TAOM 2015. A Tribute to Magic, Music, Weirdness & Women!

IMG_3007The TAOM 2015 convention is now just a vision in the rearview mirror— and a memory, a very pleasant memory indeed. Hats off to Trixie Bond and everyone connected to this event all of whom helped to make it such a success. The convention was held right here in my hometown of Austin and although I am rather biased, I have to say that our wonderful little city made quite a backdrop to the event.

Rather than write an exhaustive list of what went on, I want to just mention a few of my personal highlights from the three and a half day event. I want to begin by saying how much I enjoyed my own participation, I had a blast performing and lecturing at the convention. I especially enjoyed my Monday morning lecture, which was amazing well and enthusiastically attended. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of it. I got to perform with three very talented youngsters, James Irwin, Drake Stanton and Ava Byers — who were quite rightly billed as Our Stars of Tomorrow!

The theme of the convention was Magic, Music, Weirdness and Women. This worked for me as I love all four of these things and 11992548_10207506855175198_786605718_nthe event got the mixture just right. For a music buff like myself, the addition of music in the lounge/bar area between shows was a lovely addition. The weirdness was pretty firmly under control given the location, but most magic conventions could definitely use a dash more of it in my personal opinion.

There were two Gala shows and each was excellent. The first Gala featured many dear friends including Peter Samelson, John Carney and Mark Merchant. The entire show was great but as is so often the case the rather edgy comedy of ventriloquist Mark Merchant rather stole the show. It really helps being the only non-magician on a bill! I know I have been the only magician on the Gala Shows at ventriloquism convention!

IMG_6707The second Gala was an all female event (OK, Steve Daley was there in his Tiny Bubbles persona. And very funny he was!) There was plenty of talent on the bill including Ali Shelley, Margaret Steele, Amanda Eve, Rachael Dunn, and Jesse Patterson with the lovely and talented Jade making a fine headliner to the bill. Hats off to an event that really highlighted the talented women in our business.

During the convention Lectures and workshops were presented by Bob Fitch, John Carney, Jay Scott Berry, Oscar Munoz, Peter Samelson and Robert Baxt — they were all resounding successes. Another crowd favorite was Brian Brushwood’s Scam School. There was much to learn from this skilled and talented group of lecturers and performers. The Close-Up Show was well represented by Suzanne the Magician, Peter Samelson, Jay Scott Berry, John Carney and Robert Baxt. All of these performers wowed the crowd with their skills and talents. The convention also hosted an excellent close-up contest, in addition to stage contest, which highlighted our very own Texas talent.

An incredibly successful addition to the convention was the chance to catch Austin’s own Ray Anderson in a specially formulated IMG_6728edition of his Esther’s Follies show. A trip to Austin is not complete without catching this amazing show. After 30 years the show is a tightly run triumph of production and performing skills. The sensational Ray Anderson along with his wonderful assistant/partner Ellana Kelter present magic the way you want to see it! The skill and charisma they project make each of them a national magical treasure. If you have never visited Esther’s and caught their show you have missed the best magic show in the country in my opinion.

Well, I missed a few items out I am afraid—you can’t pack all the details of that much fun into a couple of pages. I heartily congratulate everyone involved and strongly suggest if you love good magic you register early for next years TAOM Convention in beautiful Corpus Christi.

~ by Nick Lewin on September 11, 2015.

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