Our 2019 Convention Wrap-Up – Magic On Sale Magic On Sale
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Our 2019 Convention Wrap-Up

The 19th annual Daytona Beach Festival Of Magic is in the books! What a weekend! Friday kicked off with our annual welcome lecture by our own Harry Allen. Harry is great for always setting the tone of the weekend. One of the things he stresses in his welcome/ dealer demo lecture is to “Leave your stress…

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Our 2019 Convention Wrap-Up

The 19th annual Daytona Beach Festival Of Magic is in the books! What a weekend! Friday kicked off with our annual welcome lecture by our own Harry Allen. Harry is great for always setting the tone of the weekend. One of the things he stresses in his welcome/ dealer demo lecture is to “Leave your stress at the door. We’re here to have FUN this weekend!” And you know what? that’s EXACTLY what happens! People get loosened up and start to laugh with Harry as they see some of the latest magic in the industry as well as some killer mainstay effects that gets the whole weekend started of right!

Giovanni Livera kicked off the guest lectures with a handling of the ring and string that he modified decades ago to add a GIANT nut instead of the standard silver ring that was simply amazing! I always like to watch performers who are so comfortable in their art that they allow themselves the opportunity to see something and instead of rigidly adhering to it, thinks, “Now, how can I get MORE out of this? How can I make it my own?” That was at the heart of Gio’s lecture. His work with the classic shell game was fantastic as well!

After the lunch break, convention attendees got their first look at what Chad long was really all about. And what he’s about is ENTERTAINMENT! He has an astonishingly visual effect where he visually pulls a playing card directly out of a solid wall, replaces it in the wall, and extracts it from another location at will! It will literally drop your jaw! THAT was a “Throw away” effect for him! What he considered a fun distraction, most other magicians would build an entire routine around! When he revealed exactly how he produced four silver dollars and showed the masterful simplicity of the gimmick, the room went silent with awe! I saw more than one person go and sign up for his teach-in following his lecture!

There are some performers who get a reputation (good or bad) for being a certain type of act. That has happened, I feel with Rocco Silano. Rocco is almost universally known to magicians as “The D’Lites guy”. But if that is the ONLY thing that you know about him, then you don’t know him at all! Rocco has a style that visually sets him apart from the rest and draws your attention to him. He looks more like a high fashion playboy from the Riviera than a skilled magician, but skilled is EXACTLY what he is! He wowed the attendees with his style!

With this year’s convention happening only one day after Halloween, it was fitting that John Ferrentino came to the convention to demonstrate his spooky and un-nerving seance magic. He wound up the tension by demonstrating just a few artifacts from his act that features the Waverly Sanatorium and it’s residents. Even though he explained how it all happened, the mental images that he conjured with his storytelling and presentation still left you asking yourself the question “Do spirits return?”

As the first days’ worth of lectures drew to a close, Fielding West held court with his intimate Teach-In where it was just him and only a handful of selected convention goers who wanted to delve deeper into the mind and magic that Feilding does. There were laughs to be sure, but there was also some fantastic information exchanged and I know that everyone there got more than they bargained for!

Friday night at the News Journal Center theater started off the first of our two large stage shows. The magic got started even before the curtain rose as our Strolling Magician contest took place in the lobby. Patrons form the convention and general public were treated to contestants performing magic at their fingertips! Inside the theater, Daytona Magic’s own Rebecca Cook sang “God Bless America”, then the lights dimmed and master of ceremonies Harry Allen introduced Mondre by saying that he had “…an act SO smooth, it makes velvet jealous!”. That’s quite a bar to set before you get started, but Mondre cleared it with ease! He has an engaging style at just MAKES you want to watch him, his birds, his astonishing manipulation and oh, yeah, WHERE DID THAT CAT COME FROM?!?!? Next up, Harry showed that his reputation as an all-around entertainer is well deserved as he brought smiles to the audience with the help of some kids where everything just seemed to go wrong! Big laughs! After a brief musical break featuring performers including yours truly, Peter Alden and Armando Diaz singing the music of Motown, Elvis, and Frank Sinatra, Stuart MacDonald took the audience on a surreal trip through a haunted house where magic was lurking around every corner! Culminating in his amazing Mirror routine (It even fooled Penn & Teller!) he brought the house down! Kyle & Mistie Knight has a huge task ahead of them after Stuart’s act. Fortunately, they were MORE than up to the challenge! One routine featuring Mistie being tied up by an audience member so that she could barely move her limbs, and then in an instant, the jacket vanishes from the spectator and winds up with Mistie WEARING the jacket WHILE SHE IS STILL SECURLY TIED UP!!!

Saturday started out EARLY (A little TOO early for some people who spent the night partying in the hotel until the wee, WEE hours!) However, Mondre was undaunted. After his killer performance the night before, the room was filled with freshly minted devotees and as Mondre pulled back the curtain on his unique take on magic, it was clear that everyone who got there early made the right choice!

The term “Living Legend” is used far too casually these days but in the case of Master Magician Lance Burton, even though he is far too humble to truly feel comfortable with such a lofty accolade, the term CERTAINLY applies to him! How often do you get to sit in the same room with a magician whose career has spanned over 30 years and who is consistently ranked as one of the greatest living magicians in the world today? For an hour, Lance held an informal discussion with the crowd where he recanted life/show stories, performance tips, and took questions directly from the audience! The whole affair had the feel of just sitting around your kitchen table late at night shooting the breeze with an old friend.

Sometimes, you simply can’t top the previous act. Sometimes it’s not necessary to be the loudest voice in the room. Sometimes, it best to be the most RELIABLE person in the room. The one who can always deliver strong, powerful effects and consistently amaze and entertain any size audience. That’s exactly what you get from a Mike Hummer lecture! Mike puts new spins on old classics and makes them new again! His lectures are always dense with information and gets you excited about effects that you’ve long since overlooked!

At the state-of-the-art News Journal Center, magical contestants get to tread the same boards as some of the most influential magicians in the world! Kids and Adults all competed for bragging rights, to show of their skill, and of course, a chance to win part of our Prizes totaling over $1,000! Back at the hotel, we had a charity pizza lunch with drinks that was donated by our own Rebecca Cook with 100% of the proceeds going to benefit the Halifax Humane Society here in Daytona Beach. Between the pizza lunch and the raffle tickets we sold for a chance to win $1,000.00 worth of magic donated by Daytona Magic, we were able to raise $1,838.00!

They say if you want to see something done right, hire a professional. Well, we had FOUR of them for you in our professional close-up show featuring Mondre, Stuart Macdonald, Chad long and the unrestrained kinetic energy of Giovanni Livera! When they were finished, the room was spent. That one showing of close-up magic was worth the price of admission to the convention!

One of the slickest presentations of the weekend belonged to Kyle & Mistie Knight. They demonstrated a wonderful performance table they invented that is about 3 1/2 feet tall yet packed down to just under 12 inches! They also shared an ingenious gimmick that Kyle developed in order to produce a jumbo-sized coin at your fingertips at a moment’s notice! They finished by showing an act they performed on “Wizard Wars” and although they showed us half of how it was done, they offered a trophy to anyone who could figure out the finale that even Penn & Teller couldn’t guess! Rest assured, the trophy is till safely with them!

After the roller-coaster ride of Stuart Macdonald’s act the night before, his lecture was probably looked forward to the most by the convention attendees and he didn’t disappoint. Stuart’s knack for thinking outside the box is truly astonishing! He told a poignant story of the POWER our magic has on the world. The short version is that he contacted one of the most sought-after stage designers on Broadway and asked him if he could just WATCH a video of his act and critique it. This person would up helping him re-design and collaborated on Stuart’s act for him free of charge! This person’s work commands hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure and he just GAVE it to Stuart! Why? Because when he was in the fifth grade, Stuart came to his elementary school, called him up to help him with a magic trick, and his love of theater was ignited. He told Stuart “This is my way of saying ‘thank you’. Because if you hadn’t done your magic for me then, I wouldn’t be where I am today. YOU are the reason that I have the life I have!” Just…WOW!

The day ended with Chad Long’s teach-in and you could just tell by the looks on everyone’s face that they all made the right choice in being there! In fact, the only thing that stopped the teach-in was that if they DIDN’T stop, they’d miss the Lance Burton show! Talk about getting lost in your passion!

As I mentioned at the top of this article, Lance Burton is one of the most admired and sought-after magicians in the world. After a career spanning over 31 years, more money than he could spend in FIVE lifetimes, More awards then he can count and the legacy of knowing that Las Vegas wanted him SO bad that they custom built him a state-of the art performance theater costing MILLIONS of dollars! He debuted his brand-new touring show “Lance Burton And Friends” for the first time ever at a magic convention and it featured an evening filled with thrills, laughter, wonder and…”Bob the Bird’! (More on that later) After Becky Sang the National Anthem, the curtains rose, Lance strode forward to thunderous applause. Everyone in the room just knew that they were witnessing a part of magical history! Lance wasted no time in bringing up a bunch of kids and having fun with them as he demonstrated the classic “Vanishing Bird Cage”! If you’ve ever wondered why this effect has been around for almost 145 years, once you see it in action you will just HAVE to buy it for yourself! It’s said that you should never work with children, but Lance maximized his time with each child to great effect. Lance appeared thought the evening doing wonderful magic and hosting his show featuring his friends. The only thing WORSE to work with than kids they say is animals! Enter Fielding West and “Bob the Bird”. If you’ve never seen Fielding in action, you should be warned that you will be amazed by his magic to be sure, but you will be in stitches from laughing at his one-liners and total command of even the most unplanned for situations. For some reason, “Bob the Bird” just didn’t want to stay put. He kept flying out into the audience and seemed to be challenging Fielding for stage dominance. A lesser performer would have folded and stormed off stage. Fielding took it all in stride, rolled with the punches and delivered one of the funniest “Impromptu” magical performances I have EVER seen! Someone give that man a medal and a Purple Heart for comedy! Now, when you hear the word “juggler” you might immediately think of every hack you’ve ever seen with a pair of bean bags and prepare yourself to grind it out for the next 10 minutes. But, when you hear the name Michael Goudeau after the word “Juggler”, then you know you are in for an act that’s astonishing and entertains you like never before! I mean how can you NOT like a guy who STARTS his act by juggling three large bean bag chairs!?!?!?! Talk about setting the right tone! After Michael was finished, it was time for the large stage illusions of “Keith West and the Illusioneers!” Their magic, choreography, and props were the perfect combination and really gave a Las Vegas feel to the whole night! Finally, Lance closed out the show with a fantastic illusion that was actually given to him by Magical Legend Mark Wilson!

After the show, we met back at the hotel for a special screening of Lance Burton’s charming family film “Billy Topit: Master Magician”. After the screening, Lance and the film’s cast took to the stage for a lively Q&A and then everyone went out into the lobby where Lance and his crew signed autographs and took special care to give each and every guest their undivided attention creating a magical moment that will stay with them for a lifetime!

All good things must come to an and on Sunday morning, the dealers room opened for the last time as our world-famous magic auction took place! I personally saw TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars’ worth of magic and memorabilia go at times for PENNIES on the dollar! It truly IS the single best value of the whole convention! Master auctioneer Jack Corcoran and his staff once again kept things flowing and lively. Before you knew it, there was nothing left to do but say goodbye!

Special thanks to all of our magic dealers DAYTONA MAGIC, AUTHENTIC HAND CUT SILHOUETTES, BJW MAGICAL JEWELRY, AL BACH, ROY KUEPPERS, MAGIC ARTIFACTS, MAGIC DOLLAR STORE, MAGIC EMPORIUM, MAGICFLIX, MARKET YOUR MAGIC, BRUCE MCLAURY, MIKE’ S MAGIC, SWC MAGIC, QLAB TUTORIAL, and TOM YURASITIS. Every year you prove that we have one of the best magic dealers’ rooms of any convention on the planet!

Congratulations to our contest winners!

1st Place Adult Stage – Chris Wyatt
2nd Place Stage – Marti Brill
3rd Place Adult Stage – Lawrence Lessner

1st Place Kid’s Stage – Jordan Berenson

1st Place Close-Up – Mike Bloemeke
2nd Place Close-Up – Peter Diamond
3rd Place Close-Up – Marti Brill

1st Place Strolling – Randy Goodman
2nd Place Strolling – Peter Diamond
3rd Place Strolling – Zachary Kyriazis

     Mark Your Calendars for NOVEMBER 6 – 8, 2020. Our convention will be celebrating our 20TH ANNIVERSARY and we have a line-up that already consists of HARRY ALLEN, ERIC JONES, SCOTT HUMSTON, STEVE MARSHALL, JOHN & MORGAN BUNDY, OSCAR MUNOZ, ERICK OLSON, ROCCO and more to be announced in the new year! We’ll see you in 2020!

Daytona magic would like to thank Erick Olson for his outstanding work in hosting the lecture rooms and keeping everything running smoothly and professionally. Wayne and Susan Dowling for their invaluable help at the registration table and anywhere they were needed throughout the weekend! It is impossible to put on the evening theater shows without having the best stage management group in the business including Art Thomas, Sue Jacoberger, James Sonster, Travis Marron, Teresa Songster and the staff of Daytona Stage College & The News Journal Center! Our auction simply would not be possible without the work of Jack Corcoran, Irv Cook, Donovan, Rebecca Cook, Lorraine Shamburg and the kids who acted as “runners” for the auction pieces. Last, but certainly not least, Toby Pittel & Greg Bergeron held down the fort by themselves back at our store while we were all at the hotel. I don’t know what we would do without you!

If I forgot anyone, please forgive me.

 

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