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International Magic Close Up Competition Results

November 29th, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide

The awards for the 26th annual close up competition for the Kevin Reay Trophy:

1st – Johan Stahl (Sweden)
2nd – Woody Aragon (Spain)
3rd – Rob James (uk)

Merit awards – Alexander Popov (Russia), John van der Put (uk) and Charming Choi (Korea)

International Magic – Arturo Brachetti – Exact Change Only

November 29th, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide

Arturo Brachetti gave a fascinating talk about how he started in magic and how he moved into being the worlds most famous quick change artist.

At just 15 Arturo started performing with costumes, by 18 he had his own full quick change act.

He talked at length about performance, and holding interest of audiences, especially on repeatative tasks. Explaining how his shows are built from a story as opposed to just change after change.

He talked with the audience and invited and answered questions from them on all aspects of his career and art.

It was humorous, entertaining and very enlightening, and something very special for the convention to get Arturo to talk during such a busy schedule

International Magic Convention – Close Up Show

November 29th, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide

Introduced by John Lenahan, the close up show featured a great set of performers.

First up was George Parker, in a much more easy to follow set than his Friday one man show, he did a number of effects including a nice twist on six card repeat

Next up after almost seeing John Lenahan flamenco act was David Minkin.

David started with appearing coins, coins across and into spectators hand, before a lovely routine turning a small glass ball into a glass tube time capsule before making it quite literally rain inside the mermaid theatre.

With the crowd gently rubbing, tapping and clicking their fingers and hands, David caught water from the sound of the rain in his bare hands, squeezing it into a vase.. Quite obviously receiving a huge response from the crowd.

Next up, and possibly most anticipated act was Armando Lucero. Performing a extremely polished act, two jokers slowly moving themsleves through the deck to find a thought of card.

The highlight however was when Armando performed his coin matrix, something of pure perfection, having spent 10 years perfecting it, coins moved and swapped places under cards with no possible means of them transitioning. It was quite simply amazing to watch!

A standing ovation for a an amazing performance

Building to a crescendo of skill, the one and only Rene Lavand took to the stage to perform why only Rene can.

How can you even start to describe effects by Rene Lavand, he dealt cards slowly onto the table, alternating red and black, finishing with his trademark it cannot be done any slower

No surprise, Rene received a standing ovation.

A very strong, entertaining closeup show.

International Magic – Dealers

November 29th, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide

There seems to be more dealers this year, with the new venue there are three dealers rooms, all located next to each other.

The dealers themselves are located in the same building at the theatre and lectures, but via a short walk and set of stairs.

There is also certainly a lot more room to move about the dealers than at the previous location.

With a nice mix of international dealers and lecturers, there is plenty to tempt the pocket.

International Magic Convention – Geoff Williams Lecture

November 29th, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide

First lecture on a Sunday morning is always a tough slot, but Geoffs humor and wonderful magic brought some real energy to the session.

Starting with a performance of number of effects (only one of which we saw in the comedy show) Geoff then moved onto explaining each of the effects in his performance.

Talking though gimmicking a cassette player and pad for an effect allowing him to draw a power socket to drive the cassette player was neat and clever.

His comedy floating finger sausage illusion was also talked though, a simple effect but extremely useful.

Geoff also explained his very clean miracle coin vanish using a mainly forgotten prop most of us have.

Finishing with, and almost explaining a lovely signed torn and restored card, it was an extremely enjoyable and useful lecture to start off the day.

George Parker Lecture – International

November 29th, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide

George opened his lecture with a dice and card effect in which the freely selected card was found inside dice.

George explained the effect in which he utilised his own marking system and card index

George then did a card rotuine in which he again used his marking system and a very clever billet switch

A smooth and clean four coin routine ended by using the spectators hands.

George ended the lecture with a mental effect with a one ahead principal using his billet index.

The lecture was well attended and all were able to appreciate the detail and thinking that goes into georges routines