Well I have always said that the friendliest convention in magic is the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians Convention. Not just because I have been running it on and off for the past 15 years, but because it is a super friendly event. I go so far as to ask those that have attended many years to look for the ones who haven’t and to make them feel welcomed.
This weekend here at Hank Lee’s Conclave has been just as friendly an event. I was amazed to see how many people would talk to me even though we have never met. One of my favorite moments was meeting a guy named Cameron Ramsay at the local deli in the hotel. I’m not sure he knew I was one of the headliners or not but I am sure the other magicians in the deli were not in anyway aware I was anything more than just another magician here for the fun. We had a super long chat about magic and what they had done in magic and I then told them a little about myself. It was great.
I hung out in a hallway with some beer drinking magicians until almost 3 AM on the first night, 5 AM on the second and tonight it was early as I had to pack so I got back to the room around 2:30 AM but by the time Lori and I had packed it was past 4 AM and we have to drive at 9 AM to get back to Boston for our first flight of the day!
The day at Hank’s was lots of fun as I had a lecture in the early afternoon and that was immediately followed by the close up sessions. The lecture was just an hour and I have so much to say. Ken, the videographer, told me it was best to do just a 45 minute lecture and save fifteen minutes to sell my tricks and notes as we had to be out of the room in exactly an hour. Well I just couldn’t do it! I have so much to say I raced through the material and talked for the full hour and then ended up selling my stuff in the hallway outside the room! Not a bad move as they emptied both of my suitcases of everything I had brought and I believe the really appreciated me taking as much time as I did to make sure they learned my material regardless of whether they bought something or not.
The close up was also lots of fun. I had only minutes to rush to my room to change into my purple suit, fill my pockets with my effects and race back down to the rooms I would be working. I am really bummed I did not get to see the other acts. I think the next convention I host I will make sure the acts all do their acts for each other at some point in the event. I missed so much great magic but at the same time I got to freak a few people out with my own stuff.
In one of the close up rooms I had a guy named Ozzie who when I revealed the signed card from the sealed deck, turned away to say something kid’s should not hear! Then he looked at me shook his head and mumbled something about the Devil and returned to his seat.
The evening show had some really great acts. I always love watching my friend Chipper Lowell work and tonight was no different! He was so “on” and the crowd loved him. I was buckled over in fits of laughter and after the show he told me several of the jokes he added just for me as he could see I was having so much fun.
It was the first time I had seen Andrew Goldenhersh work. I have seen a short segment of his work on the World Magic Awards TV show but it did not do him justice. On this particular night he could do no wrong! He had the audience in the palm of his hand and he dealt with them brilliantly. I was one of the first to rise to give him a standing ovation. I wasn’t the first though as I had to hide a runaway butterfly under my shirt so I could free up my hands to clap … but that’s another story in itself. I look forward to seeing Andrew work again. I suspect any given night will be just like tonight and I will be in for another treat.
The evening ended by watching “Magic Jeopardy”, meeting old friends, making new ones and sharing stories. A couple of my new friends include Henry and David Evans. Henry is a young magic enthusiast and David is his Father. David also happens to be the conductor for the Broadway show “WICKED”, which happens to be my other new passion. What a small world!
I want to take a second to thank everyone who made me feel so welcome at the Conclave and to everyone who has written me since the Conclave. I especially want to say thanks to Hank Lee for inviting me to be a apart of the 20th annual celebrations. It’s nice to be a part of the history!