Thursday, April 23, 2009

Magi-Whirl 2009 - A Smashing Success!

Comments received on the surveys: “Jeff McBride was fabulous”, “Jeff’s lecture was the best-great!”, “Loved Sam Brothers lobby close-up”, "Best magic convention I ever attended," Mike and Bob really did a great one!” If you didn’t get to attend Magi-Whirl 2009 you missed a really great convention. You can see more photos and stories in the May Magi-Gram. (Just click on the "More" tab in the frame just above the "M" in "Magi-Gram" to print it out.)

145 magicians and magic enthusiasts descended on Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria Virginia to participate in the IBM National Capital Ring 50’s annual Magi-Whirl. The honored guest was Joan Caesar, International President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and Bruce Kalver, National President of the Society of American Magicians. Mike Taggert, Event Producer along with Bob Patterson, co-producer orchestrated the attendees through three lectures, three close-up shows, a question & answer session, and a Gala Evening Magic show.

Paul Green, Magic Castle’s 2008 Close-up Magician of the Year; Jeff McBride, The Academy of Magical Arts (The Magic Castle) 2008 Lecturer of the Year, and Bruce Kalver, SAM National President presented outstanding lectures, which the attendees took away many ideas and techniques to enhance their own act. The lectures were a great way to start off the convention. Close-up shows were presented by Jeff McBride, Paul Green, and Bill Warren.

Between events, there were ten excellent dealers to provide the latest magic props, supplies, and equipment for every magic buff from beginner to the seasoned professional. The dealer’s show was an excellent show within itself demonstrating the latest in magic. The dealers were Jeff McBride, Bob Sanders, John Reid, Mark Reed, Pravin Ponnuri, Richard Hughes, Scott Correll, Fred Mitchell, Bruce Kalver, and Paul Green.

This year’s Question and Answer Session with Joan Caesar, I.B.M. and Bruce Kalver S.A.M., was very interesting about the ways they got into magic. Mike Taggert served as moderator for the session. Joan, from Eastern Canada and has traveled the world since assuming the helm as the IBM’s International President, confessed she loves magic conventions. SAM President Bruce Kalver was literally born into a world of magic. His grandfather, Samuel Woolf, was a magician who built magic for Harry Houdini. Volunteers from Ring 50 helped in various areas to contribute to the highly successful convention. Other honorees appearing at the convention were Al & Rita Cohen and Magic Castle Performing Fellow Howard Schwarzman & Patty Moore-Ott.

Strolling magicians, under the direction of Dwight Redman, were in the lobby of the theater performing feats of magic for the 600 people as they waited for the doors to open to the Gala Show. Magicians working the lobby were Captain Token (Louis Hofheimer), Dwight Redman, Rick Beatty, Eric Redman, Sam Brothers, TEO (Theo Rushin), and Lorenzo the Great (Larry Lipman).

The closing Gala Show performance was out of this world. The emcee for the evening program was past Ring 50 President Eric Henning. Four-time DC Magician of the Year Noland Montgomery, was the opening act. Up next was Bruce Kalver with Joan Caesar followed by Eric Henning. After the intermission Jeff McBride put on over an hour of great magic with his excellent stagecraft and sheer mastery of illusion which astonished the audience. A young boy named C.J. selected by McBride from the audience was brought on stage by the superstar. The youngster caught the performer off guard as he mimicked his every move and drew loud applause for his delightful bows.

On Sunday, Jeff McBride presented his Masters Workshop to the pleasure of 32 magicians. Jeff shared his own life story and lessons learned along the way to becoming a Las Vegas headliner and noted performer around the world. Everyone gained exceptional techniques and knowledge from the teachings of McBride. His acclaimed workshop combined magical performance, interactive participation and fascinating insights and stories to teach the attendees how to think and perform like a magician. McBride revealed inside secrets of how magic REALLY works. Not merely an explanation of tricks, but the psychology that can be applied in the everyday business world to achieve magical results. Picture are Jeff McBride and Danny Selnick.
(Photos by Becki Wells, Dwight Redman, Bob Patterson, and Jim Flanigan)
~ ~ Bob Patterson

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