We are back in Singapore and have been so busy working on projects that are happening these two weeks that I have had no time to blog. As most of you would know, we just finished with the Southern England Magic Convention (SEMC). I will break up my report on the convention into 2 parts.
As with conventions, you meet tons of people. We are not interested in politics, we are just there to share our brand of magic and learn from others… and have fun! Ning & I share the same thoughts.
We started the day meeting and greeting people. Here’s the amazing thing. Even though Ning & I have never been to the UK (on a professional magic trip), we were already aquainted with more than a handful of people through my books and Ning’s prominence. The first person we met was Sean Alexander and Vanessa, whom Ning & I had dinner with the night before. Sean previously bought all my books and bought my new one as well. We had a great time talking business and illusions. They shared their experiences on “Britain’s Got Talent” and how it was like to be in front of Simon Cowell.
We originally wanted to attend two lectures but were ushered away to do TV interviews and tapings that eventually took up the whole morning.
Ning being filmed for a Southern England news program.
We missed Turkish-based magician Lee Alex’s lecture, who in recent years has been sharing his expertise on quick-change techniques and methods. Lee is an owner of my books which he first bought in 2004. Ning recently had his “Birthday Colour Changing Vest” reviewed on Magic Boutique, one of the few dealers who had a chance to do so. But, I got a copy of his brand new lecture notes (or book rather)… a great one at that!
The next lecture we missed was a Q & A session with Mark Parker and the Twins, Gary and Paul (real identical twins). Mark and I first knew each other through The Magic Cafe. We released our first illusion books at about the same time and communicated with each other and exchanged ideas on illusion designs. He wrote the forward to my book “The Event Illusionist”. He is a phenomenal thinker and does excellent design work. Mark was in Singapore a few years ago and Ning & I took him out for lunch. Just 2 months, he was in Singapore again and watched “Ultimate Magic”. So, it is fitting we now meet him in his homeland. Ning and him have an interesting love-hate relationship and still talks about how he bothered to ‘dress up’ for our show.
The Twins also purchased one of my illusion books previously and it was a pleasure meeting them in person for the same time. One of their signature illusions is the impossible appearance of a helicopter on stage. I’m sure if the wanted to, they could do the fastest ‘Sub Trunk’/ Metamorphosis in the world… as long as they wear identical clothes. The Twins are hugely successful in Europe and SEMC was lucky to be able to get them to spend time at the convention.
After lunch, my lecture took place with Ning for over 150 participants. My approach to lecturing has always been quite unorthodox in that I do not do a ‘show & tell’ of a series of effects which is the common practice. I approach my lectures with a theme and the effects are used as examples to build on the overall theme of the lecture. My lecture was entitled “The Urban Classic Magic Show” and I shared my techniques and thoughts on structuring a modern stage show. Besides tipping my methods for the “Knife & Rope”, “Miser’s Dream” and “Parlour Fork Bending”, I also shared my design philosphy for the Sub Trunk. I detailed my “Crystal Metamorphosis” which all readily agreed was a very fast see-through trunk exchange. After the lecture, we sold a bunch of books, lecture notes and even postcards.
We ended up spending the rest of the day speaking with convention participants as well as taking photos. Ok, everyone was more interested in taking photos with Ning than me. She chose to perpetuate the traditional Chinese beauty sterotype but at the same time ‘foxing’ the look up in true ‘Magic Babe’ fashion by decking herself out in a mini cheong sam…. in celebration of Chinese New Year as she claims :-P.