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Rick Maue
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Pittsburgh, PA
584 Posts

Profile of Rick Maue

As of late, I have not been on-line much due to my hectic schedule. Between working on our upcoming Deception Convention which happens in less than two weeks (if you like sleight-of-hand or sideshow performers, check it out), trying to complete my next book (Occam's Magic - more on that in the near future), and preparing my next lecture tour, things have been rather busy.

But I felt it was important to take a moment to ask all of you a question. You see, Deceptions Unlimited began organizing live events two years ago, and we have been told by many of the attendees that the Deception Conventions are one of the best kept secrets in magic. That is a nice compliment, but being a secret has meant that our attendance has been very low. Now I realize that conventions are not a money-making business for the most part, but we would like to at least come within a thousand dollars of breaking even on an event.

So the question is: Are the mentalists and bizarrists of this group interested in keeping our annual Mentalism/Bizarre Magick Deception Convention alive? In the past two years we have presented creators/performers such as E. Raymond Carlyle (the first resident medium at the Magic Castle) - Mark Edward (Author of "Restless Plots" and medium from the Castle) - Richard Busch (Author of "Peek Performances" - BTW, this was his only lecture to date so it was something worth seeing) - Alain Nu (His first bizarre lecture - and the debut of his book "Six")- Doc Dixon (His first bizarre/ mentalism event) - and myself (Author of "The Book Of HauntedMagick").

The events have featured other types of lectures (such as character development) and also a number of wonderful performances of mentalism and bizarre magick.

Other than the Meeting of the Minds (which is only for PEA members) and the ICBM Gathering (a wonderful event dedicated to bizarre magick) there are no annual events for mentalists and bizarrists in the States. That is why are trying to fill the void with our Late Summer/Early Autumn Deception Convention.

I realize that not everyone will travel to Pittsburgh, PA for a convention (although we had several people from the West Coast at the last one, and also a gentleman that flew in from France just for the event), but we figure that should be able to gather a minimum of 70 attendees (which is usually our break-even point) but that simply has not been happening.

I constantly hear of the wonderful memories from the Invocationals and Weerd Weekends, but now it seems that most people are not as interested in continuing those traditions.

We have some wonderful plans for future events, but they are on hold until we can discover if there is any interest out there. I have had several people tell me that they do not go to live events because it is easier to simply watch videos to see different performers/creators. I hope that is not the case because if the art of deception has gotten to that point of laziness, it just may be time to have it put to sleep.

Please understand that I am not looking for firm commitments, but instead, simply some feelings as to whether or not it is worth continuing such events. What are your thoughts?

If you would like to contact me directly with questions or comments, get me here:

Keep the change,
Rick Maue
Deceptions Unlimited
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Montreal, Canada
64 Posts

Profile of trilam
I sincerely hope that you are able to get the support that you need for this year's event. I had noticed a posting about the Deception Convention several weeks ago and I thought that it looked like an oustanding event and very reasonably priced at that. I even considered making the trip from Montreal, but unfortunately there is absolutely no way that I could attend this year.
I hope that this year's event is a success for you and that you are able to hold the convention again next year so that I can attend. Good luck.
Mr Amazing
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617 Posts

Profile of Mr Amazing
Rick, some brainstorm-ideas:

Generate more money by compiling a booklet that is sold during the convention ("every" lecturer gives an effect. Compare to N.Y Magic Symposium and other). In general I'm sure you'd find some of Richard Websters marketing ideas usable for making more money on the place.

Hold the convention in conjunction with another big event - be it another magic convention (and you hold the DC just after or before), or another public event such as a big exhibition in the area (if there are any).

Advertise especially for those that live near by. Get hold of members lists from magic associations in the area. Shouldn't be too costly if done by e.g asking all your magic friends to mention it on the meetings. Or give mention it while sharing an effect for the local (or not so local) magic newspaper.

Include less costly thing for your particular convention. Maybe offering live seances for laymen that are recorded and then analyzed in group? You charge the laymen and and you have a pretty cheap - but very interesting - event instead of an expensive lecturer.

You mentioned other types of lectures. How about inviting real psychics? (May be cheaper to get than mentalists/bizarrists? Probably not so easy to find a shut eye that would do this though... )

Invite a parapsychologist? (He should definitely be cheaper than a mentalist, and I imagine that he would be very happy to lecture to this audience)

If you do a video-recording, sell it only outside of the US (ref. to the argument you stated). And make sure there is a lot of advertisement for next years convention and also by (paying) dealers.
Maybe it's cheaper to make a CD than a video?

Let dealers advertise during the convention. (E.g posters or whatever) (obviously charging them).

Make it feel very special to be a member. Introduce "the Annual Deception Convention Award" for... (this idea is probably more long term though... and may just be a cost short term)

I doub't the only reason that people don't come is because they are "lazy". Maybe some are shy ?! (Magicians aren't always known for their social competence and especially bizarrists... Smile ). Perhaps better "ice-breakers" are necessary to make people feel welcome? (I have no idea - I haven't been to a DC).

Maybe if it was possible to have a collective place to sleep instead of expensive hotels?

This one I'm sure you already do: Have a questionnaire asking what is good and not good etc. Maybe the most expensive things aren't even appreciated?

Have a competition "The one who has the best money-generating idea for DC gets a free invitation for next year"
(I should get an invitation for all of the above ideas Smile )

Ok, hope you find something of value. I have not been to a DC, so some ideas may be 'off'. I live in Sweden, so it's pretty difficult to attend. If you move it to here, I promise I'll come Smile

Now that'll be $300 for my consulting services, thankyou!
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Veteran user
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Profile of E-Leoni
I live in North Carolina, it's not a bad
drive. I would be interested in attending.

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Inner circle
1234 Posts

Profile of Drewmcadam
I live in Scotland - and the road to the US is just a bit on the wet side... that said, it sounds fantastic!

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Profile of magiker
I have the same problem Drew living in Sweden. If I start Swimming now and pick you up on the way.

I hope that it keeps going Rick, cause I hope to get there one day

Believe in the possibility of the impossible
Lee Marelli
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Aurora, Colorado
876 Posts

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I believe that there is a need for a convention focused on mentalism other than the Psychic Entertainers Association (PEA) convention. If one reviews the many magic conventions list of performers and lecturers, there is a paucity of mentalists in that group. It would be nice to attend a convention devoted to mentalism.

Since not all mentalists choose to apply to join the PEA, they are unable to participate in the convention; however, because the PEA does have a significant number of the active mentalists as members, the problem of a second financially successful mentalism convention may not be feasible.

I believe you are taking the right approach by asking in the mentalist forums, not only this one but others, whether or not there is a demand. I am going to bring it up to the Psi Clones and get additional opinions.
"Mentalism is a state of mind." Marelli
Ian Rowland
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876 Posts

Profile of Ian Rowland
You could usefully contact Duncan Trillo who, here in the UK, runs a one-day event called Mind Magic. It is a mini-convention entirely devoted to mind magic and mentalism. It is always a great event, and I think Duncan just about breaks even on it. You can reach him via the Magic Week website, which is . Perhaps his experience of organising and running this event could be helpful. . Working Magic.
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