Monday, July 02, 2007

Ring 50 Members Attend Convention in Reno NV

It was a challenging trip with Southwest Airlines getting to Reno in time for the annual IBM Convention in Reno Nevada, June 26- 30, 2007. After a six-hour delay in Chicago, Bob Patterson and his wife Nancy arrived in Reno in time for the 11:00 PM lecture on Tuesday. Howard (Howie) Schwarzman’s lecture on Dynamic Deceptions was excellent. Howie was recently awarded the title of “Magician of the Year” by Parent Assembly #1 of SAM. His lecture focused mostly on card magic that anyone can do. Reggie Rice was excited about the lecture notes, which contained some interesting tips. Wednesday was probably the busiest day with the stage contest in the morning and many lectures in the afternoon. Thirty-one contestants competed in the stage contest. Stuart Finley made notes on the ones he thought was the best. First place went to Shen Juan from China and second place was Shayna Reed from Ohio. Sterling Dietz won the youth stage contest.

The dealer room was open at various times throughout each the day with a flurry of activity. The thirty-eight dealers had numerous magic items for sale from pocket tricks to large stage items. Late on Wednesday evening 200 people took the bus to Magic Underground in downtown Reno to see Mark and Jinger Kalin’s illusion show. Mark and Jinger presented an outstanding performance with the audience seated nearly on the stage. If you get to Reno anytime, definitely see this show.

Thirty magicians competed for the coveted close-up ‘Gold Cups’ award. The Gold Cup was not awarded, however 1st place went to Dave Minkin. Reggie Rice was amazed how well Dave’s bare handed coin productions and vanishes could not be cleaner - slow and very magical. Nathan Gibson placed second with a coin routine that was very impressive.

Stuart Finley and Bob Patterson attended the Order of Merlin breakfast and enjoyed the guest speaker, John McLaughlin, former Deputy Director of the CIA. He spoke of the similarities between the tradecraft of intelligence and the principles of magic. Magic helped him establish relationships and served as a teaching tool during his 30-year career with the CIA.

All of the evening shows had exceptional performers. Bob and Nancy Patterson shared a table with John and Carol Pye of the United Kingdom for all the evening shows. John is a Past President of the British Ring 25 and is presently Secretary of Ring 25. He is an active performer specializing in Cabaret and Close-up Magic.

The late night Thursday lecture was an evening with Milt Larsen, founder of the Magic Castle. Milt gave a very interesting lecture on his shrine to sorcery in the Hollywood Hills, the Magic Castle and his life. As he lectured his red tie kept growing until it reach the floor. Stuart first met Milt along with Shamada at the Castle in the early 80s. Milt was originally a writer for Bob Barker on the Truth or Consequences show. He has done everything from writing television shows to being the driving force of the Magic Castle. Milt was also the writer for the stage musical Victory Canteen and the creative consultant for Bedknobs and Broomsticks. You can also catch a glimspe of Milt if you watch the old TV series Hart to Hart were he had a small part.

The convention committee knows there is more to life than a double lift or cutting your assistant in half. Our hats off to the committee for an outstanding 2007 convention.
~~ Bob Patterson