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« 100 Days of Gratitude - Day 96 - Dahlia Cafe | Main | 100 Days of Gratitude - Day 94 - Mentors, Teachers & those who inspire »
Saturday
Jul092011

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 95 - The Essential Magic Conference

I missed this one last year. I just don't have a very good internet connection to watch streaming video - and I had shows two of the three days.

This year I figured I'd give it a shot and see what it was about.

It was the best decision I'd made in a long, long time - and I still haven't seen all of it!

What is the EMC? Well, their website will explain it better, but basically it's an online magic convention. I may have lost my non-magic friends who read this, but I think it's a look towards the future of ALL conferences - not just magic.

There were technical glitches, but they were handled well - both on the spot and by the amazing fact that within hours of finishing the sessions you could go back and watch a replay of them on line - and can continue to do so for some time - I'm assuming a year - but I didn't actually read all of that info. PLUS - we'll get sent a set of DVD's, complete with bonus materials afterwards.

So, if you got a phone call in the middle of a lecture, like I did - there are ample opportunities to watch it again.

The roster was packed with legends in our community - big hitters; David Berglas, Stan Allen, Rudy Coby, Gaetan Bloom, Apollo Robbins, The Buck Twins, Eric Mead, David Kaye, Lu Chen, Paul Daniels, Max Maven, Rene Levand, Topas, Bill Kalush and more. What I really liked was that because of time constraints everyone was very prepared and gave short, to the point, focused presentations so they could share their most valuable information in the short time slots. It, at times, left me wanting more, but mostly, it kept me glued to my computer screen.

Strangely, when I go to a live magic convention, I skip many of the lectures and just go for the shows and to see my friends. This was a much better simulation of how I learn - so it was much more beneficial to me.

Luis DeMatos, Marco Temptest and others who I'm sure contributed as much - I just didn't do my homework on the entire project put together an amazing staff to pull off a task that was incredible, not just in magic standards, but in technology standards.

The stand outs for me were the lectures on philosophy and performance, but there was some simply stunning magic being performed as well.

The absolute highlight was a tour, via satilitte, of David Copperfield's Museum of Magic in Las Vegas (the conference was broadcast from Portugal) hosted by David himself - and followed by the very best interview of Copperfield that I've ever seen. He was gracious, charming, humble and truly interested in living up to what he sees as his responsibility to preserve some of magic's greatest history - because if not him... then who.

Having already dedicated a day of this project to Copperfield's influence on me and others it may seem like I'm gushing, but I'm just very impressed with his passion for our magic and his humility.He seems to truly understand his position in the history of our art. He gave great advice with great enthusiasm. I can't wait to go back and watch it again.

It's a far, far cry from the "advice" that Criss Angel gave someone on twitter when they asked about becoming a magician when Criss said "Don't do it". But I digress.

As for the conference next year - it's a slam dunk decision for me to sign up again. Probably on the day it's announced. My advice to you is to do the same. It's just about the best thing that's happened to magic lately and it IS the future of meetings in general.

I'm sad it's over, but I'm glad as well - as I have a lot of office work to get done, and I can't do it when I'm looking at videos on the internet. But I will be watching them again.

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