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 some stuff.
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 tomorrow…