At Hotel Registration I was next to Franz Harrary, he looked over like he recognized me. After I got my stuff in my room I went to the conference. Upstairs at the conference registration we received nice shoulder bags and binders. I waited in line for our photo badges, I saw I was behind Daniel Garcia. He put on a cheerleaders outfit for his picture. Afterwards I ran into Jeremy Espinosa and DJ Leo Diaz, we went to the cover party.
Cover Party was fun but had a cash bar. We were given 18 trading cards of a magicians high school photo. We had to mix with others to collect the 17 different cards.
David Blaine was there but only for a couple hours. It was incredible to see the many famous magicians. They opened the marketplace and for every $20 you received a raffle ticket. The prizes were a Kevin James package including lunch with him, Mac King package of the same and some Mark Wilson stuff. I bought Serendipity, Departure, Shoe't and Solo. A bunch of magic. I was running to get my raffle ticket and I ended up tearing my hamstring. I guess I need more exercise. After the party, Bizzaro showed up and we hung by the lobby bar.
Day two started early with the morning session from 9:30am to 11:45am. It began with a funny video from David Williamson with his Dai Vernon puppet. It was below the tables between some girls and causing general havoc. The session continued with the editor of Magic Magazine Stan Allen. He was followed by Paul Gertner with some lessons of the classic force. We ere told some unfortunate news that Joshua Jay would not be in attendance because he broke his arm in two places. The seesion had Richard McDougall spoke about theater and control. Paul Gertner returned with some lessons in trade show working. Eric Mead spoke about reading and magic history instead of tv watching and DVD viewing. John Lovick brought out Danny Garcia, who taught everyone Butter Bill. Rune Klan was introduced next and did a choice with two dirty socks and a knife, a appearing pool cue. He also apparently lost a lot of weight from what I can tell. He was awesome. Simon Aronson came out and taught a trick that looked to work off of a 21 principal.
The afternoon session kicked off at 2pm and a David Williamson video was presented. It showed Jonhn Lovick, Daniel Garcia and David Williamson all trying to do the Butter Bill. David got frustrated and used his straw for his drink. Johnny Thompson came out as The Great Tomsoni with Tom Mullica as You Da Putz. Luis de Matos came out and talked about magic on TV and ratings. Eric Mead spoke about bad sharing of magic discs and how it is harming us but there is no solution in site. Adam Rubin shared one of his Braindrops where he took a voluteer from the audience and put a balloon between his legs. He then was made to laydown under a pole parallel to the ground. A knife was hung and then a pair of keys were the other side of this pendulum. It was fun to watch. Johnny Thompson returned with his egg bag and did the routine with two women volunteers. The last part of the session, Mike Caveney interviewed John Gaughan about his illusions and his magic history museum.
The night time came and the first show I got to see was a mentalism act by Tim Conover. Tim has a great stage presence and made the show very funny. He did have some surprises and it was a great show. Later in the evening I got to see the large stage show. This opened up with Bruce Gold as the emcee. He was very funny. Elliot Zimet came out to the stage with an original dove act that had a high tech and hip-hop feel to it. Malin Nilsson performed and was so wonderful to watch, she captivated the audience with her well staged routine with rings and rope. She was accompanied with a pianist which tied this act together well. Marco Tempest performed his multimedia act that was great to see. Aaron Crowe came out to some drama filled music and grabbed a male and a female volunteer. He sat the girl down in a chair and had the guy hold a board over her head. Her ring was taken and put into an apple that rested on the board. Aaron Crowe boarded a lazy susan device and spun around with a bow and arrow set. Then the arrow was fired into the apple and into a target. The arrow was examined and shown to have the ring. It was a great presentation. Tom Burgoon performed with his roll of toilet paper but also had this hysterical presentation of the dyslexic card magician. It was really funny. The show closed with Christopher Hart and Ed Alonzo.
Day Two, Tuesday, I started my day with some electives. at 1:30 I went to FFFF where I saw Obie O'Brien, Michel Huot, Yannick Lacroix, Bruce Kalver, Mike Powers, Howie Schwarzman perform some of their favorites. My second elective was which was Card Magic: Ten Great Minutes With A Deck. John Lovick took over since Joshua Jay was not available but this also was followed by no microphone audio, no television monitors and no lecture notes. There were a couple items I picked up from watching, one was a three card monte in the hands, another was a location of a card by Rune Klan and I have found a hero in Rune Klan. I went to my next elective which was Master Class with Jeff McBride, Tobias Beckwith, Eugene Burger and Bryce Kuhlman. It was nice attending one of these again because Jeff knows how to put perspective to the art we love so much. He also gave us two URLs that I needed. Last elective that I attended was Scripting. I didn't get too much out of it because I am so centered into improv and it actually writes the script for me. Later in the evening I got to sit in the front row of the Close-up Experience which was Guy Hollingworth doing his Expert at the Card Table show. It was so awesome to listen to Guy tell the story of Milton Andrews and display the card magic talked about.
Day Four session started with a video from David Williamson. This one looked like a Theory 11 video and it stated "Dan and Dave and Dave present" then called itself Defiance, and it was David Williamson playing with magic props in the desert. Jonathan Levit hosted and made several allusions to Celebracadabra, later Jeff McBride, Franz Harrary, and Max Maven came out to judge Jonathan Levit as if they were still on Celebracadbra. Bill Schmeelk spoke about ordering through past catalogs and after, he came out dressed like a kid performing one of the illusions bought through the mail. Eric Mead came out to speak about forcing a card in your favorite method. Jonathan Levit then ripped up a Magic Magazine and gave the pages out while doing a mentalism act. Nathan Burton was up next, performing an illusion and then talked about Americas Got Talent. John Lovick came out to present Talk About Tricks with John Guastaferro doing his subliminal advertising routine, Dave Forrest came out with an Ace trick with transposition and then he did colour burn. John Bannon was the last with a couple of card tricks.
The afternoon session was hosted by Michael Weber doing the news desk at Magic Live. It was very funny, making fun of David Blaine, Criss Angel, Penn and Teller, Chris Kenner, David Copperfield and even Michael Weber. Jeff McBride came out to the stage with a card manipulation act leading into a Show Doctor lecture that was well stated. Gabe Fajuri, Jason England, Brad Henderson, John Lovick spoke about the review process, issues they have had and the recommendations of products they liked a lot.
The evening brought a final show which had Noel Britten as the emcee and he was extremely funny. Tim Kole did an illusion and then he brought out his father who designed a lot of the illusions. Greg Kennedy did some crazy juggling and reminded me of friends I haven't seen in a while. Luis de Matos did a sand and water illusion, it was ok, I didn't have the best angles. Arthur Trace performed and I have seen him a lot but he did something I didn't see yet. He had an apple keep time and I loved the effect. Joseph Gabriel closed the show with some bird magic.
The closing party wasn't as lively as the cover party but it was a long convention. I had the best time ever. I made some new friends. I got to see people I never thought I would see like Paul Harris. I got to see AJ Olsen at the closing party also.
I left the hotel around noon on Thursday, I didn't want to leave so soon but I had a gig later that evening. I walked passed the cafe and saw Paul Harris having lunch with Greg Wilson and I started to already the good times that were had at this convention. I can't wait to see my magician friends in the future.