Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bizzaro.'s Review of Midwest Magic Jubilee 2008

So I got in Thursday and already got a chance to see old friends and start to meet new ones. I got settled in and walked around aimlessly casing the joint. Mainly for performance purposes. Also one can never be too sure when you will need to beat a hasty retreat. In the evening, I got to have lunch with the very pleasant Jay Scott Berry. In the past he has released some good magic utilities (of which he utilizes to the FULLEST). We discussed all sorts of stuff and in the end went off to get ready for the evening show. Oh the evening show... here is a bit of advice: Don't open your evening shows with a musical tribute act. if.. and I mean IF you do, make sure he can connect with the audience and can be brief. It wasn't the worst show at a magic con I have ever seen but it did drag. The saving grace was Mark Mason and his well honed act. The next day I had to be up at 8am to watch a young man perform in the close-up competition (as per his request. Nice kid. Met him and his madre at WMS). At 9am I also had a tech meeting for the evening show. Since I had to get up so early I of course went to bed at 5am. This would be a trend to follow.

So Friday rolls around. I get up early, go watch Travis do his deal, do the tech meeting (Which consisted of "You need a mic?", "no", "oh.. ok well that's it then". So I went my happy ass back to sleep until around 2-ish so I could get up and see the close-up show @ 3. One of the treats to see was Kozmo. I had a chance to meet him in NOLA many years ago. He is a street performer and is damn good at it. His act has only improved since last I saw it. We were both out of our element as it was our first time to appear at a magic convention. Kudos to him and his ability to edit on the fly. Justin Miller did some very strong magic and harassed the audience only the way he can. Carroll Baker was on hand as well as Tom Craven and Jay Scott Berry. Jay performs in what he calls his "minimalist phase". His hands always appear empty. He comes out with nothing, leaves with nothing, and amazes you to the hilt.

I make my way to the theater, (Finally getting food. Much thanx to Tim for all of his help over the weekend. I doubt he will see this, but regardless: You rock man!), and start to set up for my set that evening. I am opening the show and Jay is closing. In between is emcee Geoff Williams who is inherently a very funny man and a nice guy to boot. Also Joseph Young doing some talking bits and Jonathan Levitt, who you might remember as the host for the Celebracadabra show that aired a while back. The show was strong thruout and had a little something for everyone. I was very happy to be on the bill. (And glad Geoff didn't get around to singing those opera tunes)

Later in the evening, Steve Daly (otherwise known as Bonnie Bitch), Sean Michaels (not the wrestler OR the porn star), and Jason Andrews did a late night extra event called "Tricks" to raise money for charity and it was ADVERTISED pg-13 (However slipped silently into R while no one was looking). It was a good time and was well received.

Of course there was more staying up late talking shop with the folks and having a good time. Mind you the culprit for much of the late night goings on was Chris Kenner who made a surprise appearance (With his better half Katie of course) as he grew up in the area and decided to stone two birds with one hit and see his mother as well. The man is full of tinier men.. no wait.. he is full of stories and good magic and is not unapproachable by any means. Despite the fact it's his fault Three-fly exists, he is a remarkable humble dude.

On to Saturday (I swear I am trying to make this brief): I got sleep yay!! Got up around noon to ready myself for the close-up show. I was one of the first performers in one of three rooms. I was a bit nervous and it showed. My first room was lackluster and I was pissed. Not so much at myself, but at the fact the audience kinda got cheated of the full experience. Alas, life goes on and the next two rooms went over much better. It was a very new act and has only seen the light of day a handful of times and I walked away with a better understanding of it and how to tighten it up. Regardless, I was sharing the rotation with many good performers. Dan Fleshman, who is as nice a guy as he is um.. not tall. Geoff Williams, Jonathan Levitt, Michael Baker (Who also shared the stage with us the day before), and Jimmy Molinari. All in all it was a good time.

Killed some time (And finally got some food) until the final evening show. I donned my "SURPRISE!! I can clean up nice" suit and hit the impromptu tables set up outside to entertain the rabble before the doors opened. The show contained equal parts Joseph Young, Stoil and Ekaterina, Ken Domash (Who did an interesting money manip bit as a guitar slinging street performer.), and the aforementioned members of the Tricks show. Again, it was a good show and everyone was pleased... from what i could tell.

I have been to a smattering of magic conventions in my time, but I must say that MMJ was a lot of fun and it is run very well. They do things a bit differently and the people there are friendly. I will be glad to go back as long as they are glad to have me. Looking forward to the possibility of next year and here's to my magic convention cherry being popped with no goram dove acts ANYWHERE in sight.

One dove is a prop, more than that.. is an act.


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