The increasing popularity of close-up magic has created problems for those responsible for organising that part of function devoted to this specialised type of magic. Many societies have yet to realise that the presentation of close-up magic events, if they are to be successful, require as much care and effort in organisation and expenditure of money as the more formal platform and stage shows.
In Bert Graham's article in this issue will be found sufficient information and ideas to make it an invaluable guide for those responsible for the arrangements of these functions. One point he makes is that performers should not be asked to work at more than four tables brings to mind that at a recent magic club convention which attracted around 800 registrations only four close-up performers were engaged and were required to give eight performances each, which seems to indicate a lack of awareness of the increasing popularity of close-up magic. If there is any truth in the saying "you get what you pay for" magical societies will have to increase the amount of money they allocate to the provision of close-up entertainment if they are to present top class magic in this particular field. This objective is unlikely to be achieved by inviting someone to lecture for 'free' and when he agrees informing him that he would be required to pay the registration fee, or to cite another case in which the magician quoted a fee, double the amount he was originally offered, was asked to accept £1 less.
This penny pinching resulted in registrants being deprived from seeing these performers in action and in consequence it can be assumed the organisers had to make second choices, which means, if they approached the best available in the first instance, standards had to be lowered. As the avowed sums of most societies is to elevate the art of magic, and if that includes raising the standard of close-up magical performance, one of the most valuable services they can provide for their members is to give them the opportunity of seeing top class performers in action. This of course may mean that more money will have to be spent in this direction, and less on other events.
The forty-first annual convention of the British Ring No.25 of the I.B.M. takes place at Harrogate, Sept. 14th-18th. There is an excellent line-up of performers from all over the world — but wait for it — no star close-up attraction. The good news is that the close-up competition will take place in five separate rooms ensuring a comfortable view of the performers. A similar arrangement proved successful last year when A
Don Lees, who has worked hard to promote close-up magic at this event, was in charge. This year Mike Gancia takes on the task, and if you are a member drop him a line before Sept. 1st saying you wish to compete, you will be helping to ensure that next year there will again be proper facilities for close-up performers at this event, also that consideration may be given regarding booking a top line close-up personality for your entertainment.
The Magic Circle's winter programme commences on Monday, Sept. 5th with Pabular in charge for the third year in succession. Should you wish to do a stint around the tables drop me a line.
From Juan Tamariz comes the news that Frank Garcia, Jose de la Torre and Slydini will be in Madrid towards the end of October giving a three-man lecture. After this the "IV Jornadas de Cartomagic" will be held in the Victoria Palace, a four star hotel in the village of El Escorial forty miles from Madrid. About 30 card specialists will be there including Ascanio, Piet Forton, Bernard Bilis, Reinhard Muller, C. Vasquez, Anton etc. etc. Two days of nonstop magic with four lectures, lots of films, workshops, shows and discussions in a friendly atmosphere. Unbelievably this is free, no registration fee whatsoever. The hotel charges are £14 per day for room, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ray Grismdr piano teacher to the 'Professor' in London recently performing his speciality, Ring off Cord with many interesting variations, plus card effects, in the Blenheim Bar for magicians and customers. His courteous manner when performing for the latter was an object lesson, and his remark that the most difficult trick was "to know when to stop", did not pass unnoticed. Sadly, it is one that many of us have yet to learn.
Another night and a different pub with Gordon Bruce, Peter Duffie and Steve Hamilton up from Glasgow. Our Art Editor Eric Mason who also happened to be there showed us the ultimate using the Cornelius slate. You name a card, and Eric puts the slate on your hand and invites you to turn it over to find your choice indicated thereon. During the session Eric invented yet another trick using a pint mug which will appear in this magazine shortly.
Til next month.
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