 28th, 2009, 9:50 am

What an exciting day at FISM. The stage contest had some really fun acts and a few surprises. I do however find it interesting all the production that goes into the stage acts and how little is offered for the close up.

Obie Obrien is doing a super great job with what he has, but shouldn't have to be adapting to make it work. This trend is not just at FISM, it's at most magic conventions. The odd thing is more folks at the magic convention are likely to do close up and family style shows then they would to do manipulation or illusions. So why is it given less attention when it comes to producing? I haven't got a clue.

I had a conversation with some magicians today who said the stage contests should be in the afternoon and close up early in the morning ... because stage acts usually work in the evening and close up can be done anywhere at any time! Right ...whatever! Last time I checked most restaurant, hospitality and strolling acts work evenings too. Oh and try doing a card trick to a few hundred people with a camera that is at eye level to the stage, which means anything actually placed on the table is near impossible to see.

Last time I checked, sleight of hand is quite a demanding art form that requires a bit more skill than your average stage illusion.

Oh well, enough of my ranting.

Tomorrow is my big day to compete and the day is filled with a number of awesome acts like Marc Oberon, Kiko Pastur, Latko, Dai Hewga, Kristian Nivala, Giacomo de Carlo, Vittorio Belloni and Shota. I think all of these acts have won major prizes at the biggest conventions ... quite a line up.

Cheers,

Shawn
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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby Diamond Jim Tyler » July 28th, 2009, 10:13 am

Shawn knows what he is talking about. He is "the man" when it comes to competing and winning! Good luck in the competition at FISM. I know you'll knock 'em dead.

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby naquada » July 28th, 2009, 10:25 am

good luck Shawn.. but also good luck to our own Marc Oberon from the UK..
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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby CraigMitchell » July 28th, 2009, 11:04 am

CLOSE-UP GALA SHOW
-------------------

Before we catch up on the rest of the day's contests - I thought it prudent to write up my views on the "close-up" gala show from which we have just returned.

What do I enjoy so much about FISM ? That for one entire week in 3 years I can immerse myself entirely in magic, forget about the 'real world' outside and have a really great time with friends - old & new. And it is for this very reason that I get so utterly flabbergasted that with 3 YEARS OF PREPARATION - 3 ENTIRE YEARS - that all manner of intelligence seems to evade the organisers ( who we are told are well versed in organising magic conventions ) that they go and truly spoil what has - up until now - been overall a fairly good event.

They do some things so well and then this.

Perhaps they missed the memo that covered the definition of close-up ? Perhaps someone truly honestly thought in a fleeting moment of madness that close-up can be presented in the main 2300 seat theatre where even the stage illusions vanish into the void. Did not a single person in all of magicdom in 3 years pick up on this teeny, tiny, minor little issue ?

Apparently not. And if they did - there is simply no possible excuse to have let this evening's show go ahead.

We have a superb close-up auditorium in which the close-up contests are held ( here's an epiphany - how about multiple close-up shows as in past FISMs or nearly every other convention ? ) but no, we'll settle on a single 'close-up' show for everyone at once in the biggest space imaginable.

Delightfully clever.

And even if we have to live with this bizarre decision - and have months and months and months to plan accordingly - what then should we do ?

How about rehearse with the video cameras ? There's a novel concept because guess what - your entire 'little' close-up show rests on your film crew.

But no - that would require far too much preplanning. Instead we have our 'artistic director' Hank Moorehouse coming out at the start of the show to just let all us delegates know that they rehearsed all day ( for which we are thankful ) - but without the camera crew ( for which we are not ) - so we should all be very happy to be a part of the 'world's largest close-up show'. Making excuses at the start really sets the tone.

Where is Stan Allen when you need him ? This is not rocket science.

So under these awful circumstances - it is up to MC, David Williamson, to lead us on our happy journey. David spent more time re-arranging furniture and bringing chairs on and off - than he did on much else unfortunately. Rocky did, though, make an appearance. If anyone was expecting David Williamson video antics as in past FISMs you would be disappointed.

Despite the circumstances, some artists thrived: Henry Evans with his visual colour changes and Shoot Ogawa with his incredible ninja rings and sleight of hand ... although we had a near riot as Shoot's hand moved out of frame for one of the sequences. Miguel Puga from Spain had the audience clapping in unison - infusing much needed energy.

Artists such as Lennart Green came horribly short - dying a death in front of so many. I've seen Lennart kill before - but tonight unfortunately wasn't for him. And then immediately following was the awful Hernan Maccagno with his ridiculous joker's hat who literally sucked the energy dry. If you are not fluent in English, please don't attempt to speak it and then apologise every 3 minutes that you aren't an English speaker while you go ahead and butcher every sentence only adding to your suffering ( on a side note, why do we need 2 performers from Argentina when you've already got Henry Evans ? )

Ending our evening of 'close-up' was Rick Merrill. His sleight of hand survived the haphazard filming - but so much of his subtlety is lost in translation.

The things we do at FISM.

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby John Houdi » July 28th, 2009, 11:38 am

naquada wrote:good luck Shawn.. but also good luck to our own Marc Oberon from the UK..

And to Sweden's Johan Sthl competing in micro magic.

Also; Don't miss Brynolf & Ljung from Sweden at the stage competition. They will probably fool you...bad!

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby CraigMitchell » July 28th, 2009, 11:44 am

STAGE CONTEST - TUESDAY
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So we are back at it - bright & breezy Tuesday morning ... I am amazed how many are here for the early morning start.

Mike Close provides the musical accompaniment between acts - but FISM undoubtedly needs the magical touch of Frank Wilson ( nothing could ever beat 'magic all over the world' ;-)

Looking back - still no stand out acts ... we're still searching for the 'one' that just screams 'winner'

1. Wang Qimo - Illusions - China
A massive projection screen heralds the arrival of the purple-pants wearing illusionist. Picture sim-city style animation which has a little car racing about on the screen. The digital car zooms about and then the funniest looking plastic, gimmicky car drives on from stage left. Uhmmm - sorry to burst the bubble - but driving the car on from the side of the stage isn't exactly magical. Our display of fake plastic vehicles continued as we had an animated helicopter appear on screen ... the digital helicopter descends ( and thankfully there was a magical transformation here ) and a 'real' helicopter appears. Perhaps helicopters look different in China - this one was positively flat with the smallest rotor imaginable.

2. Siebensinn - General Magic - Germany
A dramatic story driven act revolving around the theme of the puzzle of life - and a puzzle in which larger and larger pieces are added while still remaining the same size ( one of those acts you would have needed to see ) Deep.

3. Roman Burenkov - Comedy - Russia
Comedy which wasn't funny. A cooking routine ( warning sign already ) If you want to perform at FISM please don't bring your dove pan and milk pitcher with.

4. Trond Hagen - Manipulation - Norway
At last - our FIRST DISQUALIFICATION ... the infamous red light takes its toll as the curtains closed early on this poor performer. WIth visible steals and bulging pockets - the act was no where near FISM standard ( but then those are always the most memorable )

5. Jiang Qiuwei - General - China
Flowers. Feather flowers. Spring Flowers. More flowers. A paddle move with a leaf ( the things we hanker after ) A blossomming tree - less is more - and thousands of delightful flowers.

6. Tony Montana - Mentalism - Argentina
Tim Ellis was up on stage as one of Tony's volunteers in a strange and confusing act with predicted pictures of watches, a photo prediction with no motivation and a final prediction in a clear transparent tube. Why ?

7. The Tramp - General - Switzerland
Attention spanned wanes during the tramp's act which suffered from poor pacing. Fire to pocket watch, bill productions, restored newspaper and zombie lite.

8. Avon Lee - General - Hong Kong
Another Lee Eun Gyeol with pulsating music, doves, vanishing canes, dropped candles ... nothing that hasn't been seen.

9. Yo Kato - Manipulation - Japan
A crowd favourite with color changing wands, appearing wands, vanishing wands, thimbles and more. Very slick that received a partial standing ovation.

10. Liao Xiarun - General - China
A traditional Chinese archer featuring some non-traditional magic including the 'we make the mask disappear by putting it behind our back' trick along with my favourite the 'appearing fishing pole that was on the floor all along' illusion

11. Nicolai Friedrich - Mentalisn - Germany
Nicolai themes his act around the emotional importance of pictures. A volunteer places a photo inside a stack of envelopes which are distributed amongst the audience. Nicolai then divines name of the person, personal details, location of the photo etc.

12. Jei Min - Illusions - Korea
Our illusionist dons a 'plastic Elvis wig' and in full Elvis costume - dances to the strains of Chubby Checker's Let's Twist Again. Why ? A zombie guitar & guitar broomstick suspension follows with a production of a man dressed as a woman from a very flimsy cage. Why ? We are still not sure. Saving grace - a beautiful levitation at the end.

13. Alan - Manipulation - Taiwan ( or as renamed at FISM Chinese Taipei )
Cards to silk, fans, billiard balls, color changing fans, fan two confetti and a color changing table.

14. Berk Eratay - Mentalism - Turkey
Sponsored by Joan Caesar - I need to ask whether Joan actually watched this act before choosing to sponsor it ? Anyone following the reports would know that Sue-Anne Webster has become one of the de facto volunteers at FISM -- and has already suffered at the hands of some pig-headed magicians who think it entertaining to provide electric shocks to their volunteers. Well - it was Sue-Anne's turn again. In a bizarre Hannibal Lecter style routine, Sue-Anne is provided with a voodoo doll and stabs it in various places. Mr Lecter is supposed to illustrate where he gets stabbed - but points to all the wrong places. In part 2, Sue-Anne becomes the victim of the doll - and gets shocked multiple times. What is wrong with these people ?

15. PJ Wen - General Magic - Taiwan
Set in a bedroom, we have lightbulb to liquid to mirror glasss ( yes mirror glass at FISM ) Appearing pink underwear ( he wanted to show us that he was wearing them ) and appearing flowers and girl.

And so ends the stage contest on Tues 28 July.

Pics from the stage contest here -

http://s995.photobucket.com/albums/af79/mitchmagi/

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby erdnasephile » July 28th, 2009, 12:01 pm

Craig Mitchell wrote:STAGE CONTEST - TUESDAY
-----------------------
Anyone following the reports would know that Sue-Anne Webster has become one of the de facto volunteers at FISM -- and has already suffered at the hands of some pig-headed magicians who think it entertaining to provide electric shocks to their volunteers. Well - it was Sue-Anne's turn again. In a bizarre Hannibal Lecter style routine, Sue-Anne is provided with a voodoo doll and stabs it in various places. Mr Lecter is supposed to illustrate where he gets stabbed - but points to all the wrong places. In part 2, Sue-Anne becomes the victim of the doll - and gets shocked multiple times.


Sorry to "butt" in here...

This is why I often feel badly for women at magic convention contests.

It seems that the average magi has internalized the advice that female participants tend to react more visibly to magic than males (L & L's Frank being the notable exception). Thus, the annual ritual of forcing females sitting near the front to be subjected to such nonsense...over and over again.

The only thing worse is how some women get repeatedly "hit on" in the dealer's room by maladjusted greasy creeps who look at magic as a way to get girls.

Craig Mitchell wrote:What is wrong with these people?


Exactly.

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby CraigMitchell » July 28th, 2009, 12:15 pm

I personally would have punched the idiot, but not Sue-Anne Webster - she was far too nice to these jerks.

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby Kenardo » July 28th, 2009, 1:42 pm

The close-up show at the last FISM in Stockholm was also held in an inappropriate facility - a huge untiered room. Such a venue is a diservice to the close-up performer and the audience. In no way does this type of theatical management elevate the art of magic which FISM professes to do. The excuse I heard at the last FISM is that the FISM committee cannot control this matter; it is in the hands of the host country. Personally, I think there should be FISM guidelines that the host country has to adher to and should be significantly penalized in some fashion (monetarily) if they do not. After all, people make a huge financial and time investment to travel around the world for this event. Just my personal thoughts.

Sue-Anne's picture is great.

Thanks for the updates Craig and Tim. They are most appreciated.

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby Mark Weidhaas » July 28th, 2009, 2:52 pm

I'm very glad to hear that Marc is there! At SAM Buffalo, it was up in the air if he would get his visa re-issued. Break a thread Shawn, and all the competitors.
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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby Donal Chayce » July 28th, 2009, 2:54 pm

Kudos and heartfelt appreciation once again to Richard, Craig, Tim, Shawn and everyone else sending reports back from FISM. You guys rock!
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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby OscarMuñoz » July 28th, 2009, 3:08 pm

Great! Job in keeping us up to date with FISM! Graig you keep it real thanks I wish I could have been there. To a good friend Shawn give it all you got I know you can do it . Break a thread Shawn!
All my best for the Best.

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 28th, 2009, 3:33 pm

Donal Chayce wrote:Kudos and heartfelt appreciation once again to Richard, Craig, Tim, Shawn and everyone else sending reports back from FISM. You guys rock!

Indeed they do! Thanks VERY much!

Dustin

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Re: FISM THREAD 2--Starts with Tuesday Afternoon

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 28th, 2009, 9:51 pm

People reading these reports should understand that Craig has a hair up his butt about FISM and never hesitates to run with any negative thing he can possibly say. He claims he's just being "honest," but his views are not only his opinions, but they strike me as negatively biased.

The general view here in Beijing is that the convention is excellent.

Regarding last night's close-up show, performing close-up magic in a way in which it can be seen by 2500 people is an almost impossible task. It IS rocket science.

Why does Craig bring Stan Allen into this? His comparison is false and biased. Stan had to present close-up magic to a crowd of about 850 people at his first three conventions. He did NOT do this succesfully on at least one of those occasions, and he's dealing with a group one third of the size of the number of people here. And Stan did not develop the most successful presentation of close-up magic, at his second convention--that idea came from old convention pro Bill Wells.

For all but a tiny group of people in the first few rows, watching close-up magic at a big convention means watching a large video screen. Unless you want the kind of idiotic chaos you see at Blackpool ever year where it's hot, it's tough to see, and it's tough to hear.

I've watched close-up in a 300 seat theater (as opposed to the 2000-seat theater we were in last night). I don't see any difference--you're stuck watching a large video screen. And it's not possible to have the performers work for small groups and rotate rooms--think of how many times each performer would have to do his show ... 20, 30? You can't pay someone enough to work like that.

So, what was it like to watch the close-up in a 2000-seat theater? It would have been perfectly fine if the dumb-ass TV crew from China TV had rehearsed! For Hank Moorehouse to come onstage and make an announcement like that ... I can only imagine how frustrated and angry he must have been.

As for the performers, these are top-of-the-line folks except for that guy with the dumb hat from Argentina who had no business being on the stage. It was like some amateur had wandered in from the close-up contest.

Lennart Green had an off night--his hands were shaking. Since Lennart has been working much larger venues than this one in China for several years, and has been a FISM winner and so on, I don't know what got to him. However, he fumbled his switch of drinking glasses in his opening, producing a loud clink which everyone could hear (I am sitting way in the back of the theater and I could see him wince--so much for not being able to see.) That may have unnerved him for some reason. Lennart had our sympathy--we know how good he is and he KILLED for over two hours in the late night Magic Salon the evening before.

Some of the performers simply didn't work to the cameras or keep their hands in a limited range. The person who came off the best visually was closing act Rick Merrill--he kept his hands exactly where they needed to be and the cameras caught his act well. Shoot Ogawa was all over the place, and unfortunately when he tried to work for the camera that was closest, the dumbo TV crew didn't switch their live feed to that camera. There was no "near riot" as Craig suggests, but about a dozen people hooting loudly because the camera crew wasn't paying attention at that moment.

I haven't watched but a little bit of the contests (I always let the judges weed out the crap and so I just watch the finals--the top five in each category) but the general comment seems to be that the quality of the contestants is not great. This only reinforces FISM President Eric Eswin's notion that the contestants should all be winners of the various satellite FISM conventions before they come to compete in the main FISM each three years.

As the late great Walter Cronkite would say, "And that's the way it is."

Because of the number of photos, I'm locking this thread and we'll proceed to a day 3 thread.
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