It might sound like I’m being paid to write positive reports about the Festival of Magic. I am not. I genuinely have thoroughly enjoyed the week so far. Some real highlights and gems along the way. From between 6 and 10 sessions per day I would say 3 or 4 a day (apart from Monday) have been quite exceptional and perhaps one a day worth the entry fee alone. To get this level of quality at any convention should be applauded.
Day 4: Stage & Screen Magic
Session 1: Master Payne
Master Payne started the day again and his style has grown on me over the week. Quick fire power point presentations do not normally appeal to me but these 10-minute openers, along with his amusing anecdotes and chat are a fun way to get the days off to a good start. Well done Master Payne
Session 2: Russ Stevens - Britain's Got... Magicians - http://www.russstevens.co.uk
Russ was interviewed on the subject of TV magic and in particular the talent shows and gave a wonderful insight into how & why it can work and why on occasion it doesn’t. His contribution to the evening panel was fabulous and thought inspiring.
Session 3: Tina Lenert Connecting The Dots: Discover Your Performing Style - http://home.earthlink.net/~tlenert/
Tina gave a first class lecture on how you might bring your own character and experiences into developing your own stage act, with reference to her life journey and personal experiences which shaped and led to the development of three of her special character acts that have taken her around the world. Yet another presenter at the Festival of Magic that had the audience spellbound
Session 4: Jonathan Pendragon - The Creative Process in Stage Magic - http://www.jonathanpendragon.net
The pick of the day for me – this was an excellent, from the heart lecture by someone passionate about his art. Jonathan suggested that if we (magicians) continue to ‘take from within the art’ the gene pool will die; and he gave some wonderful examples from within magic and outside. He suggested gaining inspiration from outside sources and spoke about his own experiences in acting, stunt work, dancing and theatre that had shaped his thoughts. He spoke about emotion in performance and demonstrated with an excellent performance from his show, as well as demonstrating a quick cloak/person change on stage.
Session 5: Master Payne
Subjegating a prop – Master Payne spoke about using appropriate, logical and themed props rather than typical standard magic props and gave fun examples including a torn & restored card using a rare football memorabilia card
Session 6; Mike Caveney - The Endless Search For The Ultimate Method - http://www.mcmagicwords.com/caveney.html
Mike gave some wonderful demonstrations of using old methods and classic magic effects in entirely different ways which had made them ‘unique’ and his own effects. He spoke about using old techniques, effects and principals and disguising it as something different. Very clever and thought provoking
Session 7: Panel Discussion with Noel Britten
Chris Cox, Ben Hanlin, Johnathan Pendragon, Nigel Mead, Frankie Glass (Secret Cabaret Producer), Russ Stevens.
The session discussed many aspects of TV magic and became quite intense when debating the pros and cons of current TV street magic type shows whereby edits and careful camera angles, create demonstrations that could not be repeated live, were the order of the day. Some really passionate views from Russ Stevens in particular. Loved what he had had to say.
Session 8: Richard Wiseman: 7 things I've learned about You Tube
An informative and entertaining journey through creating successful YouTube videos and Chanels.
Session 9: Playing Larger With Cards - Jon Armstrong http://www.cardjon.com
A second offering from Jon Armstrong who demonstrated how you could use cards to entertain and engage large audiences.
Session 10: Favourites - Jim Steinmeyer
Jim appears to be one of those iconic figures in magic who will mesmerise and engage an audience whatever the subject and this was a great example. Demonstrating some simple effects with the wealth of his knowledge and experiences still made absorbing listening
Personal days highlight – Jonathan Pendragon’s sincerity and heart felt lecture and performance