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.):

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):

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):

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.