Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.
User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 4395
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby erdnasephile » July 7th, 2014, 4:18 pm

I thought I would share some impressions of the 2014 IBM/SAM Convention.

For context: I’m a longtime amateur student of magic whose primary purpose is performing magic for laypersons. What I enjoy most of all is discovering secrets that I can use to improve the stuff I already do--I love the practical! Although I’m a longtime member of both IBM/SAM, the social aspects of conventions are somewhat less important to me. I haven’t attended a magic convention for over 10 years.

LOCATION AND FACILITIES:
Location: St. Louis was a very convenient and cheap plane ride from my home. The hotel was well placed—a 30 minute, $4.00 Metro ride from the airport, and a brief 2 block walk. The hotel was near places to eat, including the Busch Stadium eatery complex, and LeClede’s landing one metro stop away. More importantly for me, there was a well-sized supermarket on the next block, so I was able to stock up on fresh fruits, veggies, etc. The close-up shows and contests were held in a large, modern convention/theater complex directly across the street, and the gala shows were held in a beautifully restored Opera House that was only a 10 minute bus drive away.

Facilities: I was impressed by the appearance of the hotel—it was pretty, very open and spacious. It was connected to bunch of large meeting rooms, which were big enough to hold everyone—it never felt crowded. The staff was friendly, and able to accommodate my request for a refrigerator (which is what made the grocery store important) and a quiet room, which was clean and comfortable. Finally, the free self/valet parking with unlimited in/out privileges allowed my family to drive in later in the week. For $115 a night, I felt it was a real good value.

Niggles: First, the lack of free Wi-Fi in the rooms was a definite minus. I thought the entire complex was kept about 5 to 10 degrees way too cool for my taste. The balcony in the Ferrara Theater was like an icebox—looking around, I don’t think I was the only one who felt that way. Also, although the AV Staff tried hard, with 2 very large monitors for the close-up shows and 5 monitors in all of the lectures, I really wish they had been high definition monitors for viewing sake. The lighting on the performers in the lecture hall seemed a little dim, which made things difficult to see at times. I think having an actual person manning the close-up camera to adjust the view would have helped as well.

Conclusion: All in all a very nice choice by the convention planners.

VENDORS' EXPOSITION:
This was open every day from 0900 to 1700. About 50 to 60 dealers. It seemed like a fair amount of money was changing hands, but I’ll defer that discussion to Richard and others.

A Few Highlights: Richard Turner doing one of his false dealing demonstrations 18 inches from my face while I’m burnin’ his hands and me not seeing anything. His small session show at night was equally stunning. It was fun to watch him amaze Henry Evans; Dani DaOrtiz and Christian Engblom performing more miracles in 15 minutes at their table than are included in most 4-disc DVD sets (plus, the kid to my left screaming after each denouement :D ) Plus, they offered some fantastic package deals on their DVD’s and books; Mike O’Dowd selling off much (?all) of his book collection and amazing prices (Although several people told me that 2 prominent dealers grabbed many of the most desirable items prior to the dealers’ room opening); Pattrick’s Close Up pads—I really do think these are the best I’ve ever seen. Picked up the “plush” burgundy ProPad 2. (Hot Tip: he now has professionally made nylon drawstring travel bags for all of his mats for a measly $10); Andy Greget really does have a copy of pretty much everything ever printed. Got a copy of Aronson/Solomon’s “Sessions” which I’ve been hunting for years, and a near mint Hoo’s Coin Box set to learn Dave Stahl’s routine with. Auke Van Dokkum and the Tommy Wonder items at the Steven’s Magic booth. That guy is a true magician with the lathe. (I sure wish he’d make the TW Cups and Balls props to fit the Johnson cups.) His coin matrix with killer ending is, as Joe Stevens put it, poetry both in technique and craftsmanship. (Make sure you stand in front of him instead of to the side to fully appreciate this). Genii Booth: I extended my subscription to get the bonus gift bag for one reason (Hint: Derek Dingle Repeat Card to Wallet). Plus, Richard hand delivered my copy of The Skinner Tapes! They are just terrific—THIS is the Skinner of legend I’ve always read about. Also, it was nice to chat with the “Head Genii” and the “Evil Fascist Overlord” in person. H & R Magic Books: So good to finally meet Richard Hatch, Charlie Randall, and Marshall Petersen after all these years. Good people, good stuff! Gabe Fajuri paged through some glorious stone lithographs for me, and I got to see a copy of the Harbin book in person for the first time.

Conclusion: Good mix of dealers offering enough different items. Some made a point of rolling out new offerings throughout the convention so it paid to cruise through each day. However, there did not seem to be one trick that really became THE hot seller. I was happy I managed to only buy one thing I regret. Didn’t see quite as many “convention specials” as I would’ve liked, but still came home with a big haul.

LECTURES:
These are what I really came for. So here goes…

Henry Evans: The first Monday night lecture. He explained 9 tricks, 8 of which required props he sold. His Triumph routine was a notable exception. I was particular taken with 2 of his routines—one a very visual opener with a knotted watch on a rope and the second, the best instant deck production I’ve seen for a long time (the method makes me laugh)—I bought one on the spot!

David Stone: One of the most entertaining lectures I’ve seen. Full of humor, character and call backs. He demonstrated some interesting coin moves from his act, as well as several bottle productions for which he is known. The Marlo snap change looks great when he does it with a torn card, and he demonstrated a control of a card from a face up fan that just became part of my working toolbox. He spent an extended period demonstrating ideas with “The Tool” (clever), and closed with his hilarious (and fooling) swallowing balloon routine. Some very practical ideas here, and dude comes loaded for bear (literally).

Miguel Angel Gea: Wow! His stuff looks and feels like real magic. Amazing chops, underpinned by solid theory and presentation. So many coin guys look like they are performing for themselves—not this guy. His Coin Purse extraction routine is brilliant, and I loved his spectator triumph. His use of the catapult move is extraordinary and brought gasps and groans. He even managed to load a mouth up Okito box on the table! English is not his first language, but I had no trouble following.

Christian Engblom: The calm Fat Brother. ;) He only discussed 2 commercially available tricks, but I was not disappointed in any way because he gave up all the details and work that made them magic. “Easy is NOT simple” was his mantra, and he went over the subtlety, thinking, and rationales for each of the moves in both routines. Even went over various outs for when spectators go out of bounds—clearly a guy that actually performs for real folks. I LOVED this—principles I can put to use immediately, and inspired a lot of ideas. Oh, and for those at the green place who mercilessly dogged “The Cooler”, I’m here to report, he torched me with it—I had no idea! I’m glad the hoi polloi won’t be using it. He also deserves extra kudos as I saw him arrive early to the session to go over all of the camera angles and lighting with the AV folks to make sure we could see everything.

Magic of Germany in Session: A joint lecture by those from the German gala show
Timo Marc: Presented a simple, but entertaining card routine that allows you to get your contact information to tons of people in your audience quickly. He says he had gotten more future work out of this one routine than any other, and I believe him. Martin Eisele: Presented his Always 5 Coins!? Opener as well as a neat one-handed matrix with backfire. His dice matrix closed the lecture. Sebastian Nicolas: A Chicago Opener style routine using the Vapor gimmick (this gave me some good ideas for other routines). A versatile ball holder—easy to make—low tech and reliable. Timothy Trust & Diamond: Center tear routine. Nothing terribly original here, but did like his (?) idea of using the spectators initials as a revelatory device. Gaston: Detailed his Kleenex tear and deck vanish from his FISM routine.
Stage critique: There was a break in the action for Martin Eisele to sell his lecture notes and dice matrix after which a whole bunch of people left. I’m glad I didn’t as to me this was a rather useful session. Gaston brought up three juniors who gamely performed their acts and then he proceeded to constructively critique/coach each of them, who then redid portions of their act with the suggestions. While the actual results were mixed, I found great value in the suggestions Gaston provided. I could see my own act through this lens and I think both the performers and the audience profited from this.

FFFF Lecture: A combined lecture from 3 former FFFF guests of honor. Shawn Farquhar: He offered 2 workers from his act. Seriously. These are 2 routines he makes his money with, and he is a consummate pro. First up was Sean’s presentation for Stephen Bargatze’s “I hate kids!” bank nite effect. For a performer with a personality, it’s great—so funny! He then went into great detail on his deck switch—all the thought, tricks, and details to make it play, even in semi-surrounded situations. It went by me twice—once on the public show, and then in the lecture. It was invisible because it was so natural. This is something I will use. Henry Evans: Back for more. Demonstrated a couple of effects he had for sale. To me, the second (which he used for 2 impossible location type effects) has a very versatile gimmick which would work great in any “chaos magic” cards routine. The last part of his segment was devoted to his “jazz magic” techniques as described in his “Opening Doors” DVD set, which is his exploration of Vernon’s “The Trick that cannot be explained”. Wow! Just wow. Listening and watching the gears and levers behind some of his incredible work just gives me so much respect for the man. How he is able to keep track of things and create plausible effects on the fly, while continuing to present in his charming, casual manner is impressive. (He credits his background as a drummer for some of this facility). So much for me to process—I still am thinking about how these concepts can apply to me. This is a sequence that keeps giving the more I consider it. Seriously thinking about picking up his DVD’s to see what else he’s come up with. He closed with his “Card Expert” routine, which I think was his FISM closer. Fooled me terribly, mainly because of the all the talk about jazz magic earlier. The actual method is something you all have in the drawer—just applied in a devious fashion. This would be murderous in the right context. David Stone: This was a new lecture for David, and unfortunately, not as strong as his previous session, IMHO. One new application of “The Tool” with a “radioactive” card case and plastic bag. One interesting idea where a selected card appears in an iPhone picture taken with THEIR camera (I’ll bet Blaine ends up doing this). Finally, a gimmick to change a bill to a folded card (or vice versa).

Dani DaOrtiz: Whoop! As David Williamson has said: Dani is what would happen if Lennart Green ate Juan Tamariz. He is absolutely the real deal—the very avatar of casual chaotic style magic where the spectator seems totally in control, but with a brutally cunning understanding of applied psychology lying in wait underneath. The combination is devastating, and after a while of having your head boxed, you can’t help but give in. He began by doing a number of unexplained routines where merely thought of cards were found at mentally selected numbers, a deck and card that marched back through time, a funny memorized deck with Christian Engblom, a true “invisible deck” , and closing with his Triple Intuition. Once again, the theory presented along with the tricks was the gold. It’s interesting that so much of what he accomplishes hinges on attitude, and the particular turn of a phrase. He does stuff thought to be less than reliable, but his techniques bring it to as close to 100% as you can get it. (I would recommend reading the cover story on Dani in the November 2011 Genii because David Britland says it a lot better than I can---it’s all true!). I thought it interesting that although Dani has killer chops, he prefers “Easy” (which, of course, is not simple ala Christian Engblom). Here’s hoping that the magi in attendance will put as much or more time into practicing the psychological techniques as they do physical techniques so this beautiful material won’t get unartfully butchered.

Niggles: Most of the lectures ran about 90 minutes long, with the exception being the German session, which went about 2 hours. With strong performers with lots of material, this was no problem, but I felt that having longer lectures (or having to lecture twice) resulted in some “B” material being shown, and I could feel attention flagging a bit in the audience and some even left early. Also, I wish more of the lecturers would have followed Christian’s lead and done a bit more preshow work with the AV guys so they would know what to expect to televise the action/explanations better. Finally, many of the lecturers had no lecture notes available, which would have been nice (see below). As it is, I ended up writing furiously and probably missed a few details here and there.

Conclusion: As a close-up kind of guy that loves practical theory, I was very satisfied. Would have preferred more, shorter lectures—but that’s a small thing. Overall, really happy.

FAT BROTHERS SEMINAR:
I signed up for the convention before knowing who 99% of the talent was going to be. I did know the Fat Brothers would be there, and that’s why I ultimately signed up. I was pleased to find out that a late Saturday night private session was planned, and I was glad enough people signed up (25) to hold it.

For me, this was the absolute highlight of the week. A mix of oldies (me) and young folks were seated in 2 semi-circular rows while the guys went through a few routines, several of which are unpublished and/or in hard to find resources. Even in the published routines, extra details, inspirations, and the creative process were expounded upon. I find it so useful when creators detail HOW a finished routine came to be (See the sequence Re: Open Travelers in Jennings ’67 as an example). I want to see how they think and modify what is already in the literature, so I can learn how to think/create as well. Lots of psychology discussed: underselling premises, why absurdity works (and why it doesn’t), controlling attention and why magic in the spectator’s hand is not always better, etc.--so thought provoking. I was especially fascinated by their description of the Spanish school of magic, and how much time the magicians in Spain spend thinking about and practicing magic. (Example: Rings and Assemblies meet once a month. In Spain a serious magician meets with various groups 4 to 5 times a week, sometimes starting at 1900 and getting to bed at 0700. Given this, it’s not surprising where a lot of the real work is coming from these days. ) In addition, all of the guys just look like they’re having fun. They are patient, friendly, funny, willing to share, and will answer any question. Just had a terrific time as three hours just flew by! I was entertained, amazed, and inspired to be better. Plus, Dani let this exciting tidbit drop at the end of the session: https://twitter.com/DaniDaOrtiz/status/ ... 08/photo/1

Conclusion: If you get a chance to do a session with these guys, do it!

A FEW BUMMERS:
No convention is perfect because conventions are put on and attended by humans, none of whom is perfect. However, I found my main moments of slight aggravation were not systems issues, but rather by the behavior of some (a minority?) of the attendees. For example: smarmy magicians creeping on wives and young daughters….not cool. (“How are you enjoying the convention?” [as they sidle up into personal space] Are you from Hawaii? [said with the requisite wiggling eyebrows] No? Then why is there a banana in your ear?”……..Really, guys? :roll: ). Second, I understand the scarcity principle of marketing; however, it would never occur to me to literally shove someone aside in my zeal to buy a $15 set of lecture notes that are readily available on-line (and in the dealers’ room all week!). The same holds true for waiting in line. Time and again, people would just blatantly cut the lines of folks who had been patiently waiting far longer than they. As has been pointed out before by many--most people get into magic to help deal with preexisting social pathologies. However, when folks become adults, I wish they would at least try to overcome them and at least fake a bit of common courtesy. As it stands, I felt a bit embarrassed at the negative stereotyped image of magicians a few folks were projecting, but I suppose in any group, there are going to be a few clowns. Other than that, my personal regret was spotting Eugene Burger and Steve Bryant and not getting a chance to meet them. Sadly, I also missed a chance to talk to Michael Close.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
The Fat Brothers "made" the convention for me. I very much enjoyed meeting and chatting with a lot of my magic heroes (way too many to name), all of whom were unfailingly gracious, intelligent, pleasant people. I was very glad I attended, and I salute the organizers for all of their hard work!
Last edited by erdnasephile on July 8th, 2014, 8:14 pm, edited 7 times in total.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25833
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 7th, 2014, 4:28 pm

Excellent convention report! Many thanks for posting.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Jon Racherbaumer
Posts: 843
Joined: January 22nd, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Orleans

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » July 7th, 2014, 5:33 pm

I concur with RK.
Your well-chosen words are informative, entertaining, relevant, fair, and balanced.
Thanks for such remarkable reporting.

Ted M
Posts: 1089
Joined: January 24th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dani DaOrtiz
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Ted M » July 7th, 2014, 5:45 pm

Thanks giant heaps for this writeup!

Dani DaOrtiz mentioned a (this same?) book project during his Penguin lecture last Sunday -- he's writing part two of his existing spanish-only book on psychological forces, Libertad de Expresion, and both parts will be published in english by Kaufman & Co.

Is this the same project? Did he divulge any other information? (Or might Richard K be able to tease us with any info?) Any notion of how near or far off in the future this might be?

[Spanish version of Libertad de Expresion, comprising part 1 of this project: http://www.lybrary.com/libertad-de-expr ... 98185.html ]

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25833
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 7th, 2014, 5:56 pm

My book with Dani will be one large volume that combines his theories on magic and psychology with more tricks than are in the Spanish editions (of which volume 2 is forthcoming). Publication date for us is several years off.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Ted M
Posts: 1089
Joined: January 24th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dani DaOrtiz
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Ted M » July 7th, 2014, 6:07 pm

This is exciting and important stuff. I'm so glad Dani's work will be communicated in a major book in english, to fully complement the excellent videos available (Utopia DVD set, two fantastic Penguin lectures).

User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 4395
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby erdnasephile » July 7th, 2014, 6:59 pm

Really appreciate the kind words, guys--many thanks!

Also, 1+ to Ted's sentiments--the DaOrtiz book will certainly be something to look forward to!

Jim Martin
Posts: 534
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: St. Louis

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Jim Martin » July 7th, 2014, 8:16 pm

Thank you for such a detailed, clearly written perspective of the convention.

¡Viva Espana!

(Very excited to hear of Dani's forthcoming book with Richard. Cool cool cool!)
Jim Martin
St. Louis MO

User avatar
Steve Bryant
Posts: 1924
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Ballantine
Location: Bloomington IN
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Steve Bryant » July 8th, 2014, 12:15 am

Thanks for the great overview. Eugene and I would have been happy to have met YOU.

I appreciate your filling me in on so much. My new glasses did not allow me to see much (closeup in a 1400-seat theater?). Early in the week especially, the unmanned A/V just didn't do the job either, often zoomed out so far that the distant stage could be seen easier. This got better as the week went on, but was never as good as it should have been.

I had a great time nevertheless and bought a pile of books.

User avatar
Dustin Stinett
Posts: 6931
Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Sometimes
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 8th, 2014, 3:27 am

And I'm writing mine for Genii because ... ?

Seriously, well done and it fills in a couple gaps that I had due to schedule conflicts, so thanks!

Dustin
(And that's the "Dark Fascist Overlord" by the way. ;) )

J Christensen
Posts: 18
Joined: May 12th, 2011, 8:08 am

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby J Christensen » July 8th, 2014, 10:07 am

Relative to the temperature of the hotel, I found it comfortable. However, I could see how it might be too cool for those attendees who dressed as though they were going to a picnic on a hot summer day. As a long time convention goer, I find the modern tee-shirt and shorts attire of some a little bizarre. It certainly makes an event look less special. Besides, I can't do my sleeving in a tee shirt.

User avatar
MaxNY
Posts: 1351
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Jeff McBride
Location: Warwick, New York
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby MaxNY » July 8th, 2014, 10:26 am

I'm awake, and need a day of two in order to shake the weasels. I promise not to be fair and balanced. But must also skate on the thin ice, due to the "Non-Bullying clause" that I have agreed to along with my SAM membership. I have only just today read these Forum reviews, and want to Thank Craig and Erdnasephile for boldly reporting in a way, I find hard to top.

Stay tuned, as I will no doubt ask certain people to step down from their positions where they appear to have no "checks and balances."

and...yes we finally had a North American Competition. I take 90% responsibility for that.

Ted M
Posts: 1089
Joined: January 24th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dani DaOrtiz
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Ted M » July 8th, 2014, 10:48 am

Dustin Stinett wrote:And I'm writing mine for Genii because ... ?


...because Genii Magazine will endure, while forum postings eventually vanish into the ether.

These are the first accounts we've been able to read, and we are very glad for their immediacy and for the range of perspectives, but yours will be the last one standing. Polish your lenses -- I wish you clear focus!

Jeremy Greystoke
Posts: 126
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Dublin, Virginia
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Jeremy Greystoke » July 8th, 2014, 1:32 pm

J Christensen wrote:Relative to the temperature of the hotel, I found it comfortable.


I did too. Of course, I was expecting the temperatures/humidity we had on Sunday and Monday, which are apparently the norm for summertime in St. Louis. The Tuesday through Saturday weather was a delightful surprise....temps in the 70s/low 80s, pleasant breezes, and ultra-low humidity.

I discovered the Peabody Opera House (a gorgeous facility) was also on the Metro line...either the Civic Center or the Union Staion exits would put you a couple of blocks from the theatre. I availed myself of that option a couple of times during the conference.

And a query for erdnasephile: If you feel like sharing, what was the one purchase you regretted? I don't believe there was anything I got that I had second thoughts about, but give me a few weeks/months to work through everything and I may form a different opinion. :D

Thanks for your very informative review.

Jeremy

User avatar
MaxNY
Posts: 1351
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Jeff McBride
Location: Warwick, New York
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby MaxNY » July 9th, 2014, 12:55 pm

I not sure what I can add to the existing reviews, both guys have already hit the targets with grace.

The convention was typical for a combined convention. The City, Hotel, and Theaters, were all brilliant. I think the crew of leaders did their best job throughout the planning and execution phase. I do have concern about a few members allowing a racist act to "slip through." But, more on that later...

One of the best assets was the hiring of Steve Klein. He probably made a boat-load of money, but I think he does an incredible job throughout the convention. I hope all conventions keep hiring he Steve and his crew! From the 1970's to 2000 conventioneers would be subjected to the most horrible audio, and lighting snafus. They would take away from the over-all experience. In fact; bad tech is really all I can remember during two or three decades of conventions. Steve and his crew kept up with all the cues, and even entertained me with a little Pink Floyd during the audience load-in/outs.

The goody bag WAS light, and honestly I have way too many f*cking bags already. Black zipper bags litter my basement. I like to be part of the solution, but in this case, I'm not too sure what to give-away instead. I also though the free gift of 2 decks of cards, was also lame. In this age of fancy backed cards selling for $20...$50 the give-a-way decks lacked any morsel of creativity. As an aside, the coolest looking deck I saw all week were at the gift shop under the arch. They were printed to mimic a deck from 100 years ago, even they were asking $18! I also liked that the Korean dealers were starting to sell the colored decks. Three years ago in Pittsburgh, I played the part of a wise-ass going around to each dealer asking them if they sold "Those fancy colored decks" Well, this year they were for sale. Maybe this would have been a better goody-bag filler, a deck of colored cards.

The demographics for the combined conventions are still are pretty predictable. Many MANY members are retired. In would guess 40% to be over the age of 60. One of the best comments that I overheard was at the big Peabody theatre, where some 70 year old man and his wife were complaining to another 70 's couple about their 6th row seats being horrible. Why? Because they had to sit behind "some guy who's hair was in two pony-tails, and tattoos all over his arms..." Apparently both sides of our wonderful existence collided, but I only caught the gripe of an over-ripe peach. I hope I never reach that point, where I can't see past the Dan Sperry's of our World.

I will try and dissect a few Stage contest acts here, but first a disclaimer... I'm not a nice man. I'm bitter, very bitter. I hide behind a handle here at the Funny Forum, for a reason. I'm a coward. I competed against Lance Burton, Mac King and Jeff Hobson in 1977, and have been chasing their asses ever since. I average about 60 gigs a year, only on the weekends. I work in NYC television. For decades I was in the MTV studios, whereby anybody who got radio play, passed through our doors. It was there, that I blew my brains out on drugs, but with 15 years of sobriety under my belt, I assure you the acts were all viewed without the crutch of my old best friend. Presently I'm a Mad Man. (look it up). I'm 52 years old. I'm sitting on one of the largest collections of televised magicians in the World. I spent 25 years hand-crafting a routine using dodecahedrons, that can be found on my You-Tube site MrMagicbyMax, (it still sucks) I never attended Tannen's Magic Camp. I hate that today's society teaches kids that "We all win." Sorry, I grew up in a different generation. I have been called an internet bully, and I'm pretty sure the new SAM policies about "On-line" bulling were created for me! Some member spent an hour scolding me about a "Bad review" I gave another member 3 years ago...I couldn't sleep that night. But in the morning I went back to my old post and felt I gave the act in question several props. I even tried to avoid saying the person in question was...umm portly. Instead I suggested he wear "spanks" Never intending he was a girl, just that If I said "wear a truss", nobody would know what I was talking about. I'm not sure you could even buy a truss today, (where does Shattner get his?) Spanks on the other hand are found in every Mall across America. I feel qualified enough to bully, but can't anymore. I just want the best for our art, and hope my reports on contest acts will elevate our craft.

I want to discuss the newest policy first....The drop cloth rule did not work. Members of all ages, from both sides were shrugging their shoulders as drop clothes were gaffed to the boards. Acts were parodying the drop cloth rule. Two or three acts poked fun at this ruling...I ask you Mr. or Mrs. Rule Maker...did your face turn red as Contest Acts poked fun at your rule? No? It should have. Why have the concept of the "Neutral MC" not allowing the MC to do magic tricks, tell jokes etc. when the hints of 60' X 40" drop clothes being taped to the floors pretty much foreshadow the next act. I called this. Five minutes after the rules were posted On-line, I opposed this policy. My prediction of "contest acts tripping on their bed-sheets" did not come true. Solution: In this new World of no stage fire, or as Steve Klein would say "Wizz/bang" we must resort to confetti or Vapur in order to punctuate an effect. Results? A stage that looks like " somebody threw up all over.." (That quote came from the top). I propose that if any act wants to use matches, flash schtick, red caps, pull string, sparks...they foot the bill for a Fire Marshall. How? Those throwing together the acts, simply have a contract with acts regarding fire. Those who use fire must cut a check sharing the expense. Would I want to hire a Fire Marshall for $300 a day? No way...but I may want to split the expense with others who do. You wait and see, this idea will take the brass ten years to roll out. Again, the difference between the Blue-hairs, and the shocking pink hairs are vast. The Rhode Island tragedy was twenty years ago, can we move on?

I liked that there was a bulletin board at the very front of the Hotel lobby announcing the daily acts. Each act had a nice 8X10 glossy. I did not like that when the acts were announced, they had only their pictures flashed on the big side screens. So, today I must flip back and forth to Craig's posts, to try and scramble the names. The one FISM I attended (Lisboa) had the pictures and names of each contestant prior to the act. Who wouldn't want your name spelled out for all to both see and hear? With so many Koreans competing I couldn't get their names written down fast enough in my notepad. It would have helped remember the names, if we got to SEE the names. This also will take ten years for organizers to implement.

I also have problems with repeat acts. There were acts that I have seen compete now twice in ten years...The same act! Now that the trust has slowly moved back into some competitors, and we FINALLY have a North American Contest (that only took the Brass 12 years to figure out) maybe the caliper of competition can ease out the repeats. This will take time. Who wants to compete against the World... in a North American Competition. So, instead, we all have to sit through the same acts that lost to magicians from the other side of the World! Why did this take so long to figure out? Bully? Maybe...but I get things changed here at Kaufman's Forum, it just takes ten or twelve years before it sinks into the thick grey matter. Solution to repeat acts...I have none. Unfortunately, these repeat acts are slowly climbing up the Corporate ladder, and are very pleasing people, and will probably lead us someday. I must tread these waters carefully, some are friends. If you have been doing the same act for ten years, please don't enter again.

The stage where the competition took place had one major problem. I am even wondering if the organizers even saw this flaw as they chose the hall. If you used an audience member, that person would have to go to a wing, and a BF Skinner type maze, with ten foot high walls...in order to get on stage! Several times, I saw Professional acts, and Contest acts disappear through the maze guiding audience participants through caverns, leaving the stage bare. Entertainment 101...never leave the stage empty. Solution: purchase or rent a folding set of stairs to place near the front of the stage.


and now I will bully the bully. May the Alpha Magician win this battle, and may nobody get hurt. Because I have agreed to a "non bullying clause" when I renewed my membership in the SAM, I sit here writing deep in the New York Mountains wondering if I stand alone with the following thoughts, I assure you I too laughed at the expense of another race. Our SAM society has elected their first African American President, and yet an act with racist stereotypes passed the audition stages, and wound up humiliating us all. I work in New York City, and like to think of myself as a human that is surrounded by all types of people, each race fills me with joy, and the wonder of how we all live and get along on an island 32 miles long never seems to puzzle me. Maybe the rest of North America isn't as tolerant.

As I understand it, acts that think they are worthy of competition apply, and send a URL linking themselves to an online place where some sort of "board" views the act, and gives the Golden nod. IF the act changed from audition, to what I witnessed, I will hereby offer an apology. But, I want to see the link... If this act was exactly the same act that applied secretly on-line, then I guess some questions surround the "Board Members." I always though the hand-picked board members that give acts the Golden nod, was the weakest link to our great competition. Who hand-picks this group? They seem to be a secretive society of 3? or 4? who answer to nobody except the top Alpha dog.

So, do I point the finger at 1 person? God knows I want to. And, without saying anything more, without giving away their sex, membership, or location...I ask the powers to be...What the f*ck were you thinking when you let an act consisting of 8 minutes of racist "comedy"...ripping some poor Hindu man, with some of the most God awful racist jokes...compete. The problem is this. There are people elevated to such high positions within both of our organizations, that there are no checks or balances. And, just who are these faceless few who let such garbage acts slip through? OK, WOW MaxNY you sure and posting some strong opinions, and language here. And, I don't want to resort to repeating the bits, as I would just add to the problem...but I will, because I think it is important to read 2nd hand...the trash...

For the first four minutes two portly men (one clearly WASP, the other Hindi) did no magic. Outsourcing jokes, (OK maybe). But when the ignorant Magician asked the Indian man what their red dot was for...I will repeat the joke here, just so we all can think about unloading some top officials within both Organizations. "Oh that Red dot is a Scratch-off, so when you marry an Indian Woman, on your wedding night you scratch off the red dot to see if you won a 7-11 or a Motel 6." Yes, I laughed. I like to think my humor sometimes resorts to the shock style, but usually that would only be heard between friends. Not on a stage in front of 1,000. and...then the magician proceeded to pull red Delite's from the man's forehead.

Anyone want to point finger's. I can't. I am swore to a Non-bullying clause. So, I ask that the person who was in charge of the Stage competitions be relieved of his/her duties, and probably should be kicked out of the clubs as the act in question proved to be bullying on a level far greater than this internet bully can comprehend.

....As some teen aged kid slunk in his chair wondering why HIS audition didn't get the Golden nod.

Shame on the Queen/King. Shame on the Board.

Step down all of you. You have lost your minds... and Korea with a young hip leader is kicking our asses. Our leaders parade around with Gold lamet jackets, medals dripping from sashes, shaking everyone's hands with a big hearty "Congratulations." I want to be that 50 year old Korean teacher who sports the coolest blonde locks, and has to his stable a dozen kids that are AMAZING to watch.

...and some kid is turning to his Dad, wondering if this really is the future of magic.

I'm tired, and pissed. I will review the Stage acts tomorrow when I'm in a better frame of mind.

User avatar
Dustin Stinett
Posts: 6931
Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Sometimes
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 9th, 2014, 2:13 pm

Max, Max, Max …

My short(ish) recap of the convention will appear in the next issue of Genii so I’m not going to go into much detail here, but there a few things I want to address now.

First, that 50 year old golden-locks Korean is actually around 60 (he spent about 55 years in Japan, which is why many people believe he is Japanese). I hope I look that good when I’m 55 (which is coming up shortly so I have no real hope there).

Second, I could not disagree more about Steve Kline’s overall work. While the cues mostly went well, and I too enjoyed the Pink Floyd, blurry non-high definition screens/equipment, bad or NO camera operators does not make for a pleasant viewing experience. I do not have a personal issue with Steve at all and it’s possible that part of the problem is the budget limitations of the convention (a case of you get what you pay for).

But what the deuce is he doing using—by today’s standards—antiquated equipment? More times than not a performer would hold up a card, ask if everyone could see it, and the answer was no. Why? Because the screen showed a blurry white blob instead of a playing card. Then—and this happened more than once as well—one of the performer/lecturer’s friends would come out and try to refocus the camera. Why? Because it didn’t have an operator! And when the main, long-shot camera WAS attended, the viewers would get seasick with bad camera work. Sorry, but that is not good and cannot be blamed on budget constraints.

Steve can do better, and if not, then the organizers can do better. I might not know much about the equipment itself and what it takes to run it, but I do know what I am seeing. I have been to other events that cost less where high-def equipment was used and the operators knew what they were doing, so I know it is possible.

Third, I could not agree more about the ridiculous rule about MCs at the contests. If the judges are incapable of ignoring the comments/antics and/or tricks that a good MC might do to keep what should be treated as a show running along well, then they should not be judges.

Fourth, had your “repeat act rule” been in place over these many years at FISM and other contests, a lot of fine acts would never have gone on to become the great acts that they did. Constant improvement is the goal. It is not the fault of the competition if the act does nothing to improve and just keeps doing the same exact thing over and over expecting different results. But you also cannot just lock them out because you could be locking out a possible Grand Prix champion.

An example: The act that you saw One Gun of South Korea perform is not the exact same one he was doing (and competing with) just a few years ago. But many people THINK it’s the same act because of the T-shirts. Well, I’m here to tell you that the act is tighter and much better now, and it was pretty good back then. But your rule would have locked him out of many of the competitions he has entered over the years.

But of course you are correct about the initial screening of the acts in general. There has to be a better way (though I do not pretend to know what that is) and, of course, better magicians.

Last: My experience at the IBM/SAM would not have been as good as it was had MaxNY not been there.

Bad jackets, Atomic Fireballs, a doughnut I should not have eaten, and endless laughs are just a few of the reasons why. I’m glad you were there. I look forward to seeing you again in Orlando.

Dustin

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25833
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 9th, 2014, 5:15 pm

I was once sitting at a Desert Seminar in Las Vegas next to Ton Onosaka when some guy came onstage and did a fake Oriental act with buck teeth and what I would consider the poorest taste in the world. It could be construed as nothing other than making racist fun of Japanese. Ton wasn't offended--he thought it was funny. I could barely keep myself in my seat because I wanted to belt the guy.

Everyone looks at these things differently is the only conclusion I can draw from that experience.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
Q. Kumber
Posts: 1690
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Manchester, England

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Q. Kumber » July 9th, 2014, 5:17 pm

What exactly is this anti-bullring clause MaxNY, that you keep referring to?

And I appreciate all the reports and the detail that many have gone into.

User avatar
Mark Weidhaas
Posts: 86
Joined: October 6th, 2008, 4:52 pm
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Mark Weidhaas » July 9th, 2014, 10:54 pm

The National Council of the Society of American Magicians hereby adopted the following resolution condemning Cyber Bullying:
The Society of American Magicians opposes and condemns Cyber Bullying in any and all forms including but not limited to all forms of hate speech, the use of words which attack physical appearance, gender, religious belief, sexual orientation or nationality and opposes all kinds of needless and hateful cyber bullying resulting from the publishing of private information on magic related web sites.

Adopted: November 9, 2013
Mark Weidhaas
S.A.M. National President 2010-2011 and Conference Executive
"You Have a Friend in the S.A.M."

NYCJoePItt
Posts: 66
Joined: April 26th, 2011, 7:41 am

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby NYCJoePItt » July 10th, 2014, 12:15 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:I was once sitting at a Desert Seminar in Las Vegas next to Ton Onosaka when some guy came onstage and did a fake Oriental act with buck teeth and what I would consider the poorest taste in the world. It could be construed as nothing other than making racist fun of Japanese. Ton wasn't offended--he thought it was funny. I could barely keep myself in my seat because I wanted to belt the guy.

Everyone looks at these things differently is the only conclusion I can draw from that experience.


In this day and age, performers need to have their own sensible gauge or get assistance with having their material critiqued (for more than one reason.) Once they step out on that stage asking to be judged by way of competition or by my purchasing a ticket, I have an expectation that certain boundaries will not be crossed at a magic performance. If I am angry enough either because I am offended or because I'm concerned someone else in the audience may be offended, I think that performer has failed. They need to get help with their act. It really isn't rocket science and doesn't require a degree in political correctiveness either. If a performer can't figure out where this line is perhaps they need to take a break from performing.

The thing that I find fascinating is that performer who can skip and dance all along that line without ever crossing it and have the audience in the palm of their hand. These can be very entertaining acts. I wish I was that clever.

MJLauck
Posts: 31
Joined: July 7th, 2014, 1:17 am
Favorite Magician: Harry Anderson
Location: St. Louis, MO
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby MJLauck » July 10th, 2014, 3:46 am

Did I skim this too quickly or has there not been a mention of the "3D Lecture?" It was a lecture on kids' shows that actually bussed in children for a mini-performance by each of the lecturers to highlight children's reactions to the material. It was a really good idea and I found it a valuable addition to the lecture experience, even if the late arrival of the children did push the lecture back by a good 30 minutes or so. I might be a bit biased, though, because I am looking to expand into kids shows for the first time after a few successful years of playing Santa. It struck me that some of the material presented by Danny Orleans, David Kaye and Doug Scheer would even be valuable to elementary school teachers (my wife teaches 2nd grade and I have met many teachers who could use, for example, some of Danny Orleans' crowd control techniques).

I will also say that I was disappointed in some of the AV work at the convention. The music was over-gained most of the time which caused distortion and the autofocus was left on cameras more than once. To be honest, a monitor on the close up camera for the performers would made a huge difference, even if it was simply one of the flip out camera mounted screens.
Michael L.

If you could really perform magic, would you be more like Merlin or Superman?

User avatar
Steve Bryant
Posts: 1924
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Ballantine
Location: Bloomington IN
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Steve Bryant » July 10th, 2014, 8:51 am

I thought the 3D show was the best of the convention, especially David Kaye's turn. We were exploding with laughter, along with the kids. Fantastic crowd reaction.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25833
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 10th, 2014, 2:32 pm

Here are the official contest results:

Close Up
North American Champion:
Shin Lim – Close-up (Canada)


Invitations to FISM:
Michael Dardant (USA)
Hannibal (USA)
Shin Lim (Canada)
Alberto Lorenzo (USA)
Reuben Moreland (USA)

Stage
North American Champion:
Trevor & Lorena Watters (Canada)

Invitations to FISM:
Christian & Katalina (USA)
Trent James (USA)
The Reed Sisters (USA)
Trigg Watson (USA)
Trevor & Lorena Watters (Canada)
Tim Wright (USA)

People’s Choice
Close-up: Shin Lim (Canada)
Stage: Hun Lee (S. Korea)

Finalists
Close Up:
Martin Braessas (Argentina)
Michael Dardant (USA)
Hannibal (USA)
Shin Lim (Canada)
Alberto Lorenzo (USA)
Reuben Moreland (USA)
Seol Park (S. Korea)

Stage:
Cheol-Seong Choi (S. Korea)
DenDen (Japan)
PoCheng Lai (Taiwan)
Han Lee (S. Korea)
Natalie & Eli (Switzerland)
Sheldon Wang (China)
Trevor & Lorena Watters (Canada)


IBM Awards
Close Up:

1st Place - Michael Dardant (USA)
2nd Place - Alberto Lorenzo (USA)

Stage:
1st Place - Hun Lee (S. Korea)
2nd Place - DenDen (Japan)


S.A.M. Awards
Close Up:

High Score - Seol Park (S. Korea) + Award of Merit Silver Medal
2nd High Score - Reuben Moreland (USA)

Stage:
High Score - DenDen (Japan) + Award of Honor Gold Medal
2nd High Score - Hun Lee (S. Korea) + Award of Merit Silver Medal + Originality Award
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Brad Henderson
Posts: 4270
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: austin, tx

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Brad Henderson » July 10th, 2014, 4:55 pm

", I have an expectation that certain boundaries will not be crossed at a magic performance. "

I'm curious. do we expect lines to be crossed in some type of performances but just not magic? Why is that? Is magic some type of stunted endeavor where we must all paint between the lines?

not suggesting that racist humor is to be applauded - but I am asking if our attitudes about what magic 'is' and 'should be' do not often restrict our growth.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25833
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 10th, 2014, 5:19 pm

Yes, there are boundaries in magic that we do not expect to be crossed that are indeed crossed by standup comedians. That's pretty obvious.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
mrgoat
Posts: 4242
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby mrgoat » July 10th, 2014, 5:40 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Yes, there are boundaries in magic that we do not expect to be crossed that are indeed crossed by standup comedians. That's pretty obvious.


Which stand ups are racist, aside from the ones Lever books for Blackpool...

Can't think of anyone who does racist material nowadays.

Brad Henderson
Posts: 4270
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: austin, tx

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Brad Henderson » July 10th, 2014, 6:43 pm

why should magicians hold to some imaginary line and who sets it?

I've seen magic magazine columnists proclaim that if material wouldn't play on red Skelton it has no place in a magic show. Last time I checked, South Park is doing a lot more business than Hee haw.

What era are we voluntarily sticking ourselves in, and why are we surprised when intelligent adult audiences dismiss us en masse as trivial?

(again - racism is not what I am condoning - that issue should be culturally condemned. I'm talking about this notion that magic should be a certain thing - who writes that law and have they ever watched cable TV?)

NYCJoePItt
Posts: 66
Joined: April 26th, 2011, 7:41 am

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby NYCJoePItt » July 10th, 2014, 11:13 pm

I love my magic. I love my cable TV. They currently aren't getting along very well, are they? Suggesting that putting some chocolate in that peanut butter would taste good, simply hasn't proven true at any level. Trust me, if there was a television executive that could find a way to make some money by combining either a risqué comedy show or a True Blood serial show with a magic act, it would have happened. We would have seen some attempts.

Where is Chris Angel on TV? David Blaine is barely able to get on the network a couple of times a year. Carbone (sp?) has a cute series with some great magic but on an smaller network... nothing to push the boundaries though.

My point is that our Magi are steeped in deep tradition. And these 'boundaries' we are discussing are pretty clear and may shift slightly from decade to decade. But I don't see any evidence of huge changes.

It's not that magic should be one thing or another. A performer can do whatever they please. But why should a performer be surprised about getting negative feedback when they don't have any common sense over the expectations of their audience?

Brad Henderson
Posts: 4270
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: austin, tx

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Brad Henderson » July 11th, 2014, 12:12 am

when the South Park and the Simpson came on TV they were heralded as downfalls of culture and an affront to the boundaries of what TV should be.

they are also hugely successful.

You seem to think that magic cannot break free from the shackles of it's tired family friendly past - and you cite examples of people who are still following the same formulas, only with different hair cuts and make up choices.

Copying someone else's trend and overlaying it in your own work is not the path to greatness - it's the path to cable TV

there already is a true blood. We don't need a stupid true blood themed magic act. (though it would likely win at a magic competition. We could use more Simon Drake though). We need someone who pushes magic outside of what everyone has come to think of it as - which clearly is passé or else we WOULD see more magic on TV.

We don't need a non white Derren brown or a goth David Blaine or an unlike able practical joker who accosts people for his own amusement. I haven't seen the Carbone show, but his Leno segments were great - but the candid camera format is hardly ground breaking. It wasn't with T.H.E.M., it isn't now, even if he might be the best version of it.

maybe we need a reality TV show about magic - a war or a show where people vote on who is phenomenal or some magic pickers who travel the country looking for tricks to buy... that will break ground - except it won't because it isn't ground breaking.

When you tell a magician that this is how it is supposed to be done you are insuring that we as an art will always recede into the past and never grow into the future.

Every performance art changes with the times and we see new stars who take the baton from those who came before and push further into new ideas and new sounds.

In magic we still have people who believe that a top hat and cane is anything but a cry for help by someone who doesn't realize what century they are living in

MJLauck
Posts: 31
Joined: July 7th, 2014, 1:17 am
Favorite Magician: Harry Anderson
Location: St. Louis, MO
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby MJLauck » July 11th, 2014, 10:46 am

Perhaps Wizard Wars, premiering next month on SyFy, will be the show you want!
Michael L.

If you could really perform magic, would you be more like Merlin or Superman?

Brad Henderson
Posts: 4270
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: austin, tx

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Brad Henderson » July 11th, 2014, 3:28 pm

perhaps I was unclear.

shoe horning magic into an already tired reality show format - again, NOT what magic needs.

Tom Gilbert
Posts: 856
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: NH
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Tom Gilbert » July 11th, 2014, 3:45 pm

It was a good number of years ago that I was a member of one of the big national orgs. One day out of my mailbox pops the monthly they produced with an older guy wearing a blue sequin jacket. Fuzzy memory, but he may have had a rabbit puppet or even a top hat with the rabbit puppet. Needless to say I let my membership end as soon as possible.

Jon Racherbaumer
Posts: 843
Joined: January 22nd, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Orleans

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » July 12th, 2014, 6:03 pm

ABOUT CONVENTION BLOW-BACK AND REPORTAGE

Unlike conventional (pun intended) reviews of magic conventions, the spur-of-the-moment, relatively free-wheeling, and often crassly candid posts on the Forum are entertaining to read. The voices are diverse, the “spin” is refreshing, and the pure, subjective tone is like eating cotton candy at a carnival. One can read them side by side with reviews written by one person, especially if the writer is someone like Dustin…who invariably gives his reportage perspective, balance, and context. In the blogosphere and on forums, the truth winks and skips and stretches. Dustin calms it down and gives it shape and credulity.

In short, we are now enjoying both forms and should be grateful.
The conventions we remember are ones with mishaps and outrageousness. I was at one where during a show a female assistant (a former wrestler-stripper) picked up a 350-pound man (a local pastor) in a fireman's carry, started spinning him around just as the magician-fire-eater's torch set off the hotel's sprinkler system.
At another international convention a close-up contestant dropped his pants and (apparently) reproduced the spectator's signed selection from his rectum.

I thought I was back home in the middle of Mardi Gras!

Onward...

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5536
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Bill Mullins » July 12th, 2014, 7:04 pm

Jon Racherbaumer wrote: At another international convention a close-up contestant dropped his pants and (apparently) reproduced the spectator's signed selection from his rectum.

Searching through AskAlexander for "rectum" doesn't yield any further information on this convention act.

Oddly enough.

But I do know more about Houdini's cornhole than I used to.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25833
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Impressions of IBM/SAM 2014

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 12th, 2014, 8:11 pm

Ah, you must mean that little brass capsule. Very handy if you're not squeamish.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine


Return to “Buzz”