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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » So Happy together... » » Fab Magic's 11th Annual MagiCelebration Magic Festival (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Carl Jarboe
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Detroit, Michigan USA
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Bruce Florek and I ventured from Detroit to The Magic Capital of the World on Thursday to stop in for the day at Fab Magic's "11th Annual MagiCelebration Magic Festival." It felt great to be back in Colon, Michigan.

Bruce has attended rival Abbott Magic Company's Get Together in the same town since the early 1960s and I made by first pilgrimage to the event in 1969 at age 13. About ten years ago Rick Fisher opened FAB Magic on main street in Colon. Since that time, he has sponsored the MagiCelebration. Originally the event occurred simultaneously with Abbott's Get Together. Evening shows and other events occurred at the same time at different locations. It was quite a unique occurrence.

A couple of years ago, the MagiCelebration was moved to the week before the Get Together. This year the event is being held two weeks before the Get Together. I will be at Abbott's for seven days then, but Bruce and I thought it would be fun to stop in and see what the MagiCelebration had to offer.

We were pleased to see some old friends upon our 1:00 arrival, Mike McGivern, Krag Ryal, Antony Gerard, and Amusionist Al the Only. We were disappointed, at least at first, to see hardly anyone else. The Fab Magic Shop had a few muggles. The main street was pretty well empty. We paid our $40.00 one-day registration fee and learned that the close-up show was not included. That was another $15.00 each, if you please. For the evening show we were assigned third row seats.

Milling around the shop, we discovered that Richard Osterlind was a dealer with his own booth. Neither of us had met Richard, although Bruce had read most of his books and viewed his DVDs. Since no one else was around, Bruce and I had Richard to ourselves. After I purchased an autographed copy of his new book, The Professional Mentalist's Field Manual, Richard demonstrated his skills for us. Richard is a professional in every sense of the word. He graciously spent 45 minutes with us. We could not have had him to ourselves at any other convention. That time itself made the trip very worthwhile.

The high school was the venue for a 2:00 lecture by Steve Varro. We arrived late but were stunned to see how small the audience was. I would guess maybe 25 or 30. The lecture wasn't quite our cup of tea so we tried to quietly exit after and then headed over to the World Famous M&M Grill for lunch. During the Get Togethers, this place is packed. Bruce and I, however, were the only people in the restaurant. A couple muggles came in as we were paying our bill.

We then headed back to the high school for the 3:30 close-up show. We were pleased that there were about twice as many people present. Although the show had started I easily grabbed a third row center bleacher spot. This cannot be done at the Get Together unless you are seated 45 minutes before the show. Abbott's rotates the performers through four performing areas, Fab just had the one section.

Tomas Medina was the opening act. Very enjoyable. Cups and Balls, sponge balls, but it is his Gift of Gab that was so captivating. I was glad that I did not miss it. Now I had two events to make the trip worth my time.

Before venturing into some good card magic, Cody Fisher opened by showing his collection of (fictional and humorous) magician's lecture notes. These were cute. If you were not into magic you did not understand any of the jokes. I must still be learning because there were a few that I missed. The audience, however, laughed at them all. Bruce later claimed to have understood them all, but when I questioned him on one, he confessed that he missed it as well.

Richard Osterlind then took over and presented many of the routines that he had shown Bruce and me earlier in the day. We much enjoyed the repeat performance.

The Youth Close-Up Winner was next. He performed a nice card routine that we enjoyed watching.

The closer was Garrett Thomas. Just excellent. His routines with finger rings, silver dollars, and Rubik cube (including one-handed solve and vanish) were all stunning. After the show Garrett stuck around for 45 minutes or so and spoke with everyone. I had not met Garrett previously, but we share a close mutual friend, Bill Kalush, which made a nice connection for us. Garrett then presented his ambitious card routine for us (see Magic Magazine, June 2014, pp 65-66) which he claimed fooled Bill. I was impressed by Garrett's depth of magic understanding, approach to the art of performing, and his willingness to share. A young magician approached Garrett and demonstrated a magician's choice card routine. Garrett responded by carefully explaining differing theories of the magician's choice and walking through the effect step by step. Unfortunately, the youngster seemed to be more interested in preparing to show Garrett his next trick. Bruce and I, however, were fascinated by Garrett's insights and with his patience. He is truly devoted to the art. Once again, we enjoyed time with a professional that we could not have stolen at most other conventions. Now there were three gems for the day.

We now had time to visit Carl Thorton and his rebuilt Five Star Pizza. A fire struck his place and next-door Curly's in March 2013. They are both better than ever. Carl's restaurant is all-magic themed, including secret rooms and moving book cases. While there, we talked to Rick Fisher and complemented him on the acts. He claimed about 80 registrants so far.

The evening show was short. It began at 8:00 sharp, experienced a 15-minute intermission, and was over before 9:30.

Master of Ceremonies for the evening show was Steve Varro in full costume as Harvey Barfenfloss. Corny jokes but well received. Tomas Medina then opened with the same great patter accompanied by rope magic and mints in head orifices. Great act.

Tony Dowell produced but some birds but no smiles. A few loads flashed. The second half was Harvey Barfenfloss followed by Jason Andrew. Jason produced birds and silks and he did smile.

After the show, everything was pretty closed up. The American Legion, a usually packed magic Mecca during the Get Together, was locked. FAB Magic opened an hour or so later but kept the closed sign in the door. Mediana, Fisher, and Gerard stood on main street with us and a few friends.

All in all, the quality of the magic and access to the stars were great. The turnout was disappointing but worked to our advantage.

In two weeks, there will be ten times as many magicians, but I will have to wait for a table.
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20519 Posts

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Hope you have a ball!
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz
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A very good "reveiw". I agree completely.
Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5771 Posts

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Garrett Thomas was excellent! I hope he releases his work on how to handle challenging spectators. He has a more humane way to handle things, as opposed to those who use "heckler-stoppers". It would make a great video project!
Antony Gerard
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Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Hello Carl

It was great seeing you again, both at MagiCelebration and at the Abbott Magic Get-Together. I hope that you and your family enjoyed some of my magic. I know that I had a great time at both and am looking forward to next year and much of the same. Hope to see you there.

If you ever find your self in Kalamazoo, please stop by my shop, The Timid Rabbit Magic & Masquerade Shop. However, not in October because of my three Halloween businesses. In October I simply do not have time for magic. It is a good idea to phone first because I work a lot of convention every year and do a lot of lectures around the world. Because of my convention and lecture schedule, I am away from my shop about four to five months out of the year.

Thank you again
Antony Gerard
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