Friday, February 29, 2008

Magic Convention Season Begins

I know there are some who talk down of magic conventions in general, but my experience with them has been overwhelmingly positive.

Next weekend, I'll be heading to one of the 4 conventions I attend annually. Abbott's Close-Up Convention was where I won my first contest back in '05, so I making it back to this convention each year means a lot to me.

When I started magic as a wide-eyed ninteen-year-old college sophomore, I could only afford to do a few magic conventions each year, and they all had to be driving distance from Michigan State University. Fortunately, being in Michigan, I was only two hours away from the Mecca of Magic: Colon, Michigan.

What I enjoyed about the Michigan magic convention circuit was that it was often the same people who attended, as I'm sure it is in other regions. The convention regulars became friends of mine, so attendance became not only a chance to learn from lectures, but also to reconnect with old friends.

What I especially enjoy about Abbott's Close-Up (and the Get-Together) is the closeness of the regulars. Colon resident Dr. Gerry Costello generously opens his home to the attendees, hosting late night sessions and a home-cooked luncheon at his lakeside cottage. Cramming all those conventioneers into the relatively small cottage means you're always within arm's reach of some awesome magicians: just last year, I hung out with Eric DeCamps, Mike Powers, FISM Grand Prix Champion Rick Merrill, and Hank Moorehouse, all of whom were within ten feet of each other. I'm surprised the building didn't explode from the level of awesomeness inside that room.

Like I often tell the kids at the summer camp I work each year, "you get out of this experience what you put into it." When you attend a convention, absorb as much as you can. Ask questions, session with the guys, share your stuff when asked, and ALWAYS take notes.

Andi Gladwin has a great article over at Online-Visions: Andi Gladwin's Convention Survival Guide. Be sure to take a gander before heading to your next convention. You'll be glad you did.

1 comment:

mai-ling said...

someday, i will go back to
Abbott's wearing my 1979
vintage magic get-together
tag...because the entire
thing, including the ribbon
is still in perfect condition.