World Magic Seminar ?

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CraigMitchell
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World Magic Seminar ?

Postby CraigMitchell » February 21st, 2005, 10:47 pm

Any news from the World Magic Seminar ???

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Pete Biro
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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Pete Biro » February 23rd, 2005, 6:37 pm

Siegfried and Roy were on hand to present the Gold Lion's Head to Rafael, from Belgium the award.

When the curtain opened and ROY was standing there with Siegfried, the entire audience stood and applauded... Assisted by Lynette Chapelle, their wonderful assistant, the Sarmoti $5,000 award was presented to the youngsters that attended from South Africa.

This was a fantastic, and emotional award. Some of the kids on hand from South Africa live in mud huts with dirt floors. Their club has produced some wonderful young performers, two of them winning first and second in the close up competition.

I don't have notes and can't come up with the names right now...

Great gag the other day... David Copperfield walked on stage to start his act... suddenly Chris Kenner ran onstage and said "David, this isn't the MGM Grand..." Copperfield replied with an expletive and took off in a hurry... probably to get to the right casino showroom.

It was a great event and there is much to say, butI have to pack and get ready to go home.

Rafeal was a great act, with comedy and good magic... it is great to see FUNNY win big.
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Pete Biro
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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Pete Biro » February 23rd, 2005, 7:45 pm

OK: Winners

Teen Challenge close-up:

1-Wade Petersen, South Africa (themed act using props at dinner table, tea, tea cups, etc.)

2-Nicholas Rix, South Africa (themed act TV commercial using dust buster... great magic, found marked bill in dust buster)

3-Neal Croswell (I think cups and balls)

Stage:

1-Nathan Kepner, Harrisburg, PA (music instruments and CDs)

2- Dakota Rose, Miamisburg, OH - themed act as Cherokee Indian

3-Jayson Morrison, Mandeville, LA
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Pete Biro
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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Pete Biro » February 23rd, 2005, 7:47 pm

It was great, and a surprise, to see Roy onstage with Siegfried and Lynette.

Lance Burton made the presentations to the Teens, who were by far the best crop we have ever had. Assisted by Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger, Lance presented the cash awards to the winning kids.
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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Guest » February 24th, 2005, 5:48 pm

When Pete Says it was an emotional event he's not kidding, if there was a dry eye in the house when Roy came out they were not human. Another emotional event was when Tony Clark did his tribute to Slydini...the emotion he put into this performance was just great and it touched so many in the room that night. The whole event was just great, from bowling, which, I will say Pepka, Becki, Glen and I were the best team... we just didnt win, was one of the most fun events not to mention watching the Amazing Johnathan bowl was a blast, and seeing David, and Roy appear was a great surprise. My hat off to the entire staff that put this together, dare I say, it was possibly better than Magic Live, and I loved that convention both times. Before Stan raised the bar, WMS was the best and I am glad to see that Rich and gang has made sure to keep that title in their sights. Also it was so great to meet so many great people, especially you pepka.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Tom Dobrowolski » February 25th, 2005, 8:49 am

I was quite disappointed with WMS this year. The shows (except of course Roy's courageous appearance)were weak.The events disorganized and most did not start on time. The crowd reaction to the lecturers and performers was at best restrained and many times uncomfortable. No "Thanks for coming. We appreciate your support." voiced by any of the organizers. Seemed much of it was thrown together. (although I am sure it wasn't)

That said highlights were R. Paul Wilson and Jason Englands lecture on "Shade" and cheating moves, Lenart Greens close up performance and Vanni Bossi's lecture.

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Glenn Farrington
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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Glenn Farrington » February 25th, 2005, 9:45 am

Well this will be a first for me. I usually dont ever post anything in response to someone's opinion about the World Magic Seminar. But I couldnt dissagree more with Tom's opnion.

After every stage show, I was in the back of the lobby thanking everyone for coming and told them how much I valued their support. Many of the comments I got right after the main international show were the same "Best Convention show I ever saw"! I mean come one, it started with a standing ovation for Copperfield and ended with an incredible subtrunk routine by Joe Devlin that also produced the cast. The other shows were just as amazing. The talent for the lectures and workshops were top notch and the facilities were fantastic. And you probably missed a great time when a large group of attendees went bowling.

So, even though I was a producer, I can still look at it through the eyes of someone attending. It was an incredible convention and I believe I can speak on behalf of Rich and Joe when I say it was one we could all be very proud of.

But, I will say I do appreciate you voicing your opinion, I just dissagree with it. My wife dissagrees with me all the time so what do I know : ) I guess the old adage, "you cant please everyone" fits here.

So, take my repsonse however you like (most might think its jaded even though I swear its not) and let the following responses by anyone else that attended set the record.

Glenn Farrington
2005 World Magic Seminar Producer
Comedy's Easy...Dying Sucks.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Danny Archer » February 25th, 2005, 11:10 am

Although I wasnt at this years event (had a gig that I couldnt pass up), as a fellow convention producer I know how much blood, sweat and tears Glen and his fellow producers pour into each convention. My own conventions are much smaller in size and I know how hard my partner and I work to try and make sure everything runs smoothly. With the large size of WMS and the wealth of talent and events they provide I cant imagine what the workload must be like.

Im sure that after taking a week to relax, they start right in on planning next years convention. In spite of all that hard work, not everyone will be pleased with every event at every convention. Thats human nature. Please realize that anyone that organizes a magic convention does it for the love of the art.

Toms comment, The crowd reaction to the lecturers and performers was at best restrained and many times uncomfortable, made me chuckle. Remember Tom, these are magicians watching magicians and they will not react like a lay audience no matter who performs or what they do. Maybe we are too jaded and too used to seeing great magic, but I would encourage you at your next convention to let the performers and organizers know how much you appreciate their efforts. Youll feel better and so will they.
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Tom Dobrowolski
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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Tom Dobrowolski » February 25th, 2005, 11:57 am

First of all I do appreciate Glen's response and of course this is just my opinion.I have a run a number of conventions (all smaller in scope than WMS) and do understand and appreciate the effort and thought that goes into such an undertaking. Sorry I missed Glen in the lobby after all the shows but I guess I just didn't see him there.

Although we disagree regarding the convention this was not intended to disparage the efforts of the organizers just voicing my opinion. I sent the same info. in an e-mail through the WMS web site that hopefully will get to the organizers and offered to get into more detail if they'd like.

I may be in the minority here but just wanted to add my view.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Lisa Cousins » February 25th, 2005, 1:14 pm

I guess part of this is the attendee's motivation for attendance. For me, I go to a magic convention to see friends and socialize and talk with interesting people, and I just consider it a happy circumstance if there's some magician there who does something amazing. Which Lennart Green did.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Pete Biro » February 25th, 2005, 3:19 pm

I don't have a lot of time, I have to drive 500 miles tonight, but...

I thought it was one of the best WMS's we have had in five years...

The level of the Teen Challenge show alone was worth the whole trip.

Maybe Tom missed that one... too bad.

The International Challenge had some excellent acts, the Cabaret show was AWESOME...

Anyway, we were sold out and will be again next year with our plans already underway.

Stay tooned...
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Bill Wells
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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Bill Wells » February 25th, 2005, 7:15 pm

Tom -

As one of the "workers" on the WMS, I very much appreciate all feed back. Too often, there is very little or no meaningful comment and feedback is one of the primary means of finding ways to improve. I would welcome your comments and any details or suggestions you might have. We can discuss things on the forum or if you prefer, please feel free to contact me off line at either my email address or phone number. Both are on the WMS website on the teen activities page.

Bill
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Bill Wells
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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Bill Wells » February 25th, 2005, 7:30 pm

Brian -

...I forgot to respond to your comment on your bowling team...(since my wife was on your team - I am REALLY stepping into it now)...insofar as the "best" team is concerned, one has only to look at the final scores to determine where that adjective fully applies!

With great humility....

Bill Wells
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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Brad Henderson » February 25th, 2005, 9:46 pm

While I had a great time and think all the organizers deserve major kudos, I am concerned about a trend a see developing at magic conventions - the extra charge event.

I can see how a featured performer might wish to offer hand's on training at an extra cost. Afterall, every attendee still gets to see their initial performance or lecture. However, when the extra charge events feature performers who are not part of the regularly scheduled program, I think it sends mixed messages. Are these performers "better than" the regular performers? Could the convention not afford to hire these special performers to present for everyone? Is the price of admission not already enough to pay to see everything?

WMS is not the only convention where this is happening, and I hope no one thinks I am offering a complaint toward that organization. Instead, I think this growing trend is something every convention should examine. Soon, perhaps, we will have pay as you go conventions????

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Robert Kane » February 25th, 2005, 9:53 pm

I thought it was an awesome WMS. I heard nothing but positive comments from all whom I met in the Dealers Room where I was working.

The comments that I heard most was that the evening shows were especially good and that everyone was relaxed and friendly.

Because of the comfortable design of the convention area I also noticed a lot of sessioning and friendly chatter.

I was also bowled over with the amount of talent walking around the Dealers Room, all of whom seemed to be very approachable and friendly.
It's pretty cool to see the likes of Max Maven, Billy McComb, Jeff Hobson, Bob Fitch, Criss Angel, Penn & Teller, Shimada, Johnny Thompson, Mac King, Roger Klause, John Cornielius, Franz Harary, Amazing Jonathan, Paul Harris etc, etc. just walking around and happy to chat.

With respect to all opinions expressed, I think the WMS organizers did an excellent job putting together one of heck of a good convention.

It was also a pleasure to meet colleagues from the Genii Forum. Special thanks to Lisa Cousins for being nice enough to say hello!

Most memorable moment: The excitement of Steve Bryant breaking 200 while bowling with the WMS stars.

Coolest Dealer Room Display: Mike Brazill's Rings N' Things products, most especially his Don Alan Chop Cups

Coolest Dealer Room Item: Dean Dill's/Jamie Schoolcraft's killer coin gimmicks. I picked up a superb Two Copper, One Silver set.

Coolest Personal Moment: Max Maven autographing my new copy of Prism

Hope to see you all next year! :)

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Steve Brooks » February 26th, 2005, 12:12 am

For me and many others, attending any magic gathering means seeing friends and sharing ideas - anything else (lectures, shows, etc) are just icing on the cake.

That said, I think this year The World Magic Seminar was better then ever, not just because of the great line up of talent, but because the location (The Orleans) was an excellent choice and far superior to previous spots. Better atmosphere, more choices for dining, etc. Even the rooms were nice, especially for the price.

Conventions are not easy to produce and I applaude all the folks who worked so very hard to make sure a good time was had by all - Thanks! :)

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Tabman » February 26th, 2005, 8:07 am

Originally posted by Robert Kane:
It's pretty cool to see the likes of Max Maven, Billy McComb, Jeff Hobson, Bob Fitch, Criss Angel, Penn & Teller, Shimada, Johnny Thompson, Mac King, Roger Klause, John Cornielius, Franz Harary, Amazing Jonathan, Paul Harris etc, etc. just walking around and happy to chat. :)
Doesn't take much to make you happy does it??? :)

Great report, thank you. Sounds like a great event.

-=tabman

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby John Signa » February 26th, 2005, 9:52 am

I too had a great time. I thought the conference was well organized.

Although it would be nice to expand the house music to something other than just Alegria... over and over and over...

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Steve Bryant » February 26th, 2005, 3:34 pm

It was great seeing everyone there, especially you intrepid bowlers. I just posted a lengthy review at Little Egypt Magic along with a few product reviews. Kudos to the organizers; it was terrific.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Guest » February 26th, 2005, 8:29 pm

Bill-

Yeah Yeah Yeah, detail details, scores ... what do they really mean :) With the Likes of your Wife, Glenn (who I personally don't think sounded jaded, just right) and Pepka, how could it not be the best. In all fairness it seemed that every team had a great time. For those who did not enjoy the confrence, all I can sugest is try and make some friends next time, that is the only way you will really have fun at these events.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Pepka » February 26th, 2005, 8:51 pm

Hey Gang,
I just walked in the door, staying a few days to see sights and shows. I had an absolute blast! The only show I thought was a little weak was the international competition, Rafael was the clear winner. To me, the best part of the convention was meeting and hanging with some new buds, Brian, Nate, Kevin, Lisa, Seth, Etc. I have tons of pics which I'll post on my site in a few days.
I saw 2 extra shows after the convention. I caved and saw the Showgirls of Magic show at the San Remo. As can be expected, the magic wasn't the best thing about the show; but it was better than I expected. They had a comedian who totally stole the show; didn't catch his name. I also got to see The World's greatest magic show at the Greek Isles. Fantastic show!!! When you're in Vegas, do yourself a favor and see it. Kevin's sawing in half made the audience scream. Shimada and Joe Gabriel were flawless, and of course Kozak was a perfect host. All in all a great week. Except when I returned to the Orleans and the hotel's power was out!!! Evidently someone hit a light pole and knocked out all power for a 3 block radius. A little unplanned excitement, but all part of the Vegas experience!
Thanks to everyone for a GREAT week.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Brad Henderson » February 26th, 2005, 11:06 pm

I failed to mention the nice touch of free drinks and popcorn during the late night event. It's the little things like that which show the producers are considering the attendess experience more so than the bottom line. It did not go unnoticed.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Guest » February 27th, 2005, 4:16 am

My high light was talking wit Jeff Hobson. He's got the greatest hands in magic. Wasnt as good as Magic Live tho. Standardized lLecture notes were a great inovation at MagicLive.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Pepka » February 27th, 2005, 4:14 pm

I realized I left a few things out when talking about WMS.
BOWLING! What a riot. Our team (Myself, Farrington, Ambrosch, and the Mrs. Wells) was robbed of the prize, but we definately had the most fun. Partly because our team was positioned on the lane next to Amazing Jonathan, and his team's antics kept us all in stitches.
As everyone said earlier, it was a big surprise when DC showed up, and Roy's appearance was truly inspiring.
Also, I was so impressed with the young guys there. Not only with their talent, but their passion for the art and all the knowledge, being able to credit and reference tricks and moves. Wednesday night, I bumped into Scoot Hitchcock who I had heard great things about for years. He was sessioning in the upstairs lobby when some laymen walked by. They asked to see something, Scott hopped up and worked some great rubber band magic. I saw him trying to position the spectators arm for a watch-steal, then I realized there was no way he was going to get it since it was one of those velcro sport watches. Well, I turned my head to comment to another magician nearby and then Scott looks my way and says "VELCO, Hah! He got the damn thing!!!
Also great, the workshops I took with Lennart and Jamy. It was my first time seeing Lennart in person and he was one of the reasons I atteneded. I had told him I'm a fan of Steranko's work and have been emailing with him about making a convention appearance. Well, Lennart introduces me as "A close personal friend of Steranko". Hardly, but it made me smile and chuckle. And anyone who has never had the chance to workshop with Jamy Swiss, needs to do it. But don't be late, or you'll get a nasty glare. (Trust me I know.) Again a great convention and thanks so much to all the organizers. And it was so great to meet so many new friends, can't wait til next year.
Did I mention that Hitchcock stole a watch with a strap that was VELCRO!

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Bill Wells
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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Bill Wells » February 28th, 2005, 7:42 am

One of the highlights of the just completed WMS was meeting other Forum members such as Pepka, Lisa, and Steve Brooks -

Richard - howzabout a little decal or sticker (maybe a tiny genii) that Forum members could stick onto their badges at the next WMS? ... or maybe a gathering of Forum members at the Genii booth at an appointed time?

...oh...and Steve Byrant - He was had the highest individual bowling score of the night...and I think a career high - 226 (I think)!!!

Bill
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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Lisa Cousins » February 28th, 2005, 10:42 am

I had a really wonderful time. I guess there was some sense that the shows began a bit late - but time flies when you're having chat. Any organizational glitches there might have been were not noticeable to me.

It would have been nice if I'd managed to find Robert Kane more than five minutes before the end of the convention, but (thanks to substantial clues from two people) I at least got to say hello. Pepka was a different story: found fast, blabbed much. I must say that I really got a huge kick out of seeing Glenn Farrington in action. We've had many magic discussions over the years, and this was my first chance to witness him in action. Terrific! If his cell phone hadn't been going off every two-and-a-half minutes with the latest details and problems to solve, I might have been able to tell him so. I'd also been super-curious about the much-ballyed "Mickey Silver Retention Vanish" and was pleased to see his name on the bill. Verdict: Yes, justified hype.

I have no problem with the extra-charge events. There's a huge difference in what someone can bring across in a workhop setting with twenty-five people, and what can be taught in a lecture hall holding hundreds. I don't see it as a "hierarchy" or "value of the performer" issue, but as strictly about the numbers. I didn't avail myself of any of them, but the people who did seemed very happy to have the opportunity for this type of more personal instruction.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Tom Dobrowolski » February 28th, 2005, 11:36 am

There seems to be an assumption I did not enjoy myself at WMS or spend time with friends, etc. I never said that. I said I was disappointed in the shows and some of the organization. Two completely different things in my mind.

Bill Wells I appreciate your response and offer and will send my comments to you through e-mail.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Mr. Stickley » March 1st, 2005, 11:08 am

Tom, No worries friend. Your feelings were not alone. I as well had a great time with friends, but I certainly wouldn't say that it was one of the best WMS's as a whole, and before the final show, I heard many of the same sentiments in the dealers room. In all honesty I heard quite a few complaints pre-final show. This did however seem to change after the appearance of Roy. I think it was no more than a so-so convention capped with an incredible impossible to beat ending. That being said I know what an undertaking such an event can be, and we are lucky there are people willing to do it. It just seems that as the years go buy it seems smaller or less, I dunno... entertaining? And is it me or are less people showing up? Maybe it's just the change in venue that makes it seem as such.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Alan Bursky » March 4th, 2005, 6:32 am

Had a great time. I really do not go to see the shows. I go to see old friends like Paul Harris. Make new friends like Criss Angel, and Docc Hilford. Hell, I even made Jamy Ian Swiss laugh. With all the magic dvds that are out. With all the magicians working Las Vegas and elsewhere. Living in Hollywood near the Magic Castle. Why would you need to go to a convention for the magic. I go for the people. Glenn Farrington never stopped thanking people for coming. The entire time I was there that was all I ever saw Glenn do. Also Rich Bloch. Richard Kaufman even got a three year subscription out of me. I would have never done that if I wasn't enjoying myself. I like to renew my subscription yearly. Now Richard won't take my calls for 3 more years. I had the chance to grab some dinner with Teller and Johnny Thompson. Never spent time with Teller before. He is a real mench. That was truly a highlight for me, and I get to spend time with some incredibly celebrities. Teller is a true gentleman.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Pete Biro » March 4th, 2005, 9:59 am

Do you always wear those long black coats?

Tell 'em why you didn't see the shows. You were performing in a Vegas show yourself. For real money! :p
Stay tooned.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Steve Bryant » March 7th, 2005, 9:43 am

Oops. I was still in my bowling high when I posted my review of WMS on Little Egypt Magic and completely overlooked one of the best events of the convention, the opening night party silent street performance by Jeff Sheridan. This was a beautiful act and a beautiful example of crowd control. All the nice things Richard has said in the past about Jeff are absolutely true. This was one of the real treats of the convention.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Pete Biro » March 7th, 2005, 11:01 am

Those of you that did NOT click on Steve Bryant's link above... DO IT NOW... GREAT REVIEW Steve.
Stay tooned.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Guest » March 7th, 2005, 12:44 pm

Being as this was my first WMS, I thought it was pretty incredible. Ah, the joys of not being too jaded. ;)

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Guest » March 10th, 2005, 4:08 am

This year was my second trip to WMS and I have nothing but good things to say about it. It was a great experience that won't be forgotten (for a number of reasons haha). I did not experience a dull moment the entire time I was there. Some of my favorite moments included the Cabaret show and close-up demonstration. Seeing fellow teen Alex Gonzalez in the stage show was a rush, a testament to how much the Seminar and its organizers care about our future. Heartfelt moments included Tony Clark's lecture, seeing Roy, and seeing Mr. Farrington personally thanking people for coming to the Seminar. Pete Biro is my new favorite person, some of you know why heeeheee. Having lunch with Johnny Thompson, Billy McComb, Lance Burton, Mac King, Bob Sheets, Lennart Green, Jamy Iam Swiss, Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, and countless other notables was by far the most memorable part of the entire seminar, I mean that just doesnt happen everyday (mad props to the Wells for once again creating an unforgettable Teen Weekend). For those of you who didnt go, your penance is to register for next year, the Orleans is great location and you won't regret it. Oh yeah and I can't forget to mention Dave Merry, funny as all heck and a nice guy to boot, even for a canadian muah ha ha ha ha...ummmm...yeah.

Thank you for your time.

Danny Crook

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Guest » March 10th, 2005, 9:10 am

Originally posted by Danny Crook:
...Dave Merry, funny as all heck and a nice guy to boot, even for a canadian muah ha ha ha ha...ummmm...yeah...
There are many funny Canadians that have migrated to the US for work including John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Carrye, Mike Myers, to name but a very few.

PSIncerely Yours,
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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby Tom Dobrowolski » March 14th, 2005, 1:44 pm

I just wanted to acknowledge that subsequent to my initial post commenting on my disappointment with WMS this year I have exchanged comments with 2 of the WMS organizers. I was really impressed by these two gentlemen and their interest in following up and getting additional feedback and the professional way the exchange of information was handled. They understood my intent and followed up appropriately.They really did want to hear the feedback and took the time to read it and respond.

Although almost all of my original comments and opinions stand I will say that they did change my mind in that they are very appreciative of the support of the attendees and truly want to hear feedback.

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Re: World Magic Seminar ?

Postby CraigMitchell » March 15th, 2005, 11:59 am

Pics of the College of Magic students receiving the SARMOTI Award from Siegfried & Roy can be found online at http://www.collegeofmagic.com/news.htm

- Special thanks to Anne White & Pete Biro for their contributions ...


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