Day Two of the largest magic convention in the WORLD!

I was up at the crack of dawn today as the jet lag just won’t give up. Our hotel is now full of guests and the heat has been turned on so I took a warm shower and headed down for another delicious English Breakfast. I was pleasantly surprised to find Obie O’brien and Joan Caesar in the breakfast room and had a great chat before dining on some eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, toast and fried tomato!

I decide to drop by the Vendor booth and see if anyone was really interested in visiting me. Wow! What a fun day it was hanging out at the booth. I am really happy to have the booth as so many people came by to compliment me on my lecture and to purchase lecture packages. Most had wanted to buy them the night before but had been shoved out of the room by security. I spent most of the morning in the booth. I have never had a booth before so the idea of demonstrating my magic and selling it was really quite foreign to me. My friend, Simon, on the other hand is quite the sales man and basically did everything for me while I just hung out and played! Fun!

In the afternoon I was expected to perform for a VIP close up show. This time someone actually came to talk to me about the show and I really wish I had gotten his name as he was super nice. In the room I met Bob Wooding who was a gracious host and made me feel very comfortable before my performance. The room was large and so was the crowd but with the aid of the video and a microphone it was a great show. I was especially pleased and surprised by the rapturous round of applause at the commencement of my act. All in all the best event I had at the convention as it was without incident. But there was still the evening show and that was “Craptacular”!

I spent a bit more time in the booth and then headed back to “Chez Gresham” to prepare for the evening gala/competition of the UK vs the World. As I had said early in this blog if I had know it was going to be billed as a contest I would never have agreed to perform. But I am a man of my word so I loaded up my gear to present “Shape of my Heart”.

Had I known what and ass Stu Francis was going be as the compere (master of ceremonies) for the evening I would have never have even gone to the show let alone be a part of a 4 and half hour production! I can only say that I knew it was not going well when I indicated to the gentleman that the act on stage, Raphael, was ending and it was time for him to “take off the act” and he responded by running over to a grand piano off far stage left and proceeded to change his shirt! Yes, change his shirt! By the time he had done his quick change the act had already left the stage to no farewell bow … what a joke. I had noticed earlier how he was presenting acts so I had already taken time to direct him on how to introduce me and my act. I think it is rather simple to just say “Please welcome 3 time FISM award winner from Canada … Shawn Farquhar”. Go ahead try it … I’ll wait. No really try it! See it wasn’t hard at all was it? Well Mr. “it’s all about me” Francis went out on the stage and started chatting up my Wife on stage and then forgot what to say so he returned to stage left and asked Lori what he was supposed to say. Yes you read that right. Then came the crowning moment for me that told me just how much I was loved … he introduced me as Derrick … then corrected himself and called me David!
Stu” I’m an ass and can crush a grape” Francis
I was so embarrassed and angry at the same time. Who hired this unprofessional clown to host a gala at the world’s largest magic convention? What were they thinking? I did my act but to be honest I just wasn’t “in the moment” and just went through the actions and I am sure many of the 3500 audience members would agree. I am so sorry I could not shake the feeling … I just have never been treated like this before … anywhere.

For a full review of the show you can visit Naquada’s blog or Tim Ellis’s blog which has been written by Craig Mitchell of the College of Magic in Capetown, South Africa.

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17 thoughts on “Day Two of the largest magic convention in the WORLD!

  1. Shawn.. I really feel for you… it made me very angry that he basically screwed up every single act on that show.. flirting with your wife (badly!!) mis introducing you.. twice.. and generally being awful at what he was paid to do!! I was however great to see you.. I loved your lecture and act, both were one of the highlights of the weekend.. and thanks for the link!!

  2. For me you were the highlight of the convention, I’m sorry to say I’ve not seen you work before this convention but boy have I been missing out!

    The routines you did in the VIP close up blew the whole audience away and you got the biggest and most deserved applause by far!

    That cups routine you have as well is the best I’ve ever seen and the energy you put into your performance is great!

    Keep it up, sorry about that crappy MC, he spoiled it for all watching but you pulled through.

    PLease sell that Cups routine, I for one would buy it 🙂 🙂

    YOu back in the UK any time this year?

  3. Try Derek Lever, he seems to be the man in the know for these things I’m sure he could point in the right Direction, As well as Blackpool he runs the Manchester Magic Club of which I’m a member.

    It’ll be why you bumped into Shoot and Lennart as they were lecturing for the Manchester club on the Monday night.

    We are the biggest club I believe in the UK but there are loads of clubs I’m sure would love to have you over.

  4. Shawn, the bloke’s an ass.

    He was MILDLY funny for about 3 weeks in 1981.

    You were fab – Piece of my Heart is magical poetry.

    It was great watching it in the flesh.

    Come back soon, buddy.

    Darren

  5. Hi Shawn,

    You stormed it with your excellent Shape of my Heart routine. Stu Francis was as bad as it gets and almost ruined a superb show, he was way out of his league but luckily you and the other acts really kept it together.

    Really looking forward to your next trip here in the UK.

    Gary Jones.

  6. Dear Shawn,

    Thank you so much for giving myself, and all the other appreciative members of the Opera House audience the pleasure of witnessing your beautifully creative “Shape of my Heart”routine.

    Just because the Blackpool convention is the biggest, dose not mean it is the best. It is about time Derek Lever jumped off his high horse, and treated his conventioneers, and his artistes with a bit more respect. Not only by his attitude. but also by booking a competent compere, rather than an out of date kids TV presenter, whose only qualification to compere that show is he is a “mate of Derek”

    Once again thank you so much for sharing your artistry with us, and I hope the unproffesionalism (is that spelt right ?) shown to you did not spoil you and your your wife’s enjoyment of the convention .

    With kind regards
    Billy Wand.

    P.S. I’m glad Boob Wooding helped you. He is a friend, and a gentleman.

  7. Hi Shawn it was me(Tom Procter(15)) tpmagic@hotmail.co.uk and my older friend Iain McCarron imccarron@hotmail.com who spoke to you in the vip lounge and throughout the convention at the Ruskin and such. I really loved your lecture and your performance on the Saturday night. Me and my friends really enjoyed speaking to you and hope to see you again next year.

    Cheers

    Tom Procter

    p.s I sent you an email a minute ago so if you could respond to it that would be superb.

  8. Hi Shawn
    A little late but let me say you were the highlight for me at this years Blackpool convention. Congratulations and please dont let this put you off from coming over again.
    All the best Dave

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