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Inner circle
Cincinnati, Ohio
1035 Posts

Profile of bsears
What event or performer was your favorite this year?

I have to say I enjoyed John Lovick the most. (Tim Hannig was a close second and Josh Jay is always great).

The only real downside of the convention for me was the lack of an intermission during the show downtown. I needed a restroom break badly.

Overall, I thought the quality of the whole convention was up this year. Good times!
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Inner circle
1155 Posts

Profile of Corbett
MagiFest is always great. Lovick, Jay, and Ammar get my votes for best Close-Up from the pros.
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Lynden, Washington
50 Posts

Profile of MagicianSilver
I really enjoyed the closeup show, especially the way they broke it up so it was more of an intimate setting. A lot of work for the performers, but very well thought out for the audience.
"If you're not living on the edge. Then you are taking up too much space.
Terry Harris
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Profile of Terry Harris
Sterling stole the Friday Night show. If there is anything I hate is a young good looking talented magician.. Really he was great
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159 Posts

Profile of Yellowjacket
Sterling, you did a bang up job.
Big Daddy, always fun to see you and your lecture was very good.
Lovick was funny and friendly
Ammar was of course fantastic
Josh Jay...really really businessman
Gene Anderson top notch

The professional close up show was Good but it had a few slow spots.

The professional stage shows seemed a little off.

The close up contest was very lack luster…. Except for the guy with the WV angle. He was hilarious..not much magic..but lots of entertainment.

The Stage Contest..

Overall the convention was super…as always… kudos to those that ran it.

Tim Hannig
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Inner circle
Chicago area
1025 Posts

Profile of Tim Hannig
I also enjoyed John Lovick & Gene Anderson very much. (The only bummer about emceeing Saturday night was missing a lot of the acts due to always getting ready for the next bit!)

Sterling, I'm so impressed with you and your commitment to magic. You will go far! (you already have!)

I also love watching Mark Mason in the dealer's room, which is why I spoofed him in the opening of the Saturday Night show with my "Grand Illusion". : )

Lastly, thanks to Jeb and the Redcoats for getting an audience of kids for me on Friday morning. They had school kids lined up for months, but school was closed that day due to weather. They still pulled it off for me, and I appreciate that!
Author of PERFORM...all the stuff to think about

Over 450 pages, hardcover, full color

"I loved this book!" - Ken Weber

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Foreword written by Joshua Jay

Tim's book and other goodies to help performers here...

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Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania
109 Posts

Profile of Skotster
Magi fest was great. I don't think I can pick out a favorite. The Ammar workshop was more than worth the price.

Tim, I wanted to see your lecture, but I missed it. If I have one complaint, the schedule on the back of name tags was hard to read and understand.

@Yellow Jacket: the WV guy is in our local SAM club. I'll tell him the positive comment at next meeting.

Oh, and why does Columbus... a) hate smokers...and b) not salt the parking lots. I nearly fell on my ass walking from the car to the Friday show.
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Profile of Corbett
Very much enjoyed your Friday night show Sterling. Tim, also thoroughly enjoyed your MC work Saturday night; Professional, respectful, and funny. As usual, was a great weekend of talent, dealers, performances, and learning.
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Inner circle
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Profile of Corbett
Very much enjoyed your Friday night show Sterling. Tim, also thoroughly enjoyed your MC work Saturday night; Professional, respectful, and funny. As usual, was a great weekend of talent, dealers, performances, and learning.
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362 Posts

Profile of Kline
Loved your MC bits ! It really shows what can happen when one prepares in advance for a gig !
I have been asked several times to put together a "production" lecture and give some inside info on putting together shows - I know you did your homework and it showed !
Congrats on a job well done -
I look forward to working with you again !
Steven Kline
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Inner circle
Cincinnati, Ohio
1035 Posts

Profile of bsears
Actually all the MCs at Magi-fest did a great job. Big Daddy, Tim, and Anderson kept things smooth and professional. Well done.

Skotster - Ohio banned smoking indoors at public places in 2007. Salt, however, is still very much legal and seemed to be lacking. The parking lots were ice rinks.

Did anyone else watch the Dealer's show fall apart? It was kinda funny.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Toronto, Canada
800 Posts

Profile of Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
For me, the highlights were;
- Seeing "Handsome Jack" perform. His use of SUBSTANTIAL plots in his presentations is something for me to aspire to.
- Seeing Bob Sheets and David Williamson perform. I wish I'd seen much more.
- Seeing Troy Hooser perform UP CLOSE! My GOD, that's beautiful!
- Making LOTS of new friends from Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and Columbus. Just among this dozen new friends, I saw some WAY impressive magic.
- Getting some good & supportive reactions to my in-the-hands monte.

Thanks, everyone, for a GREAT time!
Cheers from Toronto!
Dan McLean Jr
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Profile of 007mystic
I was impressed with all the performers and the stage contest was realy great. I missed out on the close up contest as I was a contestant. Congrats to all the winners and I wish I had been able to see their close up acts. The shows were great and Lovick killed in our close up show on Sat. Always great to see everyone and thanks for the memories hope to make even more next year. I to was honnored to see Troy Hooser absolutely astonish in the lobby, what a great talent.
The weaver of Illusions
David Boyd
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Profile of David Boyd
It was a really great time! The headliner show was really cool..
The Competition was a blast, and it was fun working with all the other contestants
Joshua Jays lecture was really good.
Late night lobby jammin was fun, huh sterling? when are we going sky diving lol
I Really enjoyed Gene Anderson and newspaper creations aswell
David Boyd
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Profile of jkesler
Contest winners are???
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Profile of Rspangl
Senior Close-up
Jory Block - 1st Place
Corbett Troyer - 2nd place
Michael Rogerson - 3rd place

Junior Close-up
Peter Carollo - 1st place
Karl Eason - 2nd place
Nathan Hickey - 3rd place

Senior Stage
Andost - 1st
Peter Pitchford - 2nd
David Boyd - 3rd

Junior Stage
Eli Portala - 1st
Jordan Young - 2nd
Karl Eason - 3rd

In the close-up competition, I made a few changes. Three rooms, instead of two. This provides the spectators a better view, and gives the contestants more opportunities in front of different judges. I used three new judges this year, total of seven judges.

We look at three different scoring calculations:
Raw score (add up all the judges points)
Raw score minus high and low scores
Composite score. Find each judges top score, and assign that as his/her "first place", then that judges 2nd highest score is his/her second place, etc. Do this for all the judges. Then assign 3 points for each judges "1st place", 2 points for "2nd place", 1 point for '3rd place'. Then add up all the points.

In all three cases the results came out the same. Using this method can also be used for tie-breakers.

Ron Spangler
Magi-Fest close-up contest coordinator
Ron Spangler
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Profile of jkesler
Thank you Ron for the results and how the events were scored.
Best Wishes,
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Miamisburg Ohio
72 Posts

Profile of LarryTaylor
I think this years magifest was like comming home for me, in the past years I had lost my daughter and my mother and father and Jeb was nice enough to hire me, I think Ron and everybody did a great job running the event I had a blast and I could tell everyone else did too.I wish I had been a bit more familiar with some of the other thursday night performers routines I would have made more changes to mine so as not to have duplicate effects in the thursday night show. I can't believe I made a drop on a peice I have done so long, oh well.I love the event as you can tell.
Magical Entertainer,teacher and creative consultant.
Big Daddy Cool
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Inner circle
The Houdini Room at The Casa de Cool
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Profile of Big Daddy Cool
Larry - mistakes are a part of live theater! I missed a cane spin and *gasp* made a grimmace! I NEVER do that!!! Ugh.

And Lonny lost a glass ball in the silk fountain...

And Rob had a loop go missing...

Live theater. Oh, the stories I could tell from Broadway!

All in all, it went off well. Any news on the video?
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
John Pyka
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4 Posts

Profile of Quizzmo
First, Karl Eason won first place in the Junior Close-up Competition as well as the Scholarship to the Magic Camp. Incredible job and a wonderfully unassuming young man who has some real talent. It's a shame more of the "finger flickers and magical sages" didn't take more time to engage this young man.

Second, this event was very "clique-ish" Felt more like a "soccer mom and dad camp function". Michael Ammar was accessible which was great.

The Headliner show on Friday night had a lot to be desired. Next to the Canton Battle show from last year this was a real big step down for a higher price. The sound was horrible, screechy at best. Gene Anderson made an excellent MC, the Juggler, hmmmmmm. Dream Masters was creative but to drawn out, Jay Mattioli started strong but ran out of energy quickly. I missed Sterling Dietz because of the Bus Snafu so I can't say anything about that.

As far as Stage Comp on the senior level Peter Pritchford should have won hands down, technically perfect and entertaining as well, not to take away from the other competitors who all did well. Just makes me wonder! (PS, I was a contestant and I deserved the pounding I took because quite frankly after having received no wake up call and 15 minutes to scurry down to at least get on stage and save face, I was no where near my best)

The lectures in most cases were quite good but the rooms were to large and to packed to get a real flavor.
Michael Ammars' lecture was a prime example. I would like to see a lecture that is devoted to the working magicians versus the wide-eyed laymen and wanabees who end up diluting our tenuous art at best. Trying to get a real flavor of what he was teaching was quite hard from the bleachers in the back of the huge room. Not what I thought I was paying for.

The dealers show, well that never seemed to get off the ground and was finished almost as soon as it begun. Some great dealers, Bob Little, Tom (from Medievel Magic) extremely creative), Joe and Joan Mogar as always. The guy from Briton had some interesting items but they were a little over-priced. The lock-pick guy, well lets just say, mass marketing such tools must be done responsibly and with a little afore thought.
Hank Moorehouse had his usual goodies.

The Super 6 show was set up interestingly enough with revolving performers. A lot of redundancy, tons of card effects. Once again Ammar stole the show by being himself, ENTERTAINING.

The Crown Plaza, well, lets just say, I stay in a lot of hotels every year and this one needs some real work.
The staff was very friendly but that was where it stopped. The room was tired and somewhat dirty and the ammenities I asked for when pre-registering where not in place upon my arrival. If this was a four star in Columbus, Ohio they need to go back to the judging board. More like 2 star at best. The ice skating rink in the parking lot was a nice touch if you had skates. Oh, yes their wake up service has some draw backs.

Now back to that word "ENTERTAINING". Have I missed the boat all these years as a full time performing entertainer, putting a roof over my families head, food in the fridge and other niceties by actually "entertaining my audiences? To me that should first and foremost in any Magicians thoughts and programs.
Methods, music and patter lines that engage the emotions of an audience. Draw them in, tickle their funny bone, enlighten their senses and fill their thoughts with real wonder. Aside from certain performers at Columbus I felt I was seeing a Magic Box Kit in motion. Repetitive routines, endless Elmsly counts, double lifts, finding the aces and props that seemed to end up in each others acts. Have we as magicians really forgotten that first and foremost we are there to entertain an audience not to go through a series of motions and slights that seem to reek of "See what I can do" versus "See what we can do"

I know most of you will say hey this guy is sour grapes but I speak from the wisdom of attending eight different conferences this past year. I came to Columbus because of the incredible time I had at Canton for the Battle of Magicians hoping for more of the same. (didn't happen). Canton (Fielding West, Max Howard, Danny D'Ortiz and Robert Englund) ties for first place with ICBM (Inner Circle of Bizarre Magic) in Conn. (Johnny Thompson, Luna Shimado, Losander).

MAES had a great selection of programming however the sound was less then professional considering how many working pros attended. (Jeff McBride, George Satrial, Badfinger etc.)

Bob Littles Super Sundays always have a surprise to them and real homey feel. They keep you coming back.

SS Adams Magic Funday is in the rebuilding stage since it was bought from Carl Bajor. However, with a little help and magical touch this could one day be a real lighthouse to the new era of entertainment magic.

Well that's my take on Columbus Magi-Fest. I'm sure I'll get lambasted for speaking my mind. But an honest critique is worth considerably more towards forwarding the magical arts and the events that are meant to show, entertain and draw others into the wonderful world of magic.

Will I attend again? Not in the near future. I think I can spend my money wiser and get much more out of it.
Micahel St. James
A Magical Music Tour

Where "Magic Is Art From The Heart"
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