MacMillans - International Magic DAY TWO

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CraigMitchell
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MacMillans - International Magic DAY TWO

Postby CraigMitchell » November 28th, 2009, 8:53 am

Day Two's report still to follow - but in the interim - some pics from this morning's Close-up Contest ... http://s995.photobucket.com/albums/af79 ... mview=grid

Johan Stahl from Sweden is clearly the favourite - head & shoulders above what was a generally a weak line-up of competitors.

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Tom Stone
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Re: MacMillans - International Magic DAY TWO

Postby Tom Stone » November 28th, 2009, 12:39 pm

CraigMitchell wrote:Johan Stahl from Sweden is clearly the favourite - head & shoulders above what was a generally a weak line-up of competitors.

That's my boy! :)

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Re: MacMillans - International Magic DAY TWO

Postby Magic Newswire » November 28th, 2009, 1:47 pm

Complete coverage from Craig including Photos, Video and Audio Interviews are available HERE

His audio will be uploaded as several are gathered together.

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CraigMitchell
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Re: MacMillans - International Magic DAY TWO

Postby CraigMitchell » November 28th, 2009, 8:06 pm

Its Day Two of the International Magic Convention. The numbers have swelled theres excitement in the air its time for magic as we await the start of the close-up contest. And with a powerhouse judging panel that more closely resembles FISM lets hope the contestants are up to scratch ... judges include Gerrit Brengman, Domenico Dante, Obie OBrien, Tonny van Rhee, Andy Nyman, Jackie McClements, Hank Moorehouse, Joan Caesar & Gay Ljundberg ... Beijing dj-vu.

First competitor Rob James from the UK featured vanishing / appearing card cases cards were selected and later found accompanied by a novel laptop gag meter counting the gags in his show. Amusing and light hearted he finished with a 4 Ace production to music and a fully sorted deck as his finale.

Keith Bennett somehow got confused and brought his kids show along ( and thats probably insulting the numerous accomplished childrens entertainers out there ) in an awful act not in the least bit suited to an international close-up magic contest. His mindreading chicken complete with sword swallowing was cringe-worthy.

Oliver Meech complete in dressing gown recounted the tale of his lost luggage having to use props from his hotel room. An any-drink-called-for style routine with drinks from the mini-bar along with cups & balls using tea-bags.

Jean Emmanuel Franzis from France didnt get off to a good start due to the MCs mic not being switched off ... resulting in the audience hearing all sorts of backstage clamour. The mood of a refined coin routine set to music is quickly destroyed.

Dr Gabor from Hungary entertained with a sandwich ace routine along with signed card in deck. No great shakes.

The inimitable Alexander Popov ( a firm FISM favourite) was back at it with his incomprehensible English and most bizarre card shuffles and discoveries you have ever seen. Entertaining for all the wrong reasons ;)

Paul Brown a promising young magician followed in George Parkers footsteps as the alchemist in search of the elusive 5th element. A cups & balls routine along with some visual coin changes and ending with the production of a live goldfish. A pleasing act that is clearly the result of lots of hard work ...

Vlad Kolmykov from Russia in the most horrendous outfit you can imagine picture the worst image of a stereotypical magician from the 80s complete with bowtie and there you have it. A triple rope trick, appearing jumbo cards ending with an ambitious card routine with final discovery in sealed can in locked box. Please change your outfit !

Pete Hathaway the competitions very own Pete Doherty ... what has this guy been smoking ? Clearly there are not any entrance requirements for this contest ... another ambitious card style routine with a magician who has no clue what he is doing and forgets half his act midway through.

Woody Aragon representing Spain delivered a whimsical card routine to music travelling cards, Triumph finish and letters on the back of the cards spelling 38th Rons Day a crowd pleaser.

Charming Choi flew in from Korea with a new act compared to that last seen in FISM if memory serves me correctly. Cards are strewn across a giant sketchpad to form the shape of a bicycle ( this done to Queens Bicycle theme song ;-) The card wheels suddenly come to life - spinning furiously ending in the production of a model bicycle. A novel idea definitely worth expanding on. Charming, charming, charming Choi ( please make note its 3 x charmings ) ends with a coin matrix on the sketch pad the coins visibly moving and ultimately everything on the table becoming imprinted on the pad. All in all some clever concepts just needing unity.

Johan Stahl from Sweden performed his FISM award winning act. A beautiful piece by a true showman featuring nothing more than a coffee cup, sugar cube and a vanishing pen. Johan has a great demeanour and the acts charm relies heavily on the volunteer the magic is done exclusively for the person on stage ... and the audience at large gets to be observers to this unfolding fantasy. Without a doubt the clear winner from the day & such a joy to watch a polished performance piece. Congrats !

John van der Put had the unenviable task of following Johan. A fun act nonetheless with helium balloon, signed card in wallet, torn & restored card and the grand revelation via onstage laptop. A light-hearted piece to end the mornings competition.



LECTURES

George Parker was the first lecture of the day elaborating further on his previous nights performance as well as sharing his take on the one ahead principle, binary card marking system and very clever card discovery from within a die. Time was short but he covered lots ending with a plea for magicians to discover their own creativity ...

The main event of the day was undoubtedly Rene Lavand ... expertly translated by the wonderful Tina Lenert , delegates were treated to not a lecture but a gettogether as Rene would call it ... a beautiful performance piece of card discoveries and revelations, imperceptible 2nd deals and false shuffles ( captured beautifully on the big screen kudos to the camera man ) along with some insightful questions and answers. The man received a deserved standing ovation.

David Minkins lecture was the final one for the day - but unfortunately the need for dinner ( I know, I know how could I succumb to food over magic ) before the main gala show prevented me from seeing this. I enjoy Davids easy going style having seen him perform at IBM SAM and am really sorry to have missed this but buzz seemed positive.



DEALERS

The Mermaid Conference Centre overlooks the Thames and many of the dealers have the most idyllic spot gazing over the river ... certainly one of the nicest locations Ive seen in a long time. Dealers are split into 3 main rooms and number well over 15 peddling their usual wares. No major buzz or must-have-product yet Im afraid.



THE RETURN OF LITTLE BRITAIN

The TV series Little Britain most certainly is NOT fiction. We saw it in action today. The Brits like to queue ... and they love their rules ... no matter how ridiculous they are. The auditorium has a walkway outside the main entrance doors which connect to two staircases - one leading down to the lower level the other going up to the 1st floor. This mystical walkway is a designated fire exit and no person whatsoever is permitted to remain on this hallowed turf. With the gala show set to start at 7:30 pm one would reasonably expect that you would start seating people some 30 minutes prior to show time but then that would deprive us of the British queuing tradition. Instead we have some 300 people crammed on the lower level another 300 crammed in the smallest area imaginable on the 1st floor with a constant flow of people caught in between the walkway of death. Such comedy to see exasperated ushers begging, shouting, pleading, prodding for people to move away from their precious walkway into the already overcrowded holding pens either above or below a losing battle of note. I dont mean to state the obvious but what good is your unobstructed walkway when no one can move as it is in your dear holding pens ? And if there happened to be a fire dont you think those standing on your walkway to freedom might actually choose to descend the staircase rather than watch the slaughtering of the overcrowded masses as they trample each other to death? Aaah Britain is such a beautiful place ;-)

GALA SHOW

The 7:30 pm show became the 7:50 pm performance thanks to the excitement of the guardians of the walkway above.

Tina Lenert fired things up with her classic Cinderella story of magic ( and mop ) brought to life. A beautiful act as always. Noel Britten was MC for the evening & what a joy to have a professional compere entertaining, witty and engaging ... Otiz Cannelloni should take notes !

Having seen just one magic act we went straight into a variety segment with a bizarre choice of a hip-hop breakdancing group called One Motion along with Michael Jackson impersonator. Hip-hop dance at a magic show ? I dont think so. A poor choice and waste of time.

IT was up to Han Seol Hui from Korea to lift the show with his mindboggling CD manipulation. But even with his stellar performance - Han suffers from his poor placing in the show and the act doesnt get the impact it deserves.

Chris Mitchell presented the appearing bowling ball, tossed out desk and classic bandana / banana routine. Very entertaining and good hearted fun Chris, though, should have ended with the banana but overstays his welcome with a mediocre ambassador of love performance piece. Quit while youre ahead.

Brett Sherwood from the USA rounds out the first half with a vanishing bird cage, card manipulation, torn & restored newspaper and floating napkin to rose. Commercial pieces well presented and particularly well liked by the lay people sitting in front of me.

At just over 1 hour 15 minutes its time for a much needed interval.

Leo Nifosi from Italy opens the second half with some unique feather manipulation, crystal ball juggling, snowstorm and personal favourite ... production of feathers from pants.

Back to variety with Heir of Insanity a gymnastic duo encased within a massive giant balloon complete with star light backdrop. Think Cirque du Soleil inside a balloon.

Noel Britten returns to do a segment with Francis the Mindreading Duck who discerns a selected time on a pocket watch. Massively fun routine highly entertaining with great comedic timing.

Back to Asia we go this time with FISM winner Yo Kato with his now classic colour changing wands & thimble routine. High energy and dazzling skill that I cannot for the life of me work out why you would not close your gala show with ?

But onward we go with Armando Lucero taking to the stage with billiard ball manipulation, paper balls over head and finishing with a mime sequence. Armando has a genuine way about him and instantly warms to the audience.

And to the end show ( why Im still trying to figure out ) Matt Hennem with crystal ball juggling ( didnt we see this earlier ? ) Granted, Matts routine is good ... but as your grand finale ? Give me a break you have not one but TWO of the worlds best manipulators on your show and you end with the glass ball guy ? Poor choice on the part of the producer.

The Gala Show finishes at 10:20 pm ... overall, a great line-up of talent but not maximised to their fullest. And PLEASE rehearse the finale ... someone forgot to tell the hip-hop duo they werent the stars ..



Its 12:57 am time for sleep.

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Re: MacMillans - International Magic DAY TWO

Postby Magic Newswire » November 28th, 2009, 8:47 pm

Craig's complete coverage with photo gallery is now online HERE

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Re: MacMillans - International Magic DAY TWO

Postby naquada » November 29th, 2009, 10:22 am

Enjoying reading craigs updates as well..

I have put up the winners for the competition here - http://bit.ly/4U0FWZ/

1st johan stahl
2nd woody Aragon
3rd rob James

Merits - john van der put, charming choi, Alexander popov

Full live update and coverage http://www.magicconventionguide.com
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www.magicconventionguide.com

GayLjungberg
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Re: MacMillans - International Magic DAY TWO

Postby GayLjungberg » December 5th, 2009, 1:20 pm

To complete Craigs story (I ate later and saw the gala show Sunday evening) Davis Minkin called his Saturday spot a "lecturette". A short lecture in other words. David said that he was not an experienced lecturer, before he delivered some very valuable and experienced advice on how to approach and handle an audience in a mingle situation. Maybe he is not experienced as a lecturer but he was very well prepared and was very generous with his knowledge and experience.

Contrary to many other lecturers he inspired the audience members to take part in the lecture with questions, which he answered with insight and respect.

David Minkin was to me a new and very pleasant experience, both at this lecture and in the close up show.

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Re: MacMillans - International Magic DAY TWO

Postby CraigMitchell » December 5th, 2009, 4:26 pm

Thanks for filling us in, Gay.

I hope David Minkin continues to innovate and pursue things further = he's definitely a performer to watch in the future !


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