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Blackpool Magicians Convention – Ed Ellis Star Lecture

February 21st, 2010 - Andy Reay

Billed as ‘The Fastest Hands in The World’, Ed Ellis performed some of the best magic I have seen at this years convention. The Spanish Hall was packed to capacity. A performer with amazing energy, he kicked off with super slick Ace revelations. Followed by a wedding ring being magically linked to a rubber band, wrapped around a chosen card. It was evident why Ed is billed as the fastest hands.

Ed offered a tutorial on most of the moves he used in his lecture and it was good to see so many people in the audience trying out his stuff.  A lot of what he had to offer played very big, even though he was using inanimate objects as his performers. One of the stand out effects was a very believable ace colour-change.

Whilst this was a very technical session, Ed Ellis was able to put his skill across to everyone no matter what level of performer they were.  Something for everyone. Brilliant.

Blackpool Magicians Convention – An Audience with “The Illusionists”

February 21st, 2010 - Magic Convention Guide

Illusionists Franz Harary, Russ Stevens, Rafael and Danny Hunt comprised the panel for a question and answer session with Hank Morehouse

Hank asked the panel a number of questions about their careers, illusions, inspiration and magic.

Russ Stevens talked about how as illusionists they have to wear many hats, and have many skills, camera work, lighting, music and more, its much more than just pushing out a box.

Franz talked about his just for his one slot on the gala show, hes had to bring half of his production crew, around 16 people, and the costs of creating some of his effects both from his and his clients point of view.

Rafael talked about the process of creating and productionising an illusion, about the work that goes into turning it from an idea into something that appears on stage.

All of the panel discussed about the future of illusions, from the aspects of technology and ongoing creative processes. Franz talked about how the technology age has dampened the audiences amazement of things such as building vanishes, the majority of audiences believing its camera work, or refer to computer applications that can achieve similar results. He also talked about how important a connection with the audience is.

Russ Stevens talked about how illusions will change, how the boxes will become less obvious, and more hidden, for instance with air timeI

Danny Hunt discussed how lucky they were to have some fantastic minds and designers in the area of illusions to help take it onto the next level.

The session ended with an open question and answer set with the audience, which opened up some interesting discussions.

The session also lead into Rafeal destroying a copy of a floating table as he explained about copying and intellectual property.

It was a very interesting talk on a subject most people purely look at as stunning magic, its very much more than that, it is a long, creative in depth process, that we as magicians very much hold the future of in our hands.

Blackpool Magicians Convention – Banachek Star Lecture

February 21st, 2010 - Andy Reay

This was a great ploy to get every magician out of bed on time and into the Winter Gardens. We battled through the snow for a 9am kick-off,  and to be honest, it was well worth the effort.

Banachek started his lecture with a performance of a great number prediction and telephone directory effect which went down a storm in yesterdays evening show.  I had never seen Banachek perform before this weekend, but had heard so much about him.

He then drew a thought of picture and name using an audience member. We then went straight into the methods and subtleties of everything he performed. The build up to each effect was discussed. There were a number of devilishly clever methods and everyone in the audience left with something I am sure they could use in their performance.

This was a real lesson in psychology, audience management and fantastic mentalism from a true legend.  A hugely popular event. An excellent start to a cold, frosty Sunday morning in Blackpool.

Blackpool Magic Convention – Sunday Schedule

February 21st, 2010 - Magic Convention Guide

The schedule for the final day of Magic Magic Convention is (subject to change)-

8:30pm – 5:00pm Registration Desk Open
9am – 5:30pm Dealers Super Showcase Open in the empress ballroom, balcony and Arena

9:15am – 10:15am Star Lecture – Banachek – Spanish Hall
10:45am – 12:45pm Two “Kidz R Us” Lectures – Ice Room – Jimmy Carlo, Oscar Munoz
10:45am – 11:45am An Audience with “The Illusionists” – Spanish Hall, Franz Harary, Russ Stevens, Rafael and Danny Hunt

11am – 12:15pm International Close-up Magic – First Session, Horseshoe Area – Henry Evans, Diamond Jim Tyler, David Williamson, Oscar Munoz, Shoot Ogawa, Mark Mason

12:15pm – 1:15pm Star Lecture by Ed Ellis – Spanish Hall

1:30pm – 2:30pm International Close-up Magic – Second Session, Horseshoe Area – Henry Evans, Diamond Jim Tyler, David Williamson, Oscar Munoz, Shoot Ogawa, Mark Mason

1:45pm – 2:45pm Star Lecture by John Bannon – Spanish Hall

2pm – 3pm Ladies Event – Ice Room

3:15pm – 4:15pm Star LEcture by Yohal Mesika – Spanish Hall

4pm – 5pm International Close-up Magic – Third Session, Horseshoe Area – Henry Evans, Diamond Jim Tyler, David Williamson, Oscar Munoz, Shoot Ogawa, Mark Mason

5pm – 6pm Star Lecture by David Williamson – Spanish Hall

5pm Registration Desk Closes

5:30pm Dealers Close

7pm – 10:45pm International Gala Show – Opera House

10:45pm After Gala Show in the Spanish Hall and Theatre Bar – By ticket only – Adrian Soler, John Kimmons, Xavier Tapias

Blackpool Magicians Convention – Cirque Du Magi

February 21st, 2010 - Magic Convention Guide

The Cirque Du Magi (circus of magic) show occupied the second half of the entertainment at the opera house this evening. Following on from the Intercontinental Championships. Compered excellently by Tony Stevens, it was a great show.

First up was The Amazing Kaplan, David Kaplan again providing great solid comedy and juggling entertainment, with a very young helper from the audience it picked up the pace from the first half with humor and a polished performance.

Following on from Kaplan was Clive Webb and Danny Adams, when a large tarp was rolled out to cover the stage, and covers were put over pretty much everything on stage, it was clear that this was going to be messy. What followed was hilarious slapstick comedy, under the guise of decorators attempting to repaint the opera house.

Paint covered the stage, the performers, most of the first three rows in some genius comedy timing and clowning, it was a joy to watch and had the audience roaring with both laughter and horror as the all important guests at the front of the theatre ducked behind anything to avoid the goo. With all credit to those in the firing line, it seemed to be taken in the way it was delivered, with a smile.

Next up was Banachek, who didn’t slow the pace with his mentalism. He delivered extremely fast and hard hitting mind reading, a quick book test, deviation of a telephone number from a directory, and ending with a fast paced Question and Answer set, in which names, questions, thoughts and personal details were revealed about audience members throughout the theatre.

David Williamson had the audience, as always in stitches. starting with a needle swallowing routine, a card in mouth, and ending on this classic Rocky Raccoon routine with children from the audience. In the way only David Williamson can deliver, he extracted every ouch of comedy and entertainment value from the kids on stage, and oozed energy and entertainment.

David and Dania closed the show with their stunning quick change routine. Fast, tight and eye deceiving costume changes draw a thunderous applause from the audience.

An excellent show to close Saturday Evening.

Blackpool Magicians Convention – Childrens Entertainer International Championships – Results

February 21st, 2010 - Magic Convention Guide

The results for the Childrens Entertainer International Championships were also announced before the Cirque du Magie show started this evening in the opera house.

1st place – Oscar Munoz (USA)
2nd place – David Tomkins (UK)
3rd place – Jimmy Carlo (UK)