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The Innovention 2010 – Review

October 24th, 2010 by Magic Convention Guide

The Innovention 2010, Suncoast Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. 4-7 October 2010 – Reviewed by Rick Tynan

Paul Stone’s Innovention delivered everything it promised. It was an intimate and friendly convention with between 250-300 conventioneers in a fantastic location dedicated to giving enthusiastic magicians the opportunity to experience magical excellence at close quarters. The schedule was carefully constructed to ensure that participants could attend everything and that the specially selected dealers were open only at specific times that did not clash with other events. There was a late night ‘hang-out’ zone where much mingling of performers and conventioneers was norm. The list of great contributers speaks for itself and the whole experience of attending was, for me, inspirational.

On the first night the welcome reception saw many old acquaintances renewed and new friendships struck. Alan Bursky hosted a glittering comedy chat panel featuring Mac King, The Amazing Jonathon and the incomparable Johny Thompson. A surprise addition to the panel was Tom Mullica. A great first night entertainment.Over the next three days there was a variety of high quality workshops, lectures, performances and special events as the following clearly demonstrates:

Brian Egerton – Website optimisation
Paul Stone and Gene Anderson – Nemo Rising Cards
Lennart Green – Late Night Lennart
Seth Kramer – Trade Show Magic
Richard McDougall – Stage Craft
Shep Hyken – Moments of Magic in Business
Joanie Spina – Developing an Act with Music
Teller – The ‘Red Ball’ Lecture
Gaetan Bloom – Gaetan’s Creative Magic

All the lectures were excellent, but personal favourites were Richard McDougall’s entertaining romp through some useful stagecraft exercises and Gaetan Bloom’s creative use of thread to accomplish entertaining miracles.

However, for myself and many others, the highlight of the entire convention had to be Teller’s Red Ball Lecture, a piece of pure theatre in its own right. It was truly a privilege to be in the audience. Teller spent some considerable time with the audience after the lecture, happily posing for endless photos.

Other shows included the masterful Johny Thompson Hour and Q and A session and Graham P. Jolley who performed his one man show to great acclaim.

Mark Mason, Eric Jones, Lennart Green and Bob Kohler were all outstanding in the Close-Up Sessions.

The Stars of Magic Show on Tuesday night featured high energy juggling from Aaron Sparkes, classic comedy magic from the Great Thompsoni & Co, artistic baton twirling from Nathalie Enterline, an excellent set from Mel Mellors and Richard McDougall’s very funny cigarette act. Mark Raffles made his Vegas debut at the age of 92 and brought the house down. Kevin James closed the show as only Kevin James can.

Gaetan Bloom was my personal highlight from the last night cabaret, and I greatly enjoyed Jason Andrews’ beautifully constructed and well presented manipulation act.

Special events included an audience with Criss Angel which was open and frank and won him many friends. Criss Angel was also happy to mingle with the coventioneers for chat and photographs as long as they wanted.

Siegfried and Roy attended the convention for the launch of their book written by Diana Zimmerman and Robert Gould. However, to call this project a book is a misnomer. Zimmerman and Gould have in fact produced an interactive reading experience which even contains authentic Siegfried and Roy memorabilia.

Also in attendance during the convention was the legendary Peter Reveen and Norm Nielsen.

The support for the Innovention amongst British magicians was strong. There were 25 on our flight from Gatwick and we soon met up with others as they arrived on different flights. It was good to see Pat Fallon representing Ireland. Paul Stone should be congratulated on having the vision, energy and stubborn determination to deliver the Innovention 2010. It is unlikely that any other single person would have the network or influence to stage a convention of this standard. I sincerely hope the feedback is good and that he decides to do another one!

Rick Tynan is a third generation magician and has been involved in magic all his life. Rick has performed part-time and full-time as a children’s entertainer and vent for ‘The Magic Puppets’ company, and in cabaret and as a close-up worker. He also helped his father, Derek Lawrence, look after Dan Dearing’s British interests after Dan moved to Italy. Since 2005 Rick’s own magic company has been called ‘Up Close and Magic‘.

As a ‘magic nut’, Rick attends all types of magic events at every available opportunity. This includes the Blackpool and IBM conventions. Rick is a member of the Magic Circle, IBM British Ring, Northern Magic Circle. He is a Past President and the current Secretary and Orbit Editor of the Liverpool Mahatma Magic Circle. For a several years Rick has enjoyed contributing convention show and lecture reviews to the Budget. – www.upcloseandmagic.com