Norman Beck and John Carney Lecture

Yesterday I had the pleasure of driving down to see a lecture at Magicana for the second time. Magicana is a foundation for magic based in Toronto and they bring in big names in magic to lecture for magicians only. The last lecture I saw there was John Mendoza in 2006. At the time this lecture became very influential in the way that I performed and the way I verbally set up tricks.

After that lecture I bought his DVD, lecture notes and also his cups and balls routine which I found at Browser's Den of Magic (great magic supply store in Canada!). This had the effect of making my magic start to sound like it was performed by a a slightly cranky octogenarian rather than a (then) 19 year old magician. Needless to say over time I adapted to the elements that suited to me, and I still watch that DVD to this day for ideas in presentation and smooth routining.

Sunday's lectures were a mixed bag. The first one had a few very sweet gems. The first was a ring illusion where you turn a small ring into a giant ring that falls into the spectators hands for them to examine. It was a pretty beautiful effect. The second one was a modified ambitions card routine where you make the deck disappear (wow!!) right in the spectators hands leaving only their signed card. Very baffling disappearance that works in the real world. I want to get that in the future since the handling works very well with principles of misdirection, something my magic could always improve upon. This is all that comes to mind from Beck.

John Carney has a real understanding of the theater-magic dynamic. His presentations were very aesthetic, artistic and magical at the same time. His solid display of this harmony made his words seem so intuitive. I found myself continually agreeing with his ideas on presentation, practice and routines (which I read later on the drive back to Ottawa, in the book Eric bought from the lecture). His magic in specific does not interest me for the time being. I can say, I'm glad he doesn't use a Stripper Deck . Fantastic lecture.

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