For those who don't know, this is the worlds largest magic convention, held annually in Blackpool UK.
I had to fly for 24 hours from Melbourne with a 2 hour stop-over in Kaula Lumpar. The airline lost my luggage and I was without it for 5 days. I will never fly Air Asia again they are rubbish. I would rather kill myself.
I stayed in a little Bed and Breakfast for 5 days and it only cost $150au. The owner was a great guy and he cooked me a mean breakfast every morning. His name was Mick.
On my first day there I bumped into Jim, a magician from Bulgaria, who I had worked with in Taiwan. It was my first time in Europe, and I hear someone call out my name. I wasn't expecting that at all. Small world. Jim is a well known magician in Bulgaria. He has had many TV appearances over there including a weekly Kids program where he performs magic. His catchphrase is "Where's the booze?"
We picked up our ID passes and tote bags and I explored the Wintergardens venue. It was huge and overrun with over 3,000 magicians from all over the globe.
Over the next few days I was high on a cocktail of jetlag, caffeine and intrigue. I floated from lecture to show to dealers room to the bar and back again like a fat kid in a candy store. I had my socks repeatedly fooled off.
Apparently the act/lecture standard was lower than in previous years. This was my first Blackpool, so I'm unable to compare. All I can say is that I loved it.
This guy was one of the best with cards Ive ever seen and he wasn't even on the bill. The after-hours sessioning was off the freakin' hook. I'm not sure, but I think someone told me his name was Babba, from Sweden or Switzerland (same thing).
There were so many things happening simultaneously that it was hard working out which ones to attend. The FISM European Championships were running constantly in the Opera House.
The Highlights for me, in no paticular order
- Wayne Dobson. I didnt know he had Multiple Sclerosis until I saw his lecture. It was called 'Look, no hands". Up until then, I had only seen footage of his Royal Gala performance from the late 80's. Unable to use his hands anymore, he has adapted his magic. Diabolically clever and extremely entertaining. Try doing a magic act without using your hands, and you will soon realize how smart this guy is.
This is his old act. Genius.
- Michel. An amazing Argentinian magician who has spent 35 years innovating the gamblers hold-out into a practical device. A very clever fellow and a real gentleman. This is me after I spent all my money buying his stuff.
This is Michel at work
- Jay Sankey. No suprises here, Jays lecture was a highlight for many. Innnovative and entertaining with some nice philosophical touches. Jay is the man.
I bumped into legendary street magician Kozmo. Awesome guy. He showed me the new floating table Losander had made for him.
Blackpool is a great town the perfect place for a magic convention. It had an odd feel to it, like no place I have ever been to before.
James Dimmare did a Q & A instead of a traditional lecture. It was immensely interesting and entertaining. He confirmed that he had not slept with Brittany Spears. He debuted his new act at Blackpool International Gala Show. More on that later.
My next posts, I will write about the Saturday and Sunday night shows.