Today was a 9.30am start which after getting in very late/early from Tamariz the night before was a bit of a drag, but it soon picked up when the day started with a lecture by Cellini who explained his street act. He started off by explaining how he tailored his suit, then went on to explain his nuances on the Cups and Balls, Linking Rings, Salt Pour, Joe Karson’s Egg Bag, Loop Ball, Wand/Flip Stick vanish, Swallowing Cigarettes, Coin and Silk flurry and finally the Slydini Cut and Restored Rope routine. A very enjoyable start to the day.
The next lecture was Armando Lucero. Armando was a huge hit at FISM 2003, and has been wowing people ever since at many major conventions, Armando likes to teach the theory behind the magic, his thinking being that you can get the tricks anywhere, and he only likes to teach using a mentor system. This was a very interesting lecture and I only wish he had more time to go into his theories. He started the lecture with a mini show, card changes, Balls from mouth and Card manips. He then used two sponge ball routines to explain his thinking behind magic, again his reasoning that we all know the sponge balls, so we wouldn’t be too hung up on the trick. Armando talked about clarity and confusion and making things seem low priority to the spectator, a very interesting insight into his thinking. He then finished his lecture with some contact juggling, and his paper balls over the head routine.
Saw HMC member Vik who is performing in the Gala show with his partner Fabrini.
It was then time for another marathon close-up session, I will try to give you a very brief run-down of todays contestants.
Lodewijk De Widt – Micro Magic/Inventions – Netherlands: Produces Blank Deck from drawing, 4 Blanks changed to 4 queens, blank deck to printed deck & case. 4 Cards chosen and torn into quarters, put into a bowl, finds chosen quarters and restores them to a card with four different corners with one facing backwards.
Stuart Lightbody – Micro Magic – South Africa: Pours spectator a cup of tea, vanishes his to produce coins, signed coin to sugar packet, signed card to hat, ambitious card, blue deck changes to red, finally tea vanishes and rose petals and a flower are produced for spectator.
Martin Kaeppel – Mental Magic – Germany: Hand held over flame of candle as he delivers his introduction, then does the spike under cup but getting the spectator to slam hand down with seemingly no guidance from him and she gets it right!
Kif – Card Magic – China: Says he will bet with spectator and gets a kroner note from them and tears corner off as a receipt, shows picture of his master as his inspiration. Asks for a poker hand, produces 4 two’s, changes to Kings then to Aces and Kings appear in pockets, produces royal flush, poker deal demonstration, finally produces the full heart suit, and then the kroner note that had the corner torn off appears in the photo frame of the picture of his teacher.
Mathieu Bich – Inventions – France: This trick was fantastic, called SpreadWave, he used his Symapthetink to produce the name of the trick on the card case, he then asks someone at random for the name of a card not usually picked, it was the Nine of Diamonds, he then cuts the blank deck into piles revealing three printed cards that say Your, Card, Is, then spreads the remaining blank deck to show that the Nine of Diamonds is clearly written on the spread cards.
Gianfranco Preverino – Card Magic – Italy: I believe I saw Gianfranco in the Hague in 2003, very similar act, blank cards change to Jokers, then whole deck prints, changes colour as does the case, Rollover Aces, then a nice call to the colours with coloured labels he sticks on his hands, the cards seperate into reds and blacks, and then finally into suits, in the beginning he asked for any card to be named, and he writes this on the deck, and then shows that all the cards are printed on the back with the name of this free selection.
Hoperman – Micro Magic – Japan: Starts off as though he is at his office desk, with a calendar that says ‘in a meeting’ this changes to ‘on vacation’ and we then move into a holiday themed cups and balls routine, complete with sand production, small palm trees, deck chair all to make up a scene on a tiny island that is on the table, he finishes with looking at a map which is cover for a full costume change to holiday dress.
Inaki Zabaletta – Card Magic – Argentina: Mark Lefler’s Cards to Case, Marlo/Gardner Poker Deal, Poker Deal with Aces dealt to himself, then any hand called for to any player.
Tobias Heinemann – Parlour Magic – Switzerland: Again another competitor I had seen in 2003, same act Psycho based card stab, finishes by stabbing cards through a sheet of newspaper.
Ivan Amodei – Micro Magic – USA: Pool themed act that has been wowing the conventions in the USA, Pool Cue from Cracker Jack box, 8 Ball Production and growing to larger ball, cue tips are used for a thimble routine, then a series of small pool balls vanish and reappear with the aid of a small cue as a wand, then a series of colour changes with larger pool balls in a purse, white ball changes to yellow, then another white ball to red, then finally to finish he shows us his mini pool-table and from it produces an enormous pool ball.
Woody Aragon – Card Magic – Spain: Red and Blue backed Jokers in a pseduo-memorisation routine, they are shuffled up and he has to remember the order of the backs, except they keep coming out in red/blue order even when shuffled by the spectator, he then puts down an Ace, Two and Three and whenever he deals on those cards the backs come out in 1’s, 2’s and 3’s, the finish is that all the backs change to different colours, red, blue, green, orange, black etc.
Chase Curtis – Micro Magic/Inventions – USA: Chase performed his battery act that we saw at Blackpool, batteries vanish and appear in a torch, lights are used in a shadow coins type effect, then cups and balls with the ends of the torches, with a giant battery final load, then he uses this in a zombie, with production of a car battery to finish.
Helder Guimaraes – Card Magic – Portugal: Another great card act, starts off by putting down a folded mystery card then continues with what you think will be an invisible deck routine, but turns out the deck is blank apart from the card the spectator names, uses the rest of the blank cards and asks spectator to imagine what four of a kind they will be, she says the two’s, he has her sign them and performs a very clean travellers, with repeat, except the last card, which turns out to be the mystery card under the wine glass. Then he takes it even further by going back to the start the blank deck prints to normal, except for one blank, which then turns into a joker, then the mystery card changes from a blank with her signature on to the 2D with signature.
Radini – Inventions – Norway: Developing a blank card signed on both sides, into a chosen card (from another deck) complete with the original signatures, uses a red plastic wallet as a dark room.
Stonkel – Card Magic – Germany: A very zany act based on having a stooge heckler in the audience who asks the magician to do all sorts of things, but finally Boris Wild on the jury names a card and number and the card appears at that number, the deck changes to blanks and he then produces two glasses of beer to the spectators request. The heckler says its a stooge jury and pays off Boris with an envelope. They then get a spectator up and have them sign a card, and draw an object in a particular colour, a green tree in this case, they then have the spectator face the magician and the stooge creeps back in and makes the signed card go back to blank, and then appear in the deck inside a plexi-cube much to the bafflement of the spectator. The card then goes back to being blank and the card with signature and drawing ends up in the envelope being held by Boris before the spectator came down!
Timothy Trust & Julie – Mental Magic – Germany: Very baffling two person code act, going round the audience and Julie gets impressions of the objects, finishes with having random spectators stand up and she announces their dates of birth.
After the close-up session we came out to find Gazzo was about to start an impromptu street performance in the middle of the convention centre, so we stopped to watch him work, thought of cards were divined, and the cups and balls expertly handled.
Then back to the hotel, and out for an evening meal, and back to post this blog update, having a fairly early night tonight as nothing really happening, will check out some more bar magic later in the week!