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4F’s – Friday Workshop (No Props)

April 24th, 2010 - Shawn Farquhar

Meir Yedid hosted our morning workshop on effects without props.  This years workshop was decided as a group but was the brain child of Pat Page, who is dearly missed among the members.

Bruce Kalver and Joan Caesar started thing off with a two person mentalism act to decern the serial number of a bill.  It was an effective display and to our surprise, later in the program Bruce came back to tip the workings.  It is a code created by his Grandfather, Samuel Woolf.  It is also interesting to note that Mr. Woolf constructed Houdini’s first Milk Can Escape.  It was an awesome start to the day.

Harvey Berg attempted to demonstrate a “lift” technique but it fell a little short.  Phil, Joan, Maria and Gene were supposed to be able to easily lift a volunteer, but failed to lift Tony Dunn any significant height.  The idea however was sound and I believe Harvey added value to the workshop.

Bob Reese schooled us on a system to learn to say the alphabet backwards.  In fact within a ten minute period most of the participants of the workshop were reciting it with ease!

Raj Mador demonstrated an interesting technique to fool a persons senses with a demonstration using Gene Anderson.  It was a well received piece that deserves more investigation.

Gene Gordon used some blank cards, technically a prop …  but hey, they were blank.  Soon words appeared on the cards and he turned nothing into something.

Roland Meister had four volunteers demonstrate the chair-less suspension.  I have sen this many times and it was an appropriate effect for the theme.

Mark Zacharia did a invisible coin toss with great effect.

Michele Asslin showed us an interesting strength test where people, who’s finger tips are touching could repel the strength of another individual attempting to pull their arms apart.  A variation with the arms being pulled while he merely twirled a closed watch band was fascinating.

Tim Ellis shared a bar bet with us by suckering Obie into taking his bet.  Basically Time asked Obie to stand on a chair.  At that point he would walk around Obie three times, but by the time Tim made his third trip he believed Obie would step down off the chair.  Yes, Tim won and it was an excellent method.

Meir Yedid was next to share more stretching appendages ideas and offered an explanation.  Meir then recognized Steve Bargatze to the crowd.  It seems the new nickname for Steve is catching on.  Recently Steve was run over by a golf cart and is not in good health.  In fact he is in a wheelchair.  The good news is the nickname shares the same initials!   Well enough about “Speed Bump”.

To close the workshop we had Lina’s favorite magician, Joe Rindflesch, who gave us a sneak peak at the work behind his upcoming DVD about twisting fingers.  Joe really is a super creative worker and this generous offer to tip the work in these effects was awesome.  I have always known Joe to be the Rubberband Guy but this finger stuff was great too!

(Shawn’s note to the reader: I was unable to confirm the correct spelling of many individuals.  I am sorry if I have not spelled something correctly.  Please let me know so I can rectify the situation.  With a name like Farquhar I understand the need and desire to have someone spell my name correctly.)

Follow all the updates from Shawn Farquhar from The 40th Fechters Finger Flicking Frolic as he posts them.

4F’s – World Performers Show – Thursday

April 23rd, 2010 - Shawn Farquhar

Tonight’s first big show was hosted by none other than IBM Gold Cups winner and current British Children’s magician of the year, Oscar Munoz!  The show would feature performers from six countries including Spain, Finland, Australia, Argentina, France and the USA.

Oscar opened up the festivities by doing some super funny stand up and a ring and string routine where the ring magically transformed into a gift for Head Forker, Obie O’Brien.  Turns out Obie doesn’t usually wear a ring, for safety reasons, but now he has a hand crafted gold ring with the 4F logo plus his name and year of being honored!  It was a great start to the evening and Camilo of Madrid, a previous FISM winner, was outstanding in a routine first involving a “goes into box” and then a finale of a card in wallet gone wrong that ends with the signed card in a sealed bottle of Whiskey!  It was awesome.

David Jade of France who was not originally scheduled stepped into fill a spot made vacant by the volcano and showed us a few wickedly cool moves including an effect where Henry Evans assisted in the presentation where a card flew from a deck that was just resting on the table.

Tim Ellis and Sue-Anne Webster from Australia were next.  It was apparent they had been preparing for this night for sometime. They opened with thier now legendary “six card repeat” and then presented a routine where a borrowed bill form one spectator was signed by another spectator and then cut and destroyed.  Attempts to find the card failed and in the end Tim exited the stage only to return in full OZ gear and talking rather “down-underish”.  With the help of subtitles Tim was able to guide the volunteer on a quest to find the bill.  In the end the signed and restored bill was found to be laminated inside a cue card along with the spectators name badge!  Tim and Sue then introduced the first two of four video’s featuring Obie in a parody of Behind the Music entitled “Behind the Magic”

Episode One:

Episode Two

Robert Jagerhorn of Finland presented his wonderful FISM act of manipulation in a airplane washroom.  It was very creative performance with some really great ideas and even included a costume change.

Antonio Romero of Spain, who we had seen lecture earlier did a fine routine with three glass cups and three sponge balls.

Meir Yedid was up next with some great card work, a failed attempt at a coin roll and followed that with a full presentation of his Finger Fantasies that ended with the vanishing of a finger ring and finger!  They were both found later in a ring-flight style purse …  yes that’s right he did ring and finger in a wallet as only Meir could!

Following  short intermission we were treated to the third installment of the Behind the Magic videos.  It has a lot of inside material but got huge laughs!

Episode Three

We were quickly back into the magic with a presentation by Louis Otero from Venezuela who with the help of two volunteers did an exceptional good routine I would call “Because you’re a Woman”.  Obie’s daughter, Kelly, was able to cut to, spell to and even collect the selected cards without any effort on her part.  Through out the routine it appear she was in total control and everything worked simply because she is a woman!  It was a classy presentation by a very classy performer.

Willy Monroe of Madrid is a two time yo-yo champion and three time balloon champion showed us some really fun stuff including a cut a restored yo-yo string with the help of good friend Wood Aragon who we would also see later in the show.  The big moment for Willy was when he lowered a spinning yo-yo into a bucket of cards to find the selection.  The spinning of the yo-yo shot most from the bucket and the correct one was trapped between the yo-yo and the string.

JC Wagner, was next and it was great to watch this master at play.  He had a little technical problems near the start but like a true pro covered it nicely and went on to use the moment to strengthen the ending of his set.  Everyone was cheering for him by the end and he did not disappoint.

Woody Aragon, a MacMillians winner from Toledo, Spain joined us back out on stage to perform a routine to music that was really magic.  It began as a collectors type scenario, spilled into a triumph kind of effect and ended with the back of the cards changing color and having letters that were soon to reveal the words 40th Obie’s 4F 2010.  A great routine that was well received.

Our final act of the evening was Bob Sheets with two of my all time favorite routines.  He opened with Royal Tonte which is easy for him as he can “sneak them in and out at will”!  His closing piece was Cube a Libre which is really an inspired piece of theatre and magic about order and chaos.

The final event of the show was the viewing of the final installment of Behind the Magic which made for a great ending to an awesome show  Next up the dealers room and then off to session:

Episode Four

I’m doing my best to try to keep these reports as full as possible, but the schedule tomorrow is just as full and I’m closing the evening show … so somewhere in the next 24 hours I need to sleep!  You can also check out the magicnewswire online where Scott Wells is doing daily updates and interviews.

Follow all the updates from Shawn Farquhar from The 40th Fechters Finger Flicking Frolic as he posts them.

4F’s – The Kick Off Show …

April 23rd, 2010 - Shawn Farquhar

The Kick Off was the first show of the convention. That’s not to say we haven’t already seen a lot of amazing magic. Here at Fechter’s the magic never seems to stop. The hallways are always filled with people showing each other the latest move or effect. This however was the first show in the main room and Obie O’Brien, the Head Forker and Guest of Honor introduced the host, Mike Hilburger.

Today’s show was quite unique. It started with a video of Eddie Fechter from a long time ago at the Fork’s Hotel. For some it was the first time they had seen this master at work. The rest of the line up for the show were exclusively people who had worked the Forks Hotel when Eddie was alive.

The show started with Billy Dunn who was once a Forks bartender and was attending the convention for his 11th time. His set was elegant and ended with a production of a dove.

Vic Trabucco, a 24 year veteran, did work with Kings and Aces along with some great coin stuff. Gary Para, a 30 year veteran showed us a thing or two with a deck of cards that started with Ace assemblies and end with a Royal Flush.

Larry Martinez, a 23 year veteran did his set entirely with a piece of rope to loud applause. Harrison Carrol, a 33 year veteran, treated us to a wonderful story and a well executed version of the pea and shells.

Jim Gabor, a 34 year veteran, show us they way things used to be done at the Forks with a routine involving two lovely ladies and to close the show was none other than Karl Norman who was really on his game and did an excellent set that ended with a standing ovation. He is a class act with a really weird sense of humour … my kind of guy!

Follow all the updates from Shawn Farquhar from The 40th Fechters Finger Flicking Frolic as he posts them.

4F’s Photos

April 22nd, 2010 - Magic Convention Guide

Shawn Farquhar is reporting from the 40th Fechters Finger Flicking Frolic. You can see photos below of the convention.

Photos by Tony Gerard & Raj Madhok

A number of sites covered 4F’s as well as our reports on FFFF, you can listen to Scott Wells

4F’s – Teach a Trick

April 22nd, 2010 - Shawn Farquhar

Every year Steve Beam searches out some of  the best tricks from the members of 4F and ask them to explain the working behind the magic.  This year Steve changed things just a bit, for the better.  He is now selecting the effects a year in advance and has the effects published as .pdf file for us to download from his site (www.stevebeam.com).  The booklet however is only for 4F members and the PDF is password protected.

Steve started off the Teach a Trick with his own effect he called “Bigger Testicles Card Trick”.  No, I’m not making that up.  It was an excellent effect that had you one step ahead of the audience for the entire routine.

Rod Chow was up next to offer a routine using business cards and after explaining his discovery and creation he went further to explain several practical applications for presentation.

Marc DeSouza offered us a coins across routine inspired by Mike Gallo that has you at some points as much as two coins ahead! A really well though out routine that many will be doing in the future.

Professor Rem is always challenging us with his puzzles and this time showed us two new puzzles and several magical applications to start us all thinking.

Scott Robinson presented “The Willies” as opposed to his original title “Two Willies in my pocket”.  It was a a vanishing card to pocket, followed by two jacks to two different pockets.  It was a well though out and effective routine.

Dan Garrett showed us some work with an iPhone using the “toxic” principle and the Google app and some trivia from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Tom Craven, one of the few folks to have attended all 40 of the 4F conventions, shared a card at any number effect that used the keeper and straddle faro to place the card in the correct position.  A lot of work with math but an effective piece that Steve Beam said was his favorite piece of magic from Tom.

David Corsaro had a real treat to share that was my personal highlight.  Using a stack of napkins with girls phone numbers and deck of cards that were “boxed”.  The selected girls phone number was discovered by the revelation to be the only face up cards in the deck after having been “mixed shuffled” by the spectator.  It was obvious to me he had done the routine for quite sometime.

Closing the session was Card Corner editor of the Linking Ring magazine, Michael Powers.  He used the Si Stebbins stack to present a very clean a straight forward card prediction that was easy and effective.

The afternoon was a great example of how 4F’ers help each other.  Steve Beam and his wickedly good sense of humor made the time fly by .  Up next the first show of the convention … the KICK OFF show …

Follow all the updates from Shawn Farquhar from The 40th Fechters Finger Flicking Frolic as he posts them.

4F’s – Antonio Romero Lecture

April 22nd, 2010 - Shawn Farquhar

Our opening lecture for day two was from Spain.  Antonio Romero shared with us a number of clever ideas that started with a mind-reading pad that had several applications.

His marker manipulation with gaffed markers was a hit with the crowd as was his signed card in laminated pouch.  He also did a deck in cellophane which I personally thought was the weakest element of the lecture but still interesting.

The final portion of the lecture was devoted to a hold out device he created that was really ingenious.  He offered a half a dozen applications and most were really outstanding.  The 4F crowd really liked the rope effect the best.  All in all a great start to the day.

Follow all the updates from Shawn Farquhar from The 40th Fechters Finger Flicking Frolic as he posts them.