Monthly Archives: January 2011
Well, the Session is over for another year and what a weekend it was. It was the biggest and the busiest yet. Nearly 150 magicians from all over the world came to see the likes of Darwin Ortiz, Pit Hartling, Denis Behr, Ben Earl and Luke Jermay. Andi Gladwin and Josh Jay put together a fantastic weekend with some great lectures, talks and sessions. There were too many highlights to list but stand out performances from Denis Behr and Pit Hartling bring a sublime smile to my face. Their card handling is wonderful and looks like real magic. It takes years of practicing every day for hours to get that good and it showed. Excellent stuff. In fact, I recommend that you check out Denis Behr’s database here – an incredible resource if you’re in any way interested in magic.
There was, as you’ll have read on Tricktopia, one event at the session that I had a personal involvement in. It was the final event of the weekend on Sunday night – the interview with David Berglas. After many weeks of planning and meeting up with David it was great to finally get to the event. David was on top form – we talked about his start as a psychtherapist, the fact that his first magic convention was in Cheltenham in 1948 at the Cotswold Magical Society, a couple of his big publicity stunts, his theatrical work, his approach to magic and his friendship with Uri Gellar. We could have talked for several more hours – but we also wanted to hear about his card magic as his new book is out in April. David handles cards in a unique way so he talked about that and how he shapes his effects. The big surprise for everyone (only a few of us knew in advance) was that David performed some of his card magic. It was an incredible moment – with five volunteers on stage he found their merely thought of cards in incredible ways. Ever the showman, his patter was second to none and he had the audience in stitches. But the highlight was his performance of his legendary Berglas Effect – Any Card At Any Number. The picture below shows the moment the nervous spectator counted to his card. You could have heard a pin drop in the room – the tension was palpable. When he turned over his card the crowd roared and David received the first of two standing ovations!
After the event Andi and Josh presented David with the first ever Session Lifetime Achievement in Magic Award. Well deserved. All of us there knew that we had witnessed an historical event. At the age of 84, David still had the power to steal the show. An incredible end to an incredible weekend.
How do they top it next year?!
So, this weekend is the long awaited Session Convention. There’s a great buzz this year with magicians from all over the world descending on my home city of little old Gloucester.
On Sunday night the convention closes with my interview with David Berglas.
So cards ready, wallet full, pro-plus packed. Bring it on.
Last year along with a couple of magician friends, Andi Gladwin and Paul Duggan, we put on a magic show at The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham. It was a long held dream of mine to put on some live magic and it was a great night. Andi sorted out the performers (himself, Rob James and Thom Peterson) and I compered the night and did an effect I created myself. Paul wore the black t-shirt and stage managed the show.
It went down so well, we’ve been asked back and this time it’s a three night run! If you really want to see some great live magic then I promise you a fantastic night. We’ve got two new performers joining Andi and Rob – Steve Faulkner and Tyler Wilson. I may even do a quick trick again myself. If you do make it then please come and say hi afterwards – I’m sure we’ll be having a post-show debrief in a bar afterwards!
Tickets are selling fast but you can buy them here at the Everyman Theatre website
Just a couple of weeks to go now until The Session magic convention in Gloucester. If you’re interested in magic in any way then I urge you to get along to it. It’s grown rapidly from small beginnings a few years ago when magicians Andi Gladwin and Rob James wanted to put on a convention that they wanted to attend – namely one with a fantastic line up, no cheesy lectures and plenty of time to session between events. They succeeded and it’s now grown into a fantastic weekend. Now organised under the Vanishing Inc banner with Joshua Jay the calibre of magicians and talks is now second to none. The atmosphere is relaxed and really friendly.
It’s also a good size with around 120 registering and the registrants come from all over the world – testament to the quality of this convention. I have to say that this year is probably the best line-up they’ve had with lectures from the likes of Darwin Oriz, Pit Hartling and Ben Earl. Andi and Josh now manage to persuade some of the best magicians to do lectures that are exclusive to The Session.
When I went to the first one in Newent I couldn’t believe that something like this was happening on my doorstep. I’ve had to travel to London and Blackpool for other major conventions so this is a real treat not having to travel very far!
For me a convention is like being the proverbial youngster in the sweet shop. The dealers don’t have to try that hard for us all to part with some (or occasionally lots) of money. For hobbiests it’s good to stock up on the collection. For professionals it’s more of a chance to stand back and see us spend our cash! The magic shop industry would not survive without the hobbyiest market. Long may it continue.
Disclaimer alert : This year I have a vested interest because I’m interviewing magic legend, David Berglas, for the closing event of the convention. However, all the above would still be true without my involvement. I really hope to see you there and please come and say hi.