IBM British Ring Convention 2008 – Eastbourne 24-28 September

Just an early heads up, I will be attending the above convention, and will be live-blogging the events I attend for Magic Convention Guide I will still post short posts here (probably just the first parts of each post) with links across to each post at MCG, so you will be able to find the reports over there. Thanks to Andrew Webb for letting me do this, it looks like a great week and an excellent and packed programme I just hope I can keep up! Remember watch here or better yet over at Magic Convention Guide starting Wednesday.

Blackpool 2008: Sunday The Home Straight

Sunday was another early start but what a lecture. FISM Card Champion Helder Guimaraes explained three blockbuster effects. He started with a great visual transposition, similar in style to the Daley effect but with two of the aces isolated in a glass, which changed places with the aces on the table. Cards, Signatures and Glasses was his version of a technicolour cards-across plot, with a very clean handling based on David Regal’s with no technical moves he caused two signed red cards to jump across to a blue packet, again the packets being isolated in wine glasses and held by two spectators. Lastly his effect Three Progressive Choices had three selections chosen in three seperate ways and revealed in an increasingly impossible manner with the climax of the entire deck changing to blank cards.

I then saw the second session of close-up choosing to start with David Solomon, although quieter and more introvert than the acts around him, David’s card magic for all the obvious reasons is strong and powerful and really stands on its own merit, he showed amongst others Technicolor Thunder, Four the Hard Way and an O’Henry Ace Assembly from the new book. Shawn Farquhar started with his T&R Photo he had shown in his lecture. Then his FISM act with signed card to sealed deck, and the solid Cups and Balls. David Stone was his manic self with coin manipulation, bottle productions, signed cards and ending with producing both his shoes! I saw J.C. Wagner last, who is a master of the card-under-glass which caught me every time, he also showed his new version of Factory Misprints.

Shoot Ogawa’s lecture was packed out, and we weren’t disappointed, a mix of cards, coins and thimbles made to look like real magic in the hands of this master magician. His version of Spellbound changed a coin to a spoon. He had an ungimmicked version of Wild Card using a regular deck. He showed two versions of Matrix, the second, which he explained was a very neat backfire. Shoot then showed us a slightly simpler version of his Thimble routine, using just one or two moves but to a very visual effect. Lastly he gave tips on learning the Muscle Pass and what you can achieve with it.

Michael Close only showed and explained two tricks in his lecture, Red Blue Mamma Fooler and his Torn and Restored Card, he then spent the second half telling stories and jokes from his new joke book, which for me anyway was exactly the laugh I needed after seeing magic all weekend, and having read his book previously it was nice to hear the jokes being told by Michael.

The Gala show was compered by Adrian Walsh, a big improvement over Stu Francis from the previous evening, still a little on the old-style compere but a very professional job. Mahka Tendo opened with some phenomenal card manipulations regular cards being produced at break-neck speeds mixed in with jumbo card productions. Rafael performed his dove act, which involves him driving on stage on a small bike, producing doves, a comedy linking ring routine, and finishing with the doves changing to a live girl. Antje Pode a foot juggler from Germany, juggled suitcases on her feet. Scott and Muriel performed a comedy sawing in half, and chair suspension. David Sousa showed his FISM winning Red Envelope act, with cards and envelopes appearing from no-where and increasing in size. Valerie performed lots of quick changes, including one in a sub-trunk where she changes places with a costume that is in the trunk. Topas closed the first-half with a production of varying size speakers to a song he was singing with audience participation, each speaker produced and plugged in, then layered the sound up, till he had lots of rhythm going and the finale was to produce a huge speaker and then Roxanne.

The second half the Yamagami Brothers the world’s youngest illusionists, started off with a one-upmanship style routine where each wanted to show their trick, to a particular piece of music, floating lightstand, and rope penetrations, finished in the vanish of the radio. Then two illusions a visual sawing-through and a spiker illusion. Scott and Muriel came on riding pantomime horses ala Bernie Clifton, and spent quite a long time extracting as much as they could from the situation involving the president of Blackpool dressing up as a giant cactus. Not much magic, all though at the end they did reveal they had managed to steal the watches of all the volunteers. Topas performed his Toy act with the production of lots of coloured balls, a floating and vanishing rocking horse and a growing teddy bear that waves good-bye on its own to finish the act. Shimada closed the show with his Chasing a Magical Dragon, Parasol and Card manipulation ends up with him fighting a big chinese dragon, and then becoming the dragon, and who you thought was Shimada being revealed as his assistant.

And that was it another Blackpool over with! Next year is 20-22nd February 2009.

Blackpool 2008: Saturday Marathon

Saturday started with a lecture from Martin Sanderson, pretty standard stuff but all done very neatly in a commercial way, Ambitious Card, Coin under Watch, Chop Cup, Bill in Kiwi and Martins Little Sausage which is his take on ring flight, using a stuffed dog, where the ring ends up on the collar.

David Solomon was excellent as expected, he was showing items from his new book, his take on Peter Kane’s Gypsy Curse, his new packet trick Knaves Gone Wild, Mexican Poker which is a great 10 card poker deal of the non-jonah variety. Just friends is a King cutting routine which ends with the production of the Queens. David then paid tribute to Jack Parker and showed a version of the 21-Card Trick with Jack’s idea to vanish the selection. Lucky Card is a signed impossible card location, and finally David finished with his Technicolour Oil and Water and a version of an Ace Assembly that climaxed with all the cards turning blank, and the whole deck as well.T

J.J. Sanvert started with a hybrid bill routine, he pulled a small piece of silver foil out of the bill, and then showed his handling for pen through bill. His Note in Cheese is fantastic, and the method is even better! The second half of the lecture was the card part, he showed Open Travellers with a Royal Flush ending, a variant of The Signed Card plot, a version of Cannibals and what he does when someone asks him to teach them a trick.

We then went for some lunch so I missed a bit of the J.C. Wagner lecture, but caught the end of J.C. demonstrating his trade-mark card under drink, estimation of a thought of card, his Standing Triumph with the J.C. show and a pop-out revelation.

Then it was into the first close-up session of the weekend, I saw Shoot Ogawa who was spectacular as ever with coins, thimbles, flip-stick and Ninja Rings. Helder Guimaraes the current FISM card champion showed us a similar routine to that which he did at FISM a Travellers routine with four signed cards that travelled to his pockets, the deck turned blank, and the signed cards too, and then one was found in an envelope on the table, and the entire deck became printed again. That probably doesn’t do it justice, but I am looking forward to his lecture tomorrow. Michael Close showed us his impossible Salt Shaker, Card, Forehead routine. Finally Richard Sanders showed us Interlace, Extreme Burn, Dough, Alpha Deck and Fibre Optics. His Extreme Burn really does look like trick photography and I love the new additions to the Fibre Optics routine.

The Geoffrey Durham lecture was based on his new book, which having read I was eager to see (the book by the way is one of the best theory/trick books I have read in a long time, go out and buy it now!) Geoffrey talked about how your personality and who you are, are more important than the tricks you do. He demonstrated and explained his Dictionary Test, Gypsy Thread, Magic Square and the Block Trick, sprinkled with words of wisdom that only a true professional could give, a remarkable hour.

Then it was time for the United Kingdom vs. The Rest of the World ‘competition’ which had some good bits and some not so good bits. But mostly it was a good show, the compere Stu Francis of Crackerjack fame was a bit lacking in material, but kept it all together despite getting most of the acts names wrong! Bob Wooding showed his excellent balloon act, which I remember watching on TV as a child, some excellent models in there, and he really makes this craft transfer to the stage. Danny Hunt and Annette performed their escapes, a recreation of the Tony Curtis Straight Jacket escape, his box escape and then his new take on the Houdini Water Torture Cell.

It was the first time I had seen Graham Jolley, he had some strong mentalism, but I’m not keen on his put-down agressive audience handling, but I guess it must work for him! Brian Sefton was immaculate and flawless in his manipulation ending with a poetic Zombie. John Archer came on and sang with his Ukulele, swallowed a balloon, and performed a divination of chosen wax crayons. Despite him having to handle a problematic situation with an elderly spectator, John brought the routine to a successful ending. Martyn James closed the first half with his topsy-turvy illusion, the Barrel transposition and the Wringer.

The second half was The Rest of the World. Fukai went on a bit too long for most people, and was probably hindered by the language barrier and a tired audience, grasping it back at last minute by filling the stage with flowers and mini umbrellas. Rafael performed his Vampire act with the visual seperation of the girl on a couch getting raptuous applause. Shawn Farquhar performed his Shape of My Heart card routine which is a great ambitious routine set to Sting’s lyrics and projected onto a big screen. Roxanne presented her Into the Spiders Web routine culminating in her levitation and rotation in the spiders web. My absolute favourite of the night was Topas with more of his sound wizardry, this time combining this with bongo playing and billard ball manipulation, fantastic! To finish Shimada showed us his skill with doves.

More tommorrow!

Blackpool 2008: Friday Lectures Ahoy

After a wander around the dealers it was time to start with the lectures. First up was David Sousa, maybe I had high expectations having read about his red envelope act but this was possibly not the best way to start the convention. It could have been an interesting lecture in the right setting, but to 400 people in the Spanish Hall it was lost. He basically talked about making sure you can be seen on stage, especially with manipulation. He ran through a short manipulation sequence to show us what not to do, then gave us his tips and then showed us how it should look. He ended the lecture with a hurried dealer dem, a Dice Bomb effect, and Parade of the Kings trick.

Pattrick Przysiecki from the USA had a mixture of interesting ideas, a fickle fire idea to produce cards, and a gag with clasped hands that I have seen Lance Burton use. Next was an idea I first ran across in Art of Astonishment with paperclips, and then in Jim Steinmeyers Impuzzibilities book as a triangle version, and just recently a nice childrens version in Chris Wardle’s lecture. The idea is you have a number of equal items in the rows and you can add items and still have the same number. In this case he was using small footballs and a miniature subuteo setting. He then showed us a number of ideas with producing pool balls, and a nice muliple selection routine. An idea of using Dental Floss for the Gypsy thread was accompanied with real newspaper articles about prison escapes using dental dam. And he finished by showing us his combination of Drink in the News with a water vanish.

Chris Priest confidently pattered his way through three of his master routines, he opened with a four coin routine with at least twenty moments of magic, coins across and a one coin flurry being the highlights climaxing in the production of a giant chrome coin. He then shared with us his reception act ace routine, a combination of several four ace tricks, starting out with a production of the aces and a version of the Daley transpo, lead into a twisting phase, and finally an everywhere and nowhere with the chosen ace, climaxing in another production after the aces had been lost back in the deck. Finally Chris finished his lecture with Protons which is his sponge-ball routine with a dlite finish. Things were finally starting to get going with this excellent professional lecture.

Next probably the highlight of the evening for me was Shawn Farquhar. I have seen Shawn compete at FISM but not seen him lecture. His enthusiasm is infectious and his magic simple and effective. His lecture was entitled Bread and Butter as it was based on things he uses to make his living. He started with a matrix routine using poker chips and pictures of his hands, the last chip morphing into the photo and then popping out. He had some great ideas for CD tricks with a spectators signature on a cd, where the CD then turned clear and see-through, and also a double prediction where the chosen cards were written on the face of the CD. He showed us his version of ambitious card with an Omni Deck finish, incorporating a nice deck-switch and ending in card to plastic credit-card wallet. Lastly Shawn showed us his take on Dan Harlan’s Crazy 8 trick, which he said even Dan thinks is an improvement. He had a photo of his daughter signed, and ripped up and then restored but in a mis-made state so the ragged edges were on the outside and the border on the inside, still with the signature on. This was a great lecture delivered with pace and enthusiasm.

Having also witnessed David Stone storm the FISM scene I couldn’t wait to see him lecture and I wasn’t disappointed. He started with a Chad Long gag to produce a coin, and went into a very competent Coin Flurry sequence, showing along the way a neat idea if you happen to drop a coin. A coin vanish and bottle production led into a discussion of how David produces full glasses of liquid from his sleeves. Then David discussed his approach to tables using a fire wallet, and finally his new trick CEL which is a card to mobile phone.

For the last lecture of the evening we had Lennart Green, what can you say that hasn’t been already. Lennart started with a mind blowing trade mark short performance, with his clumsy, topsy turvy mixes and shuffles, he still managed to deal poker hands, find royal flushes, and selections all while making it seem so effortless. His Terrorist card trick which I had seen him do in Southport relies on a simple mathematical formula which he hides so well by revealing the selections in novel ways. Love, Hate and Admiration was a use for an old George Sands Prime Number principle. Lennart shared with us his take on the Kennedy Out of this World and finally finished with an all to brief discourse on false shuffles, the snap deal and uses for Top Shot that just about blew my mind at the late hour, Lennart was forced to finish, but could of probably gone on for hours!

Anyway thats all and I can’t believe its only Friday, a lot of people here for the first day, dread to think what it will be like come Sunday. Will post this and go to bed…

Blackpool 2008: Arrival

Arrived at Blackpool, rained hard on the way, just checked in, staying across the road from The Ruskin and round the corner from the winter gardens. Just about to go and register and have a look round dealers before the list of lectures start, will try and get to them all (I will miss the close-up which I do most years anyway) and will hopefully report back later.

Just grabbing a sandwich and coffee in hotel room, and typing this on the EEE thanks to somebody’s open router (not paying 10/24hr for hotel wifi, when will hotels learn that we expect free wifi now it should be as part of your experience as getting a TV and coffee facilities!)

Three new sites to list, first two of my fellow bloggers who will probably do a better job of keeping you up-to-date:

Naquada – Andrew Webb
Matt Parro

I will try and twitter throughout as well, you can see my twitter badge on the right of the blog.

Lastly on the counter of the hotel were some leaflets advertising a new magic site… Magic Mag says they are a new online magic magazine, launching on Feb 28th, with 8 issues a year in PDF format for 7.50. More on that later I guess after the launch, anyway thats it for now off to get my tickets and free book!

Magicians Movie – Press Release


“From the hottest new British comedians Mitchell and Webb and the creators of the award-winning ‘Peep Show’ comes MAGICIANS. Subscribe now to the official podcast for all the best previews, interviews and behind the scenes exclusives.

Lifelong friends Harry and Karl (David Mitchell and Robert Webb) are the greatest magic double act in the country. But after a guillotine illusion goes horribly and spectacularly wrong, their friendship and their careers are finished. Now, down on his luck and out of cash, Harry sets his sights on the prize money of the prestigious ‘International Magic Shield’ tournament. But to win he will have to compete against the world’s oddest (and saddest) magicians – including his deadly rival Karl, performing under the guise of ridiculous psychic ‘The Mindmonger’. Can new tricks and a new assistant (Jessica Stevenson from ‘Confetti’ and ‘Spaced’) help Harry to triumph over his underhanded opponents and his disastrous past?

Starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb (Peep Show), Jessica Stevenson (Confetti, Shaun of the Dead, Spaced), Darren Boyd (Green Wing) and Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It).”

The movie is released on the 18th May, and to celebrate there is a competition for a chance to be on the DVD performing a magic trick. All you have to do is upload a video of yourself performing a trick and post it on the myspace page. See the MySpace page for the T&C. Also whilst you are there make sure you view the videos for some humourous tricks performed by Mitchell and Webb.

The Official Channel 4 Site has a trailer, picture gallery and more information.

This is the official trailer for the movie, it looks very funny, and watch out for various cameo appearances from some familar magical faces:

FISM 2006: Photos

For photos of the event, in case you missed it we now have 200 photos in our FISM 2006 Flickr Set.

Vista Photo Agency have been posting the official ones.

Jorgen Yng from Stockholm has posted his set.

Fotograf Gomer also have their set.

Andy Reay has also posted some of his photos to Flickr.

Naquada’s Flickr Set and also a group set up on Flick for FISM 2006 which I will be adding some of my photos too, if you have any to add please join the group.

If you have any photos from FISM online let me know and I will add them to this post.

FISM 2006: Winners

Grand Prix Stage – Pilou – France
Grand Prix Close-up – Rick Merrill – USA

Manipulation:
1st: Dai Binchun – China
2nd: David Soysa – Portugal
3rd: Arthur Trace – USA

General Magic:
1st: Eun Gyeol Lee – Rep. of Korea
2nd: Die Zauderer – Germany
3rd: Dion – Netherlands

Micro Magic:
1st: Martin Eisele – Germany
2nd: Shawn Farquhar – Canada
3rd: David Stone – France

Card Magic:
1st: Helder Guimaraes – Portugal
2nd: Lodewijk de Widt – Netherlands
3rd: Kiko – Spain

Parlour Magic:
1st: Gaston – Germany
2nd: Shawn Farquhar – Canada
3rd: Julia Guilhern – France

Stage Illusions:
1st: Sittah – Netherlands
2nd: Hugo Valenzuela – Argentina
3rd: Marc & Alex – Germany

Mentalism:
1st: Not Awarded
2nd: Timothy Trust & Julie – Germany and Juan Ordeix – Argentina
3rd: Robert & Emiel – Netherlands and Jean Thomas Loewe

Most Original Act:
Stage: Hugo Valenzuela – Argentina
Close-up: Rocco – USA

Comedy Presentation:
Die Zauderer – Germany
Mikael Szanyiel – France
Rick Merrill – USA
Stonkel – Germany

Inventions:
Matheiu Bich – France
Pierric – Switzerland
Ross Mickael et Bethy – France
Cesaral Magic – Spain

Special Awards:
Las Vegas Contract: Eun Gyeol Lee
France/Monaco COntract: Sittah
London Contract: Mikael Szanyiel
Swedish Magic Circle: Pilou & Rick Merrill

FISM 2006: Saturday 5th


Saturday was the last offical FISM day and started for me with a lecture from Gaetan Bloom, he started with a trick using an apple combined with the paddle move. Then onto using Salami for a Biting the Coin type effect. Then he showed Quarte his trick with a slate and playing cards, where he has predicted which four cards will be chosen from a suit. He then showed us a few quick ideas, how to crush a cigarette packet smaller than anyone else, how to seperate ice cubes from cola, which looked very cool, with a method to match! Next he had a card chosen and spread the deck over a tennis racket, shook the racket and all the cards seemed to fall through apart from the selection. He then shared the secret of his simple card manipulation that he had performed on the banquet show. Next was a routine for Joe Porpers Ring in Box, then probably the most clever trick in the lecture, which was a just chance board, where the spectator chose a coloured ball and pulled the string attached to it to get a box, and if it contained a silver object they won the money, the one that Gaetan was left with was naturally the winner and he had predicted the order in which the boxes fell. Gaetan then demonstrated his very clever Intecessor Gimmick and finally another just chance routine with a game a bit like Hook a Duck, except it was Hook a Box on a spinning wheel, again Gaetan was left with the box that had money in it, and again it was a very cheeky and clever method. Which was what summed up this lecture, Gaetan is a very, very clever thinker with some very novel and original magic.

Banachek lectured next, and he started by giving us a taster of his show followed by thorough explanations. Thought of Playing Cards were divined, Phone numbers predicted from a copy of the white pages, and a Q&A test with a very clever drawing duplication. He then explained a quick little trick with your business cards, similar to the old ‘This One’, ‘That One’ card trick. And finally we were treated to some Silverware bending of the highest order.

Then it was onto the Finale Close-up Contest and this was a mixed bag of emotions. Max Maven compered and did a sterling job, with a quick prediction using the convention programme and some funny interludes of facts about Sweden and America he kept his part of the show moving, whilst all the close-up finalists reprised their acts for the judges, I will post the full results after this post, but as you may know by now Rick Merrill was the overall and very deserving Close-up Grand Prix winner. I think in particular David Stone’s act suffered from the poor direction and camera work of the AV crew, which has been a curse throughout the week, and I was very suprised that David only made third place.

Whilst the judges decided on the results, we had a small show, SOS & Victoria are billed as the new-era of quick change, it was certainly excellent, with some very fast changes to some stunning outfits. Then Kevin James came on and did his living half-man act.

Then it was time for the results, and this is where the whole thing descended into anarchy. Without any prior warning to us the paying delegates, we were told this was being taped for TV and they would have to announce the Grand Prix winner first, they then brought on UK TV Presenter Stephen Mulhearn, who presents kids TV over here in the UK, and he looked very out of his depth, apparently John Fisher was directing this affair so that is probably how he came to be involved. There was a very long wait whilst Stephen got instructions from the Gallery, and then Eric Eswin wandered on to announce the winner, and the Grand-Prix was given to Rick Merrill, but then they had to do a retake. After that we were made to retake audience shots, ranging from polite clapping, gasps and standing ovations. We are not there to tape a quiz show on free tickets, we all paid a lot of money, and this was supposed to be the climax of the whole week, which was ruined by the needs of this ludicrous filming. Then they finally decided to award the rest of the prizes as a kind of after-thought, in a very un-organised shambles. Lots of people left with loud booing and hissing, not a nice atmosphere for the competitors.

We were all a bit aprehensive about the Finale Stage Contest and Eric Eswin came onto the stage with more booing and shouting, he apologised and took full responsibility, and said that there would be no more retakes, and explained they were doing the TV show to try and raise the profile of the World Magic Championship with the public, and that the FISM organisation was changing. This is all well and good, but the explanation could have come a lot earlier than it did, so we were ready for it, and the implementation of the whole thing could have been enourmously improved.

However this was a better show, with all the stage finalists reprising their acts for the judges. Rich Bloch did a marvelous job as MC with a great card prediction, himself and Max taking off Helge and Topas’s Card Dueling, a wonderful vanishing flower routine and a great video prediction effect.

As the judges deliberated Norbert Ferre performed his FISM Grand-Prix act of card and ball manipulation with his dual-personality character. Rafael came on in a small car, and proceeded to produce doves in a very funny nerd character. He then finished by changing the doves to a full live woman.

There then followed the prize giving and the obligatory TV moments, with more from Mr Mulhearn, although mercifully shorter, with the Stage Grand-Prix going to Pilou of France. Again a mess of prize-giving with no-one seeming to know what was going on, followed by what was supposed to be a closing ceremony.

Very anti-climatic to what overall has been a brilliant and inspiring week with some lows and lots of highs. Overall the organisation could have been a lot better, but they did what needed to be done and from my point of view it all went well enough and I really enjoyed most of it. Highlights, I guess have to be some of the close-up acts, and seeing Juan Tamariz both in the Bar Magic and in his One-man Show. Also getting to see some of Stockholm which is a very beautiful city, and we will be sad to leave. Bejing here we come!

FISM 2006: Friday 4th


Friday was a bit more relaxed with no close-up competition to get to, it started for me with a lecture by Jahn Gallo. Jahn performed a simple bill production and then he showed us his Osaka Bill Production which allows you to produce 20-30 bills as single units. He then performed a three card monte with beer mats, his ring on rope routine and finished with a very nice simple two deck effect, where a card was chosen by two spectators from two seperate packets out of a red and blue deck, the packets placed in the pocket with the chosen card reversed, and instead of transposing the selected cards he transposed the rest of the packet.

The Juan Tamariz One Man Show was next and Juan was on top form, this was fantastic and possibly for me the highlight of the convention, he performed all the effects he is known for, Two of Diamonds to Three of Diamonds, finding the value of a spectators selection after they cut the deck and sat on the card, Tamariz pulled out two cards that matched the suit and value. He then borrowed and shuffled a deck and still produced the four aces, he then used the two decks with two spectators to perform an under the table card matching experiment. Oil and Water Tamariz style fooled the heck out of me and the crowd, and then he did a Torn and Restored card with a back in time theme. Finally his last couple of tricks were killers, I believe his penultimate was Mnemonicosis which is in Mnemonica. He had a spectator phone his wife in America and ask her to name a card, she named the Ace of Hearts, Tamariz didn’t touch the deck, yet he still found the card in a convincing way, check the book for details! Lastly he performed a coincidence effect with two decks, where the cards that spectators selected matched, then finally the two decks turned out to be paired up (could be his Total Coincidence effect although I don’t have Sonata to check) what a finish to a funny, polished, professionally honed presentation piece of a guy’s life’s work, for which he got a well deserved standing ovation.

The Corporate Presentation was as advertised a Panel Discussion between Paul Daniels (as moderator), Bill Malone, Steve Banachek (replacing Tim Conover who is in Hospital), Magic Christian and John Houdi. The topics covered were as diverse as following up on a show, how to get work, customising the gig, fee structures and choice of material. All in all a very informative discussion from some of the top names in the business.

It was then back to the hotel to get ready for the Banquet Show & Magic Night Party. Again we were in the aircraft hangar of a hall were the opening ceremony was. But now they had transformed it with tables for everyone to sit down and eat. To feed 2700 magicians is not easy, but it went very well with Champagne and Wine flowing freely. The meal was very nice with starter of crayfish and chilli on crisp bread, the main dish was lemon and olive marinated chicken with potato puree and dessert was ginger cake with chocolate and cognacs creme. All the time during the meal Frank Wilson played the keyboard, and they had clips of old magicians on the screens. Then it was time for the show to start, firstly it was announced that FISM 2009 will be in Bejing 30 August to 4 September, which despite some grumblings I am looking forward to, China will be an adventure! Then the stage finalists were announced as follows:

Dai Binchun – China
David Sousa – Portugal
Gaston – Germany
Eun Gyeol Lee – Rep. of Korea
Pilou – France
Sittah – Netherlands

Then it was time for the Special FISM awards, Eddie, our president of HMC, had been nominated in the category of History and Research, so it was a tense time with the announcements, here is how it turned out:

In the new Special Awards this year created by Max Maven, for people who contribute significantly to the art of magic in a non-performance category, the winners were:

Creativity & Vision Award (Appraising range of creation, not simply in terms of technical invention but also with attention paid to the larger conceptual views of the work.):

Nominees:
Gaetan Bloom
Lubor Fielder
Finn Jon
Dr Sawa
Jim Steinmeyer

Winner: Gaetan Bloom

History & Research Award (Recognising scholarship, assessed both in terms of academic depth and the manner and quality of the distribution of such information):

Nominees:
Vanni Boss
Magic Christian
Eddie Dawes
Christian Fechner
Bill Kalush

Winner: Eddie Dawes

Theory & Philosophy Award (Giving tribute to a person who has approached magic from a viewpoint that is analytical, academic, perhaps even spiritual):

Nominees:
Eugene Burger
Rene Lavand
Eberhard Riese
Juan Tamariz
Tommy Wonder

Winner: Tommy Wonder (collected by Dick Kornwinder)

As you can see Eddie won his category, which is fantastic, so congratulations to him from all HMC members, also Tommy Wonder posthumously won the Theory and Philosophy Award, which got a deserved standing ovation.

Then it was time for the banquet show.

John Houdi MC’d, and brough on Kenji Minemura who performed his act themed around wine glasses, and dishes and bottles and cocktails and spoons all of which appear and dissapear. He finishes by producing another tray, and a big bottle with lots of glasses then appearing on the tray.

Gaetan Bloom performed his Crazy Horse act, with Silk Tube production, Cola Bottle Vanish, Cigar Vanish, Cut and Restored Microphone Cord and Boxing Glove Card Manipulations.

Ardan James closed with his Mime act, and what an act, he comes on performing mime and robotics, and mimes using handkerchiefs, hats, which end up stuck to a childs head, and when he tries to get it off he literally throws the child around and picks him up and shakes him, he then uses a balloon to mime floating, and finishes his act by putting on an old man mask, and miming the actions of an old man dancing, and brings on an old women who turned out to be none other than Tina Lenert.

A great way to end this spectacular banquet, with a great result for Eddie. Back tommorrow with lectures from Gaetan Bloom, Banachek and Pavel and then the Close-up and Stage results, and maybe even a bit of bar magic.

FISM 2006: Close-up Grand Prix Finalists

Just got the grand-prix finalists for the close-up from the FISM on-site message board, as follows:

Martin Eisele – Germany – Micro Magic
Shawn Farquhar – Canada – Micro Magic
Helder Guimaraes – Portugal – Card Magic
Rick Merrill – USA – Micro Magic
David Stone – France – Micro Magic

Final will take place tomorrow. Will post today’s update after the banquet!

FISM 2006: Thursday 3rd


Thursday started off slightly later at 10:00, when I went to see the full version of the Paul Wilson presentation, as I didn’t have to duck out to line up for anything. Read yesterday’s report to see what he did, he also showed a fooling Jack Deal from Royal Road, his Fan-2-C gimmick, refried poker (his version of the Solomon/Blomberg deal). Then he talked and demonstrated card mucking and a version of a Pit Hartling trick that is on the Unreal Work DVD.

We then went into the Gazzo lecture where he talked about the Egg Bag and the Tossed Out Deck, which was an excellent version of this trick with a great ending which I won’t spoil but you should be able to get it from Penguin Magic if this is your thing it’s well worth a look.

Jeff McBride’s lecture was up next, and he lectured on his thoughts of being a Magician 24/7 and doing tricks for people that you meet, he demonstrated his rainbow wishing ribbon, and Abi demonstrated bubbles that you could catch and one that represented a spectators wish that became solid and was given as a present. He then taught us his cards from mouth, which he often uses to close his show and some simple card manipulation and silk productions. Jeff then showed us how to put all this into some small stage routines.

Next the last day of close-up so here we go with the last 10 acts:

Shawn Farquahr – Micro Magic – Canada: Card to resealed deck apart from jokers and one other card as a convincer it was the same deck, also had a spectators signed card back in the posistion it should be in the deck. Shawn then finished his act with a cups and balls routine, that finally turned out he was using solid cups after he had produced lots of mini cups.

Alex Stone – Micro Magic – USA: Themed around science, produced 4 Jumbo Coins, matrix with Jumbo Coins and Cards, had someone sign their name across the side of the deck, and placed an unsigned card in a bottle, unfortunately we never saw what he did next as he got the red light from the judges, I can only think this was because his presentation was very fast, not much magic happened, and what did happen was he was shuffling almost under the side of the table out of sight of the camera and judges.

Kiko – Card Magic – Spain: He spread the deck and blew four cards out which turned out to be the aces, a spectator chose a suit of an ace, and he produced the rest of the suit in order, then changed the whole 13 cards to another suit. He then performed a cards through newspaper but with a card with mirrored mylar on and a transparent sheer silk, so you could see the card with signature on under the silk and as he tossed it towards the corner covered with the mirror card it visually vanished and appeared under the card with the others.

Simo Aalto – Micro Magic – Finland: One Card Flurry, bare hand deck production. One coin flurry to jumbo coin, coin matrix with Jumbo Coins and Jumbo Cards then a double big coin production and finally a super-jumbo coin production to finish.

Joker Magic – Inventions – Hungary: A finger ring was placed on the first finger and it was then magically pulled through each finger in turn. Produces one deck which splits into two, then from a chosen deck he produces a matchbox, which multiplies to lots of matchboxes, and the ring from his finger appears in the last one. Ring then vanishes and appears in the card box, which they are selling at this convention. Then he covers the table and everything vanishes from the table, and a ring appears on each of his fingers of one hand.

VIP Magic (Emiel Lensen, Rob Mollien) – Card Magic – Netherlands: Double act, where one is a posh businessman, and the other a very cool looking younger person, and they start to challenge each other with decks of cards, they both produce the four Aces in increasingly impossible ways, including them floating to their hands, appearing under drinks, the Youth then produces the Aces all at once, they then work together to make the deck vanish to leave the Aces.

Martin Eisele – Micro Magic – Germany: I had heard good things about Martin’s act from the Ron McMillan day, it is based on a pseudo childrens programme about a small blue mouse and an orange elephant, complete with voice over. He performs 5 coin repeat, then uses 4 to do a matrix, changes to Jumbo Cards, still with the small coins, which then change to larger ones, then a quick backfire matrix. He then does a very visual matrix with dice, that vanish and the cards are on the table begin to rise up to show the dice back behind them once more. The Elephant and the Mouse then appear at the end.

Rick Merrill – Micro Magic – USA: Home-school act, dollar production changes to chinese coins, change to jumbo’s and do the same thing. Then an excellent and visual marker and coin flurry, and again he switches to jumbo marker and coin and does the exact same sequence. Finishes with some Sharpie impressions and produces sleeves full of markers and a jumbo sharpie fan to end which splits into two coloured sharpie fans.

Jon Armstrong – Card Magic – USA: Jon started off with an entertaining peek style routine where the spectator peeked at a card then the other spectator located it in a fan. A rubber band was then wrapped around the deck and the spectator asked to look at another card, Jon stuck one to his forehead which wasn’t the correct selection, as that was found to be in his wallet along with the original card. He then asked the woman volunteer if she minded having her phone number revealed, he asked for it and seemingly randomly mixed the deck, and when spread revealed her phone number had turned face-up. Sadly I believe Jon ran out of time and was thus disqualified.

Hayashi – Micro Magic – Germany: Matrix theme, with lots of variations, Jumbo Flurries, backfires, then goes on to fill the mat with half-dollars. Then an instant matrix which is very fast, then barehanded matrix, and one-hand matrix with backfire, with 4 Jumbo coins to finish.

In the evening we saw Stevie Starr from Glasgow perform his regurgitation act where he swallows light bulbs, cue-balls, methane gas, coins and even live goldfish, and can bring them up on command and in any order. This stuff really was incredible.

Then finally we saw the Close-up show.

Belinda Sinclair had four spanish dancers and singers on stage with her as they drummed and sang she performed with a very well scripted presentation, a four Ace production from shuffled deck, Ace Assembly, 3 Card Monte and Coin under Watch.

Tim Star performed his silk production, signed card in card case, a tunnel effect where the card pushed through changed to the signed one, his vanishing aces, and finally a coin cup effect.

Lennart Green was on top form, and recieved a standing ovation, he shuffled and dropped cards but still managed to find selections and make them vanish as they were dealt to the table, and finished by producing all of one suit from a very well shuffled and dropped deck, whilst blindfolded.

Michael Vincent’s act centered around the four aces, production of the aces from a mixed and shuffled deck, his version of Reset and to finish all the cards were back in new deck order.

Armando Lucero performed a sequence of changing blank cards from a blank deck into the queens. He then performed his named card between two jokers, and finally finished with his Coin Menagerie matrix effect.

Thats it for today, tomorrow the corporate presentations, and the banquet.

FISM 2006: Wednesday 2nd


Wednesday started for me with a lecture by Tim Star, a swedish magician who has lived in America and is now back in Sweden. Started off with showing an empty hand and produced a silk handkerchief, and then split it into two. Repeat card to case followed along with demonstrations of a card mucking procedure. He then cleanly vanished the four aces and showed us a gimmick he had come up with to clean up lapping procedures. He finished with showing us his bare-hand silk production and split.

I saw the first part of the Paul Wilson talk on Cheating and Gambling, had to leave early to queue for the close-up but will hopefully see the rest of it tomorrow. Paul started by showing the open sequence to the movie Shade. He then went on to show us simple routines that could be mastered to look like the real thing. A David Britland idea was taken to the extreme where you could deal a good poker hand from a shuffled deck. He then shared a way to make a dead-cut to a card and it being right every time, cutting the four Kings. He then showed his variation on the Blomberg/Solomon Power of Poker.

Then onto the third lot of the close-up competition:

David Stone – Micro Magic – France: This is the first time I have seen David Stone and he was fantastic, he came on as a French Waiter in his restaurant, produced coins and turned them into utensils ie. knives, forks, salt and pepper, a double glass production, this included a supposed accidental drop from which he kicked the coin back up into his hand! He kept producing bottles of wine, and a tape measure, to supposedly measure the distance his coins where on the mat, he had a card signed which ended up in the salt pot, along the way the cards vanished and reappeared numerous times, he finished with another bottle production and glass steal from the table and finished by producing both his shoes!

Tricky Niki – Card Magic – Austria: Spectator freely names one card, he changes his favourite card into that card. He then shows a prediction asks her to push forward two cards, and balls them up without showing them, and performs the sponge ball 10 count with them, saying “it happens on 10” he then shows his prediction that says the same, he unfolds the freely chosen cards to see that they add up to 10, he then shows the other side of the prediction which is blank, and shows the rest of the deck is also blank. He then has a blank card signed, which vanishes and appears in a freely chosen Red Bull can.

Kevin Gallagher – Micro Magic – UK: Kevin performed his act that has won numerous UK competitions, he starts off with a regular coin matrix with mini cards and coins, he then takes out some jumbo coins and does the matrix with the mini cards under the coins, he then takes out jumbo cards and does a jumbo card and coin matrix. Similarly with the three shell game, he does the normal version, then gets three large half-peas and one walnut shell, then three jumbo shells and one half pea.

Alexander Popov – Card Magic – Russian Federation: This was a very strange act, very techincal, but probably because of the language problem he had almost no presentation, but just whistled as he did some unbelivable flourish cuts and chosen card productions, with cards spinning all over in multiple packets, and a climax of building a card castle in his hands which almost worked, very good technically, but probably not good enough on the presentation side.

Brad Bradley – Micro Magic – USA: This was terrible, the first act of the lot that was really bad, there had to be one, and suprisingly the judges didn’t seem to red-light him, not sure if this was a problem with the light. He came on and did a paddle trick, combined with a cup and sponge ball routine. Roger Miller really needs to see the acts he is authorising!

Harry Lucas – Mental Magic – Austria: Started by swearing in the whole audience that they were not stooges, got Keith Bennett and Mandy from the UK up to help, they started off by both drawing a picture of an elephant, Mandy being the sender and Keith the reciever. They were then supposed to stand back to back and copy each others actions but this didn’t quite go according to plan. Finally he showed a stop watch that had been running through the act to match a time previously written by a spectator.

Mario Bove – Card Magic – Italy: Four King production, Open Travellers, with the last card in the box, and then in the box they changed to Aces. Poker deal where he dealt the Aces to himself, and Jacks, Queens and Kings to the other players, he then produced all the spade suit in order, and the whole deck was then shown to be in order.

Will Houston – Micro Magic – UK: This was the first time I had seen Will’s act, and I thought it was fantastic, with it all set to music, he started off with a 3 coin production and vanish and reproduction, with two jumbo coins to finish. He then sat down with a deck of cards, produced the four Aces, and the rest of the deck vanished, he then did shadow matrix with the aces, as a kind of assembly, finished by producing four coins underneath them, and carried on to do matrix with backfire, then with two cards and four coins, then with no cards and four coins. The American Halves then change to Chinese Coins, he then produces four jumbo chinese coins from the cards and vanishes them in a silk where they turn into a lighter, from the flame of which he produces a slightly bigger one, and the same from that one ending up with a jumbo lighter.

Guilhem Julia – Parlour Magic – France: Card production from Flash String, blank cards with pictures of goldfish on, a real live fish is produced from the card case, and then from the cards themselves, and finally his bare hands, double glass production to put the fish in, finishing with a fish tank production, he then comes back, ‘accidentally’ sets his shoe on fire, and produces water from the shoe with fish in.

Rocco – Micro Magic – USA: This guy is amazing, and very messy! He starts off by pouring wine out of a glass and producing grapes, he then produces an icecream from nowhere, and changes an egg to a fried egg, he does cigarette manipulations that change to lollipops, then proceeds to produce lots of toothpicks. he produces fruit, the juice of which goes all over, then ice, complete with water fountain from his hands, and finishes by producing lots of rose petals.

Felix – Card Magic – Germany: Box Shrinks, produces four queens, puts back into deck and produces them again and they transpose in the spectators hand ala Dr Daley. A signed card vanishes from in between them and appears folded in the mini-box. He then produces the heart suit in order, then the deck seperates into suits.

Rey Ben – Inventions – Argentina: Three inventions with explanations, the first single cigarette productions, followed by a cigarette box, then a silk that instantly appears in a bottle, then a card chosen and that appears in an empty whisky bottle and he then visibly shakes it through the side of the bottle.

Charming Choi – Card Magic – Republic of Korea: Charming Choi was the Sound of Magic, although his sound didn’t quite work as he wanted it to, a few technical hitches to an otherwise charming act. He performed a one card flurry, slow ambitious card, with the card coming up step-by-step, deck vanish to one signed card, and the deck travelled back to the empty case, and the deck then changed into a present for the spectator. He then produced blank white and black cards to form a piano keyboard, which actually played notes, and cards with instruments on them. He had a large electronic board which flashed the words to do-re-mi on and he had the whole audience singing along, as he changed one card into rose petals, and finished with producing an oscar and a confetti fountain.

Galambos – Micro Magic – Hungary: Cups and Balls with smoke on the vanishes, cups change from silver to copper, final load is a coin production into the cups. Ace Assembly with blanks and aces, finishing with showing the last packet using twisting the aces, which was a nice touch, and then the deck was spread to see a picture of a rose on the spread. A four ball routine was next where the balls were vanished and reproduced and climaxed with a jumbo ball production. Then he performed a translocation routine with coins, which seemed to abruptly finish, I think he had some problems with his setup, but all in all a very good act.

Gregory Wilson – Card Magic – USA: Gregory performed in his office as he produced coffee from the card case, and the case vanished to reappear in his pocket, a card was chosen between the whole audience and that was the one on his note spike, the cards vanished and appeared in his pocket, and then ended up being sealed, with a signed card amongst them. He then produced all the spades in order, including some incredible productions, bare handed, and one he flicked up and caught in his mouth, he finished by producing the final five on a spike from a card fountain from his punching in clock.

Marc Oberon – Micro Mgic – UK: Marc has a very magical act, that starts off with a floating ball, multiplying and finally a gold statue production, he produces an apple which changes to a golden ball. Then a judge named a card which he showed had appeared in his crystal ball. He then had another card named, which appears from a flame. The deck then changes to gold. He then goes on to do a ring on rope routine, but the rope literally floats and levitates through and around the ring. He finishes with a one coin flurry, produces two more and does a quick 3 Fly, and changes the coins to a key, then a giant key.

The Gala show was fantastic. Helge Thun was compering and the show started with a safety announcement as several people rushed into the crowd to act as stewards we were told to stow all cards and coins in our pocket, and in the case of emergency a piece of rope would drop down, they then all proceeded to do a simple rope trick at the same time throughout the auditorium.

Jeff McBride was the opening act with his Mask routine, Fans and D-Lites, ever-filling water bowls and his card manipulation with cards bouncing off the floor and spinning out to the audience.

Marc Metral was a vent act who sang with a lion and birds that came out of their bird houses, a Dog and then to close got four volunteers and did a human vent act with them and sang Singing in the Rain using each of the voices!

Vik and Fabrini performed their FISM award winning robot act where Vik carries on the robot and performs all kinds of magic with him including repeate balls to mouth, drink in the news, dove pan and finally the robot deflates, so Vik pumps him up and they dance around. A very funny and zany act.

Marko Karvo finished the first half with his bird act, but what an act, he produces doves, budgies and their cages, and finally produces a giant cage then a parrot which twice flew round the auditorium and back to him, after which he recieved a standing ovation.

The second half opened with Helge Thun and Topas performing a kind of dueling bango’s but with cards, so as one would do a flourish the other would try and top him, very funny.

The Evasons were next, and it was an act I was looking forward to seeing, it’s a two person second-sight act, and I have no clue how Tess gets the information from Jeff, it is pure magic!

Jerome Murat performed his Statue act that we had seen at Blackpool, a very poetic and baffling act where the statue comes to life with two heads, and finally merges back into one statue, its very difficult to describe but if you get a chance to see this don’t miss it.

Anthony Gatto the juggler was up next, he juggled balls, rings and clubs with amazing skill.

Helge and Topas were back on to perform a funny backstage type illusion with card board boxes, which were taped together with a board inbetween, Topas got in onside and then Helge jumped into that box, and Topas appeared from the other side, they then went on to give the backstage explanation, finally ending up producing not only Topas but Anthony Gatto from the box.

To close the show who better but Peter Marvey, with his original illusions, he opens with a girl going through his body ala A-Frame but with no frame, then he turns himself inside out, by coming out of his own body. He then performed a topical superman illusion where he tries to fly but his body ends up shrinking. Then they perform an assistants revenge illusion, where Peter gets chained up and with no cover, just pyro’s the girl and Peter swap places. A snow storm in china was the opening to a smokey levitation sequence where the girl levitates and goes up and down and around his body. Finally they closed with a spiker illusion, the girl gets in the box, the spikes come crashing down and she has vanished, she then re-appears un-harmed, along with the three other girls from the box.

An excellent close to a fantastic Gala Show and a brilliant day, more tommorrow…

FISM 2006: Tuesday 1st


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!

FISM 2006: Monday 31st


The first day of the actual convention marks the 6th Anniversary of this blog, and my 29th Birthday! And what a way to spend it… After working out a complicated system I figured I didn’t need to see Kevin James today, so I went for a wander round the dealers, picked up volume 2 of the Ascanio book, and headed for the close-up room.

Like last FISM I will try and give you a brief run down of all the contestants and a little of what they did.

Juan Carlos Rodarte – Parlour Magic – Mexico: Juan did a pirate themed cups and balls, with the balls representing ghosts and changing from red to white and back, finished with the production of a pirate ship.

Kristian Nivala – Card Magic – Finland: This guy was fantastic the best of today’s bunch, and a strong contender in the card section. Started off with an invisible deck, miming pulling out cards and spinning them through the air and they appeared at his fingertips. They were then signed and lost in the deck, he produced jumbo aces and found the signed aces one-at-a-time inside the empty card case, finished off producing a giant ace, jumbo coins and lots of dollar bills.

Mr Dannyman – Micro Magic – Sweden: Found the aces to rhyme, then changed them to jumbo aces, then a production of flags from a change bag, jumbo euro’s production, lots of small coins produced from a wand, and finished by lighting sparklers on a reproduction jumbo euro.

Morgan Strebler – Mentalism – USA: PK Coin bending in a wine glass, lots of loose change all bent at once. Bending fork and finished with pulling off the tines into a glass.

Rafael TUbino – Card Magic – Brazil: Changed indifferent cards to aces, found aces in a shuffled deck, selected card traveled from deck to the ace packet, then the deck changed from blue to red along with the aces and the selection.

Satoru – Micro Magic – Japan: A card prediction on a 20k note, gag toothpick prediction which turned magical when all the toothpicks changed to multi-coloured ones. Then another card prediction where they stamped on the three cards and they were revealed on the bottom of his shoes, socks and feet, with a final umbrella production with the last card written on.

Seth the sleight of hand artist – Card Magic – Sweden: Shuffled and cut the deck multiple times, produced 4 aces with hotshot cut and dribble productions, lost back in the deck he produced the aces by changing 4 indifferent cards, he then dealt the aces to him in a poker game, and finally seperated the deck into suits.

Pierric – Micro Magic/Invention – Switzerland: really visual change of apples to pears, a visual minting of some money, and a cup and ball routine where the ball and cup dissolve into dust at the end, finished with the production of a guinea pig from silks.

It was then time for the opening ceremony where we all marched into a big dark hall with lasers, projected images and a ballerina in a big transparent sphere, rolling around the crowd. The ceremony then transferred to the stage where the FISM president stepped out of a video to welcome us all, and with the parade of flags they officially opened the convention.

Had a coffee with Norwegian magician Hartvig from Oslo.

Then onto the Nordic show, with Johnny Lonn and his violin playing character with vanishing bow, and bits of string on his jacket, with a malfunctioning gramaphone which he tries to vanish, with his trousers round his ankles having produced his braces.

Kenny Quinn was performing as a pick-pocket and with his recreation of Viggo Jahn’s act of multiplying cane tops.

Jahnn Gallo and Gunn produced money from thin air, and spirit tie.

Robert Jagerhorn performed his airplane toilet act, where lots of changes and magic happen climaxing with a complete costume change.

Finn Jon closed the show with bubble magic and an animated tie.

Then we had to make our way to the city hall for the civic reception with the Mayor, in the same building as used for the Nobel Prize ceremony. As you will see from the photos the Gold Room was magnificent and the buffet equally so.

Bumped into Kevin Gallagher who is in the close-up on wednesday and Matthew Gore from South Africa who is in the Stage Competition and also young magician Matt from Cambridge.

We then made our way to the bar magic and waited in line for ages to see Juan Tamariz but what a way to finish my Birthday seeing a master at work with a deck of cards, changes, productions and predictions had the audience on their feet at the end of this mini-show.

FISM 2006: Sunday 30th


Sunday started with a continental breakfast in the hotel restaurant, then we embarked on a sight-seeing boat trip entitled under the bridges of stockholm which was an excellent way to see the islands and some beautiful buildings, we had an audio commentary for the 2-hour trip, and you can see from some of the photos how picturesque it is.

We then tested the journey to the convention center, which is easy enough for us as the central station is right outside the Radisson, we have got a train ticket for the week so you just hop on and its about 3 stops to the convention centre. We registered, and then took the train back to the hotel and decided to walk to the Vasa Museum which luckily stayed open till 6.00, so we got to see the Vasa, which is a 17th Century ship that sank on its maiden voyage, which was then salvaged in 1961 and the museum opened. Again I have added a few photos to flickr, and you can see some more on the website, but it doesn’t really do it justice, if you are ever in Stockholm you have to see this!

So with aching feet and legs we walked back to the hotel, and had a nice meal across the road this evening and back to the hotel to upload photos and blog this, and check the programme for tomorrow, looks like it starts with a Kevin James lecture for me, then onto the close-up then the opening ceremony, the nordic show and then the civic reception tomorrow evening. Another great day to celebrate the 6th Birthday of this blog, so expect another post and more photos tomorrow!

FISM 2006: Arrival


Well we got here, after leaving home this morning around 8:00am and its now 7:00pm Swedish time, we took a plane from Humberside, to Schipol, then from Schipol to Stockholm, a short train ride and we are in our Hotel, the SAS Radisson Viking, which has free WiFi internet, and we have a laptop, so hopefully you can expect regular postings with photos etc.! We register tomorrow and hopefully take a guided tour of Stockholm by boat, then the conference starts on Monday. Have just added a FISM 2006 set to Flickr, if you scroll down the page you can see the latest photos on the right, or check out the FISM 2006 Set