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* Magic New Zealand®
* Proudly sponsored by International Entertainment Ltd (New Zealand)
* www.magicnewzealand.com
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Issue Number: #1262
Date: Sunday 6th March 2016
Editor: Alan Watson QSM
E-mail: editor@magicnewzealand.com
Hi here is the latest news

1. Editor's Message
2. Genii Magazine Has Been Sold; Chief Genii to Remain
3. Broken Wand - Franz Czeisler (aka Tihany)
4. Broken wand - J.C. Doty
5. Vanish Announces It Will Be Available As A Printed Magazine
6. Blackpool Magic Convention 2016 Theiving Wretch!
7. Come Join In The Fun At The Magic Castle® Swap Meet!
8. The Magic Word Podcast - Randy Pitchford - The Cardini Connection
9. History of Magic: Haruo Shimada
10. Starting Cold - #392 - Kyle Peron
11. FISM 2018 Open For Registration
12. 60th Midwest Magic Jubilee
13. Magicpalooza Convention Line-up
14. STIMF - 2016 - England
15. "Now You See Me 2" First Teaser Trailer
16. Martin Gardner's Impromptu
17. The Cult of Tenyoism
18. Blackpool's 64th Annual Magic Festival
19. e-zine Archives
20. Privacy Policy and Copyright Notice

1. Editor's Message

If you would like to read the Magic New Zealand e-zine in a HTML format go to: http://www.magicnewzealand.com/ezine-archive/2016-Jan-to-Dec-2016/1262-Mar06-2016.html

Remember if you have any magic news drop me a line:

2. Genii Magazine Has Been Sold; Chief Genii to Remain
Message published on Facebook by Richard Kaufman

I'm delighted to announce that Genii will shortly have a new owner, Randy Pitchford. I couldn't imagine a more delightful partner in our venture to improve Genii over the coming years. I will remain as editor, my wife will remain as Art Director, and things will continue as they have, but bigger and better.

Randy is the CEO of Gearbox Software, and is one of the most forward-thinking people I've ever met. He's a stupendously intelligent person and businessman. Spending a few hours with him is literally a mind-expanding experience. He is a visionary in addition to being a swell all-around guy who loves magic. Whenever we're together, we just have a plain old good time. And he's been a magician for most of his life, so he's "one of us." His belief in the value of Genii to the magic community will make possible both its longevity and many improvements in the coming years.

I was able to inform Irene Larsen of my plans before her untimely death, and since I owe my livelihood to her, I was thrilled at how delighted she was by the idea of Randy being the new owner. Her blessing of the deal was essential and it pleased her greatly.

As to what will happen at Genii, the answer is that things will continue as usual, but with more pages each month we'll be able to bring you additional stories and features. Feel free to join us at: www.geniimagazine.com

3. Broken Wand - Franz Czeisler (aka Tihany)
Message posted on Facebook by Lupe Nielsen (US)

This has probably been the toughest month for the magic community since I can remember... We have lost so many great friends: Tom Mullica, Majestic, Irene Larsen, J.C. Doty... Today, we lost another legend: Franz Czeisler (aka Tihany).

Yesterday, I was telling a friend how fortunate I feel with the life I had lived. For most of my life I have done everything I wanted to do, and met almost everyone in the magic world who I wanted to meet and admired. I am fortunate to have many friends, and one of the most special ones was Mr. Tihany.

Most people in the United States do not know him well. However, he is almost a household name in Latin America. Here is a brief biography for those who want to know more about him:

Franz Czeisler was born in Hungary in the town of Ketegyhaza on June 29, 1916, and he learned magic as a boy from the German magician Alfredo Uferini. The name of Tihany came from a name of a village located south of Budapest called Tihanyi. In the 1930s he traveled to Uruguay and worked as an assistant to Blacaman, who specialized in fakirism. He then returned to Hungary, where he learned sleight of hand magic and pickpocketing. His act was varied with manipulation, illusions, escapes and pickpocket feats. During World War II, he became the artistic director of the Circus Bucharest in Rumania, and played music halls and theaters. He even performed for the Nazi military and the SS. Luckily, they never found out he was Jewish!

After the war, he performed at the circus and was seen by the allied soldiers stationed in Europe. The consul from Brazil saw him perform and was so impressed that he offered him a visa to come to Brazil.

1953 was the year when he arrived to Sao Paulo, Brazil. He didn't speak the language, but wanted to have his own show. To start, he worked for a local circus in Rio de Janeiro called Circus Garcia for nearly a year. He managed to make enough money to put a down payment of $12,000 dollars on a $30,000 circus tent. He opened his show in the town of Jacaré, and lo and behold, his performances were so successful that he managed to pay the rest of the money he owed within a week! The first tent sat 400 people.

The rest is history, because Mr. Tihany is probably the shrewdest businessman I know. From a 400 seat tent, the size increased to 3,000 people, and in its heyday the Circus Tihany tent sat up to 4,000. The largest tent had a value of 1.5 million dollars, with nearly 50 trucks that were needed to transport the tons of equipment. He travelled all over Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Central America, and all the way to Mexico.

Norm and I had the opportunity to see his show in Guadalajara many years ago, and it was probably the best circus show we have ever witnessed. Imagine a full Las Vegas production, with all the lights, staging and extravagant costumes, presented in a fully air conditioned tent for all the people to see. It was like watching Cirque du Soleil (because he did not have animals in the show) combined with the strongest acts from the Ringling Brothers. The highlight of the experience was the magic. People loved the magic.

And to think that this superstar of the circus and magic world was our good friend... Tihany was the epitome of the ultimate gentleman, with inimitable class and style. He worked very hard to make his fortune, and he was very generous and giving towards others. He was also constantly surrounded by the social elite in Las Vegas and around the world. A few of the elites were amazed at our friendship. Me, a tomboyish gal from Panama, a friend to the greatest circus impresario in Latin America? I couldn't believe it either; but when we met for the first time, we hit it off right away. Tihany spoke eight languages.

He admitted that English was not his strongest one, and preferred to speak his favorite ones of Portuguese and Spanish. My knowledge of those two languages, helped me to communicate with him with ease. We treated each other like regular pals, and he adored my husband, Norm. We used to call him: "Hey, let's go out for lunch. The magicians are meeting today at this restaurant." At other times he would call us: "Let's go out to see this show, or pick me up to go to this convention." It was fun to see him and Norm reminisce about the good ol' days. Particularly when they met at the Tamanaco Hotel in Caracas, during the 1970s. We would go to visit him often, and really spent some great moments together.

On June of 2016, Tihany would have been 100 years old. At that age, he was mentally sharp as a tack. Hanging out with him was like being with a living magic history encyclopedia. He had met everyone that was anyone during the 20th century. He had performed for kings and queens, and for the poorest children of Latin America. Last month, we even got together and were discussing what souvenir he would give to his guests for the birthday party he was to host at the Wynn Hotel. Alas, fate took place, and after a short six day illness, we was not able to reach that milestone.

Norm and I went to visit him in the afternoon of March 1, 2016, at 6:30 pm. He was at room 4609 of Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas. I remember in detail our short visit and conversation. His caretaker, Sonya, was present, along with Sandra, his granddaughter-in-law. He looked very ill, in his hospital bed, but was awake and quite aware of his situation. We approached him and Norm said: "We just came to say hello. Hope you get better soon."

He recognized Norm, took his hand, and gently placed it on his cheek. He then offered me his hand and coaxed me to take hold of it. What was funny was his reaction at my dry and hardened worker's hands. He asked: "What happened to your hands?" I answered: "I was gardening today." He smiled and said: "Te quiero mucho..." ("I love you very much"). He then repeated the sentence in English: "I love you. Thank you for visiting." "We love you too..." we replied. He later said: "I am very tired." We spent several more minutes in the room with him, and decided to let him rest for the evening. I approached him and kissed him goodbye...

Tihany passed away in the early hours of the morning of March 2, 2016.

So my friend is now gone, and there is an emptiness in my soul. What an amazing life he had, and the millions of lives he touched, by entertaining them and providing them with cheer joy. If there is anyone that I know that has lived to the fullest, it was my friend Franz. May we be able to live by his example and may we live to our full potential and find our true purpose in life. May God bless him.

4. Broken wand - J.C. Doty
Posted on Facebook by Dan Garrett (US)

It has become almost too much to bear. It is a horrible time for magic. Today my good friend and mentor for over 40 years, J.C. Doty passed away. I have a lot to say about Doty? But will wait until I can make my fingers move again.

5. Vanish Announces It Will Be Available As A Printed Magazine
Message by Paul Romhany Editor Vanish International Magic Magazine

Vanish - International Magic Magazine will now also be available as a printed magazine with over 200 pages of magic, reviews and essays by the world's leading magicians making it the world's largest magic magazine both digitally and printed. Vanish is following in the steps of all major magazines and formatting the magazine on MAC magazine.

The trend in printed magazines is now moving more towards digital only with on-demand options for those that want to buy a printed copy. I had to wait until the technology caught up with what I always wanted to do with Vanish and offer it as an online magazine as well as printed magazine. The time is here now.

After a year of research I finally found the company that can do this for Vanish and starting with the next edition you can order your printed copy as well as continue to enjoy it FREE as a digital magazine. I am completely changing how you download and read the magazine making it easier for everybody.

The printed magazine will be the same size and generally around 200 pages full-color so it will be more like a book filled with the very best and latest magicians have to offer.

More information coming soon on how to order your copy.

6. Blackpool Magic Convention 2016 Theiving Wretch!
Message by Dave Bonsall at PropDog Ltd - www.propdog.co.uk

If you recognise the person on the YouTube clip, please contact Dave Bonsall at PropDog Ltd -www.propdog.co.uk

Please spread this video far and wide to help us catch this…


7. Come Join In The Fun At The Magic Castle® Swap Meet!
Message by Gary Frank (US)

The Magic Castle® will be transformed into the greatest one-day convention this year on Saturday, April 16th. You'll find new, used magic, books, illusions, antiques, collectibles, and scores of surprises throughout at this gathering. Vendor's tables are set up from the Terrace to the Peller Theatre. It's a fun-filled day for everyone. Whether you're a novice to magic or an expert, this is the place to be on Saturday.

The doors open at 8:00 a.m. for members. Bring your friends and magic enthusiasts. All Non-Magic Castle® members, all magic club members (ie. S.A.M., I.B.M., etc.) Can gain entrance by paying only $8.00 at the door at 9:00 a.m.

IMPORTANT: The cut-off date for all vendor applications for this event is April 1, 2016.
Space is limited so please do not delay!

Want to be a vendor? Applications will be available online.

As always, it is first come, first serve.

Questions? Contact Gary Frank at: swapmeetapplication@magiccastle.com

8. The Magic Word Podcast - Randy Pitchford - The Cardini Connection
Message by Scott Wells

I was recently tipped off by a listener to contact this week's guest to discuss something very topical. In fact, I think I am "scooping" the magic news channels with the announcement that is in this week's podcast. Randy Pitchford, the nephew of Richard Valentine Pitchford (better known as "Cardini") is this week's guest.

Randy was a performer at the Magic Castle and became good friends with many of the people who surrounded the Castle decades ago and has lots of interesting stories. In fact, he was even married in the Castle, which is something that rarely happens. In those days, he preferred not to trade off his heritage and went by Randy Stewart. In later years, he became successful in business (he is the CEO and President of Gearbox Software) and no longer earned his income from magic, so he didn't care whether or not people knew of the connection. He was one of the major bidders who acquired the Cardini collection of antiquities when it went up for auction by Potter & Potter in 2013. Some of those items, such as the outfits worn by Cardini and Swan, are now part of a permanent exhibit at the Magic Castle.

There is so much more that Randy has to say, including the surprise "scoop" that you just need to tune in and hear. Plus you might even win a prize! You can watch a couple videos, see some photos, get some links, read the blog, enter the contest, listen to the podcast and download the MP3 file at: http://themagicwordpodcast.com/scottwellsmagic/279-randy-pitchford

And congratulations to Richard Tremblay, last week's winner of the Outerbridge's "Lecture Bundle" valued at $135. Be sure to tune in each week and enter the contests!

9. History of Magic: Haruo Shimada
Message by Laurice Chavez

Link: http://magictricksforkids.org/haruo-shimada/
Born in Tokyo during the difficult time of the Second World War, Haruo Shimada started out as a persevering young man who demonstrated Tenyo magic tricks by day and practiced sleight of hand by night. With his impressive manipulation skills, love for constant innovation, and his signature silent act, he eventually became one of the most successful performers of all time. Know more about this living icon at http://magictricksforkids.org/haruo-shimada/

2. Add This to Your Magic Arsenal: Pencil Magic Trick
Link: http://magictricksforkids.org/pencil-magic-trick/
For a trick that never grows old and requires only two pencils and an easy-to-learn sleight of hand move, check out http://magictricksforkids.org/pencil-magic-trick/

3. How to Warm Up an Audience for Professional Magicians
Link: http://kidsentertainerhub.com/how-to-warm-up-an-audience
Get your audience amused and laughing right from the start with these no-sweat physical comedy gags that you can perform as soon as your next magic show. Learn about them and more here: http://kidsentertainerhub.com/how-to-warm-up-an-audience

10. Starting Cold - #392 - Kyle Peron
Message by Kyle Peron (US)

Over the years my wife and I have developed terms and phrases that we use to sum up situations at events. It is these codes that help us communicate important information without saying something that could be perceived wrong by the client. One such set of terms is the phrase "Starting Cold vs Starting Hot."

What we mean is that every event is different and you will always face different challenges based upon situations you find yourself in. As much as we like to be prepared for everything, you just never know how much you are going to be forced to adapt at any given time.

Starting cold or hot refers simply to the interaction you have with the audience prior to the show starting itself. If you start cold, it means to us that we have little to no interaction with the audience prior to the show starting. If we start hot, it means we have had a chance to interact in some way with the audience before the show starts.

Why is this important? I feel it is important because it really does effect the show and how you handle it. If you are forced to start cold, it simply means you may have to work a little harder in the beginning to 'warm up" the audience and to get them to know who you are and what you are about. Starting cold tends to make the audience evaluate you more in the beginning of the show to get a feel for you.

If you are starting cold, you may not want to just race right into the show or to an audience participation effect too early on. You need to establish yourself to them and then go into that type of a routine once that has happened.

So you can see that starting cold can certainly work and in many cases we are forced to. You just need to be aware that the show may need to be adapted to account for this.

If I have an option, I would much rather start the show hot. By doing so, I feel I do not have to work as hard because the audience is already warmed up to me. They have already interacted with me earlier and in so doing, have a sense for what I am about and the type of experience they may be seeing.

When I start hot, the audience is usually much more responsive early on in the show and this tends to lead to a much better audience interaction and reaction.

So how does one start hot? Well for me, there are many ways in which I can do this and a lot or very simple. It just requires you to be willing to extend yourself and make yourself available.

For example, get to an event early so you are not forced to rush. When I get to any gig, I always meet the client/s, shake their hands and show a deep interest in them. If we are celebrating a child or honoring a person, I will always greet them and show interest in them and their special day. It seems simple and it is. But doing this gets you interacting early. They get to see who you are and what you are like and start to get comfortable with you.

If you are done setting up, why not go around and just talk with folks and show a sincere interest in them. By doing so, it shows the folks you are accessible and friendly. If you get a chance to (and it is appropriate) do some close up or strolling magic for folks. Now even if you are not getting paid for it, this makes a HUGE difference. It does not mean you have to do it for a long period of time. It means seeing an opportunity to connect.

When I do things like this, it also helps me a great deal when it comes time for the show. I can scope the audience out as I am interacting. I can sense who might be a great helper or who I may want to avoid for one reason or another. I get a sense for who is outgoing and can realize they may be perfect for certain routines.

I also always ask their names. This is a HUGE thing I learned in business. When you network, make it a habit to ask for a name and remember it. People tend to feel much more at ease when you call them by name. It is a show of respect but it also says that you are a friend. It lets the audience know that you are connected to them.

When selecting a helper, if I am starting hot, then I can select the helper by calling out their first name and bringing them up that way. Usually it gets a much better reaction then saying, "um how about the guy in the red shirt in the second row." Business folks know the importance of learning names and the power it creates.

One example of how this entire theory works happened just a few weeks ago. I was asked to do a gig for a Lion's Club kid's night. When I got there I could easily see a huge age range of people. You had young kids, preteens, teenagers, adults and seniors. When walking in I could sense a feeling that the adults felt the show was just for the kids and the teens seemed to have a look on their face as if thinking that magic would be too childish for them.

This is where a starting hot principle kicks in. I knew that I needed to get out there and warm the audience up prior to the show start. I first talked to the client and then to the board members. Just shaking hands and showing an interest in them. Already I could see a change in perception. I then started to do some simple strolling magic for the younger kids. By doing so, I peeked the teen's interest and drew them over. The adults could see what I was doing had skill and everyone seemed to just lighten up, relax and realize better who I am.

When the show started, it started hot. I already knew names, already had a report with the crowd and had a good idea of who I was selecting. It literally changed a possible average show into an amazing show experience.

As always, I encourage you the readers to let me know your thoughts. So if you have any thoughts on my articles or suggestions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me directly at magic4u02@aol.com. I would love to hear from you.

Entertainers, please visit:

11. FISM 2018 Open For Registration
Message by Joan Caesar (Canada)

FISM in South Korea

The 2018 FISM website is now open to take reservations. It will be continually updated with information about the convention. Now is the time to book your reservation in order to take advantage of the lowest fee and to be given the best seat possible for the Gala Shows:

I look forward to seeing you there.

12. 60th Midwest Magic Jubilee
Message by Daniel Todd

The 60th Midwest Magic Jubilee will be August 25, 26, and 27th 2016.

Featuring: Barry Mitchell, Darryl, Garrett Thomas, Kozmo, and more names to come...

It's easy to register for the 2016 Jubilee, jus visit MMJubilee.com

Adult price only - $150.00 each Youth (ages 16 & under) - $85.00 each

New location: Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel, a 5 Star Hotel

Hotel rooms will be a special price of only $89 per night.

Dan (the Great) Todd, Registration Chairman

13. Magicpalooza Convention Line-up
Message by Dan Stapleton (US)

We are proud to announce, thus far, the Magicpalooza talent line up for
May 27-30, Orlando, Florida.

From Japan...Shimada
From Las Vegas...Ariann Black
Celeste Evans (tribute)
John Tudor "The Shakespeare of Magic"
Dan Stapleton
Danny Orleans & Jan Rose
Michael Ammar
Mark Horowitz
Mark Byrne
From Japan...Asami
Mark Merchant
Dennis Phillips
Steven Marcus
Remy Connor & "Sideshow"
Jackie Manna
Adler & Changefield-more to come
(Subject to change)

Registration $159.00
Spouse $99.00
Youth $99.00
Children under 10-Free!

Discount for magic Dealers

Hotel is located right across the street from Universal Studios/Harry Potter

Special hotel room rate $99.

For more and to register see www.floridamagiciansassociation.com

14. STIMF - 2016 - England
Message by Gunnar Kr. Sigurjónsson (US)

Relaxed, fun and friendly Magic Festival

South Tyneside International Magic Festival has been named as the maximum relaxed, greatest fun and most friendly magic conference in the whole world. At STIMF-2016, which will take place Friday 11th March to Sunday 13th March 2016, at The Customs House in South Shields, England, there will be:

From the USA: John Carney and Chad Long.
From Belgium: Rafael.
From Germany: Alana Moehlmann.
From Sweden: Malin Nilsson.
From the UK: Paul Wilson, Michael Vincent, Dr. Will Houstoun, Chris
Rawlins, Steve Rawlings (Juggler), Peter Clifford, Paul Megram
(Children's show & lecture), Phil Butler, Men in coats, Andi Gladwin and
John Archer.

£65 covers all lectures, two Gala Shows and Close Up sessions - Plus a Midnight Show on Friday night.

No overlapping lectures and Master Classes on Sunday afternoon.

There's a Facebook group here: www.facebook.com/groups/29920799525

You can register by sending an e-mail to:
Karri.Prinn@southtyneside.gov.uk or by calling Derek on +44 (0)191 424 7821.
Nearest airport is: Newcastle International Airport. (NCL)

15. "Now You See Me 2" First Teaser Trailer

The Ace of Entertainment Zone

The movie brings back the Four Horsemen, a group of illusionists, who will pull off their most impossible heist yet.

Lionsgate has debuted the first teaser trailer for magician movie "Now You See Me 2". Bringing back almost all of its terrific cast members, the movie seemingly comes with the same formula like the first film, in which the Four Horsemen will pull off some big heists using their magical abilities.

"It's great to be back," says Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) on the stage with two other members of the Four Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco). The entire trailer shows the illusionists performing magic tricks, but it also introduces a new character played by Daniel
Radcliffe, who appears to be a clumsy magician.

Read more: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/news/view/00091238.html

16. Martin Gardner's Impromptu
Message by Todd Carr

This may be of interest to your readers


17. The Cult of Tenyoism
Review of Tenyoism by Quentin Reynolds

Back in the 1970's it was rare to go to a magic convention and not see Pavel's Colour Changing Records performed many, many times. The trick was on the many items in the Tenyo magic catalogue. Other popular Tenyo effects at the time were what's Next (Spot Card), Locking Card Box, Cubio, plastic Chinese Sticks. Pretty much the entire range of Tenyo items were based on other people's - mostly standard - tricks. However this was to change and change dramatically.

By the mid-70's Tenyo's creative team were developing and producing magic that rivalled in creativity and ingenuity the stage illusions from the golden age of stage magic. Except that these were for largely close-up performances and did not require much skill to physically work.

Because I was around in the 70's and had bought some earlier Tenyo magic of the standard type, I had mentally put their products into a "not for use by professionals" box, and so ignored the later miracles that started appearing towards the end of the 70's, many of which now sell for very high prices.

Tenyo collector Ian Barradell did an evening at my local magic club, the Manchester Circle of Magicians. Not only was I fooled badly by pretty much all the effects Ian showed, but I was equally impressed with the sheer cleverness of the workings. I completely revised my opinions about the company and its products.

And while many Tenyo items would still look a tad odd in a professional's repertoire, many of the items would fit … even if it is something to carry in your pocket to show informally. Here you are in luck because three such tricks come included with Tenyoism.

At its core Tenyoism is two large and heavy volumes covering almost 1400 pages printed in full colour on museum quality paper covering every trick produced by Tenyo from the early 1960's to 2014. While working instructions are not included with every trick, many alternate handling are and most of these are as ingenious as the original. Towards the end of Volume 2 you'll find 84 pages of full instructions for many tricks developed by Tenyo's creative team.

The price for the books is $250 which sounds like a lot. But look at it this way. In addition to the two volumes, which rank in the top five sets of magic books ever released for the wealth of information, historical value, concise writing, and magnificence of production, you get four DVDs, which at the very least are worth $80 if sold separately and three Tenyo tricks, which pack flat and will fit in your wallet at appx $20 each retail. None of these tricks were released commercially outside Japan. So that's $80 for the four DVDs and $60 for the three tricks. So you are getting the two volumes for $110.

In addition the whole set comes in a very well made slipcase to fit on your bookshelf. I see the whole set both as an investment and a treasure trove of some of the most inventive magic developed over the last forty years by some of magic's most creative minds. Very highly recommended to anyone with a serious interest in their craft. Limited to 1,000 copies.

Tenyoism by Richard Kaufman is $250 plus shipping and available here:

18. Blackpool's 64th Annual Magic Festival
Message by Walt Lees (UK)

Formerly known as an annual convention, this blockbuster event has now upgraded its title to that of a festival. But, apart from this alteration in nomenclature, it was much the usual fixture-crammed, non-stop, wall-to-wall magic-laden feast aficionados have come to rely on for their regular fix after the dark days of winter. Somehow or other, the number of attendees seems to go on increasing. This year it even topped the 3,600 which was officially recognised in 2015 by The Guiness Book of Records as being the world's largest assembly of wand-wielders, box-pushers and finger-strutters.

So what is the mystique which sucks in so many, from all around the globe, to a cold, damp, old-style north-of-England seaside resort in the off season? Many will give different answers, but whatever it is, it works. Even in the age of on-line shopping, You Tube and dealer websites, a huge percentage of magicians and their families still want to be there in person, soaking up the sights, smells and sounds of actual (as opposed to virtual) reality. There is no substitute for experiencing the ambience at first hand rather than via a screen.

Friday 19th

Registrations began at 8:30 a.m., although the first event, the Dealers' Demonstration, hosted by Alec Powell, in the Pavilion Theatre was at 10:00. This presaged the opening of the Dealers' Super Showcase, which ran until 7:00 p.m. on the first day and 5:30 on the following two. Altogether some 135 dealers were scheduled to exhibit, giving potential buyers the chance to touch and feel the quality of their wares in a way that no website ever can.

The first of the twenty-one lectures programmed throughout the three days, began at 2:00 p.m. A lot of these took place simultaneously, sometimes forcing attendees to make difficult choices about who to miss. Such was the case here, when Pat Fallon in the Pavilion Theatre was in tandem with Xavier Tapias in the Spanish Hall. A similar dilemma was also faced later, when George Kovari and Mark James were working at the same time. This clashing is deliberate policy, as none of the rooms would be big enough to accommodate the numbers who would probably try to cram themselves in if only one lecture was taking place at a time.

The first International Close-up Magic show began in the Pavilion Theatre at 4:00 p.m. The featured performers were Eugene Burger, Pat Fallon, Larry Hass, Matthew Johnson, Pierric Thenthory, Alan Rorrison and Paul Wilson. For most of the audience, Switzerland's Pierric Thenthory was the high spot, with an unusual performance as a nervous young man, whose fumbles meant that he kept repeatedly having to restart the same trick, with the cards and props magically resetting themselves in readiness, every time. Also unusual was Eugene Burger's approach of dispensing with the table and working in an easy chair to a spectator similarly seated alongside.

This and all the close-up events used a large back projection for those in the auditorium, while the pictures were also monitored on plasma TV screens around the exterior of the theatre for everyone who preferred to watch in less crowded surroundings. Two advantages of this system are firstly that the performers do not have to struggle to be heard against the background noise from nearby tables, and secondly that each only has to do their act once, rather than repeat it half a dozen times.

At the same time as the show, Zaubertrixxer was lecturing in the Spanish Hall.

That evening's Gala Show, in the massive Opera House, was compered by the ever funny and acerbic Mel Mellers, whose efforts did much to lift a programme that occasionally needed lifting, even though there were plenty of high spots. Norman Barrett's performing budgerigars, for example, won the audience in a big way, and Stephanie Delvaine's combination of hula hoop artistry and UV effects was a sensational blend of skill, magic and spectacle, which really ought to have closed the show.

Instead, this task fell upon the shoulders of Guy Barrett (son of Norman) and his attractive team of girls. They provided a good closing illusion act, but suffered a little because some of their thunder had been stolen by Danny Hunt's Amethyst presenting several similar items earlier. Dion van Rijt in the guise of a white rabbit trying to reach a carrot on a high table, combined ballet, mime and magic in an artistic manner, which made a pleasing novelty. The other performers were Pat Fallon assisted by Gill and Mandy, Matthew Johnson and Jupiter.

For those who were hungry for still more magic, Pierric began to lecture in the Pavilion as soon as the show finished.

Saturday 20th

The day began with lectures by Will Houstoun and Joshua Jay, followed by Dave Bonsall and Jay Sankey. While those with VIP registrations could elect to learn from Greg Wilson and later Paul Wilson.

But for many, the main event was the British Children's Entertainers National Championships, before an audience of local youngsters with their parents/minders, and convention attendees. Russ Brown was a lively and energetic MC, who, had he been a competitor might well have won. He certainly fired up the audience more than anybody else.

The winner, by popular vote, was Gordon Drayson, with an unconventional act which included rapid costume changes behind a screen. But a lot of the performers had novel features in one way or another. The runner-up was Norwegian Guilherme Curty, whose fluent English enabled his bouncy ebullience to fully impact on the northern kids. In third place came Billy Bo, a non-magical bubble act. He probably gained an advantage by working silently and closing the show, providing a complete contrast to anything previously seen.

The other contestants were Ali Cardabra in the guise of Willie Wonka, Careena Fenton as Miss Picklelily and Mark Bennett, who was really the only conventional children's party entertainer.

The Wayne Dobson & Friends Show followed in the Pavilion Theatre, where Michael J. Fitch assisted Wayne with the compering. There was the usual range of hilarious ribaldry and banter between the two, including a fair quota of language which would have scandalised convention audiences a few decades ago, and probably still draws complaints from the old guard. Performers included a Chandleresque Mark James with gags that even Philip Marlow would not have regarded as new, Paul Martin scoring heavily (and getting a lot of laughs) with a version of the classic Chinese Compass, and Joe Trancini who seems to have inherited his father's (Joe Pasquale) voice, with a slick rope routine.

Lectures by Eugene Burger and Larry Hass followed, before the Magic Speed Dating in the Spanish Hall. The idea of this is that the performers/lecturers circulate around eight tables, spending ten minutes at each, during which time they can perform, teach, answer questions - whatever the company requests. Jay Sankey caused two hearts drawn on the back of a playing card to move together, followed by Coins Across, explaining both. Dave Bonsall demonstrated his repeat version of Ring Flight which climaxes with the borrowed ring being found in a sealed envelope.

Paul Wilson performed several card effects, which he would have been willing to explain if anyone had asked, but instead was requested to just perform more tricks. Mark Mason demonstrated his handling of the classic force, and also a novel cop of a card from the breast pocket. Pat Fallon, kneeling on the table to give everyone a better view, went through of the paddle trick, which is often attributed to Jimmy Rogers but is more likely Edward Victor's.

Alan Rorrison had a ring divination and some novel uses for a smart phone. Joshua Jay showed two new card effects including a Triumph variation and an Oil & Water. Matthew Johnson explained his take on the Classic Force, and a trick to use when learning it with an inbuilt fail-safe for when it misses. He then went on to teach his version of the Psychological Stop effect using a Benzais Cop.

Meanwhile, Jeff McBride's lecture enthused those in the Pavilion Theatre.

The Saturday Gala was emceed by Greg Wilson. Despite being best known for close-up and parlour magic, his personality dominated the massive theatre and kept things moving along, performing small magic to cover any stage waits but not hanging around when the next act was ready.

Jean Garin opened, with a quiet act involving a TV screen and live fish. Strange Comedy, a male and female duo, who followed, was one of the festival highlights with a very funny blend of magic, acrobatics and contortionism. Otto Wessely & Partner, also supplied the comedy in the second half, receiving a standing ovation -one of the only two in all the gala shows.

Gwenaëlle made an unbilled appearance with the butterfly act scheduled for the previous night but not performed then, due to illness. Zaubertrixxer was notable for the sheer number of assistants (13 girls and 4 men), who performed acrobatics as well as magic. Steve Hewlett's ventriloquism was, as always, a non-magical treat, Xavier Tapias created a mechanical figure and robotic dog from items found in a rubbish bin. Christian Farla assisted by four girls and two men, performed some heavy-duty illusions to close, while Ian Rowland presented a couple of mental items with the occasional humorous touch.

After the show, came Andrew James and Magic Sam's Beat the Wand competition, which has now established itself as a festival fixture. It is a sort of gong show, where the competitors try to complete their acts before being "wanded off" by a dissatisfied audience. To win, you have to have plenty of attack and the ability to keep up the momentum. This year's winners were 1st Arran Cummings (Mr Ection), 2nd a stalwart of the contest Paul (PJ) Johnson.

Sunday 21st

A Master Class started the day, in the Pavilion. Mark James took us through his Chop Cup routine, explaining some of the finesses; Joshua Jay demonstrated a novel card control and outlined several of its many applications; Matthew Johnson had an interesting card through bill and a pen through finger, as well as repeating what he had shown the previous day; Mark Mason had a quick, impromptu bounce-back coin matrix; Jay Sankey taught a Joker Sandwich and Point of Departure with cards, while Paul Wilson repeated and explained a couple of the things he had shown at the previous day's Speed Dating.

For children's entertainers, Russ Brown and James Sinclair both lectured in two Kidz R UZ sessions whose timing overlapped the Master Class. While those with VIP registrations could have a session with Dean Lahan and later Michael Weber.

Likewise Shin Lim, Ian Rowland and Alan Rorrison were all lecturing in the various venues.

At 2:00 p.m. the International Stars of Close-up took to the floor in the Pavilion. Jay Sankey had a transposition with a torn corner of a card and the card itself; Joshua Jay worked blindfolded with cards; Dave Bonsall reprised his Ring Flight as part of an entertaining set which he obviously works for real people. There were two standing ovations on this show.

The first was for Dean Lahan, who despite having lost nearly all of his fingers to meningitis as a child, is able to manipulate cards with greater expertise than most of his digitally-complete peers. The other was for Shin Lim, for whom there are just not enough superlatives in the English language to describe the impact of the inexplicable effects he creates. Without any overt display of dexterity, he just causes the most impossible things to happen. It is the closest to real magic seen in decades. In fact it probably is real magic, because it is so clean and guileless that there does not seem to be any other plausible explanation.

Paul Wilson was lecturing at the same time in the Spanish Hall. After that came the two final lectures by Matthew Johnson and Mark Mason. While for those who had an extra £80 to spend, there was the chance to have an exclusive three-hour session with Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger and Larry Hass.

The Sunday Night Gala Show was hosted by non-magician John Martin, an old-style comic, whose ready wit and affable manner have made him a popular favourite on his several appearances at this event over the years.

There was an unintentionally interesting structure to the first three acts. Dion opened with his FISM act, of a young man at a restaurant table, which concluded with white billiard balls. The second act was Chris Torrente, who began by manipulating identical balls, but his attempts at smoothness were amusingly rendered in vain by the antics of an invisible dog. Then the third performer, Jidini assisted by three girls, began by producing two dogs.

Donimo gave us a novel silent semi-magical act with the accent on gentle comedy. No side-splitting belly laughs, but quietly entertaining.

Gérald le Guilloux's dove work was sensational and won him the second of the only two standing ovations in the three gala shows. It is not often that somebody comes along with a completely original take on this kind of magic and performs it in a way that nobody has before - and does it so well.

The interval was followed by the bestowal of the various trophies. The prizes for the two competitions (children's magic and Beat the Wand) were presented by President David Plant. Then came the special recognition awards. The Murray Award went to Mike Shepherd, who then announced that a second Murray Award was to be presented this year - to David Plant! So the roles were reversed and Mike handed David his statuette. Next the Neville King Trophy was presented to Ken Bowe.

Then irrepressible octogenarian superstar Ken Dodd took to the stage to present this own comedy trophy to Otto Wessely, giving him the excuse to launch into a routine of gags.

The show then continued with Rafeal's well-known vampire act, which always comes across as fresh, no matter how many times it has been seen. Igor Trifunov followed with numerous bottle productions. The final unexpected appearance of a massive bottle caused a sensation, and for a moment it almost looked like another standing ovation was about to take place. Otto Wessely performed the cane act which won him the British Ring Shield twice in the 1970s, but somehow failed to make the same impact that his comedy did on the previous night.

Jeff McBride closed the show in fine style with his card scaling/spinning, having previously performed his water bowls and Miser's Dream, as only he can.

The musical director for all the stage events was Dave Windle, stage manager Duncan Jump and stage director Russell Brown.

Derek Lever, in the guise of Executive Chairman, was, as usual, the mastermind and chief co-ordinator of everything, assisted by: Anne Lever (Executive Chairman's PA and Artistes Services Co-ordinator), Arthur Casson (Executive Registration Officer), June Casson (Registration Support Officer), Jim Lumsden (Executive Registration Officer's PA), David Plant (Executive Festival Events Co-ordinator), Ann Plant (Executive Festival Events Co-ordibnator's PA), Michael Shepherd (Executive Treasurer), Christine Shepherd (Executive Treasurer's PA), Harry Robson (Executive Dealers Officer), Chris Stickland (Assistant Dealers Officer), Russ Lowe (Lecture Note Sales), Dave Wilson (Souvenir Programme), Diane Halliwell (Assistant to Dave Wilson), Alan Horne (Logistics Officer), Les Pybus (Security), John Hardman (Librarian and Welfare Officer) and Dan Eden (Official Photographer).

And so another successful Blackpool ended. The next will be 16th - 19th February 2017, when the European FISM Championships will be prominent among the many events taking place. So some great, innovative magic can be anticipated.

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Our subscriber list is not made available to any other companies or individuals. We value every subscriber and respect your privacy. You can subscribe to or unsubscribe from the Magic New Zealand® E-zine at www.magicnewzealand.com Magic New Zealand® E-zine is published each Sunday. The opinions expressed therein are those of the individual contributors and not necessarily those of Magic New Zealand®. Neither Magic New Zealand® nor Alan Watson QSMvouch for the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, message, statement, or other information reported via Magic New Zealand® E-zine. Subscribers to this publication and authors who contribute to it by doing so agree they will not hold Magic New Zealand® or Alan Watson QSM, jointly or individually liable or responsible in any way for the opinions expressed therein.
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