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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » So Happy together... » » FISM 2018 (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Waterloophai
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Inner circle
Belgium
1104 Posts

Profile of Waterloophai
From the 9th of July - 14th July there are the FISM World Championships 2018.
2200 magicians come together and 200 magicians will compete.
Not a word on this forum about it.
That says a lot about ...
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26797 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Https://www.facebook.com/fism2018korea/

You can see for yourself
...to all the coins I've dropped here
noble1
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Special user
646 Posts

Profile of noble1
Perhaps if they even once held FISM in the USA it might have better notoriety, also if the attempt is to make FISM anywhere near an Olympics renown or attract the very best in the world performers - at the very least there needs to be an upgrade and consistency in the criteria and uniformity of the judging.
mouliu
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Regular user
Hongkong/Taiwan
169 Posts

Profile of mouliu
Very disappointing program planning of Busan FISM. Today hundreds of registrants could not get in the room having close-up contest. Meanwhile there is screen broadcast the event. Worse still, at the same time slot there is NO other program (except dealer booths). Same thing happened to the one man shows yesterday. People started lining up to one man show almost 2 hours before it starts.
A novice't reflection: I like watching my audience's jaws drop, but sadly in reality I'm just too busy to enjoy it. Smile
mouliu
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Regular user
Hongkong/Taiwan
169 Posts

Profile of mouliu
I have been to three FISM and always had too many programs to choose from. This is the first time we go back to hotel room in the middle of the day because of having nothing to do.
A novice't reflection: I like watching my audience's jaws drop, but sadly in reality I'm just too busy to enjoy it. Smile
Steven Leung
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Inner circle
searching for the Magic Rainbow in
1511 Posts

Profile of Steven Leung
From what I know the Korean organizer faced many unexpected difficulties to bring FISM Busan this time, one regular FISM guest performer once said to me, 'No FISM is perfect.' Yes the program run down this time indeed loosen than previous Rimini FISM, but then audience will feel not too packed and jam and won't miss other stuff going on at the same time simultaneously.

However, the number of dealers and choice of dealers from different countries did disappointing, besides the layout of venue BEXCO did not provide a read Magic Salon atmosphere where magicians can jam and share tricks and ideas in between.

Besides that all, the auditorium with a superb view for most audience not like flat floor with head block view of Rimini. Stage without fancy TV show LED Light, the best lighting for Stage Contestants, brilliant one man show with some of the best magicians on Earth. Plus Legendary magician - Maestro Juan Tamariz one man show twice and sudden magic salon in the last day afternoon fool more than hundreds of audiences with nothing but only a deck of cards. I will say this FISM is much, much better than my expectations.

Looking back 3 years ago Close Up Grand Prix Shin Lim created a new brand of card magic with smoke and cards, now we have Eric Chien who advanced it by able to do a CG type of close up act LIVE, it just keep elevate the standard of magic quantum leap. Who knows what will be in the year 2021?
Most memorable moment - with Maestro Juan Tamariz & Consuelo Lorgia in FISM Busan 2018.

"Being fooled by a trick doesn't always mean they are having a good time" - Homer Liwag
Hong Kong made a page in FISM history in 2015, 2nd runner up in Parlour (Henry Harrius) & Card (Kelvin Chow)
weehome
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New user
Singapore
6 Posts

Profile of weehome
For me, it was very good experience. Here's my review:

FISM Busan

Busan is port city of South Korea. Known for its beaches and seafood (a lot of my Facebook friends posted videos of them eating live octopus! Eeeek!!!), the city has a lot of accommodation in the area which makes the cost of staying very affordable. The convention centre, Bexco, is connected by the subway. Taxi is inexpensive. There are numerous food choices around and the organisers even added food trucks midway through the convention to cater to magicians who just wanted a quick snack.

Some magicians commented that this year’s program was not as packed as previous. I felt the schedule was just nice! It gave us some time for magicians to catch up over lunch and dinner! (NB. This is only my 3rd FISM and I haven’t attended magic convention for the past decade partly because of my young children.)

The schedule started at 8:30am in the morning and didn’t end until 12:30am! Magic overdose? No! A lot of the magicians continued to hang out to eat and talk magic!


The Convention of Shows maze
This convention had the greatest number of shows I had ever seen. There were 5 one-man shows and 5 theatre shows, not including the contests and award ceremony!

Some magicians put together shows not seen before. For instance, Shoot Ogawa and Simon Colonel created this 2-man show exposing the small chats and ego-challenges which went on backstage while magicians rested!

Eun Gyeol Lee opened the first gala with his illusion show; his showmanship was impeccable. This was the first time he had done this show in English and his hard work shined through the performance.

There were different directors for each show so we saw totally shows of different style. The best for me was the Korean Night.

Korean Night - Magic Show of Peace

The acts were top notched, showcasing Korean acts which had won past FISMs, but with twists and surprises.

The North (DPRK) and South Koreans were supposed to put together a show call the Magic Show of Peace. However, 3 days before the event, the DPRK magicians said they couldn’t come. Many spectators were crying along with An song U, who coordinated with DPRK, when his story was told. (An Song U, who also go by the name of Yuji Yasuda, taught magic in North Korea and is a Korean descendant living in Japan.) Magic was supposed to transcend language, religion, culture and politics; eventually it will....

Considering that, the South did a fantastic job putting up such an amazing show in such a short time.

Yu Ho Jin did a great emceeing job, a side which we seldom see of him. I appreciated how he went into the audience to perform and ‘interview’ a spectator. How he stopped someone eating in the theatre, whom turned out to be a magician performing with packets of potato chips. The finale was his award winning FISM act and he attested to the audience why he was the first Asian to win the Grand Prix. The music stopped halfway. The audience gasped with him as he continued with his act. You can hear the breathing of the spectators with him as make it through like a professional. My opinion? This was brilliant! I was sure those who attended FISM saw his act before. How could he bring his act up a notch? How can he make people remember it for years to come?

The Korean Night was a show which many magicians would continue to talk about for years.


The lectures and .... sections?

What were sections? I think they were discussion panels. For instance, Tina Lenert talked about how she got inspirations for her Mr Mopman act, Mr Maric shared his journey on how he became a star in Japan.

The learning materials were fantastic for professionals. Magicians continuously dreamed of new principles, which we never seen before so there were still so many things to discover. Quite a number of them touched on the performing aspect of magic or developing a concept and not just on learning a new trick, which these opportunities were usually lacking in a magic convention. I was really happy that most were well attended by many magicians.

Eun Gyeol Lee did a 3-day seminar on the theory of magic which he had researched intensively on. My opinion was that the pacing was a little slow because of the translation, some of the concepts were rather subjective. Nevertheless it was very insightful to see it from his point of view, his passion for magic and how he had transformed the landscape of Korean magic. I was sure his seminar gave a lot of food for thought for the magicians.

Avner’s lecture on audience management was invaluable. Star magicians like Will Tsai, Cyril and Lu Chen shared their inspiration on creating magic for television. From what I understood, some of the sections were put together just several days before, but attendees could never tell from the professionalism which the panellists demonstrated in these discussions.

I wish I could attend all the lectures and ‘sections’ but most overlapped into other program so attendees had to make choices of what they wanted to watch or learn!

FISM was a convention for professional magicians; I must say the organizer done a fantastic job choosing the right mix of lectures and seminars.

The Competition

The quality of this year’s competition was high, very high. Although there are only 39 close-up contestants, I feel the board of directors did great work to choose the best in the preliminary for the final round. When you thought you had seen one of the best acts in a magic competition, the next topped them again! It was an eye opener!

The overall artistic level of the magicians was extraordinary. The jury probably had a tough time trying to score and choose the best among the best. In the end, I felt everyone who competed were winners. This year’s Grand Prix for Stage is Miguel Muńoz from Spain and Close-up went to Eric Chien from Taiwan.

A competition of a different kind called the ‘Odd Contest’ happened in the dealers’ room. As the name implied it was rather… odd. There were games in which contestants competed to pick up exactly X number of cards or to grab the most confetti in the air. The energetic host, Kim Min Hyoung, did a great job getting everyone excited. The performance competition consisted of mainly comedy acts; one of which was really strange: A male performer, dressed as a lady, spinning handbags like pois.

Dealers
There were more than 70 dealers which is lesser than usual at FISM since a lot of the Europeans or Americans magic shops probably found it a hassle to travel so far. But overall, there was a good mix of different dealers catering to different genre of magic.

The Bastrakov family were selling their fish (and a few snakes), Vladmir’s money machine was amazing to be seen done live, Seo Magic’s latest item in their inventory call Rainbow card was talk of the town. There were a number of Korean dealers peddling very creative magic inventions. One notable one was from Lukas in which he had a modular system for building machines for your props; eg. You could magically open a box or make your teddy bear shake its head. There was quite a few magic which utilized technology and phone apps.

The Fellowship

Priceless! I got to meet our current National President, Ron Ishimaru. I talked to David Kaye about our kids columns. I shared with The Evasons about my trip to North Korea and discussed how children magic should be given more emphasis in magic conventions.

Many Asian magicians whom I knew from magic festivals and conventions were there. I was surprised Lu Chen remembered me. I caught up with many Korean magicians whom I had not met for 15 years!

More importantly, I made quite a few friends! My new goal is to attend more magic conventions!


Best FISM ever

Kudos to the audience: They were very appreciative and encouraging; it must be a joy performing on those stages. Topas said: this was the best audience he ever had, and I totally agreed! The audience would sometimes applause at small nuances during the performance and in turn the stars gave us more energy.

Every FISM seemed to be clouded in some sort of controversy or some bad organisation (especially the gala dinner). I did not experience any this year.

The management of the ‘gala dinner’ was brilliant; it was replaced by a buffet dinner which everyone was given random tickets on the day to go. Much easier in logistics than to feed more than two thousand hungry magicians all at one go.

When a lot of people couldn’t get into the close-up contest room, television screens went up immediately the next day.

The volunteers did a great job helping the delegates. The organising committee worked tirelessly to ensure everything went on well and made all the magicians feel at home. Eun Gyeol Lee worked through the night with his team to ensure a great delivery of the seminar and show; the spirit of Korean magicians shines through and maybe that’s why they had been winning lots of FISM prizes in the recent decade.

Magic is a continual learning journey because it encompasses so many areas of studies which it is difficult to learn all in our lifetime. This convention inspired me to come up with a lot of new ideas and improve on for my magic.

FISM Busan 2018 was probably the best ever magic convention, at least for me. My only wish? Children magic is given a certain emphasis on such an international stage.


I became very interested in Korea after a visit back in year 2000 with my family. Thereafter, I founded a business which distribute soft toys from Korea to give me a reason to return to Korea more often. I stopped going when I left the company but my interest in the country never waned.

When FISM went to Korea, I knew I must go because it was a great chance to catch up with many magic friends!

FISM Busan

Busan is port city of South Korea. Known for its beaches and seafood (a lot of my Facebook friends posted videos of them eating live octopus! Eeeek!!!), the city has a lot of accommodation in the area which makes the cost of staying very affordable. The convention centre, Bexco, is connected by the subway. Taxi is inexpensive. There are numerous food choices around and the organisers even added food trucks midway through the convention to cater to magicians who just wanted a quick snack.

Some magicians commented that this year’s program was not as packed as previous. I felt the schedule was just nice! It gave us some time for magicians to catch up over lunch and dinner! (NB. This is only my 3rd FISM and I haven’t attended magic convention for the past decade partly because of my young children.)

The schedule started at 8:30am in the morning and didn’t end until 12:30am! Magic overdose? No! A lot of the magicians continued to hang out to eat and talk magic!


The Convention of Shows maze
This convention had the greatest number of shows I had ever seen. There were 5 one-man shows and 5 theatre shows, not including the contests and award ceremony!

Some magicians put together shows not seen before. For instance, Shoot Ogawa and Simon Colonel created this 2-man show exposing the small chats and ego-challenges which went on backstage while magicians rested!

Eun Gyeol Lee opened the first gala with his illusion show; his showmanship was impeccable. This was the first time he had done this show in English and his hard work shined through the performance.

There were different directors for each show so we saw totally shows of different style. The best for me was the Korean Night.

Korean Night - Magic Show of Peace

The acts were top notched, showcasing Korean acts which had won past FISMs, but with twists and surprises.

The North (DPRK) and South Koreans were supposed to put together a show call the Magic Show of Peace. However, 3 days before the event, the DPRK magicians said they couldn’t come. Many spectators were crying along with An song U, who coordinated with DPRK, when his story was told. (An Song U, who also go by the name of Yuji Yasuda, taught magic in North Korea and is a Korean descendant living in Japan.) Magic was supposed to transcend language, religion, culture and politics; eventually it will....

Considering that, the South did a fantastic job putting up such an amazing show in such a short time.

Yu Ho Jin did a great emceeing job, a side which we seldom see of him. I appreciated how he went into the audience to perform and ‘interview’ a spectator. How he stopped someone eating in the theatre, whom turned out to be a magician performing with packets of potato chips. The finale was his award winning FISM act and he attested to the audience why he was the first Asian to win the Grand Prix. The music stopped halfway. The audience gasped with him as he continued with his act. You can hear the breathing of the spectators with him as make it through like a professional. My opinion? This was brilliant! I was sure those who attended FISM saw his act before. How could he bring his act up a notch? How can he make people remember it for years to come?

The Korean Night was a show which many magicians would continue to talk about for years.


The lectures and .... sections?

What were sections? I think they were discussion panels. For instance, Tina Lenert talked about how she got inspirations for her Mr Mopman act, Mr Maric shared his journey on how he became a star in Japan.

The learning materials were fantastic for professionals. Magicians continuously dreamed of new principles, which we never seen before so there were still so many things to discover. Quite a number of them touched on the performing aspect of magic or developing a concept and not just on learning a new trick, which these opportunities were usually lacking in a magic convention. I was really happy that most were well attended by many magicians.

Eun Gyeol Lee did a 3-day seminar on the theory of magic which he had researched intensively on. My opinion was that the pacing was a little slow because of the translation, some of the concepts were rather subjective. Nevertheless it was very insightful to see it from his point of view, his passion for magic and how he had transformed the landscape of Korean magic. I was sure his seminar gave a lot of food for thought for the magicians.

Avner’s lecture on audience management was invaluable. Star magicians like Will Tsai, Cyril and Lu Chen shared their inspiration on creating magic for television. From what I understood, some of the sections were put together just several days before, but attendees could never tell from the professionalism which the panellists demonstrated in these discussions.

I wish I could attend all the lectures and ‘sections’ but most overlapped into other program so attendees had to make choices of what they wanted to watch or learn!

FISM was a convention for professional magicians; I must say the organizer done a fantastic job choosing the right mix of lectures and seminars.

The Competition

The quality of this year’s competition was high, very high. Although there are only 39 close-up contestants, I feel the board of directors did great work to choose the best in the preliminary for the final round. When you thought you had seen one of the best acts in a magic competition, the next topped them again! It was an eye opener!

The overall artistic level of the magicians was extraordinary. The jury probably had a tough time trying to score and choose the best among the best. In the end, I felt everyone who competed were winners. This year’s Grand Prix for Stage is Miguel Muńoz from Spain and Close-up went to Eric Chien from Taiwan.

A competition of a different kind called the ‘Odd Contest’ happened in the dealers’ room. As the name implied it was rather… odd. There were games in which contestants competed to pick up exactly X number of cards or to grab the most confetti in the air. The energetic host, Kim Min Hyoung, did a great job getting everyone excited. The performance competition consisted of mainly comedy acts; one of which was really strange: A male performer, dressed as a lady, spinning handbags like pois.

Dealers
There were more than 70 dealers which is lesser than usual at FISM since a lot of the Europeans or Americans magic shops probably found it a hassle to travel so far. But overall, there was a good mix of different dealers catering to different genre of magic.

The Bastrakov family were selling their fish (and a few snakes), Vladmir’s money machine was amazing to be seen done live, Seo Magic’s latest item in their inventory call Rainbow card was talk of the town. There were a number of Korean dealers peddling very creative magic inventions. One notable one was from Lukas in which he had a modular system for building machines for your props; eg. You could magically open a box or make your teddy bear shake its head. There was quite a few magic which utilized technology and phone apps.

The Fellowship

Priceless! I got to meet our current National President, Ron Ishimaru. I talked to David Kaye about our kids columns. I shared with The Evasons about my trip to North Korea and discussed how children magic should be given more emphasis in magic conventions.

Many Asian magicians whom I knew from magic festivals and conventions were there. I was surprised Lu Chen remembered me. I caught up with many Korean magicians whom I had not met for 15 years!

More importantly, I made quite a few friends! My new goal is to attend more magic conventions!


Best FISM ever

Kudos to the audience: They were very appreciative and encouraging; it must be a joy performing on those stages. Topas said: this was the best audience he ever had, and I totally agreed! The audience would sometimes applause at small nuances during the performance and in turn the stars gave us more energy.

Every FISM seemed to be clouded in some sort of controversy or some bad organisation (especially the gala dinner). I did not experience any this year.

The management of the ‘gala dinner’ was brilliant; it was replaced by a buffet dinner which everyone was given random tickets on the day to go. Much easier in logistics than to feed more than two thousand hungry magicians all at one go.

When a lot of people couldn’t get into the close-up contest room, television screens went up immediately the next day.

The volunteers did a great job helping the delegates. The organising committee worked tirelessly to ensure everything went on well and made all the magicians feel at home. Eun Gyeol Lee worked through the night with his team to ensure a great delivery of the seminar and show; the spirit of Korean magicians shines through and maybe that’s why they had been winning lots of FISM prizes in the recent decade.

Magic is a continual learning journey because it encompasses so many areas of studies which it is difficult to learn all in our lifetime. This convention inspired me to come up with a lot of new ideas and improve on for my magic.

FISM Busan 2018 was probably the best ever magic convention, at least for me. My only wish? Children magic is given a certain emphasis on such an international stage.


I became very interested in Korea after a visit back in year 2000 with my family. Thereafter, I founded a business which distribute soft toys from Korea to give me a reason to return to Korea more often. I stopped going when I left the company but my interest in the country never waned.

When FISM went to Korea, I knew I must go because it was a great chance to catch up with many magic friends!

FISM Busan

Busan is port city of South Korea. Known for its beaches and seafood (a lot of my Facebook friends posted videos of them eating live octopus! Eeeek!!!), the city has a lot of accommodation in the area which makes the cost of staying very affordable. The convention centre, Bexco, is connected by the subway. Taxi is inexpensive. There are numerous food choices around and the organisers even added food trucks midway through the convention to cater to magicians who just wanted a quick snack.

Some magicians commented that this year’s program was not as packed as previous. I felt the schedule was just nice! It gave us some time for magicians to catch up over lunch and dinner! (NB. This is only my 3rd FISM and I haven’t attended magic convention for the past decade partly because of my young children.)

The schedule started at 8:30am in the morning and didn’t end until 12:30am! Magic overdose? No! A lot of the magicians continued to hang out to eat and talk magic!


The Convention of Shows maze
This convention had the greatest number of shows I had ever seen. There were 5 one-man shows and 5 theatre shows, not including the contests and award ceremony!

Some magicians put together shows not seen before. For instance, Shoot Ogawa and Simon Colonel created this 2-man show exposing the small chats and ego-challenges which went on backstage while magicians rested!

Eun Gyeol Lee opened the first gala with his illusion show; his showmanship was impeccable. This was the first time he had done this show in English and his hard work shined through the performance.

There were different directors for each show so we saw totally shows of different style. The best for me was the Korean Night.

Korean Night - Magic Show of Peace

The acts were top notched, showcasing Korean acts which had won past FISMs, but with twists and surprises.

The North (DPRK) and South Koreans were supposed to put together a show call the Magic Show of Peace. However, 3 days before the event, the DPRK magicians said they couldn’t come. Many spectators were crying along with An song U, who coordinated with DPRK, when his story was told. (An Song U, who also go by the name of Yuji Yasuda, taught magic in North Korea and is a Korean descendant living in Japan.) Magic was supposed to transcend language, religion, culture and politics; eventually it will....

Considering that, the South did a fantastic job putting up such an amazing show in such a short time.

Yu Ho Jin did a great emceeing job, a side which we seldom see of him. I appreciated how he went into the audience to perform and ‘interview’ a spectator. How he stopped someone eating in the theatre, whom turned out to be a magician performing with packets of potato chips. The finale was his award winning FISM act and he attested to the audience why he was the first Asian to win the Grand Prix. The music stopped halfway. The audience gasped with him as he continued with his act. You can hear the breathing of the spectators with him as make it through like a professional. My opinion? This was brilliant! I was sure those who attended FISM saw his act before. How could he bring his act up a notch? How can he make people remember it for years to come?

The Korean Night was a show which many magicians would continue to talk about for years.


The lectures and .... sections?

What were sections? I think they were discussion panels. For instance, Tina Lenert talked about how she got inspirations for her Mr Mopman act, Mr Maric shared his journey on how he became a star in Japan.

The learning materials were fantastic for professionals. Magicians continuously dreamed of new principles, which we never seen before so there were still so many things to discover. Quite a number of them touched on the performing aspect of magic or developing a concept and not just on learning a new trick, which these opportunities were usually lacking in a magic convention. I was really happy that most were well attended by many magicians.

Eun Gyeol Lee did a 3-day seminar on the theory of magic which he had researched intensively on. My opinion was that the pacing was a little slow because of the translation, some of the concepts were rather subjective. Nevertheless it was very insightful to see it from his point of view, his passion for magic and how he had transformed the landscape of Korean magic. I was sure his seminar gave a lot of food for thought for the magicians.

Avner’s lecture on audience management was invaluable. Star magicians like Will Tsai, Cyril and Lu Chen shared their inspiration on creating magic for television. From what I understood, some of the sections were put together just several days before, but attendees could never tell from the professionalism which the panellists demonstrated in these discussions.

I wish I could attend all the lectures and ‘sections’ but most overlapped into other program so attendees had to make choices of what they wanted to watch or learn!

FISM was a convention for professional magicians; I must say the organizer done a fantastic job choosing the right mix of lectures and seminars.

The Competition

The quality of this year’s competition was high, very high. Although there are only 39 close-up contestants, I feel the board of directors did great work to choose the best in the preliminary for the final round. When you thought you had seen one of the best acts in a magic competition, the next topped them again! It was an eye opener!

The overall artistic level of the magicians was extraordinary. The jury probably had a tough time trying to score and choose the best among the best. In the end, I felt everyone who competed were winners. This year’s Grand Prix for Stage is Miguel Muńoz from Spain and Close-up went to Eric Chien from Taiwan.

A competition of a different kind called the ‘Odd Contest’ happened in the dealers’ room. As the name implied it was rather… odd. There were games in which contestants competed to pick up exactly X number of cards or to grab the most confetti in the air. The energetic host, Kim Min Hyoung, did a great job getting everyone excited. The performance competition consisted of mainly comedy acts; one of which was really strange: A male performer, dressed as a lady, spinning handbags like pois.

Dealers
There were more than 70 dealers which is lesser than usual at FISM since a lot of the Europeans or Americans magic shops probably found it a hassle to travel so far. But overall, there was a good mix of different dealers catering to different genre of magic.

The Bastrakov family were selling their fish (and a few snakes), Vladmir’s money machine was amazing to be seen done live, Seo Magic’s latest item in their inventory call Rainbow card was talk of the town. There were a number of Korean dealers peddling very creative magic inventions. One notable one was from Lukas in which he had a modular system for building machines for your props; eg. You could magically open a box or make your teddy bear shake its head. There was quite a few magic which utilized technology and phone apps.

The Fellowship

Priceless! I got to meet our current National President, Ron Ishimaru. I talked to David Kaye about our kids columns. I shared with The Evasons about my trip to North Korea and discussed how children magic should be given more emphasis in magic conventions.

Many Asian magicians whom I knew from magic festivals and conventions were there. I was surprised Lu Chen remembered me. I caught up with many Korean magicians whom I had not met for 15 years!

More importantly, I made quite a few friends! My new goal is to attend more magic conventions!


Best FISM ever

Kudos to the audience: They were very appreciative and encouraging; it must be a joy performing on those stages. Topas said: this was the best audience he ever had, and I totally agreed! The audience would sometimes applause at small nuances during the performance and in turn the stars gave us more energy.

Every FISM seemed to be clouded in some sort of controversy or some bad organisation (especially the gala dinner). I did not experience any this year.

The management of the ‘gala dinner’ was brilliant; it was replaced by a buffet dinner which everyone was given random tickets on the day to go. Much easier in logistics than to feed more than two thousand hungry magicians all at one go.

When a lot of people couldn’t get into the close-up contest room, television screens went up immediately the next day.

The volunteers did a great job helping the delegates. The organising committee worked tirelessly to ensure everything went on well and made all the magicians feel at home. Eun Gyeol Lee worked through the night with his team to ensure a great delivery of the seminar and show; the spirit of Korean magicians shines through and maybe that’s why they had been winning lots of FISM prizes in the recent decade.

Magic is a continual learning journey because it encompasses so many areas of studies which it is difficult to learn all in our lifetime. This convention inspired me to come up with a lot of new ideas and improve on for my magic.

FISM Busan 2018 was probably the best ever magic convention, at least for me. My only wish? Children magic is given a certain emphasis on such an international stage.


I became very interested in Korea after a visit back in year 2000 with my family. Thereafter, I founded a business which distribute soft toys from Korea to give me a reason to return to Korea more often. I stopped going when I left the company but my interest in the country never waned.

When FISM went to Korea, I knew I must go because it was a great chance to catch up with many magic friends!

FISM Busan

Busan is port city of South Korea. Known for its beaches and seafood (a lot of my Facebook friends posted videos of them eating live octopus! Eeeek!!!), the city has a lot of accommodation in the area which makes the cost of staying very affordable. The convention centre, Bexco, is connected by the subway. Taxi is inexpensive. There are numerous food choices around and the organisers even added food trucks midway through the convention to cater to magicians who just wanted a quick snack.

Some magicians commented that this year’s program was not as packed as previous. I felt the schedule was just nice! It gave us some time for magicians to catch up over lunch and dinner! (NB. This is only my 3rd FISM and I haven’t attended magic convention for the past decade partly because of my young children.)

The schedule started at 8:30am in the morning and didn’t end until 12:30am! Magic overdose? No! A lot of the magicians continued to hang out to eat and talk magic!


The Convention of Shows maze
This convention had the greatest number of shows I had ever seen. There were 5 one-man shows and 5 theatre shows, not including the contests and award ceremony!

Some magicians put together shows not seen before. For instance, Shoot Ogawa and Simon Colonel created this 2-man show exposing the small chats and ego-challenges which went on backstage while magicians rested!

Eun Gyeol Lee opened the first gala with his illusion show; his showmanship was impeccable. This was the first time he had done this show in English and his hard work shined through the performance.

There were different directors for each show so we saw totally shows of different style. The best for me was the Korean Night.

Korean Night - Magic Show of Peace

The acts were top notched, showcasing Korean acts which had won past FISMs, but with twists and surprises.

The North (DPRK) and South Koreans were supposed to put together a show call the Magic Show of Peace. However, 3 days before the event, the DPRK magicians said they couldn’t come. Many spectators were crying along with An song U, who coordinated with DPRK, when his story was told. (An Song U, who also go by the name of Yuji Yasuda, taught magic in North Korea and is a Korean descendant living in Japan.) Magic was supposed to transcend language, religion, culture and politics; eventually it will....

Considering that, the South did a fantastic job putting up such an amazing show in such a short time.

Yu Ho Jin did a great emceeing job, a side which we seldom see of him. I appreciated how he went into the audience to perform and ‘interview’ a spectator. How he stopped someone eating in the theatre, whom turned out to be a magician performing with packets of potato chips. The finale was his award winning FISM act and he attested to the audience why he was the first Asian to win the Grand Prix. The music stopped halfway. The audience gasped with him as he continued with his act. You can hear the breathing of the spectators with him as make it through like a professional. My opinion? This was brilliant! I was sure those who attended FISM saw his act before. How could he bring his act up a notch? How can he make people remember it for years to come?

The Korean Night was a show which many magicians would continue to talk about for years.


The lectures and .... sections?

What were sections? I think they were discussion panels. For instance, Tina Lenert talked about how she got inspirations for her Mr Mopman act, Mr Maric shared his journey on how he became a star in Japan.

The learning materials were fantastic for professionals. Magicians continuously dreamed of new principles, which we never seen before so there were still so many things to discover. Quite a number of them touched on the performing aspect of magic or developing a concept and not just on learning a new trick, which these opportunities were usually lacking in a magic convention. I was really happy that most were well attended by many magicians.

Eun Gyeol Lee did a 3-day seminar on the theory of magic which he had researched intensively on. My opinion was that the pacing was a little slow because of the translation, some of the concepts were rather subjective. Nevertheless it was very insightful to see it from his point of view, his passion for magic and how he had transformed the landscape of Korean magic. I was sure his seminar gave a lot of food for thought for the magicians.

Avner’s lecture on audience management was invaluable. Star magicians like Will Tsai, Cyril and Lu Chen shared their inspiration on creating magic for television. From what I understood, some of the sections were put together just several days before, but attendees could never tell from the professionalism which the panellists demonstrated in these discussions.

I wish I could attend all the lectures and ‘sections’ but most overlapped into other program so attendees had to make choices of what they wanted to watch or learn!

FISM was a convention for professional magicians; I must say the organizer done a fantastic job choosing the right mix of lectures and seminars.

The Competition

The quality of this year’s competition was high, very high. Although there are only 39 close-up contestants, I feel the board of directors did great work to choose the best in the preliminary for the final round. When you thought you had seen one of the best acts in a magic competition, the next topped them again! It was an eye opener!

The overall artistic level of the magicians was extraordinary. The jury probably had a tough time trying to score and choose the best among the best. In the end, I felt everyone who competed were winners. This year’s Grand Prix for Stage is Miguel Muńoz from Spain and Close-up went to Eric Chien from Taiwan.

A competition of a different kind called the ‘Odd Contest’ happened in the dealers’ room. As the name implied it was rather… odd. There were games in which contestants competed to pick up exactly X number of cards or to grab the most confetti in the air. The energetic host, Kim Min Hyoung, did a great job getting everyone excited. The performance competition consisted of mainly comedy acts; one of which was really strange: A male performer, dressed as a lady, spinning handbags like pois.

Dealers
There were more than 70 dealers which is lesser than usual at FISM since a lot of the Europeans or Americans magic shops probably found it a hassle to travel so far. But overall, there was a good mix of different dealers catering to different genre of magic.

The Bastrakov family were selling their fish (and a few snakes), Vladmir’s money machine was amazing to be seen done live, Seo Magic’s latest item in their inventory call Rainbow card was talk of the town. There were a number of Korean dealers peddling very creative magic inventions. One notable one was from Lukas in which he had a modular system for building machines for your props; eg. You could magically open a box or make your teddy bear shake its head. There was quite a few magic which utilized technology and phone apps.

The Fellowship

Priceless! I got to meet our current National President, Ron Ishimaru. I talked to David Kaye about our kids columns. I shared with The Evasons about my trip to North Korea and discussed how children magic should be given more emphasis in magic conventions.

Many Asian magicians whom I knew from magic festivals and conventions were there. I was surprised Lu Chen remembered me. I caught up with many Korean magicians whom I had not met for 15 years!

More importantly, I made quite a few friends! My new goal is to attend more magic conventions!


Best FISM ever

Kudos to the audience: They were very appreciative and encouraging; it must be a joy performing on those stages. Topas said: this was the best audience he ever had, and I totally agreed! The audience would sometimes applause at small nuances during the performance and in turn the stars gave us more energy.

Every FISM seemed to be clouded in some sort of controversy or some bad organisation (especially the gala dinner). I did not experience any this year.

The management of the ‘gala dinner’ was brilliant; it was replaced by a buffet dinner which everyone was given random tickets on the day to go. Much easier in logistics than to feed more than two thousand hungry magicians all at one go.

When a lot of people couldn’t get into the close-up contest room, television screens went up immediately the next day.

The volunteers did a great job helping the delegates. The organising committee worked tirelessly to ensure everything went on well and made all the magicians feel at home. Eun Gyeol Lee worked through the night with his team to ensure a great delivery of the seminar and show; the spirit of Korean magicians shines through and maybe that’s why they had been winning lots of FISM prizes in the recent decade.

Magic is a continual learning journey because it encompasses so many areas of studies which it is difficult to learn all in our lifetime. This convention inspired me to come up with a lot of new ideas and improve on for my magic.

FISM Busan 2018 was probably the best ever magic convention, at least for me. My only wish? Children magic is given a certain emphasis on such an international stage.


I became very interested in Korea after a visit back in year 2000 with my family. Thereafter, I founded a business which distribute soft toys from Korea to give me a reason to return to Korea more often. I stopped going when I left the company but my interest in the country never waned.

When FISM went to Korea, I knew I must go because it was a great chance to catch up with many magic friends!

FISM Busan

Busan is port city of South Korea. Known for its beaches and seafood (a lot of my Facebook friends posted videos of them eating live octopus! Eeeek!!!), the city has a lot of accommodation in the area which makes the cost of staying very affordable. The convention centre, Bexco, is connected by the subway. Taxi is inexpensive. There are numerous food choices around and the organisers even added food trucks midway through the convention to cater to magicians who just wanted a quick snack.

Some magicians commented that this year’s program was not as packed as previous. I felt the schedule was just nice! It gave us some time for magicians to catch up over lunch and dinner! (NB. This is only my 3rd FISM and I haven’t attended magic convention for the past decade partly because of my young children.)

The schedule started at 8:30am in the morning and didn’t end until 12:30am! Magic overdose? No! A lot of the magicians continued to hang out to eat and talk magic!


The Convention of Shows maze
This convention had the greatest number of shows I had ever seen. There were 5 one-man shows and 5 theatre shows, not including the contests and award ceremony!

Some magicians put together shows not seen before. For instance, Shoot Ogawa and Simon Colonel created this 2-man show exposing the small chats and ego-challenges which went on backstage while magicians rested!

Eun Gyeol Lee opened the first gala with his illusion show; his showmanship was impeccable. This was the first time he had done this show in English and his hard work shined through the performance.

There were different directors for each show so we saw totally shows of different style. The best for me was the Korean Night.

Korean Night - Magic Show of Peace

The acts were top notched, showcasing Korean acts which had won past FISMs, but with twists and surprises.

The North (DPRK) and South Koreans were supposed to put together a show call the Magic Show of Peace. However, 3 days before the event, the DPRK magicians said they couldn’t come. Many spectators were crying along with An song U, who coordinated with DPRK, when his story was told. (An Song U, who also go by the name of Yuji Yasuda, taught magic in North Korea and is a Korean descendant living in Japan.) Magic was supposed to transcend language, religion, culture and politics; eventually it will....

Considering that, the South did a fantastic job putting up such an amazing show in such a short time.

Yu Ho Jin did a great emceeing job, a side which we seldom see of him. I appreciated how he went into the audience to perform and ‘interview’ a spectator. How he stopped someone eating in the theatre, whom turned out to be a magician performing with packets of potato chips. The finale was his award winning FISM act and he attested to the audience why he was the first Asian to win the Grand Prix. The music stopped halfway. The audience gasped with him as he continued with his act. You can hear the breathing of the spectators with him as make it through like a professional. My opinion? This was brilliant! I was sure those who attended FISM saw his act before. How could he bring his act up a notch? How can he make people remember it for years to come?

The Korean Night was a show which many magicians would continue to talk about for years.


The lectures and .... sections?

What were sections? I think they were discussion panels. For instance, Tina Lenert talked about how she got inspirations for her Mr Mopman act, Mr Maric shared his journey on how he became a star in Japan.

The learning materials were fantastic for professionals. Magicians continuously dreamed of new principles, which we never seen before so there were still so many things to discover. Quite a number of them touched on the performing aspect of magic or developing a concept and not just on learning a new trick, which these opportunities were usually lacking in a magic convention. I was really happy that most were well attended by many magicians.

Eun Gyeol Lee did a 3-day seminar on the theory of magic which he had researched intensively on. My opinion was that the pacing was a little slow because of the translation, some of the concepts were rather subjective. Nevertheless it was very insightful to see it from his point of view, his passion for magic and how he had transformed the landscape of Korean magic. I was sure his seminar gave a lot of food for thought for the magicians.

Avner’s lecture on audience management was invaluable. Star magicians like Will Tsai, Cyril and Lu Chen shared their inspiration on creating magic for television. From what I understood, some of the sections were put together just several days before, but attendees could never tell from the professionalism which the panellists demonstrated in these discussions.

I wish I could attend all the lectures and ‘sections’ but most overlapped into other program so attendees had to make choices of what they wanted to watch or learn!

FISM was a convention for professional magicians; I must say the organizer done a fantastic job choosing the right mix of lectures and seminars.

The Competition

The quality of this year’s competition was high, very high. Although there are only 39 close-up contestants, I feel the board of directors did great work to choose the best in the preliminary for the final round. When you thought you had seen one of the best acts in a magic competition, the next topped them again! It was an eye opener!

The overall artistic level of the magicians was extraordinary. The jury probably had a tough time trying to score and choose the best among the best. In the end, I felt everyone who competed were winners. This year’s Grand Prix for Stage is Miguel Muńoz from Spain and Close-up went to Eric Chien from Taiwan.

A competition of a different kind called the ‘Odd Contest’ happened in the dealers’ room. As the name implied it was rather… odd. There were games in which contestants competed to pick up exactly X number of cards or to grab the most confetti in the air. The energetic host, Kim Min Hyoung, did a great job getting everyone excited. The performance competition consisted of mainly comedy acts; one of which was really strange: A male performer, dressed as a lady, spinning handbags like pois.

Dealers
There were more than 70 dealers which is lesser than usual at FISM since a lot of the Europeans or Americans magic shops probably found it a hassle to travel so far. But overall, there was a good mix of different dealers catering to different genre of magic.

The Bastrakov family were selling their fish (and a few snakes), Vladmir’s money machine was amazing to be seen done live, Seo Magic’s latest item in their inventory call Rainbow card was talk of the town. There were a number of Korean dealers peddling very creative magic inventions. One notable one was from Lukas in which he had a modular system for building machines for your props; eg. You could magically open a box or make your teddy bear shake its head. There was quite a few magic which utilized technology and phone apps.

The Fellowship

Priceless! I got to meet our current National President, Ron Ishimaru. I talked to David Kaye about our kids columns. I shared with The Evasons about my trip to North Korea and discussed how children magic should be given more emphasis in magic conventions.

Many Asian magicians whom I knew from magic festivals and conventions were there. I was surprised Lu Chen remembered me. I caught up with many Korean magicians whom I had not met for 15 years!

More importantly, I made quite a few friends! My new goal is to attend more magic conventions!


Best FISM ever

Kudos to the audience: They were very appreciative and encouraging; it must be a joy performing on those stages. Topas said: this was the best audience he ever had, and I totally agreed! The audience would sometimes applause at small nuances during the performance and in turn the stars gave us more energy.

Every FISM seemed to be clouded in some sort of controversy or some bad organisation (especially the gala dinner). I did not experience any this year.

The management of the ‘gala dinner’ was brilliant; it was replaced by a buffet dinner which everyone was given random tickets on the day to go. Much easier in logistics than to feed more than two thousand hungry magicians all at one go.

When a lot of people couldn’t get into the close-up contest room, television screens went up immediately the next day.

The volunteers did a great job helping the delegates. The organising committee worked tirelessly to ensure everything went on well and made all the magicians feel at home. Eun Gyeol Lee worked through the night with his team to ensure a great delivery of the seminar and show; the spirit of Korean magicians shines through and maybe that’s why they had been winning lots of FISM prizes in the recent decade.

Magic is a continual learning journey because it encompasses so many areas of studies which it is difficult to learn all in our lifetime. This convention inspired me to come up with a lot of new ideas and improve on for my magic.

FISM Busan 2018 was probably the best ever magic convention, at least for me. My only wish? Children magic is given a certain emphasis on such an international stage.


Mr Bottle:
Singapore Magician (Children Magic show)
www.magician.com.sg
www.kidsparty.com.sg
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