FISM 2012 - my experience.

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.
Dumpster
Posts: 6
Joined: July 15th, 2012, 3:22 pm

FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Dumpster » July 15th, 2012, 3:32 pm

Fism 2012 an opinion.

It should be pointed out before we start that I am a bitter man. Ive been attending the Blackpool Magic Convention for many years now, and its usually one of the highlights of my year. But I feel like Im starting to see through it now, and I feel like Ive been taken for a ride.

My ticket was about 480, and upon arrival, I was presented with the highly anticipated goodie bag. I received my 150 book, which turned out to be another Derek Lever publication. I didnt see this advertised as such anywhere in advance, I knew I would receive a hardback book with 150 value, but assumed (as this was FISM, not Blackpool Magic) that this would be something of value. I saw the same book on a dealer stand at 15, there were copies of the book dumped around at various places, and the number of jokes at Dereks expense makes me think that no-one really believes this book is of any real value, and certainly not the 150 printed on the cover. Is there some sort of unusual accountancy going on here? Is the book genuinely a free gift, or are we being sold this book? Why do we always get given a Derek Lever book at these conventions? No-one seems to want them is there something funny going on here?

The next item out of the bag was a programme, littered with spelling errors. It was interesting to see that Derek Lever had used a sizable chunk of his welcome page to discuss negative issues around the conference. Similar to previous Blackpool conventions where the programme often focuses on the threats made by certain individuals to disrupt the conference. Why cant this space be used for a positive welcome? Compare Dereks introduction with the Eric Eswins on the following page. They are worlds apart.

The organisers air of negativity continued throughout the conference. The guy who announced the acts in the close up the close up shows kept repeating to us between acts that there were no ladies toilets, and the handicapped toilets were in a poor state. So many comments and speeches covered unimportant and irrelevant information about trivial issues. And no-one was announcing anything of interest about the upcoming artists in the event for example. A good example of this was the speech made by the guy who handed over the diamond to the winner of the prize draw. The host told us that the winner of the 6500 diamond had been picked, and informed us that, had the diamond been a class one diamond it would be worth 20,000. Who cares? Its not a class one diamond, so why bring that up?

Oh yes, the diamond. If that diamond was really worth 6500, wouldnt that money have been better spent paying someone to clean the toilets? There were 11 sinks in the mens toilets, and ONE soap dispenser. Most of the cubicles had broken locks, and one toilet was so covered in [censored], I simply had to take a photo of it. And just the idea of giving away a diamond it shrieks of class and opulence for the sake of it reminding me of the Alan Partridge chat show where he introduces, for the first time on a British speaking chat show, a beautiful fountain! Yes, ladies and gentlemen thats what youll be getting throughout the series, lots of money spent on expensive items. There was simply no need to give away a diamond, especially when so many other aspects of the week seemed to be pulled off on the cheap.

So after being given our heavy book to lug around, a Tommy Cooper bear and a voucher for some free tricks (apparently sponsored by Hanky Panky Magic, so maybe at no cost to the organisers), we were advised there were no tickets left for the evening shows in the Olympia (a sort of unfinished annex to the Winter Gardens). Apparently, arriving at 9.30am on the Monday Morning was apparently too late for us to be given tickets. There was nothing to say that this particular event was a separate, ticketed event. And now, we couldnt go.

Unbelieveable.

As it happens, we complained to the front desk the following day, and they gave us a choice of tickets for either of the two shows, which only served to frustrate more there were tickets available after all! What a farce.

At this stage, wed taken about 30 steps into the building, and started to sense that this may not be the amazing event Id expected. Ill just remind you again, I paid 480 for my ticket. I stayed in a cheap B+B in Blackpool, and the total expenditure could have got me to Vegas.

I spent all day watching the stage competition, and missed the lectures, but I wasnt too bothered. The February convention had destroyed my faith in lectures, as many of them appeared to be nothing more than sales pitches for the products on sale outside. The worst example of this so far is Michael Webers lecture from February that was repeated in part at Fism the bulk of that lecture was little more than a mentalism act, and the techniques used were not discussed in the lecture, requiring the purchase of a 20-ish page book for 70. Im not a mentalist, but if anyone who bought a book is reading this, could you tell me, was it good value? The purpose of the lecture appeared to me to be to generate sales of the book, and a large proportion of the routines demonstrated in the lecture remained unexplained at the end, unless you bought something.

The stage shows were good, but again, seemed to suffer from no organisation there was no compere for the most part. The audience learned who was coming on next from information on the screens. The Wonderful, hard working Frank Wilson on the keyboards did an amazing job at keeping the audience amused.
The competions were as good or bad as the competitors themselves, and by not knowing what was going to come next, I enjoyed all of it, whatever the standard. I am not going into detail about the competition performances, as Craig has done a fantastic job of that already on this forum, and my review is of the event rather than the competitors.

The evening Gala show was pretty good personally I quite like Clive Webb and Danny Adams, and the evening, whilst nothing spectacular, was pretty good. I did wonder why Blub came on stage to play with bubble mixture (my kids do that at nursery) , we were sat near the back so it was hard to see if anything more interesting was happening (it just looked like blowing bubbles). I returned to the Bed and Breakfast and went to sleep. Little did I realise this would be the only Gala show I would make it through to the end of.

Day two followed a routine that would stick to for the next few days 8.30am start for the close up, then grab a sandwich from the co-op and hang around the doors of the main theatre for 45 minutes or so to get good seats for the competition. It seemed that the organisers hadnt realised how popular these competitions would be as the lectures I attended were very sparsely attended when the competitions were on. The lack of reserved seating for the competitions suggests to me that the organisers had not expected people to spend all day watching only that. However, this worked in our favour as our ticketed seats were quite near the back, so every competition we were running like the clappers and using pre-determinded strategy to get down the back of the theatre and down the second to last aisle to 3rd row seats behind the judges.

That night, we saw some nice close up in the second session, and were glad wed managed to get tickets after all. The YMCA tossed out deck routine was a bit overly long, but we liked the show overall. The ludicrous explanation of legal requirements for audience sizes seemed all the more silly when you saw the packed Olympia hall and saw it only sat 600 people. Surely there was some sort of [censored] up there why on earth schedule it to take place in the Olympia, when its going to upset about half the attendees?

Day 3 followed the same format as day 2, with another 8.30 start for the close up and 2pm for the main stage. Having come to realise that Id not see any lectures or spend any time in the dealer halls, I only stayed for the first half of the close up, then checked out the dealer halls until it was time to get in place to be first into the main theatre when the doors opened. The dealers were saying that things were a bit quiet, but I enjoyed the calmer more relaxed atmosphere. I got to talk to a few dealers, and had a demonstration of a brilliant portable levitation table! I decided not to buy anything at this time as there was so much to see, I wondered if Id see better things to buy later and regret spending all my money. The dealers seemed to be hearing that a lot.

The stage show followed the same format as previous days, with no announcements of the acts. Some acts were good, some not so, but the magic was starting to wear thin, for example, all the manipulators seemed to merge into one in my memory, and props started to become recognisable. We could recognise by the table on stage that the magician was probably going to make some doves appear, then probably cover it with a cloth, carry it over to the side, then show the cage had vanished.For example.

But nothing, NOTHING could have prepared us for the COMEDY CAPERS night in the theatre that evening. Our seats were 3 rows from the back, so some of the smaller effects were difficult to see, but we didnt think that would be a problem in a comedy show. John Archer performed 2 tricks with a lot of fun and humour but a bit too much narrative for the international audience. But John was great and I really enjoyed his routines. Stan Allen did a fairly basic job as host, but did a great routine with a puppet in the middle. Clive Webb and Danny Adams did their act and I thought it was quite good. But between these acts, we had Blub, who tapdanced (comedy capers? Tapdancing?), Nardini did some unfunny bad magician stuff, Richard McDougall walked onto the stage and smoked cigarettes for ten minutes (from where we were sat Im sure he was doing something magical with the cigarettes, but to me it was just a man smoking) - there was not a lot of comedy in any of these acts, and the big finale act was not even comedy at all. A special mention should go to them, Blackpools very own Amythyst provided a fast paced flick through an illusion dealer catalogue, by placing a girl in a box, sticking spikes through or similar, then revealing the girl was unharmed at the end. They did this five times, with 5 different elaborate cabinets. There was no plot, character, structure or storyline it was just elaborate cabinet after elaborate cabinet, LOOK, SHES OK!!! AGAIN!!!!. The biggest applause of the night for Amythist was a cut and restored rope routine that I really enjoyed. The audience of magicians seemed distinctly unimpressed by the off-the-shelf box illusions, one after the other. In fact, the traditional how did they do that? was only asked after they produced a bored looking tiger that paced around in a circle in the cage. Not How did they do that where did she go?, rather How did they get a tiger in Blackpool? How much work did that involve? Does that require a lot of Admin? Was it worth it to have such a bored animal in a cage? Its hardly Seigfried and Roy. Compare Amythyst to the Prince of Ilusion that won Fism same idea, but worlds apart in presentation and ideas.

Now, as Im typing this, I feel Im being negative. We shouldnt expect Siegfried and Roy, this is the Blackpool Magicians Club. BUT ITS NOT! THIS IS FISM!!! We paid 480 a ticket (sorry to keep bringing that up but its true!!!) The comedy capers show would remain one of the most disappointing shows Id ever seen had I not attended what was to come on subsequent nights. Only John Archer provided genuine comedy moments, the rest of the show was weak.

So, in the voice of Marcus Bentley, DAY FIVE. I followed the same routine as yesterday, leaving the close up after Yaan Frisch to go and see John Archers lecture and wander the dealer halls some more. Johns lecture was good, the items on sale were cheaper than their regular prices, and to me, that demonstrated what a lecture should be like I learned about presentation, I learned some methods, and most importantly, I had the choice of whether to buy something or not. For example, John explained what I would need to buy and how to create the Blank Night routine from his Penn and Teller performance. There were ready made items on sale as well, and I could save myself the hassle of making the props myself if I chose to. Thats a good lecture. I came away with new ideas and knowledge, and I was not required to buy anything unless I wanted to. As it happens, I did, and I bought some stuff. I noticed that the Speed Dating (still going on when I arrived for the lecture) seemed to have gone very well, although again the audience for both Johns lecture and the Speed Dating was very small, because everyone was at the close up.

I started to wonder how the dealers must have been feeling, as everywhere other than the FISM competitions felt really quiet. I went for a nice relaxing poo after the lecture, and ended up having to hold it in as I could not find a cubicle with a working lock on the door, or that wasnt covered from top to bottom in [censored]. As mentioned earlier, I took a photo, I just could not believe what I was seeing. How does someone let their arse get into that condition?

We went to the main theatre for the stage competiton, and once again, used strategy to bag wonderful seats. After this, we went for some food at the buffet.

Oh dear.

1200 people all waited outside the winter gardens for the first session of the buffet. When we got in, there was a bottleneck as people tried to pick the diamond in a random draw. It took forever to get in, we didnt win a diamond, and the queues were so long that we gave up waiting. As we were leaving the queue in the Chinese part of the Buffet, a lady announced they had run out of food and only had noodles left. The queue of people dispersed into the other queues, and as we left to head out to Burger King.

I wasnt that bothered about the Tower Circus, but I decided to go for a look anyway, leaving at the interval if it was boring. I arrived at the Winter Gardens for the 8.15pm Magical Musical March to the Tower, only to be greeted by a crowd of confused magicians. It seemed that the March had left some time earlier, and no-one was around the front of the Winter Gardens to tell the people who had arrived at the stated time where the Tower was. I have some local knowledge, and I directed them to the Tower, and when we arrived, there was a large group of people at the closed main entrance. There was a lot of confusion and eventually, we realised these doors were not going to open, and walked onto the promenade, and saw the queue there. People were complaining about the lack of communication.

The circus was excellent, and definitely well worth the 10 an adult ticket would cost you any other time. I recommend it really high standard. The hosts of the shows had a lot of fun with the running joke of the conference, (people were shouting OK!! whenever the performer said it) and the acrobats and artists were great.

DAY 6 then. No need to be up early, as no close up competition today, freeing up the morning. Three lectures in the AM, with 2 of those at the same time, despite there being no close up competition at the same time. Surely these could have all run sequentially? David Stone was excellent, although his lecture like so many others, was more like an entertaining dealer demonstration. Most of the tricks he demonstrated were self working tricks that he was selling, and there wasnt much to be learned from the lecture unless you were looking for presentation tips for the tricks he was selling.

The stage show passed the day nicely and the evening Gala show loomed. By now, our expectations for the Gala shows had been sufficiently lowered, but we had no idea how bad things were going to get. Ernesto Planas couldnt attend due to Visa restrictions, so instead, we were treated to a drag queen in a fat suit, tits hanging out and a fake hairy pubic bush. WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA??? Seriously, what the hell was that? An utterly appalling, rude, misjudged, shocking performance that the international audience of entertainers just could not believe. Dreadful, whoever gave that the go-ahead needs shooting. There was some good juggling from Blub, who redeemed his/herself by finally showing some actual relevant talent after the previous tapdancing and bubble blowing. The last act of the evening was a generic stage illusion act, so formulaic and tiresome that the audience actually started to boo. We left early to get good seats for Beat the Wand, which as always was a highlight of the weekend. Magic Sam and Andy do a terrific job of making people laugh, and after a lot of worry about the low number of acts the night went on late with people volunteering to go on stage throughout the evening.

The final day then Saturday, and all magic-ed out, we decided to go for a wander around Blackpool, make some purchases at the dealer halls, before the winners performances. What a shambles! The winners had not even been announced and the first we knew of who won was when their names appeared on the screens above when they were about to perform. Again, there was no compere other then the occasional housekeeping announcement, as Yann Frisch and Yu Ho Jin performed to massive standing ovations. No sense of occasion came from the organisers, only from the enthusiasm of the audience. In the evening presentation, the winners received their trophies and we were asked to wait for a few minutes whilst the acts had photos taken. This turned into about 30 minutes of waiting around. Then, on a day when the whole audience had spent the day watching the WORLD CLASS FISM WINNERS, we were treated to the most dreadful Gala show Ive ever seen. Im going to try to remember as much as I can, but my brain has blacked it out.

First off, we saw the Dolphin Dancers. They came on dancing like a poor Vegas imitation, the sort of thing you see on 321 repeats on Challenge TV. They were dancing to music that sounded like it was being played off a C120 tape. The muffled sound, the hiss, it was bad. The running order said theyd give us the Blackpool Experience, and I did feel like Id been assaulted afterwards. It only lasted about a minute, and that was long enough, but this short set implied theyd be back. Vladimir provided a forgettable act, a sweet old man called Micheal Pearse was GREAT, but not what an international FISM audience would expect, and then.... Well, what can I say. Wed wondered how they could possibly beat the fat suit from the previous day. We wondered if there was a deliberate attempt to make the Gala shows as terrible as possible. We considered that it would take a special kind of BAD ACT to sign off FISM 2012. And OH MY GOD they found just the right act.
Carl and Dave came onto the stage, and announced that they were boyfriends. There was a pause for a laugh at that point which never came, because its 2012 and some people ARE gay. The blatant homophobia continued with the line, in case youre wondering, he is. The act continued with some very weak humour, dreadful illusions, and an audience that whistled loudly and booed right through to the end of the act. When Victor Micheal came out to sing, we left to go and get good seats for the farewell party. Victor was very good, but, like the tapdancer, the bubble artist, the homophobic childrens entertainers and man smoking cigarettes, this wasnt what we were here to see. I felt bad missing Losander, but we couldnt take it any more. A week of largely terrible Gala shows had taken its toll, we needed to get out of the sweaty, hot theatre and we braved the farewell dinner instead. As we left the theatre, we could see that the majority of the younger audience crowd were already out there, and people continued to leave the theatre throughout.

The magician who played guitar at Beat the Wand was on stage filling in as people arrived at the finale party. He was good, but the sound system was not set up correctly, and after about 30 minutes on stage playing only 1 long feedback hum, he admitted defeat, left the stage. Then, the karaoke started. About halfway though the first song, we realised this singer was a paid entertainer. The vocals were so low in the mix, the resulting sound was an echoing mess, and we resigned ourselves to going back to the hotel. Did I mention we paid 480 for this?

So as I type this, and think about the last week, I realise my review is overwhelmingly negative. Its not meant to be. But the structure of the event meant that if you wanted to see the stage magic, you missed most of the lectures and other events. By spending all day in the close up then stage competitions, the only things left to review focus on the organisation of the event, which was a shables. It just seemed to me that every single aspect of the event that was in the control of the organisers was very badly run. I had a great week, and really enjoyed it. But the enjoyment came from the 150 magicians who had entered the competition, and these all came and performed unpaid, in the hope of winning. So, where did my 480 get spent? It certainly wasnt spent on great gala shows, clean toilets, organised buffets and so on. Did it get spent on printing 2500 copies of that Derek Lever book? Or did they massively overpay for the Gala show acts? Was everything done on the cheap for a reason? I just dont know. Ill be attending FISM in Italy to see how they do it.

Did I mention I paid 480 for this?
Last edited by Dumpster on July 15th, 2012, 3:38 pm, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: paragraphs added

User avatar
IrishMagicNews
Posts: 479
Joined: May 20th, 2009, 3:30 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby IrishMagicNews » July 15th, 2012, 4:00 pm

Dumpster wrote: I went for a nice relaxing poo after the lecture, and ended up having to hold it in as I could not find a cubicle with a working lock on the door, or that wasnt covered from top to bottom in [censored].


I haven't read the entire the review but cried laughing at that.

The proof below.

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHVsj3wscPE[/video]
Brendan

News, Lectures, Societies & Magic in Ireland
http://www.IrishMagicNews.com

Shenanigans the irish magic convention 2-4 May 2014 Dublin
http://www.IrishMagicConvention.com

Ted M
Posts: 954
Joined: January 24th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dani DaOrtiz
Location: Madison, WI

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Ted M » July 15th, 2012, 6:08 pm

So, where did my 480 get spent? It certainly wasnt spent on great gala shows, clean toilets, organised buffets and so on. Did it get spent on printing 2500 copies of that Derek Lever book?


That 150 price printed so prominently on the book's cover seems to suggest that almost 1/3 of your 480 ticket price went straight to Derek Lever's publishing company.

User avatar
MickNZ
Posts: 43
Joined: May 24th, 2012, 1:04 am
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby MickNZ » July 16th, 2012, 12:14 am

Very entertaining, thanks for posting.

Richard Stokes
Posts: 165
Joined: September 11th, 2008, 8:18 pm

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Richard Stokes » July 16th, 2012, 3:03 am

Thanks, Dumpster. You've given us a fair taste of Derek Lever's JISM.

C. Hampton
Posts: 349
Joined: June 5th, 2008, 12:51 pm
Favorite Magician: Tamariz, DaOrtiz, Coperfield
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby C. Hampton » July 16th, 2012, 3:17 am

For me after 22 years in Magic it was my first FISM. I was eager to be there and it was the most dissapointing experience in my magic life. I will have to disagree in some of the comments from above to add that all the shows, ALL THE SHOWS were TERRIBLE.
With the exception of a couple of performers here and there the galas kept getting worst and worst.

I will make a comment about the close up show. I was really looking forward to this in particular.

Presenting the gala was Greg Wilson. He did OK with the exception of an incident retriving a rubiks cube from the audience where an older lady got hitted in the head with it. It was not Greg's fault (with the exception of asking the spectator of throwing the cube back) but a little more concern for the injured spectator would it been better.

Matthew Johnson was just terrible for a close up show. He did what it would be an entertaining act for a cruise dinner, but not for a FISM close-up show. For the love of.... you have 2,500 magicians in front of you. He was entertaining but in the wrong arena.

Shoot Ogawa is good but in the first session when I saw him he got a language misunderstanding with a volunteer that didn't make him comfortable and that showed over his performance. This added to the poor lighting and proyection on the screens made his appearance just correct.

Mark Mason, did not take into consideration that he was performing for an international audience. A lot of talking, A LOT. People that were not proficient English speakers and those of us who are just not used to the British accent disconnected really quick.

Michael Weber, what a big dissapointment. For me this performer was a hero before this show. We had the opportunity to see him make a small rubber band dissapear and then we had to put up with him for God knows how long pulling decks of cards and cigarrets out of his pockets in what he though was a hilarious sequence. (this was a close up FISM gala Mr Weber, not a reunion at a bar with two friends, and not, it was not funny.

Kozmo, started his performance with a video about Cellini and street performance and how you should look at the performance like layman. After the video was over he went on with a very very bad performance. Flashing loads left and right, bad taste jokes, etc. Again, who though of this performer for a FISM close-up show?

Boris Wild, went after Kozmo with his continuation of the KISS act. It was to music and it was presented correctly with the lighting/projection situation at hand. Some people did not like it a whole lot, but at least he was performing close-up in a close-up gala the second one with Shoot doing his job.

Marc Oberon, was good, although he extended his work with the cards a little to long. Then the gold act was quite interesting although was more parlor than close-up.

David Stone, thanks God for having David closing the show. He not only did a great job and close up magic, but he had everyone laughing all the time.

It is a pitty that everyone that attended FISM left with the feeling that the Circus show under the tower was the best show we witneesed along with the Final Stage & Close-Up Performance. It is bad in my opinion when the contestans are several notches above the hired performers.


Great Job on Mr. Wilson and his keyboard for keeping us entertained and to his beautiful daughter for singing so nicely.

What a punishment the FISM presindent made us endured before the worst closing gala ever.

Let's hope that the FISM in Italy would be better than this one. So far there are some controversy about the registration but that my friends...will be another topic.
Carlos Hampton
www.damainquieta.com/conferencias

Davide Brizio
Posts: 7
Joined: July 11th, 2012, 2:45 pm

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Davide Brizio » July 16th, 2012, 4:12 am

"Kozmo, started his performance with a video about Cellini and street performance and how you should look at the performance like layman. After the video was over he went on with a very very bad performance. Flashing loads left and right, bad taste jokes, etc. Again, who though of this performer for a FISM close-up show?
"

What wait? What video?
I attended the second show, from the perfect close-up distance of 150 meters away because I was one of the many without a ticket and they let me in only after the more "lucky" ones were already seated. But when Kozmo performed they didn't broadcast any video at all. There was only the voice, now I understand why the recorded intro was so long. It was supposed to be a video but they just forgot to send it on the screen, which showed the empty table for the whole time.

And I agree with the whole review of the show, especially on the bad taste jokes of Kozmo ("you must be very rich, it's the only reason your wife could have married you" or "did you just get out of prison?" ); but I enjoyed Michael Weber's performance. I had already seen this routine and I like it, it's something different and actually funny and magical. Too bad it was the only thing he did, I was expecting it to be an intro to a much longer performance, but after 5 minutes he went away.

David Stone was awesome with many inside jokes. The best one was producing the bottle holder from the balloon instead of the bottle, pure genius :)

Dave

Jacky Kahan
Posts: 393
Joined: March 16th, 2008, 4:55 pm
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Jacky Kahan » July 16th, 2012, 4:51 am

Thanks for sharing!
I'm happy i could not come...

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 24459
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 16th, 2012, 4:56 am

What is the controversy about registrations for FISM 2015 in Italy? I didn't see or hear of any controversy, just a lot of people registering.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

C. Hampton
Posts: 349
Joined: June 5th, 2008, 12:51 pm
Favorite Magician: Tamariz, DaOrtiz, Coperfield
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby C. Hampton » July 16th, 2012, 5:39 am

Richard,

I am so kicking my ass for not knowing you were there as I wanted to meet you you in person...anyway I will have my chance in October.

The controversy with the Italy registration was with the VIP slots. I have not checked into their booth but the information I got from some of my travel mates is that they are selling VIP (front rows) for 600 euros or just regular incriptions at 400 or 450 euros not sure.
Carlos Hampton

www.damainquieta.com/conferencias

MartinKaplan
Posts: 86
Joined: March 11th, 2008, 5:37 pm

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby MartinKaplan » July 16th, 2012, 5:51 am

Given the fact that FISM is international in scope, why is it that there is no accommodation for those who do not speak English? Several of my magician friends here in Spain chose not to attend this year because all lectures were in English so why sit through something that you will not understand. I am also puzzled why non-native speakers of English present their acts in English when they have been honing their acts for years and years in their native language. Is it because the judges are limited by their knowledge of languages? Is it because the audience may not follow the patter that accompanies the effects? Color me puzzled?

-Marty

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 24459
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 16th, 2012, 6:00 am

Marty, English is the international language. When I go to a convention of the Asian Magicians Association, for example, you have people from Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and so on. The only way they can all communicate is in English!

There are so many languages from the many clubs in FISM, that a single language needs to be chosen. It is impossible to translate language A (say Spanish) into every other language of the people who are attending. They do this at the United Nations, but the cost must be enormous.

I purchased a 600 euro VIP registration. While I have not seen this at FISM before, it has become very common to charge a premium price for "premium" seating. I was also told that there will be a special lecture only for those who purchased the VIP package.

I don't think you'll be missing anything by not signing up for the VIP package since the theater appears to have good sight lines for everyone and good video facilities.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

MartinKaplan
Posts: 86
Joined: March 11th, 2008, 5:37 pm

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby MartinKaplan » July 16th, 2012, 6:19 am

Thanks for the explanation, Richard. I suspected that the need for a common language was the case. I hope that reviewers, judges and audience members will exercise a bit more sympathy and discretion with those performers who are presenting in English when English is not their native language.

User avatar
Tim Ellis
Posts: 926
Joined: July 11th, 2008, 4:08 pm
Location: Victoria
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Tim Ellis » July 16th, 2012, 7:24 am

At previous FISMs English has been the main language, but there are usually translations into several other languages as well.

Usually, the lectures are repeated three times, once in English and then twice with translations in two different languages.

The speeches are usually translated as well.

Ali Bongo was always a great FISM compere as he could speak several languages and would mix it up to keep everyone involved.

If English was the ONLY language at BLACKFISM, then that's another major error of judgement by the organisers.

I'm impressed by how, for almost 5 times the price of a regular Blackpool, they seemed to deliver 5 times less of a convention. It would have to be the most profitable FISM ever staged from an organiser's perspective.

For example, a FISM Gala Banquet is usually staged with special world class entertainment in a show costing tens of thousands of dollars to produce.

They saved on venue, production, talent and even transport by having the magicians walk to the nearby circus and see a show that normally cost ten pounds admission. Considering they brought over 2,000 people I'm sure FISM got a substantial discount making it the most inexpensive gala ever.

For 500 euros (or so) a lot of people who went have told me they didn't even get close to their money's worth and are trying to find a way to get at least a partial refund. Especially those who didn't even get tickets to the Close Up Gala.

C. Hampton
Posts: 349
Joined: June 5th, 2008, 12:51 pm
Favorite Magician: Tamariz, DaOrtiz, Coperfield
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby C. Hampton » July 16th, 2012, 7:51 am

Tim Ellis wrote:At previous FISMs English has been the main language, but there are usually translations into several other languages as well.

Usually, the lectures are repeated three times, once in English and then twice with translations in two different languages.

The speeches are usually translated as well.

Ali Bongo was always a great FISM compere as he could speak several languages and would mix it up to keep everyone involved.

If English was the ONLY language at BLACKFISM, then that's another major error of judgement by the organisers.

I'm impressed by how, for almost 5 times the price of a regular Blackpool, they seemed to deliver 5 times less of a convention. It would have to be the most profitable FISM ever staged from an organiser's perspective.

For example, a FISM Gala Banquet is usually staged with special world class entertainment in a show costing tens of thousands of dollars to produce.

They saved on venue, production, talent and even transport by having the magicians walk to the nearby circus and see a show that normally cost ten pounds admission. Considering they brought over 2,000 people I'm sure FISM got a substantial discount making it the most inexpensive gala ever.

For 500 euros (or so) a lot of people who went have told me they didn't even get close to their money's worth and are trying to find a way to get at least a partial refund. Especially those who didn't even get tickets to the Close Up Gala.


AMEN,

Everyone felt scamed!!! Because we did not get an 1/8 in return of what we've paid.
Carlos Hampton

www.damainquieta.com/conferencias

User avatar
Marco Pusterla
Posts: 438
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Suffolk - UK
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Marco Pusterla » July 16th, 2012, 8:33 am

C. Hampton wrote:The controversy with the Italy registration was with the VIP slots. I have not checked into their booth but the information I got from some of my travel mates is that they are selling VIP (front rows) for 600 euros or just regular incriptions at 400 or 450 euros not sure.


At the Masters of Magic Convention, you could have registered for VIP quotes which would guarantee front row seats for shows and lectures, access to the gala dinner (which otherwise was to be paid separately) and other special events (don't remember what, I think one year was a cocktail party, another year was a special meeting with one of the stars of the Convention, etc.). I don't see anything wrong with this: it means that you have a better experience even as, as Richard said, the sight lines in the Rimini convention centre are great. VIP seats allows you to be closer to the stage, which has its advantages.

In regards to translations: FISM has four official languages: English, French, German and Spanish, which are used for all official communications. It's a pity that in Blackpool no translation in any of the other languages was provided. Again, at the Masters of Magic convention, the lecturers are asked to lecture in English and are translated into Italian by an on-stage translator. This year, lectures were also translated in French with a headphones service: French guests could obtain a wireless headphone and a second translator (English-French), in a cabine, would translate the lecture in French just for them. Exacty like at the United Nations :) The same concept will be developed in the next two years to be in full swing for FISM in 2015.

Hope this helps.
Marco Pusterla - http://www.mpmagic.com

Ye Olde Magic Mag: magic history and collecting magazine.

User avatar
Tim Ellis
Posts: 926
Joined: July 11th, 2008, 4:08 pm
Location: Victoria
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Tim Ellis » July 16th, 2012, 8:40 am

Sounds like Italy will deliver the goods as far as FISM goes :)

User avatar
IrishMagicNews
Posts: 479
Joined: May 20th, 2009, 3:30 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby IrishMagicNews » July 16th, 2012, 8:49 am

I am glad the FISM - Blackpool time in magic is over.

It should mean Blackpool can get back to what they do best. Putting on a great 3 day convention where everyone knows what to expect. And that costs bugger all to see the best magicians in the world.

FISM can also get back to what it does best. Running swanky events in swanky venues.

I don't think they were ever the best of bedfellows. IMHO The Blackpool Convention suffered badly by hosting the European Champs a couple of years ago. I am glad normal service will resume.

Perhaps The Blackpool Magicians Club can take comfort in the fact they run the world's largest magic convention on an annual basis that most of us wouldn't miss for the world. Let FISM be FISM and Blackpool be Blackpool.

Lessons learned for all I think.
Brendan

News, Lectures, Societies & Magic in Ireland
http://www.IrishMagicNews.com

Shenanigans the irish magic convention 2-4 May 2014 Dublin
http://www.IrishMagicConvention.com

One Way Ticket
Posts: 5
Joined: July 16th, 2012, 8:21 am

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby One Way Ticket » July 16th, 2012, 8:52 am

When I heard they served Bangers and Mash at the Banquet I Couldn't Believe It.

Watch DL and the rest of the group have a party in Vegas after this one.

User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 3841
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby erdnasephile » July 16th, 2012, 9:28 am

Thanks for the review, Dumpster.

$750 US for that mess? How can the FISM folks tank so badly with such a large budget?

Future FISM organizers ought to be required to attend and study Genii Bash, MAGIC Live, etc. to see how it's done right (at half the price).

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 24459
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 16th, 2012, 10:23 am

Before citing the Genii 75th Anniversary Birthday Bash as an example, let me successfully pull it off first! :)
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
Pete Biro
Posts: 7125
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Hollyweird
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Pete Biro » July 16th, 2012, 11:23 am

Different prices for up front seats are common in the real world theater.
Stay tooned.

Richard Stokes
Posts: 165
Joined: September 11th, 2008, 8:18 pm

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Richard Stokes » July 16th, 2012, 11:24 am

Today's London Times had coverage of the Blackpool gathering;

The Secret World of the Magician by Damian Whitworth:

TEXT DELETED: DO NOT POST COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL HERE.

AnthonyBrahams
Posts: 91
Joined: March 12th, 2008, 11:28 am
Location: Norwich, U.K.

Times Feature

Postby AnthonyBrahams » July 16th, 2012, 12:55 pm

In addition to the main article there was an excerpt from Stone's book including exposure of Topit and showing author as an incompetent magician. Best part, nice photo of Tina Lenert.
Anthony

Brad Henderson
Posts: 3814
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: austin, tx

Re: Times Feature

Postby Brad Henderson » July 16th, 2012, 1:11 pm

Magic is all about methods.

Good to know.

brianarudolph
Posts: 369
Joined: February 26th, 2012, 9:22 pm

Re: Times Feature

Postby brianarudolph » July 16th, 2012, 3:09 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Before citing the Genii 75th Anniversary Birthday Bash as an example, let me successfully pull it off first! :)


Sorry, Richard but for once I have to disagree with you. Given the talent line up you've assembled, the venue you've selected, the thoughtful schedule you've developed and all the bonuses and perks you've already revealed (not to mention any still being withheld/guarded), I'd say success is already written all over the Genii Birthday Bash.

Granted, something nasty could still hit Orlando between now and October resulting in a zombie apocalypse (and just think of all those dented spheres and tattered foulards ... oh the horror.) But even then, based on what I've read here, it sounds like that would pretty much still trump this year's FISL.

Amos McCormick
Posts: 166
Joined: February 1st, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Southwestern Southeast

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Amos McCormick » July 16th, 2012, 4:16 pm

Dumpster wrote:Fism 2012 an opinion.

I received my 150 book, which turned out to be another Derek Lever publication. I didnt see this advertised as such anywhere in advance, I knew I would receive a hardback book with 150 value, but assumed (as this was FISM, not Blackpool Magic) that this would be something of value. I saw the same book on a dealer stand at 15, there were copies of the book dumped around at various places, and the number of jokes at Dereks expense makes me think that no-one really believes this book is of any real value, and certainly not the 150 printed on the cover. Is there some sort of unusual accountancy going on here? Is the book genuinely a free gift, or are we being sold this book? Why do we always get given a Derek Lever book at these conventions? No-one seems to want them is there something funny going on here?



What a DEAL!!!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FISM-2012-Jack- ... 4ab9d91870

pduffie
Posts: 383
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby pduffie » July 16th, 2012, 4:36 pm

This one just sold for 100! (that's $155) with a Buy-it-Now.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ws/eBayISAPI. ... _500wt_975

Amos McCormick
Posts: 166
Joined: February 1st, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Southwestern Southeast

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Amos McCormick » July 16th, 2012, 4:38 pm

... and another bargain!

http://tinyurl.com/88dqbjc

brianarudolph
Posts: 369
Joined: February 26th, 2012, 9:22 pm

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby brianarudolph » July 16th, 2012, 6:34 pm

Amos McCormick wrote:... and another bargain!

http://tinyurl.com/88dqbjc


FISM 2012 COLLECTORS ADDITION BUNGLE

- Typo or Freudian slip?

User avatar
MaxNY
Posts: 1349
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Jeff McBride
Location: Warwick, New York
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby MaxNY » July 16th, 2012, 7:22 pm

The Symbiotic relationship between the Blackpoolian Alpha Ape...and the Migrating Magi is now defined as a "Parasitism" affiliation, whereby one species benefits....the other is harmed.

User avatar
Tom Stone
Posts: 1268
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Tom Stone » July 16th, 2012, 9:20 pm

Dumpster wrote:I received my 150 book, which turned out to be another Derek Lever publication. I didnt see this advertised as such anywhere in advance, I knew I would receive a hardback book with 150 value, but assumed (as this was FISM, not Blackpool Magic) that this would be something of value. I saw the same book on a dealer stand at 15, there were copies of the book dumped around at various places, and the number of jokes at Dereks expense makes me think that no-one really believes this book is of any real value, and certainly not the 150 printed on the cover.


I believe I've seen the original three volumes go for a lot in the past, like around $600 for the set. Is this the same works, or a newly authored compilation? Jack Hughes came up with some clever stuff in his time (Attaboy etc.), so I'm curious over the negative comments. Is it badly written?


User avatar
Q. Kumber
Posts: 1572
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Manchester, England

Re: FISM 2012 - Jack Hughes Book

Postby Q. Kumber » July 17th, 2012, 3:08 am

Tom, the book is a compilation of the best (always a subjective word) of the three volumes, with the original text and illustrations.

I regretted having sold Volume One ten years ago, so I'm now glad to have this on my library shelf.

Aldo Ghiurmino
Posts: 32
Joined: May 24th, 2012, 2:41 am
Location: Italy

Re: FISM 2012 - my experience.

Postby Aldo Ghiurmino » July 17th, 2012, 4:01 am

In regards to translations: I would just add that in the italian bid book FISM 2015 (Pag. 141) is witten that :
All the conferences and the presentation of the shows will be in English, with simultaneous translations into the following languages: French, Spanish and Italian

Aldo

User avatar
Tom Stone
Posts: 1268
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - Jack Hughes Book

Postby Tom Stone » July 17th, 2012, 7:50 am

Q. Kumber wrote:Tom, the book is a compilation of the best (always a subjective word) of the three volumes, with the original text and illustrations.

So it doesn't contain all of the material from the three volumes?

Jim Riser
Posts: 1085
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: FISM 2012 - Jack Hughes Book

Postby Jim Riser » July 17th, 2012, 12:46 pm

This is the same question I have regarding the book. I know that I paid $100 per book for the original three volume set. They have held their value. The new version could well be worth more than many folk think.

It is not necessarily the type of book the general magic enthusiast might want. Most would probably select coin, card, silk effects with routines spelled out step by step. This is where I could see disappointment with the book.

Most magic types can not make anything and such a book would hold little interest for them. As for me, I would like the book. It may not have been such a bad item in the goodie bag.
Jim

User avatar
Q. Kumber
Posts: 1572
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Manchester, England

Re: FISM 2012 - Jack Hughes Book

Postby Q. Kumber » July 17th, 2012, 2:27 pm

There are 286 pages and it is a compilation, not the complete three volumes but a browse through shows some excellent apparatus magic, including the JH Snake Basket.

John Archer
Posts: 96
Joined: March 3rd, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: FISM 2012 - Jack Hughes Book

Postby John Archer » July 19th, 2012, 7:03 pm

Thanks for the kind words Dumpster. :)

John

Dumpster
Posts: 6
Joined: July 15th, 2012, 3:22 pm

Re: FISM 2012 - Jack Hughes Book

Postby Dumpster » July 20th, 2012, 5:54 pm

No problem John, you were a highlight of the convention.

Incidentally, I do like how this forum inserts (censored) instead of certain words, but I would like to point out that "cockup" is a family friendly expression and changing it to "(censored) up" makes it a million times worse!! ;)


Return to “Buzz”