S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Richard Rex
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Re: SAM Las Vegas

Postby Richard Rex » July 29th, 2012, 9:35 pm

Here is my take on the show that night. R.G. Smith was not a very good Emcee. However, his actions when he said "It's alright, you can stand" and gestured for them to stand (After Kim's Act), did not annoy me.

Why?

Half the audience was already standing and seemed to be somewhat in flux...to stand or not to stand. R.G. simply gave them permission and they did. It was one of the those moments that as an Emcee you can help raise the energy or not. I think R.G. helped raise the energy. One could debate that and it is a matter of personal taste. However, I think it was fine.

Unfortunately, after that, R.G. Smith never connected with the audience and seemed to twist and turn like a fish out of water for the rest of the show.

As for John Cassidy, I was sitting in the back of the theater and once his microphone problem was fixed, I heard him just fine. For me he was the best act of the night. Very funny, and well structured. He got more work out of a change bag than I have every seen. His act was absolutely a riot.

His act would have been a perfect 10 out of 10 had he stopped when he delivered the balloon car to the boy. However, he pushed it just a little more with the giant balloon bit. We can't blame him, we've all done it, pushed it just a little more, especially, when you have as bad a start as he had with the microphone.

Regardless, it was easy to see you were watching a well polished professional deliver the goods. For the group I was with, he was the favorite act of the night.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: SAM Las Vegas

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 29th, 2012, 9:44 pm

Mike, I deleted information that I was told was incorrect. Why would you save screen shots of information that was deleted because it was, so I've been told, incorrect?
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Dustin Stinett
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Re: SAM Las Vegas

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 29th, 2012, 10:07 pm

mikemiller wrote:The only time the MC ask for a standing O was after Kim Hyunjoon not John Cassidy. They stood up on their own and it was well deserved.

Mike Miller

I was there. I know very well what I could hear and what I could see. He verbally asked after the first act (Kim Hyunjoon) and made the gesture with his hands as he was coming back to the stage after Funtasio. Why should an MC do that at all?

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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby hugmagic » July 29th, 2012, 11:46 pm

I took the shuttle and it was not too bad. I figured about an hour and that was what it ended up being. But for $16 round trip you can't beat it; especially when you have two big cases to lug.

The return was much faster as they generally send a shuttle downtown to do the pick up and they hop on the expressway right to the airport. The only bad part was it was at 4:30 am. But I had stayed up all night talking with guys so I managed to stay wired until I got on the plane.

I heard some guys took the bus line for $2 but they must have only been carrying toothbrushes.

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Richard Rex
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SAM 2012 Review

Postby Richard Rex » July 30th, 2012, 1:41 am

I will tell you up front I am an SAM(er). So you can read this with a little bias.

After the dismal reports from FISM and the flaccid reports about the IBM National Convention, I was really glad that I decided on the SAM convention this year.

Day 1.

For me it started out Monday Morning with the long anticipated David Copperfield interview. Many of us were looking forward to this. Hosted by Stan Allen this was going to be fun. However, right off the bat it was apparent there were sound problems. This plagued the interview for the entire time. Although it was still a fun interview, one could tell that about half-way through David Copperfield was just as frustrated as the audience. (verified later by Chris Kenner in his lecture) My group was really surprised that a proper sound check was not done for this really special event.

I was extremely disappointed during the close up competition that the sound problems were not fixed. It made the close up competition so unbearable that I ended up leaving. I felt a huge disservice was done to the competitors.

I ended up skipping the Boris Wild lecture because I felt it would be just as poorly mic-ed. The only consolation was that I had already seen his lecture this year. My group was wondering if this convention was going to be another debacle for the year.

To be honest, I was not going to go see the late show on Monday for a couple of reasons. One, it was so late. Really? SAM, why would you put a main show so late on the first night? Very Poor Planning. Second, I had never heard of the performers and thought it would be another usual local club opening night performance. I ended up talking with a gentleman from Florida who assured me that this was not a show to be missed. My group decided to go and sit in the back so we could leave early.

What a fantastic surprise, the Duet show turned out to be a highlight for us. It was two couples, obviously pros, that combined quick wit, over the top costumes and music, and some amazing mind reading. They were the only act during the convention that used topical jokes and jokes that were just for us at the convention. This was a fantastic show! Unfortunately, it was so late we had trouble keeping our eyes open. I was feeling bad until I saw some professionals sitting next to us, who were also falling asleep. What a terrible disservice once again to some wonderful performers. Again we questioned wouldn't it have been better to have them on early and the lectures/talks a little later??? On the up side, the sound problems seem to be fixed.

Day 2.

We started out with two strong lectures, David Stone and Mathieu Bich. Although I am past the age of running for the dealer table, there were plenty of people who threw money at them.

Then came time to board the buses for the David Copperfield show. It was fantastic. Really, what more can you say?

I always look forward to the stage contests. It seemed a little weaker this year but there were still some stand outs. First and second place were well deserved and I think the first gentleman could easily have placed as well. I was also intrigued by a performer who used the idea of stopping time and reversing it in his act. They need a new Emcee as Mark simply was out of his element and talked more about himself than anything of interest.

We started to realize that although this was a very hip convention hotel, there was nowhere to sit and watch people jam or have fun. The layout of the hotel just did not allow for it. I heard many of the younger guys complaining about this. Later I heard they opened a room for jamming, however, when I went to check it out, it was locked.

Day 3.

I missed the Fielding West Lecture as I was breakfasting with old friends and catching up.

I can't believe I am saying this, but the Stars of tomorrow was one of the best shows of the convention. Multiple standouts for me were the Emcee, The Devil, and the very first act which could easily have competed. Standing Ovation for this show.

We then went to the Mac King Show. Again, what is there to say. Amazing!

The Dealer room was a little smaller than usual but still had plenty to offer. I ended up spending money.

The night ends with a trip to the Smith Center and the first Gala show.

Fielding West was the Emcee and did an OK job with that. Perhaps I have just seen his act too many times. Jason Baney opened with a fine manip act that was a little different than usual. Some people were not impressed but I enjoyed it. Luna Shimada was next and did as fine a job as she could. Losander is always a favorite for me and delivered like he always does. And as usual, the off act steals the show: Sonny Fontana doing hand shadows gets a standing ovation. It was very fun. The act closed with Ayala and Tanya. I was very excited to finally see them live and it was high energy and very good. I would give the show a B- because there were numerous lighting errors that made it difficult to see what was going on. Sitting in the back you saw a lot of darkness.

Day 4.

Johnny Thompson Lecture. My God...give this man more than an hour. It was fantastic....we did not want this to end. Another huge highlight.

The French Close up show was another huge winner. Whoever came up with this idea/line up deserves a commendation. Fantastically fun and quirky Emcee, and the acts were great. The last two acts (Boris Wild and Yann Frish) both got standing ovations.

Chris Kenner's Observations were interesting but not very entertaining. He seemed to meander and dabble. The audience gave him a standing ovation, but I was not as impressed.

We Finish with the final show at the Smith Center. R.G. Smith was the Emcee, he was out of his element. Hyun Joon Kim was amazing, simply amazing. Funtasio was enjoyable and poked fun at magic. John Cassidy was the hit of the night. Chris Keener did two of his signature effects and played a little flat. Johnny and Pam were up next. I love Johnny and Pam but to be honest they were a little off that night, but it didn't matter the audience loved them and gave them a standing ovation. Nathan Burton finished the night with very fast illusion parade.


The final Answer:
The question is, was this convention worth it? Yes. I would give the convention an overall B. There were problems. However, the quality of talent was very high. When I look at the list of personal standouts it shows that the convention delivered.

David Copperfield Interview: Even with the terrible sound.
The Opening Duet Show: How have I never seen them before???
The French Close up Show: WOW!
David Copperfield Show: WOW!
Mac King Show: WOW!
Johnny Thompson Lecture: It's Johnny Thompson!
Stars of Tomorrow Show: Did not expect to be impressed
Ayala: Finally got to see him live
John Cassidy: Soooo funny and clever.

That's how I see it....flame away.

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Re: SAM Las Vegas

Postby MattSchick » July 30th, 2012, 2:21 am

John Cassidy is a close friend so my opinion might be a tad biased, but the truth of the matter is that every attendee that I spoke with mentioned that he was one of the highlights of the entire convention, as elucidated by the full, unprovoked, standing ovation.

Regardless, it was great to see so many friends and familiar faces at the convention as always.

Matt
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Re: SAM 2012 Review

Postby skeptic555 » July 30th, 2012, 11:59 am

I agree with most of the above. My only point of comparison is 4 Magic Live! events I've attended, and some things compared favorably, and some not so much.

- I LOVED LOVED LOVED being at the Golden Nugget. At the South Point and/or Orleans, I felt trapped. Being able to walk 50 yards to a bunch of other places was tremendous.

- The close up contest, the stage contest AND the youth contest were all amazing - the folks choosing talent did a fantastic job overall. Loved Magic Nick (with the Devil gimmick). Light on magic, but what a personality and presence - and will only get better with experience.

- I thought all the emcees - with the exception of Fielding West - strugged quite a bit. Excusable in the case of the young lady (unsolicited advice - note cards are FINE - much better than trying to memorize, and stumbling) but the others seemed a bit unprepared. Still, a small complaint.

- Add me to the list of people who thought John Cassidy was the most awesome thing I saw all week. I had not heard of him (as opposed to having seen Mac and DC maybe a dozen times, combined) and the element of surprise combined with that act just blew me away. It was sublime and outrageous, absurd and then pointed, thoughtful and immensely silly. It was everything I love about magic, performance, and comedy.

- Having been spoiled rotten by Magic Live, I was disappointed in the dealers room, but hey, Mark Mason was there, and you can't beat that. A bonus show in and of itself.

- I felt bad for the A/V staff on Day 1. As I work with events in my corporate wonk job, I know all too well how sound checks are done, equipment is triple checked... and then things go sideways. Someone knocks a mic around, someone else turns theirs off and forgets, and on and on. They went to the handheld wired mics, which is about all you can do in the middle of a live event. I did note, however, that Kenner brought his own people (and projectors) to "make sure everything looked the way I wanted it to." - ZING!

- One lecture Richard didnt note was Bruce K's Tech Talk. It was a good one, but man, is the S.A.M ever fighting an uphill battle with this audience. The discussion around trying to find free WiFi alone was shocking. You don't have data plans on your phone? I got a laugh out of the printed instructions on how to join Facebook and Twitter (in 2012!), and then the encouragement to post ... followed by the admonition that no texting or posting was allowed during shows, events, or lectures. Ummm. The real-time nature is kind of the whole point. I would never do so during an actual performance, but live-blogging is all about the LIVE part. You can't really have it both ways - if you want people to participate, that comes with some certain amount of chaos and noise - its the nature of social media. Its OK to not want it at all (and usually I don't), but you can't really have the benefit without the costs. And as I think I saw a grand total of fewer than 20 tweets tagged with #magicsam over the entire week, I think this point was born out. So, this kinda fizzled. If you really wanna go down this path (and again, not sure it's wise) then maybe its a project for the S.Y.M. - let the digital natives lead the way.

-Neruda

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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Andres Reynoso » July 30th, 2012, 12:04 pm

My plan was to use the shuttle but my friends opted by taxi. We arrived saturday noon at Terminal 3 and there wasn't any taxi line, we boarded inmediatly one. A dodge charger!!!! wow, in Mexico is a car used only by police and bodyguards. It cost $42.

To return I discovered a bus route, the WAX - Westcliff Airport Express. It stops at Freemont Street and goes to McCarren Airprt via the Freeway, not the strip. In this route is it permited to board with big luggage. Only one bus each hour. As I had a valid one day pass ... it cost me no more. The bus stops at Terminal 1, but there is the McCarren shuttle that connects with Terminal 3.

I'm not sure but I think on SDX -Strip Downtown Express and the Deuce is prohibited to board with big luggage, but in WAX is it OK. Good news to people in downtown hotels.

And Dustin ... you told me you didn't know why I recognized your name on your badge. Is because Genii Forum :D
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SAM 2012 THREADS MERGED

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 30th, 2012, 12:28 pm

Why in the world would you end your report with the words "Flame away"?

Criticism of what we saw is not "flaming." Criticism of what you said would be flaming, and we generally don't get into name calling.

I've seen John Cassidy at other conventions do a much better show than he did that night. Why? I don't know. He's a great artist, but he wasn't at his usual level. Surely I'm not the only one who noticed this.

And my heart went out to John Thompson, a great artist and a dear friend, but he was rattled by something. I've never seen him have trouble like that before.

And Nathan Burton was awful. When he flushed the black man down the toilet I left.

RG Smith is also a great guy, but he was out of his depth on that large stage for such a long period of time. (He kept saying that Stan Allen was supposed to MC the show, but I can't tell if he was joking or whether the SAM didn't know that Stan was going to be in Portugal for EMC by the end of the week). However, Dustin is absolutely correct in that RG was (whether consciously or not) trying to get the audience to stand up at the ends of the acts.

I don't want anyone to get the impression because of my comments about some of the acts on the show that I didn't enjoy the convention. I was plesantly surprised at now nice the Golden Nugget was in comparison to the Orleans. I always enjoy the friendly atmosphere at both the SAM and IBM conventions (couldn't get to IBM this year), which makes them very different from other conventions. And when your big shows are Mac King and David Copperfield, well how can any convention (including my own upcoming in October) compare to that?

I look forward to both the SAM and IBM conventions next year. And of course the combined convention in St. Louis the following year will be a blast.
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Re: SAM 2012 THREADS MERGED

Postby MaxNY » July 30th, 2012, 5:37 pm

The old... John Cassidy mic isn't working trick again? (See my review of the Boston SAM convention, here at the Genii Forum)

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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Doug Thornton » July 30th, 2012, 8:54 pm

---Max, I can't find that, please help.

---OK, first of all, I appreciate everyones posts and I concur with most of Dustins random comments; some I understand, some were unique to him and his visit. (And it was great to finally meet you in person, Dustin! I hope we can talk about Johnny Carson at the Genii Bash.)
---Yes, Las Vegas was hot. It was around 105 most days. One day it was 106 but felt like 106 and a half.
---The S.A.M. Convention was well-organized.
---Registration was smooth, fairly quick. For 10 bucks we got a bus pass that delivered us to the off-site shows. There was a wait after the final nights show but overall things went swimmingly. Speaking of swimming, you couldnt at the Golden Nugget pool its too small and crowded but you could be face to face with various sharks which were in a tank in the center. Those beasts are scary.

---Sunday night Fergus Roy gave a talk on Davenports magic shop and I thought that a bit of history was a great bonus to the deluge of magic effects and illusions.
---Monday morning David Copperfield was interviewed by Stan Allen. David was generous with his time and was warm, thoughtful and engaging. Why didnt we hear some conversation about the S.A.M? When he spoke to us (by phone) at S.A.M. 161 when the announcement was made regarding him being guest of honor at the convention he told us how Leslie Guest and Ed Mishell used to sneak him into the meetings (because he was too young), and how he had to say M/ U/M and not MUM. We wouldve liked hearing more stories.
---Davids best advice? Touch people find the emotional connection. He put it succinctly : I dont think laymen wake up in the morning and say, I wish I could push a cigarette through a quarter. (Stan made note of this at EMC.)
---Later David roamed the dealers room saying hello and checking out the newest and greatest effects.
---At the end of the week, Davids number one man Chris Kenner presented his updated talk on various magical musings.

---Competitions? One for close-up, one for stage. Heres my tirade. Some may say since Ive never competed, that I am merely a hobbyist, that I have no business giving my opinion. Well, shut up, because I do. And Im not criticizing and I am not going to be specific about any particular acts. I commend anyone who makes it through the preliminary process and has the chance to be onstage. (And I guess gratitude is in order for not having to see the acts that were rejected.) However, I have seen enough acts to know what reaches me and what I find entertaining and rewarding.
---Please, please, stop doing the same stuff. Walking at night on Fremont Street, there were a number of rock bands playing and they were all the same. 80s music, 80s hairstyles. One band was singing, Round and round, what goes around, comes around. Round and round! Indeed.
---Why does a magician produce cards? Billiard balls? Birds? Why does a magician make 4 coins gather together? The simple answer is the magician has powers and is showing them.
---And there are those who have created memorable acts that display those powers. But they have discovered how to connect with the audience.

---I love these kids. The Future Stars of Magic show had some fine talent, showing that magic does have a great future. Its in good hands. When I was in high school, I did a Vanishing Cane, the Crystal Tube and 20th Century Silks to the music of Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass, then the Zombie to Henry Mancinis Peter Gunn. Sure, people applauded, but looking back, it doesnt seem that it was very special. But please, future performers, if just one of you tries something different, man oh man, would that make me happy!

---Seeing Yann Frisch in the People from Faraway Lands show (or whatever the hell it was called) was mind-crushing. And he has solved the technical issues that so many acts have suffered: he doesnt speak and uses no music. Smart on every level

---The lectures. Most were worthwhile. Johnny Thompson is a must to see for anyone in magic. This was my 3rd, 4th or 5th time seeing him and he is a great teacher.
Fielding West had some fine insights and amusing stories and shared a lot. He also did well as MC in Wednesday nights show.
---David Stone is a force to be reckoned with. Some did not like him, but most of us were roaring roaring with laughter. David Stone has the energy and craziness of Jim Carrey but hes much more likeable. He brought that humor to his close-up show, throwing in some callbacks from the lecture. A tornado of magic and bits.

---Seeing the David Copperfield and Mac King shows was extra fun being in a room of magicians. Both made a few sly magic remarks. It was cool seeing S.A.M. President Vinny Grosso and Past National President Mike Miller on the big platform that David used to vanish them. Whoosh! Theyre gone. Next. (Congratulations, Vinny on a great year.)

---The Wednesday and Thursday night shows at the newly-built Smith Center were good with some great moments. The theater is absolutely beautiful and everyone onstage looked great with fantastic lighting. The tried and true did their acts and did not disappoint: The Great Tomsoni and Pam, Losander and Luna, Ayala and Tanya. (Can we just have a ten-minute break to gaze at Tanya? Such a beauty.) And Im not a fan of the big illusions, but their act was short, fast and lively. Funtasio made us laugh, Jason Baney had a fine opening act.

---And then there was John Cassidy, the Balloon Guy. Wow. Heres a man who walks a fine line of comedy and insult. He had two audience members onstage and proceeded to be uplifting towards the girl while he pummelled the boy. (You got candy!! ...Oh...you got broccoli...) A daring choice. Yes, the boy gets rewarded and becomes a hero at the end, but man, what a journey. And through it all, hes slipping in life lessons with this soft-spoken, gentle manner and then BAM! hes frantic and harsh and admonishing. I admit, he made me laugh. And the audience was laughing boisterously as well. (The microphone problem was unfortunate.)

---I rarely go to the banquets but it was a pleasure seeing the Milbourne Christopher Awards presented to Milt Larsen, Fantasio, Fergus Roy and Paul Gertner (oh, drat, and one more I cannot recall...). I am privileged to share oxygen with these greats.

---I bookended my trip with Penn & Teller and Criss Angel. Because of their schedules, that was the order. Ive seen Penn & Teller many times and there was one new piece this year. Great fun and intelligent as always.
---Criss Angel has discovered how to get a standing ovation. He tells everyone to stand. Its an immense theater with a dark atmosphere and a stage that, like in other Cirque Du Soleil shows, seems to go back into infinity. Criss had a few cool effects but the show is loud, like an 80s rock band, and often I could not understand a word he was saying. He tends to yell things like I cant hear you! I somehow liked his giant cups and humans illusion. However, the show is for his fans so I guess theres room for everyone but I really think he is much better suited to TV. (On a side note, good for him that he gives money to charity.)

---The next day, while packing, there were two iconic moments on TV. First, David Acer on Mystery Hunters creating a tornado in a soda bottle. Perhaps he created David Stone as well. And then...KISS, the rock band in concert, yelling I cant hear you! Round and round.
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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby MaxNY » July 30th, 2012, 9:48 pm

From my post July 11 2005

"---Now let me discuss John Cassidy. John is the balloon guy that has been on Martha Stewart, and has recently tried to break a World Record of over 500 balloon animals in 1 hour on Regis. John looks like Dick Cavette on Meth!! His act (I've seen it twice) starts off with a fauly mic. This seduces you in, while he starts to create the illusion of a paranoid schizophrenic, helpless of control, embarrassed of his craft, and probably guily of all of the above. His act is over-the-top- funny, but might be the type of "A" personality we see crash and burn from exhaustion...."

There was more, I have probably slammed him enough here at the Forum...but the way he acts like the mic isn't working...must piss off the backstage crew. I understand that almost all Magic conventions have horrible sound, and he takes advantage of that...and (I'm going to guess here) he probably doesn't tell the sound crew, sending them into a hapless heart attack.

Special Thanks to those who write reviews for those of us who are limited to just one or two conventions a year.

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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 30th, 2012, 10:26 pm

I just wondered why his mic sounded muffled and at some point he seemed to realize that and moved it around. Why would he always do that?
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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby MattSchick » July 31st, 2012, 5:01 am

MaxNY, that accusation is 100% untrue. The microphone problems were out of John's control and were corrected by the sound crew in the middle of his performance without him making any changes to his mic/belt pack. I was backstage and by no stretch of the imagination was this planned.

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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Paul Critelli » July 31st, 2012, 11:54 am

Hello,
Thank you all who had honest and candid comments about the contests. I do appreciate kind and considerate words, but I truly value all feedback.
I agree that the conditions were not ideal. We have tried the "on stage" approach for close-up twice - and it just does not work.
Why?
Well, IF there is a single, "unblinking eye," then the natural and fitting "art of the conjuror" - to direct attention where he / she wants to is artificially stymied. IF there is great direction with 2 or more cameras and the director has "to be switched to" shots, then the "art of the conjuror" is artificially enhanced! This MAY be good for commercial television where there is a great deal of whatnot depending on making a performance truly "impossible" with just the right switches and "cut to shots," but for a contest of close-up / stand-up Magic? It is not.
Hence, as I have mentioned to several of my advisers and co-chairs, I will push VERY hard to return the close-up contest to separate rooms - possibly - POSSIBLY with "video enhancement," but I still have my doubts for the above reasons.

For stage, there is a slightly different concept, I think. A large and single shot of the whole stage area can and does seem to work. Of course, sound and lighting are important, but that is a topic for another day.

Thanks again for your support and the wonderful honors bestowed on Father Cyprian (who deserves it all!) and me.

Enjoy some rest now!

Paul Critelli

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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 31st, 2012, 12:06 pm

There were two mic issues for Cassidy: the first was that his mic just wasn't working when he started. That eventually got fixed.

The second was that the sound was muffled, and at some point during the act he visibly adjusted his mic, as if it had slipped behind his lapel or tie rather than being in front of it. Then his voice was much clearer.
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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Mark Weidhaas » July 31st, 2012, 7:20 pm

Here are some of my observations / comments:

1. Naruda: I'm glad you liked the hotel. Many were concerned that Downtown would not be a good location. I found it to be just right with the added bonuc of Fremont Street. Dustin: The hotel map the hotel provided was very colorful, but not easy to read. At registration, we tried to explain to everyone where the events would be. You bypassed that as I handed your badge to you, and on Thrusday, we noticed your registration packet was still unclaimed.

2. Doug: Nathan Burton was the other Christopher Award winner. I thoroughly enjoyed his set on the International Magic Spectacular show.

3. Richard Rex: The French Connection show was the brain child of Mike Miller; I came up with the name :) I have already heard Mike's plans for Washington next year, and they too will be brilliant.

4. Richard Rex: I take the blame for the late night time for the Duet show. Because this an SAM Convetnion, we have to have time for our Council Business Meetings. Usually that is the the morning of the first day events, which only gives a half day of magic programs. I suggested we open strong with Copperfield to get everyone there, and since it is Vegas, have the Council meeting in the early evening so those who wish not to attend, could catch a nice meal or early show. I'd be interested to know what others thought of the placement of the Business Meeting.

5. Neruda: The twitter idea was also mine. The plan was to let people tweet between the lectures and project on the screen a live twitter feed. During the shows, no tweeting, as I think it is rude. Being stuck at the registration deck, I did not hear why this did not happen, but I am guessing the projected image was not bright enough with the lights on. A flaw we will get fixed next time.

6. Copperfield: I was amazed at how much time he spent with us. At least three visits to the Dealers Room, 2 hours talking with the SYM youths, signing autographs and photos opportunities. During the interview, I wanted to ask him, with all the other organizations and convetnions, why did he chose the SAM? I knew this would lead him into his long history with us. But after 3 audience questions, we were cut short. Then there was the 8' tall bronze "King of Magic" award from the SAM that was outside the Ballroom (SAM Stage). I saw his evening show before the convention, and the award is permenently located (except during the convention) outside the Hollywood Theater at the MGM. He used to open his shows with a video presentation of all the awards he has received, but has stopped doing this. We were told this SAM award is the achievment he wants displayed.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Orlando this fall and Washington DC next summer.
Mark Weidhaas
S.A.M. National President 2010-2011 and Conference Executive
"You Have a Friend in the S.A.M."

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Don Hendrix
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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Don Hendrix » July 31st, 2012, 7:26 pm

How about having the "business" meeting either the day before or after the convention.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm

I also liked the Golden Nugget: very nice inside, comfy rooms, good air conditioning! And good restaurants.
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Dustin Stinett
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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 31st, 2012, 7:30 pm

Mark Weidhaas wrote:Dustin: The hotel map the hotel provided was very colorful, but not easy to read. At registration, we tried to explain to everyone where the events would be. You bypassed that as I handed your badge to you, and on Thrusday, we noticed your registration packet was still unclaimed.

Was there something other than all the tickets, pins (Las Vegas/Copperfield and SAM President's Pin), program (without a map printed in it), assorted papers (but no map), and the big envelope with David Copperfield on it? Because I got all that stuff! Now I wonder what goodies I might have missed out on! I hate missing out on goodies!

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MaxNY
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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby MaxNY » July 31st, 2012, 7:32 pm

I wasn't at the most recent convention. But I was at the Boston convention and the whole thing seemed contrived to me, at the expense of the embarrassed sound crew.

Why do it? It quickly gets an audience on "your side." It's a tough call, since the sound at almost every convention (except Magic Live, and the Genii Birthday Bash) sucks.

When I competed in the TAOM convention a few years back. I turned to the wonderful stage manager David Hira and said "If there is one thing I learned from working in the MTV Studios for twelve years...wireless lavs need fresh batteries." At that point he opened up the battery pack, tossed away the old Duracells, and gave me two freshys straight from the box...even before I stepped onstage...we have been friends ever since.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 31st, 2012, 7:35 pm

Andres Reynoso wrote:Dustin ... you told me you didn't know why I recognized your name on your badge. Is because Genii Forum :D

You mean people READ this stuff??? ;)

It was great meeting you and I hope you will come to Orlando for the Genii Bash!

Dustin

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 31st, 2012, 7:41 pm

Doug Thornton wrote:(And it was great to finally meet you in person, Dustin! I hope we can talk about Johnny Carson at the Genii Bash.)

Ditto, and you can ink a Johnny chat! (Remind me and, if there is room in my bag, I'll bring some of my JC memorabilia with me.)

Dustin

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Mark Weidhaas
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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Mark Weidhaas » July 31st, 2012, 8:10 pm

Dustin - I must have given you a prepared packet. All you missed was your name label on the cool Copperfield envelope. I am looking forward to all the goodies RK will be giving us.

MaxNY - I recall a year when MagicLive had audio issues on their first day.

Mark

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 31st, 2012, 8:21 pm

All conventions have had audio and/or video issues at some point. This is the moment when the convention organizer wants to commit suicide. I am hoping to avoid that, but there is a chance it will happen at some point during the Genii Bash. All our performers are professionals and will have encountered situations like this before. For, on the other hand, this will be the first time. I will be off in the corner banging my head against the wall like Yann Frisch.
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Doug Thornton
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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Doug Thornton » August 1st, 2012, 5:25 pm

---Richard, please don't bang your head unless you have some cups and balls with you. In all seriousness, since the B. Happie amp people will be there, why not have one or two of their units available as backups? I don't know the amount of volume they produce but they seem reliable.
---Mark, thanks for the reminder of Nathan Burton receiving a Milbourne Christopher Award, and yet there's still one more, no? Milt Larsen, Fantasio, Fergus Roy, Paul Gertner, Nathan Burton and...?
---Dustin, some Johnny Carson memorabilia would be cool. I have three words for you: "Sis, Boom, Baa!"
Smiles all around
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Re: S.A.M. 2012 Convention - Las Vegas

Postby Michael Close » August 1st, 2012, 6:18 pm

Jon Stetson


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