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Topic: What To Expect When Attending a Magic Lecture
Message: Posted by: Wilktone (May 1, 2014 07:14AM)
Hi, all.

As an amateur just getting back into closeup magic after a long layoff I was pleased to discover that this weekend there is a magic conference being hosted in my home town:

http://www.weekendofwonder.com/Asheville/#home

Although I'm working much of the weekend, the timing worked out that I will be able to attend one of the gala performances. I also signed up to attend a lecture by Michael Ammar. Here's what it says about it:

[quote]Close-up magic world Champion, Michael Ammar is one on the most respected teachers around. His handling of cards, coins and cups and balls has earned him countless awards and accolades. In this magicians only presentation, he will teach some of his finest commercial routines.[/quote]

Never having attended something like this, I'm unsure of what to expect. It may go over my head, but even so I think it would be inspiring and give me some goals to work towards. Regardless, I'm wondering if I should bring anything (cards, closeup mat, whatever) or are these usually mostly just the lecturer demonstrating? Is taking notes frowned upon or is that OK?

Thanks!

Dave
Message: Posted by: rklew64 (May 1, 2014 09:51AM)
Note taking highly encouraged, bring cards or coin, optional. honestly it is annoying when people are dropping coins during the lecture or fiddling with cards. it is a distraction and rude to the guest lecturer. Do bring some money if you can to purchase a few items if anything interests you.Just don't listen and get too focused on note taking. - watch and learn how Michael performs. Be observant of his presentation, his approach, style, personality, etc. Dedicate each page for each effect/trick.
Bring a playing card for him to sign as a memento of the lecture and perhaps a point of inspiration. Your very lucky to have this opportunity - many do not get this chance.
Message: Posted by: SDMoore1 (May 1, 2014 12:18PM)
Color me totally jealous. If I had known this was coming up (just learning of it now), I would probably have been there.

Dang.
Message: Posted by: Kbuck54 (May 1, 2014 01:22PM)
You are very fortunate to get this opportunity. Michael Ammar was someone I had a chance to see. You will learn a ton of stuff. Take enough money to buy notes and effects. If I'm not mistaken, Jeff McBride is also there. I could be wrong. Enjoy yourself, you lucky dog.
Keith
Message: Posted by: Wilktone (May 1, 2014 03:10PM)
Yes, I'm thrilled that I have this opportunity. As I mentioned, I'm a bit worried that much of the lecture I can attend will be over my head, but unless I go I won't find out. Plus if I didn't take advantage of this I'm sure I'd be kicking myself for years afterwards.

[quote]If I'm not mistaken, Jeff McBride is also there. I could be wrong.[/quote]

You're correct. In addition to McBride and Ammar there will also be performances and lectures by Maxwell Blade, Andrew Goldenhersh, Jay Scott Berry and John Venus. Three magicians in the area that are also participating are Ricky Boone, Daryl Sprout and Chastain Criswell.

[quote]Bring a playing card for him to sign as a memento of the lecture and perhaps a point of inspiration.[/quote]

That's a fantastic idea. There's a "meet the stars" party after the performance tomorrow night and I will see if I can't collect playing card autographs from the other performers too. It will make a great memento of the event.

I wish I could attend more of the lectures, but I make my living in part from music and have performances and rehearsals taking up most of my time. Some day I may have to write a bit on comparing and contrasting performing music and magic. There seems to be a lot of crossover in terms of developing technique, programming, practicing, rehearsing, and performing.

Thanks again for the advice. I will be sure to come back and report on how things go.

Dave
Message: Posted by: MRSharpe (May 1, 2014 03:33PM)
Michael Ammar is an excellent lecturer and even better for a first time lecture than others. He is known as one of the best teachers of magic in the country if not the world. Definitely take some money, but don't try to by everything. And don't worry about his stuff being over your head. There will be magicians of all skill levels there and he will likely offer pointers after the lecture. And if Jeff McBride is there try to see him too.
Message: Posted by: BCS (May 1, 2014 05:07PM)
Dave,

You will have a great time; I have been to several of Michael's lectures over the years. He is very easy to speak to and is pretty cool about autographing things.

I find his lectures pretty exciting because he is into many things... not just one category of magic.

Have fun,
Bruce
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (May 1, 2014 08:38PM)
You lucky dawg. Michael is one of my favorite lecturer/teacher/performers. He just has a natural, unpretentious way about him that makes him mesmerizing and approachable at the same time.
Message: Posted by: Wilktone (May 3, 2014 11:01AM)
The lecture was fabulous. Michael went through some of his favorite effects and discussed technique and misdirection principles. I found myself having trouble taking notes quickly enough, but he had a booklet of lecture notes for sale afterwards (and as a lecture deal he added props too). Many of the effects he covered I believe I could perform with practice. Some of the more advanced things he covered give me some goals to work towards.

I think one of the things I got the most out of his lecture were some of the subtleties in the misdirection. For example, leave the pen with another spectator so you have to turn to someone else and cover your move. Stand up tall after bending over a spectator and draw eyes to your face, etc. Some of the books I own cover things like this, but being able to experience the technique in person not only gave me the audience's perspective, but also just a fantastic model to follow as I'm learning.

Thanks again for the advice. I'm kicking myself because I left the deck of cards I bought for autographs in the car last night, so I wasn't able to collect some of the headliner's autographs (I did take some photos, though). I did get Michael's and also Max Blade's autograph today. There's talk of making this an annual event here in Asheville, NC, so maybe I'll have this opportunity again next year!

Dave
Message: Posted by: Kbuck54 (May 3, 2014 11:43AM)
Color me MAgic Green with Envy.
Glad you enjoyed it.
Take care, I'm sure you have a lot of new ideas rolling around in your head now.
Shazam.
Keith
Message: Posted by: bowers (May 3, 2014 02:05PM)
That will be a great lecture..
Message: Posted by: SDMoore1 (May 3, 2014 04:14PM)
[quote]On May 3, 2014, Wilktone wrote:
The lecture was fabulous. Michael went through some of his favorite effects and discussed technique and misdirection principles. I found myself having trouble taking notes quickly enough, but he had a booklet of lecture notes for sale afterwards (and as a lecture deal he added props too). Many of the effects he covered I believe I could perform with practice. Some of the more advanced things he covered give me some goals to work towards.

I think one of the things I got the most out of his lecture were some of the subtleties in the misdirection. For example, leave the pen with another spectator so you have to turn to someone else and cover your move. Stand up tall after bending over a spectator and draw eyes to your face, etc. Some of the books I own cover things like this, but being able to experience the technique in person not only gave me the audience's perspective, but also just a fantastic model to follow as I'm learning.

Thanks again for the advice. I'm kicking myself because I left the deck of cards I bought for autographs in the car last night, so I wasn't able to collect some of the headliner's autographs (I did take some photos, though). I did get Michael's and also Max Blade's autograph today. There's talk of making this an annual event here in Asheville, NC, so maybe I'll have this opportunity again next year!

Dave [/quote]

If they do it again next yr, I'm definitely there!
Message: Posted by: motown (May 3, 2014 07:19PM)
Make sure that you keep a note book that you can dedicate to magic lectures for the future.