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International Magic Convention 2010 – Saturday

December 3rd, 2010 by Richard Morrell

Saturday started out with a quick trip to the dealers, and then into the 27th Annual Close-up Competition. As a warm up they showed footage of last years winner Johan Stahl.

The first competitor was Will Gray from the UK, he performed a Splash Bottle gag, a Glass of Water production complete with Goldfish, and a signed card to sealed deck. Second was Rene Jensen from Denmark, he performed a quick bit of thimble manipulation, followed by a double beer bottle production. The main part of his routine involved an Electric Deck that could be controlled with a computer mouse. He performed an Ambitious sequence, produced batteries out of the deck and card case, and even at one point showed the electronic inner workings of the deck, before riffling it to show it was normal. He finished with a card appearing in the mouse, and the production of a Giant Battery.

Andost from the USA had an act themed around colour, he had a blue and pink lightbulb, and performed with cards that changed to blue and pink when they were placed into the light, a follow the leader sequence was followed by a very clean oil-and-water routine. Finally he had a grey-scale deck which changed to all sorts of different back colours when placed into the lights, a very novel act. Julien Bachelet from France showed some competent card magic, unfortunately for me at least his presentation seemed a bit abrupt, he started with a Triumph using four signed Kings, and then into a Visitor routine, and a variation on Collectors, each time getting the spectator to sign one more card, having four signed cards he magically changed the Kings into the signed cards and produced the signed Kings from his wallet.

Kasrani from Iraq was the one terrible act you have to have in all competitions, he wandered on dressed in a hoodie, and proceeded to ramble for a good 7-8 minutes without doing any magic, and not even being remotely funny, he then decided to finish with a little bit of Garrett Thomas’s Ring Thing and some Coin Rolls. If this was supposed to be a joke I’m afraid I missed it! Kim Min Hyung from Korea restored the balance with a sensational act that saw him win at Blackpool this year, he has a running gag of being nervous and each time he does that the cap is shown to have gone from his water bottle on the table, and appears in his hand. His card work is immaculate and he produced the four aces, had any suit named, and proceeded to produce the rest of that suit, using a flashlight and a rotating doll for the final card!

Jason Ladanye from the USA showed skill with a deck of cards, but the really odd thing was he seemed to be emulating Darwin Ortiz, down to having his sleeves rolled up the same way, his voice and inflection the same, and all his mannerisms and material. He performed Darwin’s card from Keycase, Dream Card and All Backs routine. To be fair his website says he occasionally studies with Darwin but my suggestion would be to find his own way of presenting the tricks, that maybe isn’t so close to such a well established figure. Matthew Wright followed with his Slow-motion 3-Fly, Mullica’s Nightmare, a card-to-forehead with a nightmare presentation, and finally his Poker Face routine set to the Lady Gaga track, Matthew produces the Four Aces along with a call back to the card used in the nightmare, a Phoenix Ace Production and a clean Torn and Restored card ended his set. Matthew has a great character, with his voice and expressions and energy really adding to his magic.

Paul Sommersguter from Austria started off with a named card matching the one pegged to his breast pocket, he then performed a version of the Bannon Triumph finding all the cards of the suit, the cards magically vanished and returned back to the case, where they were shown to be back in new deck order with the signed selection in the correct position. Alex Hansford from the UK reprised the act I had seen him use to win the IBM, smart, confident, technically proficient, great script, and so young, damn him! He talks about his favourite school subject being maths, and uses that to link his card effects, starting off with a Royal Flush production, he then produces the rest of the Kings and moves into an Assembly complete with Backfire. The Spectator cuts to the four Aces and this allows Alex to perform a version of Reset and finally he shuffles the cards, and shows the spectator has managed to match up pairs of cards, and finally that somehow the entire Deck has managed to match into pairs, with Alex scattering these across the stage.

Simon Si from Poland performed a Coin flurry, complete with Coin Production and vanishes and a bottle production with a chosen card appearing in the bottle. The final act Javier Sanchez from Spain had a drink theme, with another Coin production sequence, and a ball and cup routine, that ended with the production of a Can of Coke and a shot of Whisky.

[Editors note – The results of the Kevin Reay Trophy ]

Next on the programme was the David Ben lecture. David doesn’t normally lecture, but he was told that he could talk about theory, and what a great talk it was. He started by introducing us to the concept of the Tragic Rhythm, he demonstrated this with his excellent Sterling Egg Bag routine. He then showed us a version of the Scarne Ace problem, by being able to produce the four aces from a shuffled borrowed deck. Ross Bertrams Torn and Restored Cigarette Paper looked very magical in David’s hands, and he then went on to talk about Symbiotics in Magic, Transition Management and finally showed a clip of him riffle-stacking three aces from a shuffled deck, and all the sleight-of-hand that went on behind the scenes, and he closed the lecture with a routine called Downs Revisited which was a clean vanish and reproduction of several coins.

The next lecture was a joint one by two members of the Flicking Fingers, Jorg Alexander and Jorg Willich. Jorg Willich is a designer and he talked about the need in magic to think about Branding, Relevance, Sustainability, Communication and Like-ability. To illustrate his points he performed and explained a Glass of Orange production from his Shoe, and a chosen Card on Food Mixer. Jorg Alexander took us through his Present routine, which is a well constructed Ring to Nest of Boxes, complete with a full explanation of his ring-on-string routine and the workings of the actual ring-in-box.

To finish the day (as I was seeing the Gala on the Sunday Night) was a Tribute Show to Cellini. Introduced by Richard McDougall, several performers appeared and told some heart-felt stories about their relationships with the great street performer, and showed some magic. International Weekend 2010 - Diva of Deception - Gazzo Gazzo was on first with an Egg Bag routine, and he really got into his stride when using a small boy as his volunteer. Michael Vincent performed a Spelling effect, where from a shuffled borrowed deck, he was able to spell down to a card. Ben Whiting performed a giant two-ring Linking Rings routine that had some very magical moments. Johnny Fox performed the Cups and Balls, and finally Chris Lynam came on and performed a series of visual street-entertainer gags, a funny close and a fitting tribute, which for me could have been a lot longer!International Weekend 2010 - Diva of Deception - chris lynham

As we were seeing the Gala show on the Sunday Night we decided to book tickets to see Ken Hills adaptation of The Invisible Man at the Menier Chocolate Factory. It has all Paul Kieve’s special effects in it, with object flying and floating around, I won’t spoil it too much, but if you get chance to see it whilst it is on, go!

Many thanks to Mandy Davis for allowing us to use her wonderful photos.

About the Reviewer – Richard Morrell, Magic Convention Guide Live Writer. Richard has been a keen amateur magician for over twenty years, starting as a Humberside Young Magician, he now runs the workshop, teaching 10-16 year olds, as well as being an active member of Hull Magicians’ Circle. Specialising in card magic, but he likes to watch any form of the art, and will have a go at performing most things.

Richard has written for The Oracle as well as Abracadabra and Genii magazine. He is most at home combining his love of the Internet with his love of Magic, over eight years ago he started what may have been the world’s first Magic themed blog. Now among the new crop of magic blogs, The Magician is still going strong, and recently it gained a sister-blog Watching Magic. Richard can be found at most of the major conventions either hunched over a pack of cards, or a laptop!