Michael Weber was our host for the final day of Magic-Con 2011. After everyone was settled in he brought David Regal on stage. David’s talk was all about intent. He said that you should always intend to do something with each effect or performance. Whether it be to mystify the audience, make them laugh, or just do a trick without getting caught, the effect always improves when you have a goal to focus on. This reminded me a lot of Chris Kenner’s advice from the first Magic-Con. Kenner said to picture each trick you do as a scene in a play and decide what you’re trying to communicate with it. Pick one word, and that effect should convey that word or emotion. When you set a distinct goal like that it really helps when you’re deciding how to present the trick.
Al Seckel came after David and Al did a whole presentation on optical illusions. He showed many different ones from digital to physical. It was really interesting to learn why the brain gets fooled by these. Al’s talk coincided with Susana Martinez-Conde and Steve Macknik from the first day. To end our morning session Richard Kaufman came up to talk about Genii magazine. For those of you who haven’t heard of Genii before it’s a magician’s magazine with a wealth of great information, articles, and reviews. They’re now also releasing a digital copy of each issue when it comes out, as well as putting them on their iPod and iPad app.
Bob Sheets took the stage next. He went over a few tricks, the first being a three card monte he does with jumbo sized cards. It was a good effect but unless you have giant gaffed playing cards it’s not exactly practical. Then he spent most of his time going over his version of the shell game. He used walnut shells and a little plastic pea. Bob’s is one of the cleanest versions I’ve seen and if you buy the DVD and contact him he’ll coach you at no extra cost. After Bob, Roberto Giobbie was up once again. First Roberto went into his take on the card in lemon plot. It was very entertaining and you could see how thought out each action was. Roberto walked us through the effect and gave some really good tips on the effect. Then he showed us a great thought-of-card effect that baffled most of the audience. There’s a lot to learn just from watching someone with as much experience as Roberto.
The last presentation of Magic-Con 2011 was an interview with Mac King. Michael Weber sat down and asked him a few questions about his past, his practice habits, and his current show. It was interesting to hear that a large portion of the material Mac performs today is from when he was a kid. A lot of effects he learned back then he’s carried through the years, performed thousands of times, and tweaked them until they’ve evolved into what he does today.
That’s it for Magic-Con! The conference last year was incredible, and I’m not sure how Dan and Dave managed to host yet another great one. There were so many ideas shared, so much creativity, and so much knowledge. Not just in the presentations either but in the sessioning before, in between, and after. For those of you who went I apologize for any discrepancies in my posts as it’s difficult to remember each presentation in detail. All in all this was a one-of-a-kind learning experience and I can’t wait for next year. If any of you have any questions about the conference feel free to comment and ask!