AbraCORNdabra…….a great convention!
I want to take this opportunity to reminisce about a really wonderful magic convention that I appeared in last month in Des Moines, Iowa. It was the rather niftily titled AbraCORNdabra. This was as smoothly planned and produced as any convention I have ever attended. The most amazing thing was that every single event seemed to start exactly on time. Who could achieve such a magical feat? Lay it squarely at the hands of Steve Daly or as he is affectionately known to audiences around the country “Tiny Bubbles.”
I am writing this column while I am away from my office, and the convention program, poster etc. are not at hand for me to consult. However, I have delayed too long in writing it and if I miss a name or two please forgive me! My memories of the event are ALL fond and I enjoyed each and everyone’s participation in this delightful event. It was a truly special occasion where I met old friends and also made new ones.
First and foremost I have to say that the attention to detail and professionalism shown by Mr. Daly was incredibly impressive. He should have himself cloned and produce magic conventions worldwide, or at the very least he should film a training video for other folk planning to organize conventions! Starting with the delightful guest entertainer packages that were waiting for each and every one of his performing/lecturing team—this was one heck of a class act!
The hour time limit on lectures and the tightly structured shows kept everything moving at a wonderful tempo, but still leaving plenty of time to mix and mingle with our fellow magicians. The Gala show ran a tad longer than Steve planned (though about an hour less than I expected!) and still left the crowd wanting more. Some of my highlights include working with Murray Sawchuck, Christopher Carter, David Seebach and the legendary Tom Mullica. I don’t think I have ever seen a magic gala hosted as smoothly as Tom achieved it. He was a riot of laughs and managed to speed up the pacing (of an already high tempo show) while delivering his laughs. It was truly a delight for me to finally work with this iconic showman. He is truly a master.
The lecture series not only included great magic but some slightly surprising and charming events such as Lupe Nielsen’s lecture on magic posters and Lynetta Welch’s lecture on magical fabrics, Another rather lovely touch was Kathryn Flocken – an expert paper silhouette Artist who not only demonstrated – but taught everyone the craft of paper cutting, just as Dai Vernon presented it in his early years, and at the Magic Castle.
Close–up magic was well represented by performers such as Lupe Nielsen, Trixie Bond, Randi Rain and the superb sleight of hand of Suzanne The Magician. Suzanne’s lecture was considered by many of those present to be a convention highlight; sadly I had to miss it due to a conflicting rehearsal. I will look forward to catching Suzanne’s act again at the Magic Castle where she pulverizes the sophisticated audiences whenever they are lucky enough to steal her from her hometown commitments. If this sounds like a lot of magic in two and a half days —it was! Sadly I am only getting down some of the highlights, as the magic, learning and fun went on at a mighty pace throughout the event.
I noticed that Steve has the dates set for the next five years of AbraCORNdabra Conventions and I think he is right to do so. This is one tightly compressed event that could well be a major fixture on the “To Do” list of magicians across the country. It was absolutely my pleasure to perform and lecture at such an illustrious event! Congratulations to all concerned for a job well done. I now look forward to my next magic convention, when I will be performing and lecturing at the TAOM Convention in my hometown of Austin.
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