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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » So Happy together... » » Paul Stone's Innovention Convention (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Leslie Melville
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Reflections on Paul Stone's Innovention Convention.

Arrived home yesterday, tired and exhilarated after three joyful days in Liverpool, attending Paul Stone's very different magic convention. Joyful because I was in the company of many old friends, and exhilarated by the level of performance displayed by the top class entertainers that Paul had gathered together for the farewell show; Jeff Hobson, Paul Zerdin, Graham Jolley, Michael Goudeau, Antje Pode, Mike Chao and Armando Lucero.

I said the event was different; these world class performers freely mixed with us all throughout the event and led the sessions/lectures/workshops that took place, passing on advice and information that only experience teaches. Jeff Hobson talked about cruise ship entertainment, what you need to be able to do and how to get the work; Crazy Juggler Michael Goudea (20 years in Las Vegas as featured guest in the Lance Burton show) discussed his experiences before attaining this prestigious engagement.

The final day was spent in the lovely Epstein Theatre, where these masters of stagecraft explained the importance of lighting and sound - and making friends with the technical stage crew, who can enhance or destroy your show! Freddie Davies (of 'Funny Bones' fame) - yes, he was there! - gave a master-class on stage technique; 'finding the light', how to make an entrance, how to take a curtain call (by standing still!) - as an aside he gave a demonstration of how to comically fall upstairs that almost gave Jeff Hobson a heart attack! Freddie said he was taught the technique in his very early days as a stooge with the Professor Sparks Electric Baby act.

Wayne Dobson made an appearance, quite physically disabled but still lightning quick mentally! he gave a short extract from his lecture, giving away his take on Hoy's 'Tossed Out Deck' and 'Echo', a lovely interpretation of a Karrell Fox card trick. It was good to see him there.

On the first evening, we were given a superlative display of close-up magic by Las Vegas based Armando Lucero whose coin and card work was simply out of this world! In the sixty years or so that I have been in magic, I have seen nothing more skilful – in the last night show, Armando also performed a frenetic and very funny 'Paper Balls Over the Head'.

Adding an extra dimension of class to the event was the attendance, on her way home to 'The Magic Castle' from FISM, was Irene Larsen.

Paul Stone knows how to put a show together and ventriloquist, Paul Zerdin(four times a Royal Variety performer) wowed the audience (three-quarters of which were lay public) with comedy & class, Graham Jolley showed how to work a mind-reading act with speed and humour, Germany's Antje Pode (sensational legs!)presented an exciting 'Risley act' with different sized suitcases. Mike Chao, direct from his successes at FISM was a classic manipulator in the modern style and Jeff Hobson absolutely 'killed' - but then, he always does!

I could go on, but the final joy for me was time spent in conversation with the now elderly Timothy Dill Russell and if you don't know who he is, read this: http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2012/01/......-of.html

It will take me a couple of days to come down!
Stories....?....That's telling!
Leslie Melville
View Profile
Special user
Blackpool-U.K.
691 Posts

Profile of Leslie Melville
Too late to edit, I noticed a typo! In my second reference to Michael Goudeau I miss-spelled his surname - Sorry Michael! And I should have further mentioned that Irene Larsen was accompanied back to Hollywood by her daughter Erika, who is of course currently President of The Magic Castle.
Stories....?....That's telling!
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