The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » So Happy together... » » Blackpool - Day One (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

mitchmagi
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of mitchmagi
I'm sitting here overlooking the Irish sea after day one of the Blackpool convention.

For those who have never visited Blackpool - its a throwback to the early 1900's - caught in a time warp - depressed and drab - its a town whose heyday has long since passed. The harsh British winter sees sub-zero temperatures outside as I type.

Herewith is a low down of events from the world's largest convention.

Registration - Unfortunately the excitement of receiving a delegates bag filled with magic goodies was not to be. Registration consisted of a Derek Lever souvenir booklet and a convention programme along with lanyard. Name badges were not pre-printed as with every other event I've attended and each delegate hand writes their own badge - an interesting decision.

Venue - The Winter Gardens is a sprawling complex filled with various venues and performance areas. Again - caught in a timewarp the venue is drab and shows its age. Everything appears old and is. We have yet to see the main opera house - but the venues used for close-up and the lectures are not conducive. With all-flat seating - no tiered seating ... sightlines are problematic.

Dealers - The day kicked off with the opening of the Dealers Room. BLackpool excels with its dealers -an enormous Ballroom filled with over 100 from across the globe - it's a cavernous market of wheeling and dealing - a true sight to behold and the biggest of any magic event ever.

Programme -

DAVID SOUSA LECTURE: The day kicked off proper with a "Lecture" by David Sousa ... a horrible disaster of an affair and abymsal start to the convention. Events of Blackpool's magnitude need to start with a bang - not a poor attempt at what could never be described as a lecture. I question whether the organisers had ever previewed this session. David Sousa is an amazing performer - but is wholly unexperienced in delivering a lecture ... and did undeniable damage to his reputation as a performer of calibre. I can only assume that presenting one was part and parcel of the performance contract and was forced to come up with one in order to perform on the gala show. It was sad to watch. The "lecture" consisted of an agonising 30 minutes of describing the importance of performance angles complete with chart after chart depicting 30 degree angles / 45 degree angles / 140 degrees ... the audience exodus continued throughout the lecture. The most horrifying part was the "dealer" demo which saw David Sousa attempt to perform and SELL the traditional dice bomb ( which first didn't work as he had not set it up ) and then prefaced it by "this is an old effect - but I had lots of stock so thought I'd sell it" ... it was an embarassment that a performer of his ability had been reduced to this. Perhaps language played a role - but he missed the boat completely.

VALERIE LECTURE: Following the poor lecture by David Sousa - French quick change performer, Valerie, presented a dazzling display of amazing quick-changes and unbelievable knowhow on the subject. Her lecture was filled with tips, pointers and secrets of the art ... displaying an obvious passion for her art. With husband translating , they made a delightful team with plenty of humour and enjoyment. It was 60 minutes jam-packed with everything you could want to know and more ! A wonderful highlight from the day.

CHRIS PRIEST: Chris Priest lecture was next on the agenda - but a dinner break was much needed !

EUROPEAN MAGICAL CLOSE-UP CHAMPIONSHIPS - The Close-up contest featured featured Steve Dela, Keisuke Izumi, Chris Stephenson, Jupiter, Alex Cahill, James Piper, Charming Choi, Darren McDonald & Olmac. The venue was split into three with the performers moving from the one performance venue to the next repeating their acts. Only the main venue had the luxury of video projection - the other 2 sorely needed it - and again something which an event of Blackpool's size need to provide. Flat seating is awful for close-up - but having no video projection is criminal.

Overall the standard of performance was generally low and as a self-ordained European championships the standard as a whole needs to dramatically improve. The contestants are "invited" to perform which makes the inclusion of some of the weaker acts even the more strange.

The winner was Olmac from France with an endearing personality that won the audience over. His slick card act featured multiple ambitious cards, and spectacular visual color changes that had many a magician doing a double-take. A worthy winner indeed.

With the time approaching 10:30 - two lectures remained - David Stone & Lennart Green which unfortunately I was not able to attend.

Tomorrow holds the promise of the Childrens Entertainer World Championships, International Close-up Show and the much anticipated Stage Show titled "UK vs Rest of the World."

More to follow ...
Maritess
View Profile
Regular user
165 Posts

Profile of Maritess
Wow, I love Olmac--had dinner with him and his wife in NY years ago, his card shooting was the best I've ever seen. I saw Valerie at FISM 2000 and at the World Magic Seminar and think she's amazing too. You make me want to go to Blackpool next year. Thanks for the reporting...
Top Hat
View Profile
Inner circle
We peed on you!
1077 Posts

Profile of Top Hat
It sounds absolutely dreadful.

You make me never want to go there. What on earth made you want to go this year? When the highlight of the day is a quick-change artist, you know you've got problems. As for the competition, have you never noticed that ALL convention magic competitions are totally ****?

Don't worry, though, I am sure Saturday and Sunday will perk up. Just think - you've got the great Terry Seabrooke to look forward to!

I can't wait to read your glowing report.
TH Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
Nick Wait
View Profile
Inner circle
Lichfield, UK
1043 Posts

Profile of Nick Wait
What was Steve Delas act like? I've seen him perform some phenomenol stuff when on form. One of the most technically profficent magicians out there with a good head for exciting ideas.
Nick Wait
View Profile
Inner circle
Lichfield, UK
1043 Posts

Profile of Nick Wait
Who won?
Caliban
View Profile
Special user
727 Posts

Profile of Caliban
Steve Dela was very good - I thought he should have been placed. The reason he wasn't was probably because he had a teriffic opening but the rest of the act wasn't as strong (from a competition perspective) as the first two minutes. The rest of the act was made up of pretty standard card material, such as Ambitious Card, that was flawlessly performed - but not the sort of material that wins a big competition.

Olmac was the clear winner, then the standard was very close for the rest of the acts. I had the other places as a toss up between Charming Choi, Steve Dela and Alex Cahill (who may have lost out because the big loads for his Cups and Balls were all very visible if you watched, as most did, on the big screen - it's hard to misdirect a static camera showing the whole table top).

Result: 1 Olmac, 2 Charming Choi, 3 Darren McDonald
Alexander Wells
View Profile
Veteran user
311 Posts

Profile of Alexander Wells
"With the time approaching 10:30 - two lectures remained - David Stone & Lennart Green which unfortunately I was not able to attend."

Oh no! David Stone's lecture was one of the highlights of the whole weekend. I've seen him lecture before but with such a large crowd his energy levels were right up there. He had the whole crowd in stitches. He crafted a lecture which was both informative and highly entertaining. Contant magical occurences, useful ideas involving prophylactics, in-jokes for magicians along with humour which could be apreciated by any audience. My admiration for that man keeps growing.
sleight king
View Profile
Loyal user
278 Posts

Profile of sleight king
What was everyones else's thoughts of the competition.
Craig Kyle
View Profile
Regular user
197 Posts

Profile of Craig Kyle
Dreadful
sleight king
View Profile
Loyal user
278 Posts

Profile of sleight king
Why on earth was it so dredful? Could you justify it?
Kaarlo von Freymann
View Profile
Loyal user
Finland
203 Posts

Profile of Kaarlo von Freymann
[quote]On 2008-02-22 18:47, mitchmagi wrote:
...Blackpool is a throwback to the early 1900's - caught in a time warp - depressed and drab - its a town whose heyday has long since passed.

How sad and how relieving! I had actually planned to go to Balsckpool to say hello to a lot of people I have never met in person and to visit relatives in the UK at the same time. That is, until I found out how laborius and time consuming it is to go to Blackpool from practically anywhere else. The funny thing about where conventions and trade fairs are held is that they somehow establish themselves somewhere due to the extraordinary energy and enthusiasm of some people at some time in history and, less fortunate, that is where they stay. Not because the place is a "natural" for the event. The Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate is another good example, but Harrogate is not only pictoresque but also well organized which it seems Blackpool is not. What strikes me is that there seems to be no consensus as to whether Blackpool was worth the trip this year or not.
Kaarlo von Freymann Helsinki Finland
Kaarlo von Freymann - Helsinki- Finland
Craig Kyle
View Profile
Regular user
197 Posts

Profile of Craig Kyle
It was the weakest competition in recent years with several very poor acts and a weak act being placed because he is a local lad (Darren). I was pleased to see Alex that you have dropped Shawn farquars unpublsihed sealed deck effect from your act.
sleight king
View Profile
Loyal user
278 Posts

Profile of sleight king
The trick was dropped due understanding how close my version was. I had no idea that Shawn Farquar even did this trick as the effect had been around a very long time before. I see cyril, greg gleason etc etc also doing similar tricks.
Anyway I hope you enjoyed my little performance
Steve Dela
View Profile
Special user
U.K. London
961 Posts

Profile of Steve Dela
I don't mind admiting that my act was pretty bad this time round. I hadnt put much thought into it. Was last minute due to working on a new act that wasnt ready in time. Roll on FFFF with my new and much more original act to music!

oh well... I am still working.

Steve Dela
http://www.SteveDela.com
http://stevedela.com
Associate Member of the Inner Magic Circle
FFFF
Harry H
View Profile
Inner circle
1526 Posts

Profile of Harry H
Quote:
On 2008-02-26 20:12, zak plumb wrote:
It was the weakest competition in recent years with several very poor acts and a weak act being placed because he is a local lad (Darren). I was pleased to see Alex that you have dropped Shawn farquars unpublsihed sealed deck effect from your act.


Unpublished it may be but it revolves a round a gimmick that I don't think Shawn invented.Once you know this gimmick the trick is self explanatory.Just a matter of getting thj ecard in the deck surely?
Oh and Darren Mcdonald isn't local to Blackpool.
Caliban
View Profile
Special user
727 Posts

Profile of Caliban
Quote:
Oh and Darren Mcdonald isn't local to Blackpool.


And neither were any of the judges - the closest was Mike Gancia who lives in Birmingham - so there would be no reason for them to be biased towards a local act.
mitchmagi
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of mitchmagi
For those who would like a "performers perspective" of Blackpool - be sure not to miss Shawn Farquhar's BRILLIANT blog ...

http://magichampion.wordpress.com/

Shawn is a consummate professional - and the treatment that he received is quite simply abysmal.

For the organisers not to know who their performers are just boggles the mind.
Harry H
View Profile
Inner circle
1526 Posts

Profile of Harry H
Quote:
On 2008-02-28 07:31, mitchmagi wrote:
For those who would like a "performers perspective" of Blackpool - be sure not to miss Shawn Farquhar's BRILLIANT blog ...

http://magichampion.wordpress.com/

Shawn is a consummate professional - and the treatment that he received is quite simply abysmal.

For the organisers not to know who their performers are just boggles the mind.


I remember asking Derek about Derren Brown appearing at Blackpool a couple of years agop.I had to explain who he was "A mentalist" the reply "Oh we don't have that type of thing"
Absolute baffoon.And at same time they expressed disinterest at press coverage.
Harry H
View Profile
Inner circle
1526 Posts

Profile of Harry H
Just to add if nayone want sa Sdunday review for their blog or webiste Id be happy to send mine.No offcial publication will publish a negative write up! Smile
Shawn Farquhar
View Profile
V.I.P.
Canada
743 Posts

Profile of Shawn Farquhar
Hi everyone,

Just adjusting to the time zone change and noticed this thread.

Harry H, I'm not sure what "gimmick" you are referring to but the routine, concept, handling and effect are original to me.

Sleight King, Cyril's effect is a direct rip off of mine. The only part he missed on his TV show was the deck switch ... which ironically is the only part I teach. Greg Gleason's effect takes place in a paper bag and uses two decks of a different color. I whole heartedly recommend Greg's effect as it is good and he is a dear friend.

I had such a great time meeting so many magicians at the Blackpool convention. The Ruskin was a great venue and I saw some super great magic during my three day adventure...

Cheers,

Shawn Farquhar
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » So Happy together... » » Blackpool - Day One (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.21 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL