Memories of an Oregon Magic conventionby Matthew Olsen on 11/11/15
About a year and a half ago I had the opportunity to visit a magic convention in Oregon. Keep in mind I have only been to one other magic convention in my life. Living in Anchorage I'm a little cut off from the rest of the world unless I want to shell out significant amounts of money for a flight.
I went to the convention with my friend Richard Kennedy who I often perform with in shows and is a very talented and knowledgeable magician. We entered the magic competition with a unique trick we had designed ourselves. It was the first time we had performed the trick for an audience so we were a little nervous, especially because magicians are notorious for being bad audiences because they're more focused on the method than the entertainment.
The trick went over fairly well and was in my opinion the most entertaining of the entries into the competition. It went smoothly. Unfortunately we placed second, though Simon Lovell who is a fine professional magician and the guest of honor at the convention said we should have won it, which to me was more important than actually winning. Though in jest Richard and I often refer to ourselves as the "Almost award winning"
The highlight of the convention for me was the magicians I had the privilege to hang out with. Steve Dobson, for those that don't know him is considered one of the most skilled magicians in the northwest. I was introduced to him on the first night and after he talked to me for a while about magic he was kind enough to show me some little known techniques. He apparently liked me enough that he invited me to jam with him at a magician's hotel room after the bar closed and we ended up hanging out for several hours while he fooled the pants off other magicians and myself. After that night he sought me out several times to talk magic and we hung out between lectures.
The other magician I was privileged to spend time with was Simon Lovell, an amazing magician and extremely funny guy. We actually spent most of the convention talking magic and just plain BSing. The first night he spent about 30-45 minutes with me just helping me work on my second deal and pointed out what I was doing wrong then taught me his slow motion second deal which is what I've used since. I also spent a lot of time with him in the dealer's room where I was selling my Contact Juggling videos and he was selling his books and videos. He was very nice to me and went out of his way to find me to say goodbye and give me some advice and encouragement.
There was also Garret Thomas who is one of the main consultants for David Blaine. I got to talk with him briefly about some of the routines I was working on and he solved some problems I was having with a particular effect. He is also a contact juggler and we talked contact juggling briefly. We didn't have much time as he was waiting for his taxi, but he bought a set of my videos before he left.
All in all a great trip and a great experience.