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Genii Convention

Posted: October 1st, 2015, 12:00 am
by Bill Mullins
So how is it going?

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 1st, 2015, 8:38 pm
by Steve Bryant
Super. Wish you were here.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 1st, 2015, 9:11 pm
by Bill Mullins
Me too.

But my son's fall break starts tomorrow afternoon, and we will be spending next week in the Orlando area. Should arrive at the convention hotel sometime Saturday evening, so maybe I can hang out a little.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 3rd, 2015, 1:16 am
by Rick Ruhl
It's been an amazing convention. Hats off to Richard, and the staff of course.

The dealers have been making money, shows are great, and the lectures are top notch .

Plus of course seeing old friends and making new friends.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 3rd, 2015, 9:34 am
by Tom Frame
I hope someone is going to report on what transpired at the convention.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 4th, 2015, 2:54 am
by mr_goat
Me too. Seems there is more info from every other convention on this forum.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 4th, 2015, 5:31 am
by NCMarsh
An incredible four days. Phenomenal job Richard and team.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 4th, 2015, 4:54 pm
by Bill Marquardt
It was fabulous. Very nearly glitch-free technically. Outstanding performances. John Archer was a particular favorite.

Unfortunately, Max Maven went to hospital Wednesday evening and missed the event. He is okay now.

Great job by Richard, Joshua, and Andi. More info when I arrive home.

edit: OK, maybe on third try I will get it right. Joshua, Andi, and Richard are to thank. For some reason I keep mixing in Michael Weber. Dustin corrected this earlier but I misread his correction. I am a dunce.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 4th, 2015, 6:15 pm
by WhoDeanie
I second that! I had a great time as well. Everything very smoothly as far as I could tell and enjoyed all the acts, especially Archer and The Fat Brothers too! I would like to thank Richard, Joshua, and Michael for making everyone feel welcomed and for putting on such a great convention.

I personally did have one hiccup though. My wife likes magic but mostly doesn't know any of the magicians by sight, well, except for Michael Carbonaro. She had other business and shopping to do so she wasn't available to see any of the shows or lectures. Saturday I told her Michael and Eugene Berger had just done a very nice show together and she hoped to run into them. Well, she sees Michael walking into the bar downstairs and speaks to him, "I love your show and would love to have a picture with you but I left my phone upstairs." Michael was very polite, "Well, I will be around awhile." "Great!" she answers, and runs upstairs to get her phone.

When I got back to the room she couldn't wait to show me the picture she had with Michael. "Well, how did you take it?" I ask, "This isn't a selfie."

"Well, there was this gentleman sitting with Michael and he took it for us," she explained.

"Well, who was sitting with him and what happened?" I asked.

She explained, "Well, nothing really. I found Michael sitting with this gentleman and I asked if I could have a picture. He was very kind and said, "sure!" and stood up and the older grey-haired gentleman with him stood up too and so I asked him if he would mind taking a picture of me and Michael. Then Michael smiled at the older gentleman and smiled and asked him, "Yeah, would you mind taking a picture of us?" The older man chuckled and said, "I would love to." I told them both thank you and got my camera and left.

I felt my blood rush to my head and had to sit down on the bed. "What's wrong?" she asked me, quite concerned with the flush look on my face.

"That was Eugene Berger!" I said.

She answered, "Well, I've heard that name but I don't really know who Eugene Berger is. Is he on tv?"

I answered her, "Well, Eugene Berger is a legend! He has basically been Michael's mentor! Basically, you just asked the President of the United States if he would mind taking a picture of you and the Speaker of the House!"<g>

Anyway, if Mr. Berger or Michael happen to read this, I apologize and would also like to thank BOTH of you for being so gracious to my wife!

Magically Yours,

Dean Burgess

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 4th, 2015, 6:31 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Convention now finished. Thank you all for coming. Great time. Standing ovation for EVERY show. :)
Now I'm going to sleep.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 5th, 2015, 5:25 am
by Bill Marquardt
After a very long airplane journey back to California, I am at home and have a bit of time to give meaningful commentary.

On Day One when the mystery MC came to the stage, and it was none other than Stan Allen, we knew the convention was going to be great. Stan performed a wonderful routine with his "partner" Stewart the bunny rabbit, which received the first of many standing ovations to come.

The lectures were outstanding, with some of the speakers divulging secrets never before revealed. The performances were extremely entertaining, with a few surprises for the huge audiences. It is difficult to choose a favorite from the large number of acts, but one name I heard mentioned frequently was that of John Archer. His brand of comedy magic kept the audience laughing throughout his entire performance.

Rob Zabrecky was another favorite. If you have never seen him perform his macabre style of magic, then you need to catch his next performance, wherever it is. Also, I should point out that he and Michael Weber graciously stepped up to fill in for the missing Max Maven who was recovering from an appendectomy.

Seriously, every performance was great and worthy of the standing ovation that each one received. With names like Tom Mullica, Mike Caveney, Tina Lenert, and the Fat Brothers, what would you expect? I haven't even named them all, so to those of you who I have left out, forgive me. You were equally as wonderful. I should probably mention the closing gala performer, Raymond Crowe. He is known for his Naked Zombie act, something that grew from his experience as a mime. Add some magic, ventriloquism, and hand shadow artistry and that might give you an idea of what his act embodies, but it is hard to describe. Let's just say that he blew away the audience and was a perfect choice for the final gala closer. We actually had a gala performance at the end of each day, each one featuring the acts of several magicians.

The action at the convention was nearly non-stop but with the great planning by our fearless leader and his two cohorts, it was possible to see each and every event. Much appreciated, Richard. I personally enjoyed putting faces to some of the names I see here on the forums. I had a couple of enjoyable conversations with Dustin Stinett and Kostya Kimlat. I also got to meet Richard and Max Maven. I happened to fly in on the same airplane as Max and bumped into him before the convention started and before he went ill.

I have really only touched upon some of what went on at the bash, but maybe you now have an idea of what this event was all about. The lectures had true depth, not just giveaway tricks, and the performances were all quality stuff. I don't know if Mr. K will ever put on another bash, but if he does, I will be first in line for a ticket.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 6th, 2015, 5:24 am
by John Archer
It was a fun time. :)

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 6th, 2015, 7:42 am
by Bob Farmer
One of the great conventions.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 6th, 2015, 5:11 pm
by qkeli

I was there too for my first convention in the States.
The convention was held in a nice hotel well located.
I spent a great tIme there and i've met great magicians with whom i've hang out during all the convention, Joe, thomas, Michael...Yves and others.
The convention was ok for me, i loved Derek Hughes show, Rob Zabrecky, Carbonaro and Burger, John archer show,the close up session with Sosato, mahdi gilbert was Unique, Asi wind, Tina lenert and Raymond crowe and the Fat brothers !!!
I was disappointed by the fact that Max maven couldn't make it but i completely understand what' happened...
I was disappointed by Tom mullica's Lecture, his close up act was far better...
For me Mike Caveney.s lecture was interesting but he spent too much time on the main became boring for me.
Tina Lenert's lecture was very very good !!!
And the bag of gifts was also very dissapointing in comparison to what i heard from what was given at the genii bash...
But well it was a good time...
To those who went to the previous one too, how do you compare both ?

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 6th, 2015, 5:33 pm
by Doomo
Hi kids. I was there. And I actually remember it!

Of course I can only give it to ya from a dealers perspective. Which to say the least is a bit slanted.

Loved the hotel! But as we ALWAYS rent a car, we were not trapped there and there is lots of good places to eat within 3 minutes of the place.

As to the actual convention. Zabreckie was a killer. Loved Crowe despite tech issues. Missed the other shows but was told they were almost all a blast.

As to the dealers room. Well I cant bitch cuz I did real well. I sold out of indexes and my only packet trick and my new wallet! I still cant believe magicians bought indexes cuz they actually take a good deal of practice to use well. Christian Engbloom bought the last one.

Other dealers were NOT so happy. Mostly due to the event scheduling.

Rosie uploaded a boatload of photos to our facebook pages. Checkem out.

Oh by the way. Kainoa Harbottle is now and forever to be known as... Kai Dreemy Hardbody! For real. I walked into the bar and he was surrounded by wimmin! I pried a waitress away and and asked what was going on... her reply..." Oh Kai Dreemie has been entertaining. We LOVE HIM!"

Not an exaggeration! I was astonished!

Now to sleep.


Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 6th, 2015, 5:39 pm
by Dustin Stinett
qkeli wrote:And the bag of gifts was also very dissapointing in comparison to what i heard from what was given at the genii bash... ... To those who went to the previous one too, how do you compare both ?

I do not think that they can be adequately compared in print. They were vastly different, but at the same time, both had strong lineups. The tech work at this one was 1000-percent better, which is probably the only area that can be easily compared. And, frankly, to expect that level of gift bag at another convention is simply unrealistic. That will likely never, ever, happen again anywhere.

So I am sorry that you were disappointed by three beautifully printed manuscripts of unpublished magic by Larry Jennings, Jack Parker, and Tomas Blomberg, along with several DVDs—including an unreleased lecture by Dai Vernon—a trick by Michael Weber and Tim Trono, and several other items. But I am glad you had a good time.


Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 6th, 2015, 5:45 pm
by Chris Aguilar
Did Mullica lecture on his new pickpocket act?

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 6th, 2015, 5:57 pm
by Dustin Stinett
Chris Aguilar wrote:Did Mullica lecture on his new pickpocket act?

No: straight magic and lots of comedy.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 6th, 2015, 6:21 pm
by John Signa
Dustin Stinett wrote:
Chris Aguilar wrote:Did Mullica lecture on his new pickpocket act?

No: straight magic and lots of comedy.

Dustin, you had stepped out to get lunch during the Mullica lecture where he performed his pickpocket act followed by talking about it and asking for feedback.

Unfortunately, this was not a highlight of the convention. I was manning one of the doors so was watching from the rear. My evaluation of the act is that it's an 8 minute act done over 25 minutes. Tom was great during the close-up show with high energy and lots of humor, but the pickpocket act dragged.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 6th, 2015, 6:30 pm
by Dustin Stinett
Thanks. I completely misread Chris's post. I would have bet cash money he wrote "performed" not "lectured." Sheesh ... still pooped I guess. Thanks again (and I added you to the door crew above; sorry I left you out, but that's how it goes when you don't have a Staff badge. :P )

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 6th, 2015, 9:30 pm
by erdnasephile
Another fine convention report from Dustin! Sounds like a great event. Thank you, sir!

(PS: Josh--I heartily second Dustin's suggestion for your wedding ring. Losing your wedding ring leads to fear, fear leads to pain, pain leads to... well, you get the idea.)

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 7th, 2015, 12:16 am
by Bill Mullins
Thanks, Dustin, for an excellent recap. I look forward to an article (from you?) about the convention in Genii.

For most of the year I had believed that I wouldn't be able to attend the convention, despite enjoying the original Genii Bash so much. But as my son's Fall Break from school approached, we decided a trip to Orlando was in order. We planned on hitting the road early Friday afternoon, after his school released him. I told my wife that if we hurried, I could possibly catch the tail end of the convention, or at least hang out in the lobby with folks, and possibly see Sunday's workshops.

So we arrived at the Florida Hotel Saturday afternoon right as Tom Mullica's lecture was ending. I walked up to registration just as it was closing, and between the good graces of Elizabeth Kaufman and the efficiency of Margret Daham, I was able to get passes for that night's show and lecture, and sign up for Sunday's events.

We headed up to the dealer's room, and I was able to introduce my wife to many folks she's heard me talk about over the years. Dick Hatch and Charlie Randall, Marshall Petersen, Dan Garrett (who is from the same small town in Georgia as my father-in-law), Josh Jay (whose wedding write-up in the newspaper was much better than mine), Michael Weber, Meir Yedid, and others. She now knows Hatch as "the guy who got me started on all this Erdnase crap." It was particularly good to catch up with Michael Weber, whom I haven't seen since the Erdnaseum – back in the days before Real Secrets. By the time we registered in the hotel and checked in our rooms, and had supper, it was time for the Gala Show.

I sat next to Steve Bryant – another constant friend by email who I see only once every few years. He caught me up on what had happened so far, making me wish that my son's school break had started a few days earlier. As far as the show itself, I won't add much to Dustin's report, other than to say how amusing it was watching the stage crew trying to keep a microphone near John Gaughan.

The convention proper closed out with Asi Wind's lecture. It was somewhat sparsely attended. I don't know if this is because of convention fatigue, the desire to socialize in the lobby one last time, or perhaps because there wasn't a reminder about it at the Gala show, which was performed as if it were the convention finale. At any rate, those who weren't there missed an excellent lecture. After the lecture, manning Asi's sales table was Angelo Carbone whose name has come up recently on the Forum in connection with Mark Frauenfelder's ebook. I had never met Angelo Carbone before and took the opportunity to introduce myself and tell him about the contretemps, and of Frauenfelder's attempts to reach out and rectify the situation. I hope they manage to resolve this in a way that benefits both of them.

There were still lots of people hanging around in the lobby and the bar. Over the course of the evening, I was able to speak to Mike Caveney (but missed Tina Lenert), Geoff Williams, Obie O'Brien, Kainoa Harbottle, Bob Farmer, Dustin, Steve Beam, Dan and Dave Buck, Mahdi Gilbert, Gabe Fajuri, Joe Turner (fresh from the British IBM convention), David Kaye, Yukishige Kadoya, and others (if I left out your name, please forgive me). I wish I had been able to spend more time with all of them, and with many other folks who I know were there but didn't see (hello Kent Gunn!). This would have been a super chance to put faces on names I know only from the Genii Forum.

Sunday morning was breakfast with my family and then the Rob Zabrecky workshop. I am not a performer of magic, and Rob's workshop was targeted at performers – the importance of character, finding and defining your character, how to structure a routine, what tricks will and won't work for you, and many other things that can take you from a magician performing a group of tricks to a well-structured act. I can only imagine how valuable this would have been to someone who performs magic for real-world audiences.

He started by asking us all to introduce ourselves, and to tell the group one thing that we'd like them to know about us. We filled out questionnaires that are designed to refine our view of our performing character. Some questionnaires were reviewed before the group, with Rob's comments on how the answers can reveal or flesh out a magician's character.

Then Rob spent a while talking about himself, his growth from a guy who is excited about magic through his "Mortician Magician" phase to where he is today. This was the most interesting part of the morning for me. One thing that struck me was how, after he had fallen in love with a trick and spent months honing his performance of it, he realized that it simply didn't work as being something that revealed or advanced his character, and he had to drop it. But in the case of another trick, despite having the same realization that a trick wasn't working, and also getting told by his girlfriend that it didn't work, he believed in it and kept working on it until he found that one little twist that made it work.

He closed out with several attendees performing tricks from their acts, and getting professional-level "notes" from Rob about what did and didn't work, and what needed improvement. Some comments were as simple as "that prop is ugly, get a nicer one" to more a complex one about the reasons that a particular sequence of tricks didn't work together.

After lunch the Fat Brothers workshop began. Miguel Angel Gea led off, with some card work, then some coin work and finally some rubber band tricks. Christian Engbloom followed, again with card work including a handling of a Juan Tamariz false shuffle that has been sub rosa for years. It turns out that the anti-faro was developed just for this shuffle – everything else that has come from it is a bonus. Dani D'Ortiz closed out with some amazing card tricks. I could go over the three teachers in detail, transcribing my notes from the sessions and trying to convey some sense of how devastating each of them is. Suffice it to say that we saw 3 hours + of very strong and entertaining magic, and buy their DVDs if you want to know more. I will mention that for years, when I see magicians talking about how a particular technique will cause a spectator to misremember how or even forget that an event happened, I've written it off to wishful thinking on the part of the performer. After seeing Dani work, I'm a believer. He'd do a trick, I think about what happened and how it was done, and then he'd explain it and I'd realize just how much my brain had been rewired. My notes for his session were near useless – I simply wrote down things that didn't happen, and left off important things that did. This was some of the strongest card magic I've ever seen.

And the convention was over. I'd still see a few more people before we checked out Monday morning. Max Maven appeared in the lobby Sunday night, standing next to David Oliver. It was good to see both of them mobile. I do hope Max is able to make good on his promise of performing his show at a future date.

So the magic part of our vacation is done. After Orlando, we went from the sublime to the ridiculous:


We left Legoland, we are now in St. Augustine and are slowly heading back to Huntsville.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 7th, 2015, 7:44 am
by CraigMitchell
A BIG congrats to Richard and his team ...

Everything ran so smoothly ... which is a MIRACLE in itself at any magic convention.

Everyone I spoke to had an amazing time and thoroughly enjoyed themselves - good magic, great company, and Disney at your doorstep. What more could you ask for ;-)

Thank you to all involved for making it happen!

( A little stressful for some more than others :D )

Dustin Stinett’s Recap of the Genii Convention

Posted: October 7th, 2015, 8:15 pm
by Dustin Stinett
The 2015 Genii Convention

So it's over. I arrived home without a lot of drama. The flight experienced some delay (almost two hours after we boarded) because it was overweight. But who am I to criticize?

Looking back, the Genii Convention was a great big-o-success from opening to ending, though not without its glitches—the biggest being Max Maven having to have an appendectomy on the first day, as has been covered elsewhere.

We also missed Jon Racherbaumer who—I believe—had an upper respiratory thing happening, so he had to bow out at the last minute.

So here is Dustin’s take on everything:

Wednesday Night

Registration opened Wednesday night and it was busy. Everyone received their credentials—a name badge as well as the now infamous Genii Conference Wristband that was to be worn for the duration. It became the butt of many a joke (running and otherwise), but the fact of the matter is—at least for me—it got to the point where I didn’t even know I had it on.

Everyone also received a black Genii Convention 2015 (GC) bag with a deck of Phoenix Cards donated by Christian Schenk’s Card-Shark. Over the duration of the GC, that bag would end up filled as each day—Thursday, Friday, Saturday—a gift envelope with manuscripts of unpublished tricks (from Larry Jennings, Tomas Blomberg, and the late Jack Parker), DVDs, and other goodies were distributed to the attendees.

The dealers opened and everyone seemed to survive the mad rush of humanity and commerce. There’s just nothing quite like the Dealer’s Room of a magic convention; you gotta love it!

The first event was a series of three talks (not lectures). Christian Schenk spoke on the built-in features of his regular Phoenix deck. Kostya Kimlat talked about the business of close-up show business, and David Oliver gave a (at times graphic) accounting of his life and death adventure over the last four of five years (from misdiagnosis to current challenges) as well as the importance of organ donation.

Christian Engblom gave a terrific lecture on his very clever magic to close out the first (though unofficial) night.


The first official day of the GC started with more registration, the first gift envelope, and—of course—more consumerism in the Dealer’s Room. Denis Behr kicked off the day with a lecture of his remarkable card magic. He did not, however, share his secret for his remarkable capacity for downing large quantities of beer during his performances. I guess it just comes naturally.

Mike Caveney gave a performance—and then a detailed explanation—of his incredible Del Adelphia Egg Bag routine. Those who do not have his set of books—Wonders and The Conference Illusions—were badly fooled by the performance and then heartily enjoyed Mike’s clever solutions to getting that many eggs, and a chicken, into an empty bag. To the delight of the crowd, he also performed his wonderful version of “Powers of Darkness” using (what else?) coat hangers as well as his Impromptu Linking Coat Hangers (the best 10 bucks you’ll ever spend).

This year there were intimate close-up performances—“Triple Mystery”—by So Sato, Denis Behr, and Kainoa Harbottle. They gave four performances each on Thursday and Friday (so eight each total) so those interested in seeing them had ample opportunity to do so in a small room with no more than 50 people in it. All three magicians were magnificent. I had the great pleasure of being one of the hosts of these shows. It was a blast for me.

Also fun for me was the honor of introducing Tina Lenert who gave her fantastic “Connecting the Dots” lecture. Like everything she has done over her amazing career, this too has evolved, so if she is in your area again, do go see her again.

Dani DaOrtiz and Miguel Angel Gea gave a remarkable performance/lecture on Hofzinser. Is there nothing these gents cannot do? Amazing stuff.

The first Gala Show featured a surprise MC: Stan Allen. He and his bunny Stuart also performed. For many in the audience it was the first time to see Stan and Stuart at work. For the rest, it had been years since having last seen the duo’s magnificent turn and Stan didn’t miss a beat. Bravo!

Alana treated us to her new act wherein she produces countless dresses, skirts, blouses (because, like many women, she cannot make up her mind what to wear). She does all this wearing just a lovely slip. At the end she levitates behind a cloth dressing blind and then settles on an evening gown via a quick change. That part is not, by her own admission, quick enough—yet. She appreciated everyone’s enthusiasm for the new act.

John Archer came out and scored huge with his one-hour one-man show (it went by fast) and he received a well-deserved standing ovation (there were many standing ovations throughout the convention). After a brief intermission, Asi Wind closed out the gala with his one-man show that included the Genii office’s own Margret and her smart phone.

The gala show was followed by Derek Hughes who gave his one-man show. Someone tell me again how this guy didn’t win AGT? His show was the perfect close to a perfect first full day.

But wait! There’s more! For those who paid for it, part one of Asi Wind’s two-part workshop took place well into the night. The rest of us crowded into Cricket’s, the hotel’s magnificent watering hole that features superb food, drink, and an incredible staff who loved us.


I have no idea what took place in the room where Dan and Dave Buck held their 8:00AM “Coffee with Dan and Dave” gathering. All I know is my close-up room looked like a Starbuck’s exploded inside! It appeared that a lot of fun was had. (And thanks to Barry and his excellent staff in getting the room performance-ready in quick time.) I would have attended D&D’s event, but I have reached that age where sleep is no longer just for the weak.

After dismissing the Chief Genii from the stage—a funny moment that had to be experienced to be appreciated—Mahdi Gilbert told his remarkable story of how he became the magician he is today. For those who do not know Mahdi, what makes him so amazing is the fact that he has no hands. He has created a set of techniques—sleights, not just strategies—that allows him to perform classics of card magic and perform the well. He wowed the crowd (and Richard, who was allowed to return to the stage) with his versions of Oil and Water and Triumph—all with a regular pack of cards. What an amazing young man he is.

Our man Andi Gladwin (you know him from “Magicana” in Genii as well as half of Vanishing Inc. Magic as well as one-third of the production team who brought us the Genii Convention) gave his lecture. He sure is a skilled and clever fellow!

Stepping up to fill in for Max Maven was Michael Weber and Rob Zabrecky. It was a wonderful interview with Michael the interviewer and Rob the subject. Rob’s story is a wonderful one and his growth as an entertainer who now uses magic (he was a musician) as his means to reach an audience is phenomenal. Rob also lectured, sharing some of his personalized magic along with how you can personalize classic magic to your own individual self.

Raymond Crowe gave his lecture next. Mr. Crowe is an amazing artiste, pure and simple.

There were four more close-up performances each by our three members of the “Triple Mystery” that ran throughout the day. So Sato of Japan slayed everyone with his mind-cooking card magic, Denis Behr of Germany had everyone in stiches with his beer-drinking antics as well as killing with his own pasteboard miracles, and Kainoa Harbottle—formally of that other foreign land, Hawaii—used small Linking Rings, just a few old coins, and a delightful (and, according to the gals, downright dreamy) performance style to showcase his excellent Magic. (Yes, "Magic," as there is no other explanation since I did not see any signs of “sleight of hand” even though I had several opportunities to do so—a simply amazing man is our Dr. Harbottle.)

The Friday Gala Show, hosted by the Chief Genii his own self, started with those amazing Fat Brothers. Their energy and talent outdoes their girth many-fold. They are able to make close-up magic work well in a big theater/ballroom.

A word about the GC’s tech crew: incredible. Another word: professional. A big thank you to Drew and his team!

Rob Zabrecky closed the gala with his one-man show. He absolutely killed—again! Another standing ovation.

John Archer lectured to close out the night. The man isn’t just funny, he’s damned clever too!


Boy that was fast. And I wasn’t the only one who thought so. The GC was so smooth that it seemed like it went by in the blink of an eye.

After coffee with D&D (but not me!), Josh Jay lectured. He tipped the piece with which he fooled Penn & Teller, much to the delight of those who do not have his DVD set, “Unreal.” He reminds me a lot of Daryl, where he teaches a lot of great magic that you can do without buying a bunch of stuff—though he does have that stuff too. I’ve watched Josh grow up in magic and it has been fun to see. And now he’s a married man. (And Josh, if you are reading this, take a tip from an old married guy: get yourself a nice necklace that you can hang your wedding ring on when you need to remove it so you can perform without “clinking.” If you just put it in a pocket, you risk losing it and that’s a much bigger deal to the Missus than just taking it off! This is personal experience talking.)

Again, because of the talent of the tech crew, the big close-up show starring Michael Weber (as the host), John Lovick—though he did his “Grappler” routine that also fooled P&T—Terry Ward, Tom Mullica, and Rob Zabrecky worked really well. Fantastic magic and hilarity ensued. Handsome Jack dropped his trousers to explain the grappler, Mullica, who I think did just one trick—maybe two as I couldn’t see through the tears of laughter—was fantastic. Terry Ward showed his skill and wit, and Zabrecky killed yet again. An excellent show all around.

I did not get to attend the Tom Mullica lecture that followed the show, but as I understand it might still be going on.

I have had the great pleasure of seeing Eugene Burger and Michael Carbonaro’s “Dark Stories” a couple of times and it is one of those shows that you cannot see too many times. It is a brilliant entertainment that garnered two standing ovations, including the one for Michael who closed with his fabulous “Shaving Dream” piece.

Maybe 100 or so attendees went to the Tenyo Flea Market. Those who didn’t messed up by not going to see Mr. Shimizu, one of Tenyo’s legendary demonstrators, work his special magic. He has worked out some truly incredible and unique magic that one might not think possible with Tenyo’s props. Stunning stuff! He has people packed around his table stacked high on chairs to see his exceptional routines. Thank you Mr. Shimizu and to my friend Yuki Kadoya for your work as his interpreter!

The final Gala Show was hosted by none other than Mike Caveney. He scored huge when he tore off his GC wristband which was followed by flashing lights, sirens, and a voice called for security. (And I thought my joke about the retinal scanning device was funny. Oy.)

Tina Lenert opened the show with her wonderful “Simply Magic” act. Pure class and a couple of magical moments with two linking rings absolutely no one else can do.

Caveney, as always, brought down the house with his amazing coffee/hoop juggle. And then his Scissors through Coat that finishes with a stage full of cutlery, silver platters, a pitcher and finally a chicken in his hands—all from a borrowed coat.

Alana performed her now famous “Hand” act, which delighted all (she received a partial standing ovation). John Gaughan performed the Blooming Orange Tree using a prop made in the middle of the 19th century (which is also the subject of his November “Chamber of Secrets” column in Genii). Then he brought out little Antonio Diavolo, Robert-Houdin’s original little automaton acrobat. The little guy, who is pushing 200 years of age, performed perfectly and happily accepted his standing ovation.

After a short intermission, Raymond Crowe closed the show with his spectacular one-man show that includes mime, comedy, ventriloquism, magic, and shadowgraphy. Another standing ovation closed the last show of the Genii Convention, but there was one last event left for attendees.

Closing the GC was Asi Wind, who lectured for the aspiring mentalists in the room. The rest loitered outside the ballroom, in the hotel lobby, and drank and ate to our heart’s content at Cricket’s.

We were all hoping that Max Maven would have been able to join us, but his doctors (I actually suspect the nurses) decided they wanted him to hang out at their place an extra day.

I lost track of the time as I bobbed and weaved from table to table and group to group. It was a spectacular event. Of course we missed Max. Jon Racherbaumer, as well as Jim Steinmeyer who had many people—who clearly missed the announcement about him bowing out due to other obligations—ask about his whereabouts. One guy came all the way from Australia to see him! Next time.

But for many the Genii Convention was not over. Rob Zabrecky held an extra (paid) seminar as did the Fat Brothers on Sunday. The producer’s worker bees were busy wrapping up the things no one sees behind the curtains. We had an exceptional team of volunteers who did all those behind the scene tasks no one knows about. Margret Daham, Jane Solomon, and Bill and Becki Wells ran registration and provided adult supervision to those of us who needed it. John Lovick and Peter Samelson stepped up to help host the close-up rooms (we had a blast and traded rooms so we all could see each of the three performers). Bobby Lilly was a jack of all trades (and together with his son—Tommy?—was a well-oiled machine stuffing hundreds of envelopes with goodies for the attendees on Tuesday night).

Working showroom doors and covering wherever and whenever needed were Lynn Fitzgerald, Daniel and Jane Solomon, Ari (whose last name I did not get), John Signa, Liz and Emma Kaufman, Jimmy Ichihana, and Danny Braff. (I treated Danny and Jimmy like my personal “minions” and I thank them profusely for putting up with me. You two did a wonderful job!)

Melissa (I also missed her last name) made camp outside the Dealer’s Room and did a fine job keeping the riff raff out. (You know who you are.) Rose Rings stepped up several times to spell Melissa so she could enjoy some magic as well. (Though no one stepped up to spell Rose in corralling Tony; but that’s another story.)

It’s not my call, but I want to do it all again—in a couple of years. I am still in decompression mode, but I hope this at least gives you all an idea of what went on and, above all, what you missed! If there is a next time, by all means, be there. Yeah, it’s not MAGIC Live. But MAGIC Live is not The Genii Convention!

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 7th, 2015, 9:24 pm
by Bill Marquardt
It was an outstanding convention. Many great acts, including that of Alana. It was virtually non-stop action for three days, and yet we all had the opportunity to attend every individual event. The more intimate close up shows were repeated eight or nine times to allow for the smaller audiences. Dustin's account gives much more detail than I am able to provide and is much appreciated.

There were only a few minor technical hiccups, mostly involving wireless microphones, but nothing that detracted from the performances. Tom Mullica even used it to his advantage at one point. Dealer representation was fantastic and lunch time provided ample opportunity to browse all the tables and talk to the vendors. Maybe too "ample" as I spent more than $300 and still ended up without Tony Miller's new wallet. (Next time, Tony.)

I really cannot say enough good things about the convention, but I don't want to be repetitious. I hope the negativity expressed by persons who were not even there does not do anything to discourage Mr. K from holding another bash in the not too distant future.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 9th, 2015, 10:27 am
by Bob Farmer
Is it okay to take off the wristband now? I've been home for a week and people at the parole office are beginning to talk.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 9th, 2015, 11:33 am
by Richard Kaufman
Ho Ho Ho says Santa.
Yes, I think you can take it off. :lol:

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 9th, 2015, 12:37 pm
by Leo Garet
Bob Farmer wrote:Is it okay to take off the wristband now? I've been home for a week and people at the parole office are beginning to talk.

Why not leave it? It'll enhance your already-mega street cred. ;)

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 9th, 2015, 12:54 pm
by Matthew Field
Farmer -- take it off and put it on eBay.

Matt Field

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 9th, 2015, 3:17 pm
by Bob Farmer
My bad--I just realized it's not my Genii wristband--it's that electronic thing that makes sure I don't leave the house.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 9th, 2015, 3:54 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Bob--that's on your ankle, isn't it?

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 9th, 2015, 9:12 pm
by Joji Matsuo
The Genii Convention was my first convention in the US and I had a really great time. I felt like I was dreaming every minute. The scheduling was brilliant with lots of time between shows. Gave me plenty of time to think and rethink about what to buy. As a result, I spent lots of money on books, and went home with two large suitcases full of magic. I now have tons of things to look over and study for quite some time now. I even have things being shipped to me from Card Shark while I'm in Germany this week.

On a side note, I took my 21-yr old stepson, who is not into magic but wanted to give him some exposure to an English-speaking environment. (In Japan, the kids only study English--they never get to use it.) He did pretty good for his first trip, albeit short. He visited Universal Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Kennedy Space Center. The location was great so he got to see a lot. Hopefully, he'll decide to do a home-stay or some sort of exchange program in the US.

Next time there is a convention in the US, I'm going to consider paying for the family members so they can at least see the Gala shows. Everyone was just too good to miss and would have been worth the conference fee.

I liked the idea of the Triple Mystery scheduling. It gives you a lot of flexibility to be able to choose times and performers. Kainoa, Dennis, and So were so good and so contrasting in performance style, I wanted to sneak back into each one!

Thanks to everyone involved in the planning, organization, and execution of a really entertaining and educational convention. You've given me a lot to think about and share (read as "brag") with my friends in Japan. In hindsight, I realized I should study and practice more Japanese magic because everyone I met asked me to show them some magic from Japan. Next time, I'll be prepared.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 9th, 2015, 10:37 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Matsuo-san, I'm very pleased you had such a good time, and particularly that you enjoyed the Triple Mystery close-up setting. People rarely have the opportunity at a large convention for the "old style" of close up, with a small group of people in a small room. No microphone, no video camera. It is a different experience!
Domo arigato gozaimasu.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 10th, 2015, 4:21 pm
by qkeli
By the way, Richard, is there any chance that of reprinting Tom Mullica.s book please ?

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 10th, 2015, 4:32 pm
by Richard Kaufman
As a printed book, probably not. But when I convert my publications to eBooks, Tom Mullica's book will be among them.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 10th, 2015, 9:32 pm
by Orlan
Cool to hear ebooks are coming! I'll stick to physical books, but I'll definitely grab a few ebooks of some of the out of print, hard to find books.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 10th, 2015, 11:33 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Coming ... eventually.

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 11th, 2015, 4:56 am
by qkeli
Ok thanks,

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 12th, 2015, 12:52 am
by Bill Mullins
Will Alma at the Genii Convention.

(sorry I missed his show . . . )

Re: Genii Convention

Posted: October 16th, 2015, 9:33 pm
by Greg Bozonelos
I just wanted to write this short note to thank Richard, Joshua, Andi, and all of the team for the excellent Genii Convention number 2! The shows, lectures, and dealer line-up were once again top-notch. For me, it was a treat to see John Gaughan perform a couple of the classics for the first time. It was also nice to see the close-up shows performed close-up. With that said, I should also add that the stage shows and lectures were much easier to see from anywhere in the Legends Ballroom thanks to the high definition projection screens. For us coffee drinkers, we even picked up some coffee tips from Dan and Dave. The gift DVD of the Dai Vernon 1969 lecture in Japan was a nice addition to my historical magic video collection. I had a great time at the first Genii bash three years ago and this time was no different. Now we will have to wait and see if we get to enjoy a third installment of this series. :)