Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

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Ian Kendall
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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Ian Kendall » February 21st, 2020, 12:02 pm

There are a number of photos of the convention dotted around Facebook if you look (and they are a pain to link to here). That will give you a very good indication of the demographic.

I would be shocked if there were more than 200 women there this year, which would be less than 5%. To be honest, I'd be shocked if there were more than 100...

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Q. Kumber » February 21st, 2020, 12:04 pm

Max Fulham aged 20 lectured, did his one man show twice and was on the Sunday gala show.
Ben Hart (aged about 30) both lectured and did his one man show.
The BMC International Close-up competition (Thursday night) was won by Do Ki Moon from South Korea. I'd estimate he's about 30.
The finalists selected from heats around the world were:
Oscar Vallnarat - Spain
Paul Pickford - UK
Martin Hanson - Scandinavia
Do Ki Moon - Asia
David Shmagic - Israel
Ben Aymerich - France
Mark Calabrese - USA

This year was like three conventions in one. I do know they hoped to have Lance Burton one year and Arturo Brachetti another year, but as the stars aligned, they both came this year, Lance and Friends doing the Friday night galas and Arturo the Saturday night galas.

Overall attendance including day registrations in the region of 4,500.

The VIP registrations for 2021 sold out within 24 hours.

Criss Angel is giving a mega talk next year but not performing.

Blackpool attracts more delegates than any other four annual conventions put together.
There's a new convention centre being built at the rear of the Winter Gardens. It should be finished this year.

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Q. Kumber » February 21st, 2020, 12:29 pm

Incidentally a very well dressed female magician I know was invited on stage along with three not so well dressed males at a convention a couple of years ago. The performer was more suited to a drinking comedy club and the routine, to my mind, somewhat vulgar.

The next day I spoke to her and asked if she had felt embarrassed at all. She said she wasn't but was often was asked up to help and as she stepped onstage she whispered to the magician, "If you embarrass me I will f*ck up your act."

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 21st, 2020, 12:41 pm

Q. Kumber wrote:Criss Angel is giving a mega talk next year but not performing.


Hahahaha. That will be funny.
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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Brad Henderson » February 21st, 2020, 12:49 pm

Will he be selling copies of adobe’s Final Cut Pro in the dealer’s room following the ‘talk’? Or just maps to others performers show from which one can readily
Lift material?

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby performer » February 21st, 2020, 12:53 pm

Deleted for duplication.
Last edited by performer on February 21st, 2020, 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby performer » February 21st, 2020, 12:55 pm

Q. Kumber wrote:

The next day I spoke to her and asked if she had felt embarrassed at all. She said she wasn't but was often was asked up to help and as she stepped onstage she whispered to the magician, "If you embarrass me I will f*ck up your act."


How perfectly dreadful! I do not approve of profanity but it is ten times worse if a woman does it. I am now quite convinced by the statements of magical authors of long ago that women should never be invited on the stage to help the performer.

As for them performing on stage I know that if I was a booker I wouldn't be actively selective. My only consideration is if the act was any good or not. Most female magicians I have seen work are pretty good so I am sure I would pick one or two. However, there aren't that many to choose from. I really don't like the idea of booking someone just because they happen to be female. My only criteria would be how good or how crap they were.

I know I would book this one for sure if I were in charge of Blackpool. She might even scare some of the nastier elements of Blackpool delegates away!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsi_7VeP8u0

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Tom Stone
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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Tom Stone » February 21st, 2020, 1:31 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:There are a number of photos of the convention dotted around Facebook if you look (and they are a pain to link to here). That will give you a very good indication of the demographic.

Not necessarily. Some only come for the shows and lectures they've decided to see, but avoid the dealerroom and other areas due to the amount of rude people. Those who aren't present between shows are probably not as visible in photos.
Some copy-pastes of messages I got from women there during the convention.
-"I've just found people really rude. Me and my friend just kept walking away from so many people today who were just horrible."
-"I tried to end the conversation as I could tell it wasnt going to be good."
-"Just the way I've been talked to been it's extremely condescending."
-"But when we sit down with people they're just not very nice. And the vibes is not great. Everyone is drunk. There's been fights and everything."
-"I wish I never said a thing. It felt like a battle. I just walked away."
-"Theres so much testosterone if you lot a match the whole winter gardens would explode"
-"I just want to be sat down and shown some proper inspiring magic. Not drunken mess."
-"Yeah I just think I'll be giving Blackpool a miss next year"

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Q. Kumber » February 21st, 2020, 2:16 pm

Tom, I'm curious as to why eight different women would specifically message you about their Blackpool experience.

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Tom Stone » February 21st, 2020, 2:33 pm

Q. Kumber wrote:Tom, I'm curious as to why eight different women would specifically message you about their Blackpool experience.

Hahahaha, sorry. It is fewer, just at different occasions.

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Ian Kendall » February 21st, 2020, 2:34 pm

I realise that the dealer hall photos may not be the complete picture, but they marry up with what I saw, this year and many years passim; the number of women at the convention - while considerably more than, say, twenty years ago, is still very, very small.

The fact that some of the men don't know how to behave with women is another problem altogether. I would imagine that some of the comments re drunkenness are from the Ruskin; there's not a lot of heavy drinking during the day.

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby performer » February 21st, 2020, 2:56 pm

I have never seen any drunkenness at any other convention I have been to. Blackpool is something special! I must say this comment made me laugh out loud!

-"Theres so much testosterone if you lit a match the whole winter gardens would explode"

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Tom Moore » February 21st, 2020, 4:04 pm

I find it interesting the number of people who are justifying the lack of female and BAME on the basis that they didn’t see many women etc in the attending crowd. I also find it interesting the number of white males of a certain age who are passionately insisting that there’s absolutely no problem at all and absolutely nothing needs to be done to address the unrepresentative nature of the booked line up because there was one token woman booked or one token younger performer booked or one token “”ethnic”” performer booked.

Before responding to this post again I’d urge contributors to go look at the comedy industry and the academic lecture industry who both had similar problems, set about resolving the matter and who had the exact same arguments made against trying to change anything....
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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Ian Kendall » February 21st, 2020, 4:42 pm

I don't think anyone is 'justifying' the lack of women - merely pointing it out. I think the figure of 15% that you floated is a bit high; I don't think there was anything close to 700 women at the event. I'd be interesting to hear where you got that number.

Also, I'm not sure that anyone is saying that there is no problem, or that the gradual increase in women attending is a bad thing.

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Q. Kumber » February 21st, 2020, 5:31 pm

As Ian said, no one is justifying the lack of any kind of performer. For starters, I would love to see Lisa Menna and Carisa Hendrix do their shows at Blackpool.

I was a judge at the Magic Circle Junior day competition last October. There were no female competitors and even fewer girls in attendance than there had been two years previous. Yet the Magic Circle do their best to encourage girls in the Young Magicians Club.

One country had 100 magicians at Blackpool, only two of them female.

I don't know what the answer is. But more top notch female performers at conventions would definitely be inspiring role models and a good start. Perhaps we could start with a few suggestions of who you would like to see, either lecturing, solo show or gala act.

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby performer » February 21st, 2020, 8:56 pm

I actually saw Carissa Hendrix do a lecture a couple of days ago. She seemed to know what she was talking about but alas I couldn't hear her properly even though I was in the front row.

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Brad Jeffers » February 22nd, 2020, 1:51 am

Why would booking more women performers translate into having more women attendees?

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Bob Farmer » February 22nd, 2020, 3:25 am

If you Search Blackpool Magic Convention on Youtube, there are several videos. Nothing I saw would make me want to attend. It seems to reduce magic down to a cattle call.

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Tom Moore » February 22nd, 2020, 4:32 am

. Why would booking more women performers translate into having more women attendees?


It’s a simple, unquestionable, repeatedly proven fact that when people see someone “like me” doing something it inspires them to try and do the same. It’s worked in every other industry that has tried it and it has always resulted in a better industry with more diverse and innovative ideas as a result of bringing in people of wildly different backgrounds and experiences. I don’t want to single Blackpool out especially because as lot of people have pointed out (paradoxically as a justification for why they think Blackpool doesn’t have a problem) the mainstream magic club/convention industry is predominantly a white male in his 50’s but as I said in my original post; because Blackpool is so big, so successful and so financially stable they could actively choose to make some big dramatic changes that would make conventions more representative of the ACTUAL demographic of magic performers and people interested in the industry rather than recycling the same old faces and ideas until they literally die out.
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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Q. Kumber » February 22nd, 2020, 7:11 am

Tom Moore wrote:
. Why would booking more women performers translate into having more women attendees?


It’s a simple, unquestionable, repeatedly proven fact that when people see someone “like me” doing something it inspires them to try and do the same.


Yes, I've known two girls who thought magic was purely a male domain but changed their minds when they saw female magicians. I've also noticed that the average female magician is far better than the average male magician.

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby performer » February 22nd, 2020, 7:26 am

[/quote]Yes, I've known two girls who thought magic was purely a male domain but changed their minds when they saw female magicians. I've also noticed that the average female magician is far better than the average male magician.[/quote]

Yes. I have noticed that too. I have rarely seen a bad female magician. (actually I just remembered----I do remember a couple!). On the other hand I have seen thousands upon thousands (or it seems like it anyway) of atrocious male performers. In fact most of them. Anyway it is far better for an individual female performer to be few and far between. Less competition for them that way and it makes them stand out. From a business point of view it would be wise of them not to encourage other female magicians providing they were doing OK themselves. Sometimes you have to look after your own best interests.

As I type I do remember old Murray the famous escapologist saying terribly rude things about a certain female icon in magic that I will not name although I am terribly tempted to do so. He said, "she is appalling!". I suppose they are not all wonderful!

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Brad Jeffers » February 22nd, 2020, 2:06 pm

performer wrote: Anyway it is far better for an individual female performer to be few and far between. Less competition for them that way
Are you implying that female magicians are not competing with male magicians for work, but rather competing with each other for the "token woman" position on the bill?

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby performer » February 22nd, 2020, 8:12 pm

Of course. Business is business. And women are generally sneaky enough to know that instinctively. Or if they aren't then they bloody well should be. It is a great advantage for them to stand out in that way. If women magicians were a very common thing they would find it a great disadvantage in the market. If I were a woman (and I have reason to believe I am not) then I would most certainly do my best to discourage other women from taking up magic. I bet this has occured to the shrewder ones among them.

As for Blackpool it is a very special place. I am afraid political correctness and Blackpool are not a compatible mix. Drunks spewing up in the street---yes. Telling acts they have to pay commision to an agency they have never heard of---yes. Telling American entertainers they are going to be paid in dollars instead of pounds---yes. Street wise traders scamming the holiday makers ----yes. Mock auction shops -----yes. Lower class visitors with short arms and long pockets who don't spend money---yes. Drug addicts galore nowadays (or so I have been told)

Political correctness in regard to female magicians-------no. You have to have lived among the locals to understand them. I did. You won't be seeing too many female magicians there any time soon. You will have to go to Sweden to find that!

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Q. Kumber » February 24th, 2020, 3:16 am

Here's the trailer for Arturo Brachetti's one man show as seen at the Blackpool convention.
One of the most amazing shows I've seen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RKkr0V ... 9-rtu1Bj10

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Tom Moore » February 24th, 2020, 9:09 am

He has released some of his previous tours on DVD and if you can get hold of a copy they are always worth a look. L'Homme Aux Mille Songes" or "...mille visage" depending on the country it was released in is the best use of 2 hours of your time. His online youtube clips are designed to be flashy and gimmicky whereas the full production show use quickchange for story and emotion as well as the finest musical does.
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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Bob Farmer » February 24th, 2020, 10:31 am

The only issue that is important is not gender, race, religion, mental status--it should be: is the magician any good?

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Bill Mullins » February 24th, 2020, 12:18 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:The only issue that is important is not gender, race, religion, mental status--it should be: is the magician any good?


Stephen King said something similar about the Oscars. He got beat up so bad online that he quickly "corrected" himself.

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby performer » February 24th, 2020, 12:32 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:The only issue that is important is not gender, race, religion, mental status--it should be: is the magician any good?


I most certainly agree with that. In fact I hinted at it previously.

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Tom Stone » February 24th, 2020, 6:08 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:The only issue that is important is not gender, race, religion, mental status--it should be: is the magician any good?

Hm... things are not always set in stone. Some things are more fluid, or malleable. Sometimes people rise to the occasion, if given the occasion.
It is more interesting, and more daring, to ask: will the magician be good?

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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Tom Moore » February 25th, 2020, 8:06 am

Bob Farmer wrote:The only issue that is important is not gender, race, religion, mental status--it should be: is the magician any good?

Whilst that's a cute soundbite it doesn't actually match the reality of the situation at this particular convention. Firstly there were a couple of headliners on the bill who really weren't good (and became the punchline for a lot of other performers jokes across the convention) so the booking policy for this event certainly wasn't "get the absolute best 50 performers available this weekend". Secondly (as i have hinted repeatedly) Blackpool convention is in a unique position because of its financial stability and scale that it can and does frequently take a risk on new performers / lecturers and for those individuals it is worth making the extra effort, stepping up their game, improving their act or writing their first lecture precisely because the huge scale of the convention means it is financially viable for them to do so. These two facts alone make it very noticeably odd that despite all this the booking policy still seems to fall in to a very narrow and specific demographic time and again - Blackpool could lead the way, Blackpool could become the place where every year hot new talent completely out of left field is discovered, Blackpool could lead magic innovation and change in a way the Magic Circle / IBM / SAM / FISM could only dream of doing; quite aside from politics it seems such a waste that they are not.
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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Zig Zagger » February 28th, 2020, 5:13 pm

Incidentally, Alexander de Cova has shared his thoughts on the topic of women at conventions on his blog just a day before this thread was started.
One of the points he makes:
If we want a bigger representation of women in magic, then we had to do a few things first at the basis. We would have to open the pipelines for them in the technique of magic.

You can read his full take in his ever growing and always inspiring blog, solid magic: https://solidmagic.org/magic-conventions-and-women/
Tricks, tips, news, interviews, musings and fun stuff: Have a look at our English-German magic blog! http://www.zzzauber.com
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Re: Kudos to Blackpool Magic Club

Postby Zig Zagger » February 29th, 2020, 10:30 am

On the topic of "Why Aren't There More Famous Female Magicians?", here's a recent audio interview with magician and magic historian, Margaret Steele, which was shared over at http://www.magicweek.co.uk:

https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/ta ... -magicians

To quote from the introductory text:

When you think of the world’s great magicians, you think of Houdini, Copperfield, Penn and Teller, not necessarily Adelaide Herrmann, one of the world's first successful female magicians known as the "Queen of Magic."

For almost two centuries, sexism and social biases excluded women from magic clubs and kept female magicians from achieving the type of fame their male counterparts enjoyed, leaving many potential female magicians without role models and road maps into the industry.

This is beginning to change though. In the last few years, the International Magicians Society and the Academy of Magical Arts have reported significant increases in the number of female members and women taking classes at their magic schools.

Yet, even with these strides, there is still a long way to go for women in magic. The Society of American Magicians, the oldest magic organization in the world, only has 300 active female members out of 4,000. That’s only 7.5 percent.

Margaret Steele, a magician and magic historian, joined The Takeaway to talk about the legacy and future of women in magic.
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