A time to share

Monday, September 28, 2009

Portland Magic Jam

my blog posts have been lacking lately..
so here is the latest...
Went golfing several times last week...
Golfed in a tournament as well. Had some fun...

The weekend was a long magic journey to Portland Magic Jam.
I got off work Friday morning, tried to sleep for three hours, but as often is the case... couldn't, had to catch a South bound train.
Met my friend Chad Reibman with his Daughter Ari, and a travelin we went.
The Portland magic Jam was awesome. I really have to thank Chad for talking me into going. AND for setting me up with great digs to lay my head at the end of the day! We stayed with his in laws. They were about 10 minutes away from where the magic jam was held, SWEET!
Friday night was a great kick off event with several performers including my friend Isaac Louie, he had us rolling with his whip routine and so much more! Nathan Kranzo, did a wonderful stand up comedy magic routine.
Nathan Kranzo was the first lecture of magic I ever attended. It might have been the latter part of 2003 or the early part of 2004. He looked great and has really grown magically. I wonder why, traveling around the world doing magic, and magic lectures will make you grow. He had poise, and wonderful stage presence. Really enjoyed his set! Got to bed about 2:30 am. Made for a 34 hour run as I call it without sleep. What else is new! :)
Saturday was more of the same...
The way these things work, at least this one... is the big guns perform their sets, oh, maybe 5 to 10 effects, then they lecture on the ins and outs of how they work. The nuts and bolts of their tricks. But, you have to remember, they all have dvd's, lecture notes, and maybe books to sell you on their tricks.
They are all so very good at magic, make it look so effortless, it is difficult not to buy their material. That's because us magicians want to learn so much so badly.
It really boils down to how hard you want to work at something and how much time and effort you will really put into it. Every magician I've ever met has big eyes! They have more magic product sitting on a shelf or in a box somewhere, than they could ever possibly put into a show.
Anyway, I digress into a sermon of the dangers of magic! :)

I cannot remember the order of events, they have all become a montage in my mind! David Regal seemed to me to be somewhere above the rest in his magic and presence. His mind, and the thinking behind his magic takes a back seat to no one. Truly a magnificent magician! Comedy and wit, and the scary part... he has the technical skills to really make it all work.
Aaron Fisher too, Wow, great lecture on the bluff pass,or as Aaron calls it, the Nowhere Pass, the half pass, and much more. Aaron bombarded our senses. His was like a wake up call to arms. Why play with the spectator when you can destroy them! His lecture was like a fire breathing dragon coming at you.
Steve Dobson, here is a different sort of cat! Steve is truly "old school." Soft spoken, you had to strain to hear him, his coin routines, elegant, sleepy easy... His card handling, gentle and true. A smile here, a little nod, a knowing wink, and bam, you were destroyed!
I think the lecture did more for Steve Dobson and his need for growth in speaking publicly in front of a large group than anything else. He has perfect mastery over many sleights. Hours of daily practice, at a minimum, three hours a day he said... Serious are you? Three hours a day, doing the same execution of sleights with coins and cards? Are you kidding me!? You wanna get good, I mean really good, three hours a day! Wow! Dedication!
Personally, I was over loaded with magic, too much to learn, and really you cannot absorb it all in three days anyway, so you buy the books, the dvd's, the lecture notes... you loved everything, but will you be diligent? learn it all?... probably not. Life will get in the way. So much information that when you get home, you sleep on it, life creeps in, you go to work, you are overwhelmed, and don't know where to start. But you do begin, somewhere, and little by little, day by day, week by week... you improve, you grow!
Sunday, man I was really tired, almost admit to being 50!
The day went by really slowly for me. My mind was on the competition at 4:30. I had to endure (haha) more lectures, panel discussions, and yuck... magic!
I was so tired from lack of sleep, my shoulders bunched up tightly, my eyes were stinging, my feet were hot and tired... gotta perform..
Nine of us brave, sorry souls entered the Parlour contest. I think I was sixth to perform. My friend Chad Reibman led off. He did a really great effect with a candle and paper levitation effect, transforming the paper 1st into a rose, and then lighting that paper rose into a ball of flame turning it instantly into a real red rose. All this to beautiful Bette Midler music, The Rose.
I performed the cut and restored rope/Professors Nightmare, and segued that into Lassoing a card.
I brought up on stage to help me in the latter effect, a new friend I made. Her name is April, she isn't a magician, but her 13 year old son Taren is working on the art.
I really don't know how April made it thru the whole weekend. Making sure her son is well treated, (he was) and allowing him to have as much fun as is humanly possible for a 13 year old. Not being a magician, and not knowing the terminology, wow!

Seemed to me that almost all the people attending were gracious with their time, talent and efforts. The magic scene in and around the Portland area is definitely thriving!
My performance went well, not the best I've done, not the worst. Maybe 75-80 percent. It is difficult to do a "piece" from your set of say, 9 tricks, without it being in it's normal, comfortable place in your routine. But everyone was in the same boat.
I placed third in the competition! I was beat by a ten year old who did a nice job with a dancing cane, and some flourishy card manipulations. Great job Matt!
The magician who won first place, Rick Anderson from Tacoma. Rick has been a professional magician for a lot of years.(http://www.amazementproductions.com/aboutrick.html)
I wonder what prompted him to enter this completion. It almost would seem beneath his level of expertise. I'm not trying to sound unhappy with Rick winning, or having "sour Grapes." I just feel he didn't belong in it. Rick has won many competitions over the many years he has performed professionally (read his bio on his website) I would think a person with his years in the profession would be able to recognize that it would have meant a great deal more to the ten year old Matt, or myself, or any of the other competitors to win a competition at this level of competition. Oh well, I like Rick, I have seen him perform at the Tacoma ring meetings, and also met him several years ago. He is always very gracious and a helpful magician. He is willing to help and teach anyone it seems. Still, I find his entering odd.
The event organizers, Dan Waterman, and Greg Moreland did a fantastic job. Going to hard to top this inaugural event. It was that good!
The train ride home...
Barely made the train, waiting for the performers to finish their acts in competition.
I was not even there for the announcement of the winners, by the way, I received a $25.00 gift certificate for Market Magic in Seattle, 2nd place $75.00 and 1st place $200.00. I don't know where the other gift certificates were for.
But back to the train ride. I sat across the aisle from a young lady named Bex. We chatted and she found out Chad and I are magicians. She asked me if I know Brian Masters. Lol. She works at Pike Place Market, and Brian is a regular street busker there! Brian is also a friend of mine, and has excellent magic skills.
Chad and I performed several magical effects for Bex and the people sitting with her. Our part of the train was the only one that was "Alive!"
To much fun.
Magic burnout!....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. Sounds like a good time was had by all!

4:52 PM  
Blogger Stinky Mouse said...

Sounds like a great weekend! Hope you get over the magic-overload soon.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Timmy Jimmy said...

It was funner, and better than I can describe.

2:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great review of a great event!

12:44 AM  

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