I know I've said this before, but it's true. My life is a neverending magic convention, and has been that way for decades. I wish I could report on every cool thing I see and do but that would take forever.
Over the last couple of weeks I seen some fantastic acts at the club as well as a few sessions at my house and a couple of meetings like the Elders Meeting I went to last night. One recent evening I saw three acts in the Close-Up Gallery. Cocktail Hour was David Stryker, he did nice work; but what impressed me the most was his pacing. Slow and deliberate, wise beyond his years he never seemed rushed and knew how to wait for the effects to sink in. Also the same night was Richard Turner. Holy shit! I've seen his act many times through the years, but I really feel that he just gets better and better. His card work is exceptional, original, and I think it's safe to say that he does stuff with a deck of cards that noone else could do. Finally, in late close-up was Paul Gertner-Gaertner. I first saw Paul work way back in the day. It must have been 1981, I was 15. It was my first IBM National Convention in Evansville, IN if my memory serves correctly. There was an unexpected flash flood and we got stuck in the theater. Paul was there, sat crossed legged on the floor and wowed everyone who watched. Was perhaps the first time I had ever seen some great poker demonstrations. So much in entertainment is about what is fresh and new. It's a youth driven industry. Watching both Paul & Richard Turner was an inspiration. Two middle aged magicians doing some of the best work of their lives. Watching Paul perform his unique Cups and Balls routine is always the highlight for me, but even a routine like Unshuffled has become a classic. Top of his game. He's in the process of putting a national lecture tour together, please have your club look into this as he is not to be missed. As I write this, I realize that I had seen him previous to the Evensville Convention. He lectured in Cincinnati at Haines House of Cards where I was working. it must have been '78 or '79. What I learned that day I was able to perfect at an amusement park gig I did at Kings Island for a couple of summers. It was a treat to see him work these same techniques all these years later. Just beautiful.
I shot a couple acts for the video commitee last week a 21 year old Mentalist named Mark Gibson, we shot in the Peller Theater, He wanted some video for submission for a TV show. He did a great effect with a balloon and had a great spin on a book test. Really enjoyed his unique personality and fresh effects. Later in the week I shot Gwenaëlle Ardault in the Palace of Mystery. It's rare that I watch a show three times in a row, but shooting all three of Gwenaëlle's (a beautiful French magician) performances provided me this opportunity to study a well balanced show. The MC opener was Larry Wilson, a tried , true and very funny act, followed by James Dimmare another man whose career I've followed for decades. I miss Dimmare's old bird act (one of the best in the biz), but he certainly shines with everything that he does, love his use of music, dance and movement. I had never seen or heard of Gwenaëlle, but was equally impressed by her talent and creativity. IF you have not heard of some of the names I've talked about you would be wise to check them out on YouTube!
Last night I went to an Elders Meeting. Mostly mentalists but a powerhouse group of heavy thinkers. Pete McCabe gave a short talk about his new book Scripting Magic II. He had both 1 &2 for sale after the meeting. We met at a BBQ joint and enjoyed tri tip and chicken with all the fixen's. Robert J Gould enlightened us as to new techniques on how to transmit thoughts from one person to another and have a spectator hear a voice INSIDE HER HEAD! He used two waitresses. One sent the other a thought. When she received the thought/voice in her own head her eyes immediately began tracking like a ferret on crack. UNBELIVABLE. I went there with my pal Allen Gittelson, an up and coming LA Based mentalist. He's been working very hard on his actand is a name to keep an eye out for. I see good things for him in the near future.
I could ramble on endlessly, but I don't want to make you jealous, and I have to get ready to head to the club to shoot the Eugene Burger Celebration of Life. We're gonna miss you old friend. One of a kind and one of the heaviest thinkers on magic. . . ever.