The NEMCON 34 performers & crew
(l-r) Thomas Guerrera, Adam Parisi, Stephen Bargatze, Ryan Lally, Jon Armstrong, Tom Mullica, Bill Hoagland, David Garrity and David Wyskiel. photo courtesy of Steve WronkerNew England Magicians Conference
(NEMCON) is sponsored by SAM Assembly 127 and is considered by many to be the premier one-day magic convention in the country. Over the last 34 years thousands of magicians have flocked to NEMCON to attend lectures, close-up and stage magic shows, and to visit with old friends and make new ones This year the featured performers included Jon Armstrong
, Stephen Bargatze
, Rick Merrill
, Ryan Lally
, and special guest of honor… Tom Mullica
.Eric DeCamps interviews Tom Mullicaphoto courtesy of Ronjo
Seven years ago a special night before event was added. These special events have featured performances and workshops by Bob Fitch, Peter Samelson, Paul Gertner, Denny Haney, and me. This year’s event was a special interview on the life and career of Tom Mullica and the conference committee invited me to host the interview. Mr. Mullica shared fascinating stories of growing up on a farm, using magic getting out room inspections in the army, performing magic on TV, his magic theater The Tom Foolery, and his success of his one man show, “RED- A Tribute to Red Skelton.” At the end of the 2-hour interview, the packed room rose to their feet in appreciation.
On Saturday, the day began with the close-up show starring Armstrong, Bargetze, Merrill, Lally and yours truly. The afternoon brought lectures by Bargatze, Armstrong, and Merrill. After the dinner break 300+ assembled into the ballroom for the stage show. Prior to the show Convention Chair, Bill Hoagland was surprised with a S.A.M. Presidential Certificate by RVP Thomas Gentile.Tom Mullica and NEMCON Chair, Bill Hoaglandphoto courtesy of Steve Wronker
Then Mr. Hoagland introduced Tom Mullica and honored him with a plaque commemorating his years of service to the art of magic. Bill then turned over the stage to our emcee for the evening, Tom Mullica. Tom brought on young Ryan Lally who delighted us with a silk and billiard ball manipulations. Jon Armstrong proved to us why he is considered the top card men working today. Tom followed with antics with the audience and introduced Bargatze who had the audience rolling in the aisles with his comedy magic. More side splitting antics with the audience and Tom Mullica who introduced our next act, FISM Champion, Rick Merrill. Rick’s humor is only surpassed by his amazing sleight of hand skills. To close the show Tom welcomed back Bargatze who closed things out with a hilarious ring in gumball machine routine. NEMCON 34
is now in the history books and I know it’s an experience registrants will cherish for years to come.