MAGIC Live 2019?

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erdnasephile
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MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby erdnasephile » August 10th, 2019, 8:01 am

Would love to hear any reports of how it was please: highlights, lowlights, cool stuff in the dealers' room, etc... Thanks!

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Brad Henderson » August 10th, 2019, 9:03 am

It was a solid convention. Unlike many years there was no ‘stand out’ moment, positive or negative. Everything I saw (and just to be fair, I didn’t see everything) was of a caliber one would expect from a preeminent magic convention. (That’s not to say everything appealed to my tastes and interests, but they were still solid offerings and seemed to be very well received by others.)

Personally I loved seeing the ambiguous objects created by Kokichi Sugihara. I didn’t get to see Mcbride’s Guess the Gimmick but heard it was great fun. Saw his demonstration the next day in the exhibit room, and that was certainly fun. Made me regret not being able to make the original production.

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erdnasephile
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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby erdnasephile » August 10th, 2019, 1:46 pm

Thanks, Brad. Haven't been able to find much buzz at the usual places...

Did see David Penn's video tour of the dealers room: https://www.facebook.com/worldmagicshop ... 411376120/

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Steve Bryant » August 10th, 2019, 10:02 pm

I missed the convention but learned a lot from Scott Wells daily podcasts.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Brad Henderson » August 10th, 2019, 10:28 pm

erdnasephile wrote:Thanks, Brad. Haven't been able to find much buzz at the usual places...


And my prediction at the close of the convention was that there won’t be much buzz. There was nothing to complain about - and there were no ‘never before/never again type moments. Those are the two things that get buzz.

This was a great convention - but Magic Live has set such high standards for itself that a well executed, well booked convention is an expectation that goes without comment when fulfilled.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby erdnasephile » August 11th, 2019, 1:05 pm

Steve Bryant wrote:I missed the convention but learned a lot from Scott Wells daily podcasts.


Thank you! I should have looked there first.

Sounds like Jonathan Levit's app was the big hit from the dealers' room...

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Bill Mullins » August 13th, 2019, 5:18 pm

This was one of the acts on the Monday night show.

Best show of the convention was Guy Hollingworth in the Parlor Show. Jade did a thumb tie, which was an odd choice -- if you were going to see her, it's not what you'd want to see, and if you wanted to see a thumb tie, she wouldn't be the performer you'd pick to do it. Also, it's very much a "middle" sort of trick, and she closed the show.

Close up show was very strong.

I was at the early show of the last night, which had problems.
1. I had a standby ticket (dinner plans overcame my 9:00 show ticket), and was seated very far to the right, so much so that I could see the workings of several effects, and that the curtain at the front of the stage obscured some things at the back of the stage. But that was my problem, not the show's . . .
2. Henry Evans and Cyril did a long, talkative trick that involved multiple spectators and selections on stage. However, I don't know what went on in it because as they were starting, a fire alarm went off, and for five minutes, a female voice kept repeating "Stay Calm. The source of the alarm is being investigated. Remain in your seats." Over and over, drowning out Cyril and Henry. And strobe lights went on for 10 minutes. The trick may have been great, but I couldn't hear what was going on.
3. One of the performers went back stage with his mike live, which was interesting, since you could hear strange voices during the following performer's act.
4. The closing act (whose name I forget) had problems. Black art was involved but it was poorly lit; he tried to produce a large steel ring, but it looked as if it got caught on his clothing as he was bringing it out, and he may have also had trouble ditching it. He ended abruptly, and I and dinner companions believe he simply cut his losses and left the stage early.

Socializing was grand -- it was good to see folks, even if it is only once a year or so. The most "Buzzworthy" item from the dealer room was Weber & Trono's Pieces of Strange, which had some pretty cool items in it. And there was no conspiracy to make me believe I had vastly overpaid for a book this year, which is an improvement on last year.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Ted M » August 14th, 2019, 12:29 am

Lupe Nielsen has a nice long writeup:

https://nnmagic.com/magic-live-2019-lup ... on-review/

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 14th, 2019, 11:24 am

Bill, your comments are interesting because at least three other people told me the close-up was fantastic. But I can understand the fire alarm causing a ruckus.
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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Brad Henderson » August 14th, 2019, 11:38 am

I believe bill is referring to the last night main stage show. That’s the show that was interrupted by the alarm.

He said the close up show was strong. Though I felt the opening and closing acts were way too similar in both style and substance. Both were great, but I would have preferred one to have been substituted for the sake of variety.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby erdnasephile » August 14th, 2019, 11:58 am

Question: Lupe Nielsen notes (after lots of positive comments about all of the close-up performers):

However, for what it is worth, I do have a small critique about the material… Although the magic was amazing, most of the presentations were procedural – i.e. “Let me borrow a deck, shuffle it, cut it many times, pick a card, and in the most amazing way I will reveal it to you, and not only that… I can find all the mates to that card, etc.”. Because most of the presentations were procedural – vs. providing a compelling story, or giving me a reason for watching – I have forgotten what the specific effects were! This is partly my fault as I refrained from taking notes throughout the presentation. All I remember is the feeling I had while watching the show. It is frustrating to know that after a few days I cannot reconstruct the sequence of effects. Perhaps it is me – middle aged and a faulty memory at times… Something to think about…

Would those of you who saw the close-up show tend to agree? (I must admit, her description pretty much tracks most of the convention close-up shows I have seen during my lifetime. Crazy thought: I wonder if some of the performers hold back the more interesting presentations they presumably use for laypersons in order to keep them from getting stolen?)

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Bill Mullins » August 14th, 2019, 1:13 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Bill, your comments are interesting because at least three other people told me the close-up was fantastic. But I can understand the fire alarm causing a ruckus.

Brad is correct. The Close Up show (which I saw on Monday) was excellent; the final stage show (on Wednesday) was the one with problems. (and it did have some excellent moments). See Lupe's write-up for details. All of the evening shows were consistently better than last year's.

Brad Henderson wrote:I felt the opening and closing acts [of the Close-Up show] were way too similar in both style and substance.

And Lupe Nielsen is quoted regarding the Close-Up show -- vagueness, procedural.

The opening act was Henry Evans, and part of it was his work on "The Trick that Cannot Be Explained". Closing was Dani DaOrtiz, who did . . . well, whatever it is that Dani does (I've heard Dani described as a "Human Distortion Field" -- no matter how much you enjoy the journey, and are amazed by the ending, it is very difficult to reconstruct what he did after the fact.)

Henry's work is certainly procedural, and it also is improvisational. A card is selected or named, some stuff happens, and amazing coincidence results. Some of Dani's work is much like that, although he (I think) does much more work to control your memory of what happened. For both of them, the procedure is the trick. Henry uses it as a means to an end, and Dani likewise. Both of them appear to leave a great deal of what happens in the hands of the assisting spectator. But depending on the demeanor of the spectator, and the initial/final conditions, the procedure may be fairly involved. I think that there is enough difference in personal style and attitude between them to regard them as quite separate acts, but there is certainly a similarity in what they do and how they do it (and both of them are funny, loose performers with heavy Spanish accents, which also adds to the similarity).

One more comment on the final evening show, and it also applies to some of the shows I've seen in previous years: Not all that much magic.
Opening act: Ayala Grand Illusions -- magic YES
Emcee: Comedian -- magic NO
Cyril/Henry Evans -- magic YES, then NO (due to problems)
Juggler Paul Ponce -- magic NO
Ted Kim (special lighting effects) -- except for a quick costume change, magic NO
The Clairvoyants Mentalists -- magic NO (but I can see how some would say YES)
Young-min Kim -- magic YES (but, as I said, some of the magic didn't work) (This, I think, is what it was supposed to look like.)

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Ted M » August 14th, 2019, 11:46 pm

Lupe is repeatedly frustrated by being unable to remember the tricks.

Yet that's the whole point of Harris III's presentation. As she writes: "Harris III spoke next and the title of his presentation was “The Story of Magic”. His talk can be summed using Maya Angelou’s quote: “People will forget what they see you do, they will forget what they hear you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”"

Lupe, grasping for the tricks, says this: "All I remember is the feeling I had while watching the show."

Yes.

Exactly.

That's worth thinking about.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby erdnasephile » August 15th, 2019, 4:56 pm

I would certainly agree that feelings are an essential part to a memorable experience. However, wouldn't it be preferable for the audience to remember what they felt AND what you said and did?

For example, I remember how MLK's "I have a Dream" speech made me feel, but I also remember what he said. If I only remembered the feelings, it wouldn't be nearly as meaningful or impactful.

So, how do we as magicians increase the chances that all of these things occur for our audiences?

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 15th, 2019, 6:23 pm

In order for people to remember specific tricks, you can only do TWO, tops. Each with entire different and crystal clear plots.
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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Ted M » August 15th, 2019, 7:41 pm

"[...]we see a lot of magic, and when we get back home, we try to reconstruct it or think of what we saw, and we get all the effects mixed up, and can’t remember which was which. If you see a lot of magic in an evening, it’s very hard to cull out the different effects when you get home."

Vernon, Feb 1969 (in The Vernon Touch)

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Brad Henderson » August 15th, 2019, 7:47 pm

Ted M wrote:Lupe is repeatedly frustrated by being unable to remember the tricks.

Yet that's the whole point of Harris III's presentation. As she writes: "Harris III spoke next and the title of his presentation was “The Story of Magic”. His talk can be summed using Maya Angelou’s quote: “People will forget what they see you do, they will forget what they hear you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”"

Lupe, grasping for the tricks, says this: "All I remember is the feeling I had while watching the show."

Yes.

Exactly.

That's worth thinking about.


No.

He never said they shouldn’t be able to remember your tricks. There is no reason why they can’t remember your tricks AND receive a feelingful response.

Lupe expressed the feeling she remembered: confused.

Confusion is not magic.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 15th, 2019, 7:52 pm

Thank you, Professor.
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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Brad Henderson » August 15th, 2019, 9:44 pm

I am but a vessel.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Bill Duncan » August 15th, 2019, 10:41 pm

erdnasephile wrote:Sounds like Jonathan Levit's app was the big hit from the dealers' room...

Mr. Levit performed the effect and the Portland Magic Jam's public show recently and it brought down the house. It's a brilliant effect, it will be interesting to see how others play it.

I don't imagine I'd get anywhere near the response he did, but I'm not what you'd call charming so...

:)

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby erdnasephile » August 15th, 2019, 11:57 pm

It good to hear the trick plays so well. I like it---it's a phone trick that doesn't feel as "techy" as others I've seen.

However, with the plethora of spam calls I get, I just don't answer any numbers that I don't recognize. In addition, I wonder if some of the anti-spoofing steps the FCC is going to take with the big 4 (soon to be 3, I guess) in the realm of stopping robocalls might make this trick harder to pull off? (I have no idea since I don't own the app).

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Jonathan Levit » August 17th, 2019, 1:22 pm

Hello! Thanks for the discussion on this. What I like about The Stranger is that it is totally organic and doesn't have the feel of a phone trick at all. The phone is secondary to the experience created. And the issue of spam calls doesn't come into play at all for this routine. When you check out the trailer, note that there are no special edits. What you see is exactly as it is performed. This is, quite frankly, the most fun I have ever had performing a magic trick.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby Doug Thornton » August 19th, 2019, 10:10 am

Random notes:
I agree that the close up show was stellar, and usually is a highlight of MAGIC Live. I had no problem with the similarities of the opening and closing card magic. The show began with Henry Evans knocking us out of our seats. We got our money's worth right there, but there was more. Richard Sanders and Pipo Villanueve added their brands of comedy and magic. This was my first encounter with Pipo from Spain and he charmed and made me laugh with his character of a man who is totally inept with a deck of cards but wowed us in the end.

Then Dani DaOrtiz knocked us further out of our seats and then Dani vanished the seats. (Metaphorically, I hope you know.)

The closing night show was OK for me.
The alarm during Cyril and Henry Evans' very long card effect was unfortunate.

MC David Deeble made me laugh.

I was happy that Amelie and Thommy, the Clairvoyants, were there, and they brought their swing. A class act.
It was amusing when Amelie asked a spectator to take a slip out of "this amazing box."

I checked out the second performance and by my estimation the crowd loved it.
And something was definitely missing in the final performer's act in both shows.

I loved the silly antics of Korea's Mr. Ham in The Very Strange Monday Night Show. A juggler with a Buster Keaton-esque demeanor, he made me laugh. The crowd was won over. I'm a new fan.

I missed seeing Julie Eng as General Sessions host with Jonathan Levit, but those folks can't do it forever.
Maybe they'll host the Academy Awards some year.
Max Maven, Steve Beam, and Dan Harlan did a fine job hosting each day.

I wish they still had the pasta at the closing party. Only ice cream this year.

Thursday I saw Mike Hammer's Comedy Show at the Four Queens. He offered a discount to MAGIC Live attendees. Mike's a frenetic version of Don Rickles.
I give him credit for having a line for every spectator and situation. Special credit for effortlessly remembering everyone's names.

Then I went to David Copperfield's show.
I've seen this iteration and its changes and improvements numerous times. It still thrills.

I love when David ad libs. I love when he ad libs and laughs at his own joke.

(One of these days I'll write about a book that David will be featured in soon.)

Before David's show I said hello to Cyril and the charming Laura London. I asked Cyril about the second show. He said all went well. I told him, as Larry Hass had said, Our hearts and compassion reached out to all of you.
Cyril said that as far as he was concerned, everything went fine. I thought that a very positive reply from a seasoned professional.

It was a great week.
Smiles all around
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Re: MAGIC Live 2019?

Postby PIPO » August 20th, 2019, 12:43 pm

Doug Thornton wrote:Random notes:
This was my first encounter with Pipo from Spain and he charmed and made me laugh with his character of a man who is totally inept with a deck of cards but wowed us in the end.


Thanks Doug! yeah I dropped some cards and dice as most likely you noteiced but I had a great time! :D

Best

Pipo


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