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…