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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » How about a review of the Convention? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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OK, it’s been almost a week since the Escape Convention. I know it was like “WOW” and great visiting with old friends and making new ones but for those who could not attend how about a real review.

What were the lectures like? Which one gave you the most and why?

How were the contests run? What were they, how judged, and who won? What did they win (other than the all important “bragging rights!”)?

How were the evening shows? High points?

And on and on…
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Cliffg37
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Long Beach, CA
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I took a lot of picture at the convention, and while not all came out great, you can see them here if you would like.

http://www.putfile.com/cliffg37/images

I only have about 40 up now, but give me time and I'll get about 300 of them up soon, so keep checking back if you are interested.

Cliff
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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Good start! Nice photos!

Did you go to any of the lectures?
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Kondini
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You only want to rub it in cos I had to work and could not make it!!!
So people like me who have to work for a living have no interest in you lot having a *** good time at all!!!!

So there.

Ken (Who is still B****y working,grrrrrrrrr).
Cliffg37
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Here you go Harry....

The convention opened with an exciting escape done by Mark Cannon. He was hung upside down from a crane to do the classic straight jacket escape. It went off without a hitch. Joe fox did a great job of manhandling Mark into the jacket.

That was the opening, but for me the real opening happened before. Once I checked into my room and came to find the venue, I was grabbed by Kevin Ridgeway and invited to dinner with a large group. While waiting to go to dinner, Kristen Johnson tried to see if she could remove an Ian McColl ADA from her ankle. She could not, but was a great sport about it. I few other gentlemen were showing off their handcuff collections right there in the lobby. I knew I was "home"

We went and had a wonderful Italian dinner, and Steve Baker kept us amused with anecdotes from the old days, and an impression of an elderly elevator man named "lightning" giving directions to a barbershop. After dinner was Marks hanging straight jacket, and the official indoor opening.

The opening featured a talent contest in which Mark L. (sorry forgot the last name) did a very funny 100 foot rope escape. The next performer offered a scietific explanation of how to flip and spin a toilet plunger. The patter made it incredible. Then "Anthony Magic" did a water barrel escape. The juged confered and later gave the honor of first place to the 100 foot rope escape.

After that it was off to the bar for schmoozing and the Joe Fox blockhead demonstration. He did a great job of either entertaining, or grossing out, or both. When he asked to borrow a condom, a waitress near me brought him one. When I jokingly asked why she carried it, she made some remark about water balloons.

Following the blockhead routine, more schmoozing followed. It was a pleasure to meet RIchard and Dayle, Dean Gunnarson (who recognized me by my chemist avitar I was wearing) and Steve Brooks at that time. Someone (I think it was Ian) showed off the Ms. Morgan magic kit she had sent him. it is very nice and professional.

Next came the night's closing activity up in the Cannon's hospitality suite. Pizza and good company. I got to talk with Robert Baxt our emcee, and several other people. A few people brought in thumbcuffs to examin, antique and otherwise. again a fun evening. I didn't get to bed until 1:30 or so.

Saturday. Had breakfast with nice people, spent some quality time with Tony Parisi and Robin Fox, before hitting the vendors.

First major event was the lock picking contest. Joe Fox easily took 1st place in two heats.

In the handcuff picking contest, joe would win again, but with an interesting twist. There were 2 heats of 3 or four contestants each. Joe won the first heat and Kristen won the 2nd. in their run off, joe would win, but the audience called for them to have thier arms intertwined. Kristen tried using arm drags and hip checks to slow the master down, but he still got out first. She is a real spitfire!

A short meeting was held of the W.E.A.R.iors that were present at the convention. We went arounf the room explaining our act and venue, then talked about publicity. the idea to send press releases to all the "national" papers was put out. The thought that if many send them to nationals, the nationals might take a more major notice. Tome Blacke from escape masters talked about issuing certificates to weariors that participate. He needed criteria. A duscussion followed on the topic of "real" vs. gimmicked escapes

LEcture time. Steve Baker gave a brilliant lecture showing films of himself and other escape artists in history. He recieved a standing ovation for his work. I personally loved the lecture for two reasons, one, I like steve and his work, two I love history. He showed very old film of Leo Irby doing the milk can on a show called "you asked for it". The film was so old, it was in Kinoscope.

Patrick Culliton gave a wonderful lecture on the question of if and how Houdini got out of the "mirror" cuffs. It included visual displays and a real siberian chain escape that Patrick sold extremely well. again, great for all you history buffs.

Next up the straight jacket escape contest. Bill Shirk put up $500 to anyone who could beat his record of 1.2 seconds. no one did. A gentleman named DuBois made a great show of agressivly fighting the jacket off in about 7 seconds. An Italian young man (Andrew) did better getting it off in 4.5.

The evening show was excellent. Robert Baxt did some effects, and actully had ME enjoyig a linking ring routine wich he set to horror muscic and pattered after edgar allen poe's "the raven".

Kevin and Kristen opened up with three wonderfull efects, a rope tie clothes change effect, a bullet catch, and a metal box escape.

Steve Baker did a rope tie demo and his own tug of war escape.

Mark and Shiela did metamorphesis, a head chopper routine, a double jacket escape and their signiture effect, a spike bed escape.

Dean Gunnarson opened with an in and out comedy rope routine and finished with a huge chain escape. The audience ate it up.

Awards were given out to the publisher of Mum magazine, and to Dean Gunnarson. Both were presented by Tom Blacke of Ecape masters.

The fianl award was the "silver cuffs" award, given by the escape artist world in general, present to Steve Baker. I saw it as being similar to a lifetime acheivement award... and he earned it!

That was it for me. I had to leave Saturday Night, so what ever happened next will be up to someone else to chronical.

like I said... I had a great time.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Harry Murphy
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Hey Ken, Congratulations on winning Steve Baker’s All Leather Challenge Belt! It is a real beauty of a prop! WOW!!!

At least you were working and making money! I was in a prison in Pennsylvania!


OK, OK, so it’s the daytime job thing I was required to tour/inspect a facility in my neighboring state to see how much better they do business than we do!

I still want to experience the convention vicariously! I had time set aside, airline tickets and hotel rooms set up only to find that I could not go! I was totally bummed out! I wanted to test drive Cannon’s Diamond Plated Steel Box Full-View escape. Not to mention meeting Steve Baker, Steve Brooks, the Cannon's, and all of the folks that post here! I'm still bummed about missing the convention.

Next year hopefully will see me there!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Steve Baker - Mr.Escape
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Well Gang, I'm back and almost caught up on my sleep!

You see I arrived at the convention at 6pm on the 6th,
and met all those who had arrived before me, which included
Steve Brooks and Steven Steele....Hi Steve...Hi Steve...Hi Steve!!
Steve Brooks (who is a GREAT guy), but is the one most responsible
for my sleep depravation.... Smile

The convention was well put together and I met a GREAT bunch of people
Mark and Sheila did an outstanding job putting this convention together!
OUTSTANDING!!!!
Mark knocked us all out with hanging Straitjacket escape.... Really Great!
That kicked off the best convention I've been involved with in 20 years!
THE BEST!!

I met so many wonderful people who were friendly and great fun!
I'll try to remember all those who made me feel so welcome, and post their
names and the stories connected to them.

Those who I performed with couldn't have been more professional in their
performance of escape or comedy!....Outstanding

Ian taught Steve Brooks how to pick a number of padlocks, and there were so
many handcuffs around it made my head spin!
You see not only were there Escape Artists all over the place, but The Black
Correctional Officers were having their convention next to our convention room!

Can you imagine asking; "Is there any one in the audience with a pair of handcuffs?" and the entire audience stands up... Smile

Well, I'm going to go take a nap as I still haven't got caught up on my sleep!!

THANKS BROOKS!,

STEVE .... More later!
Harry Murphy
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Cliff, great review! That's what I'm talking about! What fun!

Steve, I am surprized that you got any sleep at all! I am so sorry that I was forced to miss the action and the learning experience!

Next year! Next year! Next Year!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Steve Brooks
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Steve,
Glad to hear you are finally catching up on your sleep - now you know what regular magic conventions are like! Smile
I very much enjoyed the time we spent laughing, telling stories and late night visiting. Thanks so much for sharing your life story with me, and I am honored that you would take the time to do so. Congrat's again on winning the Silver Cuffs award and I am thrilled that I was there to witness that very special event. Smile

Harry,
Sorry you couldn't make the convention - perhaps next time. Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Steve Baker - Mr.Escape
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Steve,

Thanks for your kind words!
I had looked forward to meeting you after our phone conversations,
and was glad you accepted my invitation to attend.
You and Steven Steele were two of the first people I met after arriving,
and after talking to you in person it was like we had known each other
for years!

I enjoyed swapping stories with you and Steven Steele, but you and I got to
talk a lot - about magic, escape (my passion) and many related things.

To all at the convention, you became one of the guys... one of us.

I'm glad you came and I would like to think we became friends.....forget
about the fact that it will be 2007 before I get caught on my sleep! Smile

Steve
cuffs
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Steve Baker, Congratulations on the Silver Cuffs Award. I had no idea what your career was like before I met you and it is very clear to me why you deserved the accolade. Very impressive work! It was very much a pleasure to meet you and spend some time with you.
Again, sorry that I was catching up on my sleep at the show. No one told me to do it afterwards. Once the house lights go down, I'm counting sheep.
I hope our paths cross again very soon.

mark
O--O
Mark Lyons O--O

Collector of Handcuffs from around the World







Who are you and how did you get in here? I'm a locksmith. And, I'm a locksmith.

Leslie Nielsen Lt. Frank Drebin, "Police Squad"
Steve Baker - Mr.Escape
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Mark, Thanks for your kind words!
I met a lot of great people who made the convention a real pleasure to attend,
and I count you as one of them!
I enjoyed meeting and talking with you Big Guy, and at least you got SOME sleep!!
Smile !

Untill our paths cross again,

Steve
Steve Brooks
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C'mon Steve, sleep is for whimps! Smile Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Starry
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I've also put up a few pics from the convention, some I borrowed from Cliff's page. He did a great recap on it. I'd just add that I'd never been to a convention quite like this one. It was a close knit group and allowed me to feel like one of them. I predict it will grow into one of the major conventions in years to come. Pics at:

http://starry.com/magic/escapeconvention05/index.htm

Enjoy.

Ace
Ace Starry - Author or THE MAGIC LIFE - A NOVEL PHILOSOPHY
http://www.starry.com/
lauher
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I also have posted a bunch of pictures from the convention.

Joe

http://www.handcuffs.org/LA05/
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