Recent Stories:
Wonder Thunder

Episode #1 : Why saw a woman in half? What is the connection between a deck of cards & the calendar. Remote card location.

Episode #2: Espionage, jealousy & murder among magicians. Adam calls his arch nemesis Richard Vegas.

Episode #3:The first aircraft pilot down under was a magician and a live random number challenge via phone.

Episode #4: Bar stunts, Alice Cooper as a magician and magic used in pop concerts.

Monday
Jul162012

OPRAH AMAZED BY COPPERFIELD!

A web exclusive follow-up to her OWN special episode featuring the master illusionist.

Exclusive Webisode: David Copperfield Performs a Magic Trick for Oprah

A visit to David Copperfield's house wouldn't be complete without a little magic. Using a few of Oprah's favorite books, David orchestrates an illusion that leaves Oprah and her team speechless. Watch and be amazed!

Sunday
Jul152012

KEITH BARRY PASSES OUT DURING PERFORMANCE

According to a report from BreakingNews.ie, Magician Keith Barry passed out during a performance of his new show at the Olympia Theater in Dublin.

The report sasy that Barry "fell unconscious while performing a trick in which he is tied to a chair with his face wrapped in cling film. Barry collapsed before he could free untie himself and remove the cling film. 

The dangerous dare is performed at the high point of his show 'Eight Deadly Sins.' The trick consists of Barry being tied to a chair with 100 feet of rope by two of the strongest audience members, who are offered €500 if they can successfully tie him to the chair.

The illusionist's head is then wrapped in cling film so he is not able to breathe at all."

This has happened once before o Barry, also while performing at the Olympia.

READ MORE

Sunday
Jul152012

FISM 2016 - DAY SIX - BY CRAIG MITCHELL

Day Six of FISM 2012 ... 

The much-anticipated FISM General Assembly meeting is at 10 am to decide the location of FISM 2015 - Italy or Korea ... and vote for the new Presidium to replace outgoing International President, Eric Eswin.

Despite the doom and gloom after last night's abortion of a gala - a stellar line-up of some truly unbelievable magic awaits in the Finalists show - followed by the Grand Prix announcement. 

Stay tuned ... and let's hope the trophies aren't given out in brown paper bags.

----------

FISM General Assembly Report

The final day of our Blackpool marathon of magic began with over 3 hours of magic officialdom in the FISM General Assembly ... and a startling reminder as to just how removed from the 21st century some societies are.

So concerned with their petty issues – they’re completely blind to how irrelevant they have become. Rather than lamenting the fact that no one in the real world cares about magic, they should be more concerned about why no one in the little world of magic cares about them. Ask any young magician whether they even know of FISM – or are interested in the slightest about joining their local magic club with its ageing dinosaurs – and they may be horrified at the answer.

Major orders of business were the election of the new Presidium and the decision on where FISM 2015 would be held. 

After Derek Lever’s impassioned plea for votes in the front page of the official FISM programme ( in what could best be described as ‘junior high’ campaigning ) it was always destined to be an interesting meeting with far reaching consequences.

The mere thought of the narcissistic Derek Lever ( thanks Dustin ) gaining ‘office’ and destroying the joyous celebration of magic that is FISM – mobilised the largest number of opposing candidates in recent history. And delivered to the man who’s photograph appears no less than 8 times in the official program – a crushing defeat ... 
Congratulations go to newly elected President, Domenico Dante, and Vice Presidents, Gerrit Brengman and Peter Din – who will now take FISM forward.

Outgoing President, Eric Eswin, selfishly gave over a decade of service to the organisation and established a platform that will hopefully allow the World Championships of Magic to continue to grow in years to come. The General Assembly overwhelmingly voted for him to be presented with Honorary Presidency.

In contrast to the General Assembly of Beijing 2009 where delegates received a black & white photocopied Blackpool booklet, set on a typewriter, with actual cut and paste marks - delegates were provided with two exceptionally high quality bids from both Italy & Korea ... evidence of hours of work, thought and most importantly passion by the organising teams. These were professional bids by professional people.

After concerted lobbying by both countries – Korea were unable to sway enough votes away from early favourite, Italy ... and 3 years from now we will be enjoying the allure of the sea-side town of Rimini.

In a very encouraging development – and one that gives hope for the future of FISM - both teams were headed by young and dynamic people – with new ideas and a love for magic. I am looking forward to seeing Italy bring to life their plans for FISM 2015 ... and sincerely hope that Korea allow us all the opportunity of experiencing their dynamism in 2018.

... awards & "closing gala show" to follow
Yu Ho Jin and Yann Frisch (Photo by Martti Siren)FISM 2012 Winners
Grand Prix stage – Yu Ho Jin
Grand Prix close up – Yann Frisch

1st Place – General magic – Marko Karvo – finland
2nd Place – General Magic - les chapeaux blancs - France
2nd Place - General Magic - Won Keun Ha - Korea
3rd Place – General Magic - Tana mang – Portugal

Most Original in Stage - Ted Kim

1st Place – comedy magic – Doble Mandoble – Belgium
2nd Place – comedy magic - Mikael szaniel – France
3rd Place – comedy magic - Jean-phlippe Loupi – France

1st place – Manipulation – Yu Ho Jin – Korea
2nd place – Manipulation - Lukas – Korea
3rd place – Manipulation - Kim hyun joon – Korea

1st place – parlor – Yann Frisch – France
2nd place – parlor - Matthew Wright – England
2nd place – parlor – Johan Stahl – Sweden
3rd - parlor- pierric - Switzerland

1st place cards – Jan Logemann – Germany
2nd place cards – Patrick Lehnen – Germany
3rd place cards – Zeki Yoo – Korea

1st place micro magic – Andost – USA
2nd place micro magic – Jaque - Spain
3rd place micro magic – Red Tsai – Taiwan
3rd place micro magic - Vittorio Belloni - Italy

1st place illusions – Marcel Prince of illusions – Netherlands
2nd place illusions - Cubic act – France
3rd place illusions - Guy Barrett - UK

1st place Mentalism -Not Awarded
2nd place mentalism – Kristoph Kuch – Germany
3rd place mentalism – Christian Bischof – Switzerland

Invention Award – Tango – Argentina
Most Original in Close-up – Simon Coronel – Australia
Creativity and artistic vision – Teller
History, research and scholarship – Mike Caveney
Theory – Eugene Burger

Honorary president of fism - Eric eswin

 

Saturday
Jul142012

FISM 2012 - DAY FIVE - BY CRAIG MITCHELL


Day 5 – Fri 13th July
Friday 13th at a magic convention – what could possibly go wrong.

Blackpool hosting the final Stage Gala Show and reaching a brand new low for FISM ... that’s a pretty impressive feat.

Let’s give you the full run-down on this mediocre show with some moments of pure horror. 

The show starts with the announcement of the winner of the 6500 GBP diamond ... a contest kept pretty much hidden during the “gala banquet” dinner. With a 5 minute speech about just how valuable this particular jewel is along with its very special certificate of valuation ... it is duly presented ... in a brown paper bag. Very classy.

Han Seol Hui from South Korea followed with his well known and high energy CD manipulation act –including a nice little nod of appreciation to Topas & Soma. Great start so far, but not to last.

Unfortunately we are re-joined by the puerile humour of Clive Webb & Danny Adams as comperes. Yes – the same artists from Monday’s show. And Wednesday’s show. Appearing again on Friday’s show. And what do we have in store – a yellow & pink pants Danny Adams lifting up the skirt of a bagpipe player. Why ?

Richard McDougall arrived complete with his goose – but unfortunately he stood no chance with an international audience so reliant on the English language to understand the gags.

Danny Adams as Elvis then introduced the unbelievable quick change artists - Sos & Victoria. A shining light amidst the darkness. But my little moment of joy was soon shattered by the sound of screeching microphone feedback in a ridiculous gag by the tap-dancing Mr Blub. Yes – Mr Blub and his Bubbles from Wednesday’s show is doing double-duty as Mr Blub the Dancer. Who knew ! 15 minutes of my life was torn away with this excruciating attempt at entertainment. If I wanted to watch a purple wearing clown pretending to be Michael Flatley - I would go see Lord of the Dance. 

Mr’s Blub’s torture finally gave way to Tony Chapek and his now classical TV act. Whilst still well presented – the live interaction concept has been taken to a whole new level as today’s contest demonstrated – and Tony’s act is dating fast.

Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin was on hand to close the first half with his very funny routine featuring automated vent masks and two very obliging volunteers complete with ballroom dancing. 

Twenty minutes of interval later - Rafael presented a new work-in-progress in an interesting set of a hairdresser getting up for work. There are some nice moments of creativity – but as with any developing piece it is still being worked on. 

Danny Adams returned with some cheap sexual innuendo and juggling – nothing quite like man-handling a female spectator on the floor.

Our time-trip though wasn’t quite complete without a detour to Italy and Paolo Giua. Wearing tuxedo and tails – you could close your eyes and return to the 1970’s ... a homemade prop stand with a picture of an Oscar statue ( or is that a Merlin ) that looks like its covered in tin foil. Multiplying cigarette boxes, streamers, card fountain and some very in vogue cigarette manipulation.

Our ever-present hosts unfortunately haven’t yet left the building and now arrive as Elvis in a Fat Suit and promptly fall off the stage in Derek Lever’s lap. Karma ?

Mr Blub the Bubble-maker, Dancer and now Juggler returns for an actual piece of performance with on-stage partner, Sabrina. Why not just get them to perform this single act that was actually worth watching ? I shouldn’t ask such questions. Although would like to suggest that Mr Blub doesn’t add stage hand to his list of credits ... as having the performer strike his own two side lamps during the middle of the next performer’s set is just a little tacky. 
Tacky ? At Blackpool ?

Taste has no bounds for what was about to follow.

An international audience. 3000 people from around the world. A family audience. FISM 2012.

And out arrives a man in drag - in a fat suit - with drooping breasts - and pubic hair.

There we have the enduring image of FISM 2012 as presented by Blackpool. I hope they were proud ... because I was ashamed to be sitting in that room. More damage was done to FISM in that moment than anything ever before.

With the audience in shock – one final act remained. Greg Frewin as the closing finale. The image of master magician and magic legend ... destroyed in an instant for the audience assembled tonight. Greg’s apparent poor treatment of his borrowed doves resulted in the audience instantly turning on him – voicing their displeasure with loud booing of his performance. Greg Frewin – booed at FISM. Who would have ever imagined. His standard performance of stock illusions followed – Origami, Appearing Bowling Ball ( you could hear the collective sigh of the audience as the pad appeared ) and Fire Spike Illusion ... ending with Shrouded Transition. The performance was dated, the audience was hostile and the whole gala show experience awful. 

The performers themselves must have sensed the anger at this unfortunate mess of a show – as no curtain call followed. The lights went up and Clive Webb & Danny Adams tell us “Goodbye and god bless.” 

We are all going to need more than forgiveness for what we were forced to witness.

Friday
Jul132012

SECRET WAREHOUSE BROADCAST

Join many of your favorite magicians tomorrow for the MP "Secret" Warehouse Broadcast here on the Magic Newswire.  The LIVE Broadcast will feature performances by Nathan Burton, Banachek, Devlin, Luke Dancy, Sean Fields, Stu Stone, Mark Calabrese, Jesse Feinburg, Criss' Angels and many more surprise guests! In addition, Criss Angel will be joined by Lance Burton, Johnny Thompson, Carrot Top and Andrew Mayne.  

Fortunately, you can watch the live broadcast here on the Magic Newswire tomorrow, Saturday July 14th at 5PM PST (8PM EST)!  

Get ready for two hours of non-stop magic!

In addition, you will have a chance to WIN every single MagicPlace.com PRODUCT CURRENTLY SOLD as well as a one of a kind Baroque uncut sheet, but YOU MUST WATCH TO WIN!

Criss' last Stickam.com web broadcast broke records with more than 270,000 live viewers! Will this one Ssurpass that?  watch it live here to help make that happen! 

BE THERE THIS SATURDAY!   5pm PST / 8pm EST.

Remember...  IT IS LIVE AND IT IS FREE

Thursday
Jul122012

EARLY TOUR OF COPPERFIELD'S SECRET LAIR

Just before the broadcast of the Copperfield Special "15 Years of Magic" in 1994, David took CBS reporter Marc Mcewen took a tour of the illusionist's secret warehouse. I believe that this may well be the first such tour that was broadcast to the general public. Thanks to Mark Luedtke for sending this along!

Thursday
Jul122012

FISM 2012 - DAY FOUR - BY CRAIG MITCHELL

Day 4 – Thurs 12 July 

The final day of the close-up competition and another 17 acts to get through. With sleep now becoming a rare commodity – the contestants have to pull out all the stops to make an impact with a very magic weary audience. 

1. Jeremy Tan – Micro – Singapore
Ouch. Not the start to the morning we are looking for. A fumble at the beginning ... ring to coins, a standard three fly and coins back to ring. A polite smattering applause.

2. Henning Nielsen – Parlor – Cheff Magic – Denmark
Lame jokes with magic to match. Chopsticks to cutlery, substandard sleeving, an elbow permanently cast at a 90 degree angle ( I wonder what he may be hiding ) and my personal favourite – flatulence on fire.

3. Vittorio Belloni – Micro- Italy
Everyone’s favourite coin matrix returns with a difference featuring transparent cards and even transparent coins. The one vanishing sequence was particularly effective.

4. Vincent Hedan – Parlor – France
An experiment in a memorised deck which unfortunately failed to hit the mark. Something clearly went amiss in the routine.

5. Javi Santos –Micro – Spain
Whatever happens in front of the mirror becomes real behind the looking glass. Appearing dice, matrix with dice and compulsory dice stacking. Best line of the act “my English no perfect”

6. Johan Stahl – Parlor – Sweden
Presenting the same act from the previous FISM, Johan’s performance is one of sheer beauty. Presented from the perspective of the on-stage volunteer, miracles happen with a simple cup and sugar cube that must be seen to be truly appreciated. A beautiful act that is certain to place.

7. Mong Fung Ip – Parlor – Hong Kong
What a bizarre trainwreck. Perfume and fragrance themed with cards with scents and appearing Chanel #5. Being a little tad metrosexual himself – the audience erupted with his dead-pan line – “a journey through time, space and gender” 

8. Yves Domergue – Parlor – France
The act flopped with the grand prediction failing to materialise. One novel highlight was the chair he was sitting on made completely of paper that he later squashed.

9. Andy Huang – Micro – Andost – USA
Andost featured a simply incredible color change that looked like something straight out of a movie ... a single card on the table – ever so slowly changed color before our eyes. A very beautiful moment. The act takes color changing cards to over drive ...

10. Ryan Lam – Parlor – Hayashire 
Hayashi’s thoughts are made real via accompanying soundtrack as he performs cups, cups and more cups. Unfortunately the piece never connects with the audience.

11.Ludovic Julliot – Micro – France
A gangster character helping a client with his money woes. Vanishing chain from pocket watch, coin to card productions, matrix and multiplying coins.

12. Yann Frisch – Parlor – France
Our new Grand Prix winner who presents a piece of theatrical magic unlike anything seen before. His dramatic take on a crazed man dealing with the unexpected magic of a cup & ball is sublime. Fantastic!

13. Barry Olivier – The Netherlands
A grown man with a paper heart on his chest. Enough said.

14. Hector Angel – Parlor – Spain
An endearing personality of a magician who takes his deck to sleep with him and finding a named card within the box. 

15. Steve Sandomierski – Micro – South Africa
An ex-pat American with a highly infectious laugh and a somewhat bizarre discovery of a signed card in tin of baked beans.

16. Kristian Nivala – Parlor – Findland
Compulsory dramatic close-up music ... with a multitude of items being produced from his shoe.

17. Ricardo Rodriguez – Parlor – Spain
Another member of the” bring your video camera to Blackpool club” - a strange act set within a dressing room that suffers tremendously due to the language barrier. Very little magic all round unfortunately.


This brings to an end the close-up for FISM 2012. The undeniable stand-out acts today are Yann Frisch and Johan Stahl ... with my money on Yann to take the Grand Prix.

90 minutes to go until another 4 hours of stage contest followed by the “gala banquet” dinner and Blackpool circus.

In the words of the legendary FISM musical maestro, “There’s magic all over the world ...”


----------------

Full reports to follow ... but just some news ...

- stage & close-up contests were brilliant today. Some spectacular acts with definite prize winners on their way. France and Korea are taking over the world of magic.

- David Sousa committed career suicide with the most awful 'comedy magic' act imaginable that should have been red lighted for being below standard.

- France overwhelmingly beat Blackpool's attempt to host FISM Europe in 2014 ... which would you choose ? Luxuy cruise liner visiting exotic ports or Blackpool, England ?

- the trip to the local circus was reportedly an enjoyable highlight for those who actually got to attend. In an example of very poor scheduling - those in the first sitting were required to miss the last 5 contest stage acts should you have wanted to see the show. Pity.

- the "gala banquet dinner" was abysmal. A 'buffet' dinner restricted to a single plate of food. Held within the halls of the Winter Gardens - the peeling paint was a nice decor touch.

Wednesday
Jul112012

FISM 2012 - DAY THREE - BY CRAIG MITCHELL

Day 3 – Wed 12 July 

Numbers are dwindling for the early morning start of the FISM close-up. Let’s dive straight in:

1. Niki Sedlak – Cards – Tricky Niki – Austria
Combining a ventriloquist voice with the magic – Niki featured a repeated signed card under box, signed card in envelope and very visual bill to card. Not too bad for a Wednesday morning.

2. Michael Neto – Micro – England
A crazed scientist who required the use of two test subjects: “Oh, look – we have humans today.” Coins thru table ... everything is better with Ellusionist smoke ... and a bunsen burner. The theme slowly degenerated as the act went on becoming a tad too juvenile for my liking.

3. Jan Logemann – Cards – Germany 
A mini-boom box acted as a reoccurring feature with sound effects throughout the act. With a goldfish ‘card shark’ – some very visual card work – a massive pyro – and the signed selection ending in a solid block of glass – we have our first standing ovation of the day.

4. Woody Aragon – Cards – Spain 
A member of the newly formed “Bring your own video camera to Blackpool” society – Woody featured a four card routine with letters & words –and spell a card trick ... why we should be invested in such a premise – no idea – but the audience loved it nonetheless – and up they got to stretch their legs and provide a second standing ovation.

5. Yu Cheung – Parlor – Frank Ong – Hong Kong
An act that brought back memories of Boris Wild’s Kiss performance – but instead we have cards with pictures of roses. Card to confetti to rose ... with hearts that appear and vanish. No emotion and an attempt at being dramatic that unfortunately failed to hit its mark.

6. Patrick Lehnen – Cards – Germany
An entertaining set, reminiscent of Pit Hartling’s Heinz character, of a remote control salesman hawking his latest ‘deck’ invention. Fun and pleasing.

7. Alberto Del Negro – Parlor – Trabuk – Italy
A bubbling street busker with oodles of energy performing a chop cup style of routine in Italian. Clearly a pro when it comes to working the streets as he had the audience completely engrossed in his antics.

8. Shih-Huang Tsai – Micro – Red Tsai – Taiwan
Matrix with dice stacking, cups & balls with shot glass and dice, visual transposition of liquid in shot glasses – all elegantly executed with plenty of skill. A magician pleaser and recipient of yet another standing ovation.

9. Liang-Shun – Cards – Shin Lim – Canada
Shin Lim is a relatively young performer new to the FISM scene. With a curtain of hair covering his eyes, his performance is over the top dramatic – both in presentation and delivery. Stories of dreams and nightmares with intense music to boot is all a little too much at times in our little word of card magic. Featured sections include “everything is better with Ellusionist Smoke” ... and a vanishing card in cellophane bag that provided plenty of eye candy for the assembled conjurors. While his mouth to card flopped ( turning your back and inserting card into mouth is not too magical when the microphone picks up the entire sequence ) – magicians are a forgiving bunch and were so taken aback with the cellophane card changes they, too, jumped to their feet at the end of the act.

10. Olivier Macia – Cards – Olmac – France
Four aces ( oh joy ), Ambitious card, visual changes with some serious angle restrictions and a novel effect which saw his jacket pockets disappear right off the suit.

11. Andreas Axmann – Parlor – Der Hauptstadtzaubere – Germany
Set in an amusement parkr, a borrowed cellphone ends in a sealed can along with a vanishing and reappearing neck-tie and shirt. A fun interlude ...

12. Pattrick Przysiecki – Micro – USA
I’ve seen this act before ... and unfortunately little has improved at ‘Patrick’s Travel Agency’. This travel-themed act is overly scripted, lacks finesse and one of those poor attempts at putting together an act that someone thought would work at the ‘magic contest.’ The vanishing globe as the finale was ridiculous – lift up the close-mat, promptly dump the globe behind the table – and whisk said mat away convincing yourself that no one knows how your ‘trick’ is done. Oh my.

12. Zhang Guozhou – Micro – Jo-Jo- China 
Tea time with silk to saucer, appearing spoons, cups & balls with sugar cubes, chop cup with biscuit and glass and a complete tea & cake production as the finale. Smooth as anything and a chance to sit back and enjoy a well polished performance.

13. Alexander Merk – Parlor – Germany
Focusing on the concept of turning back time, a youngster is forced to say goodbye to his childhood teddy bear. He goes about destroying the bear – only to endure a similar fate himself ... pulling cotton wool from his own torso ... ending with the bringing back to life of the bear. An act with great potential and creative premise but sadly not quite there yet in its execution. Alexander was an engaging storyteller and can only but hope he continues to develop and refine this 

14. Jose Dominguez – Micro – Jaque – Spain 
With the sound of chanting monks filtering from the speakers – expectations are of the Spikes of Doom or some grand death defying feat before me. Instead we get the coin matrix. Expectation mismatch ? Just maybe. Coins to poker chips to ice cubes with screaming cheers from related family and friends in the audience. 
15. Matthew Wright – Marvellous Matthew Wright – England
Matt Lucas’ lost brother – somebody is drinking his own Kool Aid in this highly camp performance of cards and coins ... bizarre.

16. Jerome Bourgeon – Micro – Candide – France 
Clutching his ‘magic set’ – out comes the cups & balls with mini magic instruction book. 3 cups change to 4 ... the mini book replaces the ball and we have a jumbo book at the end. 

Another day of close-up draws to end ... with just 17 performances remaining tomorrow before we finish with the FISM 2012 Close-up Championships.

The quality of the acts is definitely on the up, Ellusionist’s Smoke is now the new snowstorm and if you are doing a close-up act – don’t think of arriving without your overly dramatic soundtrack.

 

Tuesday
Jul102012

FISM 2012 - DAY TWO - BY CRAIG MITCHELL



Richard will be facing the firing squad first. Extract from today's 'official' newsletter
Day 2 - Tues 10th July 

Close-up Contest

As cruel punishment for late night revellers, the first of the close-up contest was scheduled for a very early 8:30 am.

So we can set the scene – the FISM 2012 Close-up Championships is taking place deep within the bowels of the Winter Gardens in what is the ‘Olympia Exhibition Hall’ The original bid book had close-up scheduled for the Grand Theatre if memory serves correctly ... but for reasons not announced, the venue was summarily switched ... to this depressing basement complete with make-shift indoor tent to block out the light ( or rain – I haven’t quite worked out which yet ) and temporary tiered seating ... close your eyes and ignore the peeling paint and dangling cables please.



The video conditions were abysmal – with the screen completely washed out due to ambient light – and a single camera positioned at the back of the risers some 150 metres away. No overhead cameras, no high definition shots, no vision mixing, just a washed out picture with limited zoom and no one ( besides the front row judges ) able to view anything on the table surface. It is simply grim.

The competitors deserve better than this. FISM Close-up deserves better than this.

Conditions being what they are – the show must go on. Obie O’Brien is MC with Joan Caesar having been given manual labour duty of bringing tables backwards and forwards ;-) 

1. Shinichi Maruyama – Cards - Japan
An over-riding theme that plagues so many of the foreign competitors is the language barrier. Non-English speakers valiantly try and speak English but unfortunately it is very difficult to understand what they are saying – and the acts suffer. 

Appearing decks, card discoveries, visual transformations with a signed card and a nasty habit of yelling into a microphone.

2. Pierric Tenthorey – Parlor – Switzerland
A hit of the morning with a recurring theme of starting the act over due to limited time. 4 aces with deck vanish, wrist watch and pocket hank continually switch places, a matrix finale that caught everyone off guard and a comic twisting foot. A real magician pleaser.

3. Manuel Sanchez – Cards – Magnolo – Spain
A Borat look alike which I can’t understand for love or money. The act features a big screen plasma TV which ostensibly is intended to show a close-up of what is happening on the TV. The TV feed is in fact non-live and we have interaction with his on-screen self.

4. Michael Walther – Micro – The Netherlands
Kicks off with the soundtrack of Thriller ... and the arrival of a Sherlock Holmes character. Alrighty then - those two go together. Multiplying magnifying glasses, shrinking and expanding cards, mini CD manipulation, jumbo matrix. The act bizarrely receives a partial standing ovation which wasn’t deserved.

5. Kazuki Sakai – Cards – Indy - Japan 
Another act which I unfortunately struggled to understand or left any impression. Next please.

6. Marcelo Insua – Micro – Tango – Argentina
Here’s a FISM first – the story of Judas done to the coin matrix. Mmmmmmmm - must have sounded good on paper.

7. Peter Woerde – Cards – Netherlands
An entertaining act with the spectator taking on the role of “the world’s best card cheat” – 4 aces ( why ... oh why dear magicians of the world ) and cards reset to new deck order.

8. Angel San Martin – Micro – Looking Magic – Spain
Another Blackpool standing ovation recipient ... clever use of emotive music with cups and balls, appearing shot glasses, color changing waistcoat et al.

9. Hyun Min Yoo – Cards – Zeki Yoo – Korea
A strange and crazy Korean who looks 13. Envelope and signed card transpose multiple times ... another standing o ( or the audience need to stretch their legs too often )

10. Simon Coronel – Micro – Australia
The lone entrant from the land down under with a dramatic start focusing on a “moment that lingers” ... Simon brought along his own video camera to provide an up close view of what’s happening on the table –very visual vanishes, color changes et al. With a signed card ending up in a sealed envelope. Magicians loved it. Ended with an enigma of sorts with a card that is linked onto itself ending with a penetrating finger ring. Strange indeed. A bit disjointed towards the end ... but magic candy nevertheless.

11. Miika Pelkonen – Cards – Findland
Next please. Humour failed and the magic forgettable.

12. Morina – Micro – Semba – Argentina
The “close-up” performer who wishes he was on stage. Flowing long hair – cheesy grin – and comes across as if he is mentally touched. Once again – don’t understand a word he says and has the most ridiculous fake looking hand available in all of the Blackpool Dealers Hall. For the pièce de résistance – wouldn’t you like to be the female spectator and have your ears physically wiggled for you by the creepy magician? Oh yes – who wouldn’t.

13. Francisco Sanchez – Cards – Paco Sanchez – Spain
You know there are problems when even the competitors make fun of the poor performing conditions: “the best camera work ever at FISM” ... 4 aces to deuces with a fantastic vanish of the 4 cards at the end.

14. Ernesto Melero – Parlor – Venezuela
Developing trend – music now a must in all close-up acts. 4 aces ( oh yeah ! ) fast degenerating into confusion with color changing cards and deck.

15. Meelis Kubo – Cards – Latvia
Quotes of the day: “I want you to concentrate on my balls” ... “breathe in and you will see the boobs of conjuring” Enough said

16. Ben Jackson – Parlor – USA
Centred around the running of a lemonade stand, Ben’s act is typical contest fare – flip move with coin and straw, appearing lemon and stand along with the now defacto FISM 4 ace production. The American style ( and forced scripting ) was probably too abrasive for the European audience ...and please don’t shout in the microphone.

17. Paul Sommersguter – Cards – Austria
Equivoque with 1 card under the glass ... Ellusionist’s Ultra Smoke ( another FISM trend )

18. Jeffrey Tam – Micro – Philippines
Let’s take the worst stereotype of someone from China and turn up the volume by 100. A bizarre, wacky and offbeat mash up of jumbo coins from mouth, cups and ball with tea bags and every other prop under the sun. All too much. Strange – very strange. After watching this I feel like I’ve been hit by an oncoming train ... the audience went wild nonetheless.

19. Costa Goncalo – Cards – Portugal
Strict performer setup times seemed to have gone out the window at the FISM close-up with very little stage management and performers taking forever to get ready. Color changing decks, lost and found card, and more of the same. Unfortunately being last performer after a very long day can never play to your advantage.

Prognosis after the first session of close-up ? Not too shabby ... the standard is definitely better than yesterday’s stage ... and hopefully continues to improve. A short respite of 30 minutes before we race next door for 3 ½ hours of stage contests.

As everyone’s favourite mindfreak would say ... “Are you ready?”

Or in Blackpool FISM speak – what were we thinking.

 

Tuesday
Jul102012

FISM 2012 - DAY ONE - BY CRAIG MITCHEL

Day 1 – Monday 9th July

It’s day one of the FISM World Championships of Magic ... and despite the grey skies ... there’s excitement in the air as magicians from far and wide have descended on Blackpool, England for a week of contests, gala shows and lectures.

With early registration taking place yesterday – the first order of the day was to penetrate the Winter Gardens and make it through the burly security stationed outside. For the poor delegate unfortunate enough to have mislaid their all-important ‘confirmation of registration’ letter – you were promptly greeted with a gruff “no letter, no entry” response. In a scene most reminiscent of “Little Britain” - appealing to the idea that maybe, just maybe if you were given access to the hallowed halls and reach the registration desk – they would possibly be able to assist - escaped the comprehension of dear security. After much pondering and a special escort later, the hapless delegate was permitted to enter ... and then in a special win for bureaucracy was promptly asked to complete a form for his missing form – along with the all important question ... “did you report the loss of your confirmation sheet to the police ...” and naturally – “you do have the police case number, don’t you?”
I can picture the scene ... “Hello, is this the Blackpool police ? Yes, I’d like to report a FISM Registration lost in the mail ...”

It brought such a smile to my face :-)



Delegates have been treated to a selection of goodies in the official registration bag complete with a hardcover Jack Hughes book by Derek Lever ( with the price embossed on the outside 150 GBP ) along with full color gloss program ( your price 10 GBP ) ... rounding things up with a commemorative Blackpool teddy bear, logo’d pen, lanyard and badge.



As many of you have by now read – Genii Editor, Richard Kaufman, and yours truly received special mention ( http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubbt...nt=2&page=1 ) in the Official FISM Welcome – but not before Mr Lever reminded us of the merits of Blackpool ... “Whilst Blackpool may not have the glamour of Stockholm or Lisbon or Beijing it can boast that the Opera House is the largest theatre in Europe and that Blackpool has a unique 158m tower which houses a wonderful circus.”

The Blackpool Tourism Council would be proud ;-) 

Richard is labelled as having “openly supported vicious Hitler films” ( does his family know ? ) and I of having vented my spleen as “one South African magician.” I suppose in this era of Olympic pride – national identity is oh so important ... unless the organiser has an overt distaste for Africans perhaps?

Mr Lever seemed more concerned about attempting to secure his election as FISM Vice-President in the opening welcome rather than perhaps focusing on FISM’s key goal of committing itself to the enhancement, promotion and development of the art of magic. Quite the peculiar election strategy – hijack an entire event to air false and libellous accusations against the editor of one of magic’s most respected publications ... and do your utmost to engage in bizarre ramblings against a member of the FISM Executive Board ... whilst at the same time insulting an entire nation. Could you imagine what excitement would be in store for the world of magic should he succeed ?

With such a cheerful and joyful welcome to FISM 2012, let’s not forget why we are here ... 150 competitors from across the globe vying for the title of World Champion Magician.

Today’s program kicks off at 9 am with the Opening of the Dealers Hall, Official Opening Ceremony later at 11 am followed by the Stage Contests from 2 pm to 6:30 pm. Letures by Josh Jay, Matthew Johson, Borid Wild and Axel Hecklau round out the afternoon – ending with the “Late, late Gala Show” in the Opera House and lecture session thereafter with Henry Evans.

Let the games begin!

p.s. you can also follow live updates from www.facebook.com/fismpage and for those on twitter twitter.com/fismmagic