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Arthur Trace – Blackpool Magicians Convention 2009

February 22nd, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide

Arthur Trace opened with a Misers dream using large ‘tin can phones’, which was very nice and different, as the sounds of coins dropping into Arthurs large can, eventually ending up in the spectators can.

Arthur explained that this was a demonstration of something he likes to include in his pieces – Premise and effect / imagination and reality, in that the distance between the two cans creates a strong effect, by separating the imagination and reality across the stage.

I’ve never seen Arthur Trace perform, but he was extremely good, I loved the opening miser dream set to music, with interactions of the props (stepping on the cord between the two cans slowed down and stopped the music, tapping the can, transmitted the same sound over the the other can and so on).

Another effect proved that card magic can be theatrical, where by a selected card was revealed by another specator, again across the other side of the stage, it again devided the imagination and reality across the two sides of the stage.

Arthur had fantastic stage presenence, and did a superb lecture, although the Spanish Hall wasn’t as full as previous sessions I think it was down to the mid afternoon on the last day, as opposed to Arthur content, as he was excellent.

Rudy Coby Lecture

February 22nd, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide

It was great to see Rudy Lecture, and even though there were some technical problems with getting sound working on his video at the start, really, no one was worried, People came to see Rudy Lecture, and sound or no sound it was great to have him back. After a huge boom from the sound engineers, everyone was definitely awake and Rudy started to talk about his magic and how his act was created.

Rudy said that ‘If you have a three minute act, you can travel the world’, and all of his magic is created in three minute segments, and what’s required for those three minutes ? Characters and Presentation.

He also talked about his ‘creative room’, which he tries to fill with things that inspire him, not just magic, but anything that influences or inspires you, be they comic books, music, paintings.

He used a number of videos to show what he was trying to put across which worked well. Rudy also talked about prototyping effects, and specifically creating body parts using nothing more than cling film and sellotape – Look up ‘Tape Sculpture’ on the internet if you want to find out how to do this in more detail.

It was obvious that Rudy had a huge amount of ideas and thoughts in his head that he wanted to impart to the audience, on costume changes, building your character, your effects, and just to create your act.

‘Magic Dave’ made an appearance, much to the delight of the audience.. and our favorite quote from Rudy had to be.. ‘Cardboard is the way to go…’

A very entertaining lecture from one of magics most entertaining characters.

An Audience with Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger

February 22nd, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide

When Jeff McBride talks you should listen, When Eugene Burger Talks, you should learn from him. When both talk, you are privileged to be in the company of two of the greatest minds in magic.

The Question and Answer session today in the Spanish hall was extremely well attended, and provided insights into both Jeff’s and Eugene’s thinking on the art of magic, and their views.

The whole event was deep and meaningful, and could have gone on for much much longer.

Beat The Wand – Blackpool Magicians Convention 2009

February 22nd, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide

After the show was Blackpool Magicians Conventions first ‘Fringe’ event.

Magic Sam and Andrew James had organised an event for the theatre bar to bring some extra fun to the evening.

Imagine a number of variety performers from the attendees, a crowd of about 300 magicians, three ‘voting wands’ and a fight for survival on stage against the inpending exist that three raised wands signaled.

Each act took to the stage and started their set, the three random judges (who changed with each act and were randomly selected from the watching audience) would raise thei wand if they wanted the act to stop, if you got past a certain time with your act, you’d come back for the final.

The quality of acts were every ‘fringe’ but this was part of the fun, anyone from the attendees at the convention could enter, and it was designed as Sam and Andrew said, to present magic differently, and given the convention goers something that really anyone could enter. The final acts came back on to compete in a ‘clap-omitor’ to decide the final winner, who received a trophy, and VIP tickets for next years Blackpool Convention!

The bar was packed proving that there was great interest in the event, and it was a hillarious evening, ending with the winning act standing on stage, in his pants and socks, wrapped in cling film trying to escape.

For a first run at the event it was fantastic, and hopefully somethign we’ll see again next year, as it really added to the saturday evening events.

Its wonderful to see that Blackpool Convention understand how things can grow, and change over time, and it’s great that Derek and the team have allowed a ‘younger brother’, fringe type event to take place, Both Magic Sam and Andrew James, along with all those who took part and organised it, should be proud of starting Blackpool into its next phase, and lets hope the saturday evening fringe event grows next year, and is even better.

David Penn Lecture – Blackpool Magic Convention

February 21st, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide

David Penn had a tough spot, originally due to be 11pm until midnight, and on at the same time as the new fringe event ‘Beat the Wand’, but becuase the Stage Competition had under run, he was moved forward, allowing us to catch the first part of his lecture.

David performed his tried and tested material, The Forth Dimension, coin and ring effect, and also for me the most interesting section, the discussion on the Topit. David’s new Topit DVD and CoinVexed 2 effects had been released at Blackpool, and had created much interest.

It was a great lecture and well attended considering how tired people were, and the late spot. Unfortuantly we had to head out to get to the Theatre Bar for Beat The Wand.

Intercontinental Stage Magic Championship and Winners

February 21st, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide

The Intercontinental Stage Magic Championship was a new event for Blackpool this year, with the biggest prize yet offered by the Blackpoo Convention $10,000.

The standard was very very high, and actually ran under time! The acts were a mix of Manipulation, and small non box illustons, and one act, Marc Oberon who really was something very special, and different.

Kyoko from Japan did a fantastic hairdresser themed act, with comb, and mirror productions, ending with a ‘appearance’ of an invisible customer, ending up with Kyoko producing herself under the cloth with a costume change. Marc Oberon did a ‘one man show’ which, to be honest you’d be forgiven for thinking was a multiple person act it was that good. His act was a UV/Blackart act based around what appeared to be an alien type figure, floating objects, flying, and turning in midair, and really was something to behold. Han Seol Hee finished the second half with a phenominal CD manipualtion art, that was clean, fast, polished and faultless, the stage was filled with CD’s and he recieved a standing ovation.

The judges decided that the winners were:

1st Han Seol-Hee $10,000 and Intercontinental Stage Magic Champion
2nd Yumi
3rd Marc Oberon

With the originallity award going to: Han Seol-Hee