The International Magic Convention is one of the big events I look forward to every year. A week full of magic, this year's had even more surprises than usual!
The David Berglas International Magic Award has become one of the most highly anticipated awards in magic and always a special part of the convention. Recent years have seen the award go to Derren Brown, Jeff McBride and Lu Chen. This year, David awarded it to Dynamo, who literally 'dropped in' from the sky! However, the real surprise was on David as Dynamo turned the tables on him, presenting the award back to David complete with even changing the engraving on the trophy! It was a truly magical moment to see the International Man of Mystery look so surprised as he was piecing it all together, although I don't think it took him long! A wonderful interview led by Andy Nyman followed and we were reminded what an amazing career David has had, being a true pioneer with his work. After all, the Berglas award is given to someone who has advanced the art of magic on an international scale, and few have come close to doing as much for the art as David. It was a privilege to be there for this special moment.
Another hero at the convention was Tom Mullica. If you've never seen Tom perform, watch this now! It's often said that the best performers are the ones who do it the most... Tom owned his own magic bar (called the Tom-Foolery), performing over 3000 shows in 11 years! A master of cigarette magic, but more importantly as Noel Britten puts it, he simply has funny bones! Tom debuted a brand new magic act at the convention, although the best part was simply hearing Tom chat with Noel about his unique life in magic.
Jonathan Pendragon is a magical legend. Best known for being one of the top stage illusionists the magic world has seen, it was fascinating to hear him talk about the decisions he's made in his career and what's important to him in magic. Seeing his one-man show was a change from the illusions of the past, but he certainly creates theatre whenever he performs, and is full of passion for the art. His rendition of the razor blade illusion was one of the most powerful performances I've ever seen.
Featuring a true variety of talks and performances, one non-magical highlight of the convention was Richard Wiseman's insight into producing viral videos. He certainly know how to make them as his videos have reached over 200 million views. In fact it was his first video, the colour changing card trick, which eventually led me to studying Psychology at University! It was really interesting hearing about how he started and the importance of sharing content you're passionate about and just doing it!
As well as organising the entire convention, no one knows how to put a gala show together like Noel Britten! Always full of the best talent from all over the world, this year's definitely did not disappoint. With so many incredible artists, from Ailona who had the entire audience hypnotised with her hula hoops, to Xavier Mortimer, an incredibly original magician currently performing in Las Vegas, the show finished with one of the most stunning illusions I've ever seen from Double Fantasy.
A convention like no other, keep an eye out for tickets for 2015 - you won't want to miss it!