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MAGIC Live! – Wednesday afternoon session

August 20th, 2009 by Rob James

The final day of MAGIC Live! When I get home in a couple of days I’ll try and post a general summary of the convention as a whole. There are also one or two things that I have not covered but I’ll try and touch on those too.

The host for the afternoon was Michael Weber and he kicked off by delivering a “News Update” which was a very funny section essentially lampooning a lot of well-known names in magic including David Blaine, Andrew Goldenhirsh, Michael Vincent and Dan & Dave. Michael got the biggest laugh of the whole three days when he made a reference to Luis de Matos’s talk from one of the earlier sessions. The person who got hammered the most though was Criss Angel. His show is still one of the biggest talking points in Vegas. The reaction is still almost universally negative and someone has even made stickers saying “Piss Angel” and stuck them on the bleach blocks in the urinals in the mens room.

Making a big entrance scaling cards into the audience was Jeff McBride. This turned out to be relevant as his section was billed “The Show Doctor” and he discussed why you should always have a good joke-free introduction from a show’s compere and make a good entrance on to the stage. Jeff discussed applause cues and universal faults when it comes to performance – such as card magicians stooping and looking down at their hands and stage guys constantly going to their cases. All relevant points but hopefully with the general calibre of the crowd present, things that everyone already knew.

“Marketplace Live” took the form of a panel discussion chaired by Gabe Fajuri and joined by John Lovick, Jason England and Brad Henderson. Discussing the validity of one trick DVDs, the concept that not all ideas are good/publishable ideas and interestingly what happens when those who put out products have an adverse reaction to a negative review. Brad Henderson had one example and he was quite keen to say in no uncertain terms what he thought of one man who sued MAGIC for a bad review. The panel picked one product from recent years each that they truly thought were worth owning. Mike Caveney’s publication of Dai Vernon’s “Revelation”, Geoffrey Durham’s “Professional Secrets” and Levent’s DVD on the Miser’s Dream were chosen as being the cream of the crop.

Derek Delgaudio had been billed to appear discussing iPhone magic but in his absence Michael Weber took to the stage again and shared some ideas about how to use applications not specifically designed for magic in order to create magical effects.

Finally Jules Fisher was interviewed about his work as a lighting director. Some clips from his work on the Cirque show Le Reve were shown and we learned that throughout the show there are 7000 light cues, all of which are done by hand rather than a computer.

Rob James is a close up magician from the UK. He co-founded The Session convention and has performed all over the UK and Europe, Dubai and on two occasions at the Magic Castle.