Well it’s been a week since Blackpool and I can safely say that I am now fully recovered! It was a great convention with good friends and a fun time was had by all. Highlights for me included Christian Engblom giving us a brief anti-faro demonstration in the Ruskin hotel (with my deck – which funnily enough wasn’t quite right afterwards!) – he then explained various corrections he’d worked out for when a few cards are missed- he was a nice guy and he didn’t have to spend the time with us that he did. Also a hit at the convention was his “Cooler” which is the best deck switch utility card creation I’ve ever seen – it looked perfect and a deck can be rung in and out under the nose of the spectators and they won’t see a thing – it was brilliant.
Chad Long was excellent and his lecture was really enjoyable (a bought of leg cramp brought him to his knees and almost ended the lecture before it began but he carried on anyway) – I bought his colour changing flash drives as I’ve always been a fan of colour changing knifes but had difficulty in introducing them – he’s really modernised the whole thing.
Michael Weber was superb – the most professional and in depth magic lecture I’ve ever seen. He explained everything in perfect detail and not only explained how he does something but more importantly I think was why he did it that way. When asking if there were any questions in the audience he excluded any “what if” questions as he said they are only the fears the magician has and that he shouldn’t have any. He was plugging the Real Secrets mail subscription service which actually sounded really good. Apparently as well as the props which are sent in the post he also sends some strange objects which seemingly have no use for now but will make sense when combined with other objects later on – apparently even the stamp on the envelope could have some secret. Sounds fun and I’m tempted to sign up.
For me the social side of Blackpool usually outweighs the convention lineup – this was no exception but there were a few good acts I did manage to see. Charlie Fry was the best juggler I’ve seen, I’m sad I missed the South Korean Yu Ho Jin who performs absolutely perfect card manipulation – check out the link if you haven’t already seen this – it’s amazing.
One thing this year which I’d hoped they would’t bring back was having the closeup sessions in the small theatre but with screens outside in the horseshoe area where people could watch. I understand the need to cater for large numbers of magicians but for me they’ve ruined the closeup at Blackpool – the simple reason is that it’s not closeup – it’s on stage. It was busy before but you could always stand close enough to see the person or move to the next table to see them again. Stage at worse, parlour at best – closeup should be closeup.
As is normal as soon as the dealers hall opened we made our way straight to Castle Magical Services which has the best selection of used books at the convention – I picked up Peter Kane’s Variant booklet, some Peter Kane lecture notes and Cy Enfields Entertaining Card Magic Part 1 for just over £5 – bargain.
Also a hit at the convention was Steve Brownley’s debut release – the “Ultimatum” deck which I’ll post about separately soon – it’s two cards at any two numbers and more!