Last weekend, I went to a magic convention in Cheltenham. I have been to many magic conventions in my time, but this turned into quite an occasion.
The first sign that things were a little bit different were when I realised that David Blaine was stood directly behind me in the queue for registration. I’d never met David before, but saw a lot of him over the weekend.
The next famous face I noticed was Derren Brown. He doesn’t go to many magic conventions any more, so it was great to see him again. Later in the weekend, Dynamo showed up. And many of the smaller name TV magicians were there too.
Why were all of the greats gathered in a hotel in Cheltenham? For the same reason I was! To learn from the best magician of our life time. A man who few non-magicians outside of Spain have ever heard of. The one any only, Juan Tamariz.
Juan Tamariz is outstanding in every way. Most magicians are good at some aspects of magic and weak at others. Juan ticks every box. When he performs, you don’t know whether he’s going to fool you with incredible sleight of hand, or by massaging reality with psychological techniques, or by simply being so entertaining that he distracts you from the secret methods. All you know is that he’s going to fool you, and fool you badly. There aren’t many people who could get a room full of the best magicians in the world gasping “No!”, in unison, as they realise that the have been had yet again.
Juan’s workshop on the performance of magic was one of the most thought provoking four hours I have ever spent. I will be developing my magic a lot over the coming months based on his teachings.
After the organised events finish at a magic convention, the ‘sessions’ begin. This is where magicians gather in groups, get very drunk, and show each other magic until the small hours of the morning. These sessions are always the highlight, and this convention has left me with some of the best session memories I have ever had.
The photograph above was taken at about 7am on Saturday night/Sunday morning. The older guy, sat in the chair on the left is a legend called Gordon Bruce. Meeting him was another first for me. He starts drinking at breakfast time, carries on until the small hours, and tells fantastic stories about the magicians of previous generations. Then he gets a deck of cards in his hands and does things that none of us can replicate!
The big guy right of centre is Chris Power. He’s a joy to behold when he gets in front of an audience, but hasn’t been seen at a magic convention for about 10 years. He came to this one, just for one day, because he heard that Gordon Bruce was going to be there.
Here’s a photograph of Mark Elsdon. He’s holding David Blaine‘s cheese! Yes, it really was his cheese, but that’s a story that we’re not going to go into now!!
So, there’s a glimpse into the world of what happens when some magicians get together.
Would you like to see what all the fuss is about Juan Tamariz? There’s a video below that shows two of his tricks. If can find 5 minutes to see the man who many magicians consider to be ‘the best’, take a look at this and let me know what you think …
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