Stuart Finley (left) and Bob Patterson waiting for the Aldo Colombini lecture to begin.Bob and Stuart enjoyed the keynote speaker, Cesareo Pelaez, at the Order of Merlin breakfast. Cesareo, a.k.a. Marco the Magi, is the founder and leader of the long running stage magic show-Le Grand David and His Own Spectacular Magic Company. He had his own magic troupe by the age of fifteen. Cesareo spoke of his experience during his many years of magic. He was recognized by the Academy of Magical Arts as Magician of the Year in 1981. He was voted into the Society of American Magicians Hall of Fame, elected National President of S.A.M. in 1985 and has received its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1995 he was named the prestigious Milbourne Christopher Foundation’s Illusionist of the Year.
There were 30 magicians participating in close up contest and 31 performers from 7 countries and 10 states competing in the stage contest. Dave Kaplin from Ohio was the “Peoples Choice”. The four evening gala shows were held at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. The theater first opened in 1926 has been totally restored with stunning Moorish architecture, perfect acoustics and simulated night sky complete with rolling clouds. A “Magical Transformation” by David and Dania was an amazing performance. In seven minutes they combined a series of elegant ballroom sequences with at least nine showstopper colorful costume changes.
Reggie Rice (center) discussing techniques with new magic friends.One of the highlights and junior winner of the talent contest was Eli Portola, a ten-year-old boy with a very professional performance including the Magical production of his sister from seemingly nowhere.
Reggie and Sam shared their techniques and skills to fellow magicians between lectures, performances, and shopping at the many dealer tables. Bob spent a lot of time visiting the many many dealers and purchasing a few magic items. His favorite dealer was Mark Mason from JB Magic. Mark was continuously performing the magical produces that he brought for sale. His British accent and humor was something to be admired. He was like a one-man show all day long. His table always had a gathering of magicians watching his demonstrations and buying several of his products.
Sam Brothers (right) showing an amazing card trick to Joel Dresnick.We don’t know what went on behind the scenes, but from my point of view it was a very successful convention orchestrated by the convention staff. I believe all attendees experienced a memorable and pleasurable time in Miami. I am looking forward to Reno in 2007.
– Bob Patterson