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Thoughts on Magic Conventions 0

These days, there are many magic conventions vying for your dollars. Many are large-scale affairs, with attendance ranging from five-hundred to sixteen-hundred magicians. You go, you sit and watch a close-up show projected on a big screen, you buy an expensive trick that ends up at the bottom of your magic drawer, and you never have the opportunity to talk to (much less spend time with) the magicians you could learn from.

While I have attended my share of big conventions, my preference now is for smaller gatherings. In Canada, two gatherings have been particularly impactful. The first is a small, invitation-only gathering in Toronto. Thirty-one magicians perform, share information, and socialize over a weekend. There are scheduled events, but there is also time to just talk.

  • Michael Close

Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp Ends 0

On January 11, 2017, the following information was released by Mike and Jen Segal:

“All great things must come to an end!”

To all campers, friends, and family of Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp:

After twenty amazing years of Magic Camp, it is with heavy hearts we announce that our amazing ride has come to an end.

From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank all our staff, artists, sponsors, and special guests who made camp such a success. Please be proud of your contributions; together we fulfilled the dreams of many young magicians worldwide!

We want to give a warm thank you to Camp Tamarack, Camp White Pine, and Camp Northland for being our gracious hosts over the years.

  • Michael Close

Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp 2016 0

magic camp 2015Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp is happening again this year; the camp runs from Sunday, August 7 through Friday, August 12. This is an earlier date than previous years, and I hope that means that a few more young American magicians can join us. We’re at a new camp site: Camp Northland, which has 650 wooded acres located on Moose Lake. The special guest this year is Suzanne, whom many of you may have seen on the second season of Penn & Teller: Fool Us. (She fooled Penn & Teller with her great version of the signed Band-Aid transposition.)

I eagerly look forward to magic camp each summer for several reasons: 1) being out in nature helps clear out the cobwebs and reduces the stress that living in the GTA produces; 2) camp gives me the opportunity to reconnect with old pals like Shawn Farquhar, Lee Asher, Aaron Fisher, Mike Segal, Ben Train, Chris Mayhew, and Eric LeClerc; 3) camp gives me the opportunity to offer a perspective on the art of magic that is not popularly available to young magicians. Through my own performances, the card classes, the electives, and in the informal gatherings, I present an approach to magic that has been influenced by my mentor, Harry Riser, and his mentors, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. I want to challenge young magicians to examine the reasons behind what they do and why they do it; in return, I hope they will challenge me to defend my approach.

I’ve never experienced anything like magic camp. It is something I wish I could have attended when I was young. Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp can be a life-changing experience. If you know a young magician who would benefit from this experience, please consider sponsoring him or her.

Why I love Magic Camp 0

In a few days, Lisa, Ava, and I will be heading up north toward Haliburton, Ontario, to participate in the Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp. When we visited camp for a few days three years ago, I wasn’t sure that I would like it. But I loved it, and each year the three of us can’t wait to go back.

I have a vivid memory of one moment during that first visit. Lee Asher asked me if I would discuss the faro shuffle with the campers in his card class. I was happy to do so. I talked about the shuffle and explained a method to learn how to do it. This turned into a hands-on workshop as everyone tried the shuffle while I offered suggestions and tag-team help.

  • Michael Close

Constantly Moving Forward 0

Computer technology constantly moves forward; here at michaelclose.com we make every effort to keep up. More and more magicians appreciate the convenience of having books available on their computers and tablets. To this end, Lisa and I are converting our existing ebook offerings into the EPUB format, which is the standard format on the iPad.

The first of our titles to be updated is Learn the Faro Shuffle, which first came out in 2001. Purchasers receive both the PDF and the EPUB versions. Other titles (including my new ebook, which will be released shortly) are in the process of being converted.

You can find the faro shuffle ebook here. While you’re visiting, please sign up for our newsletter so we can alert you when other publications are released. Hint.... one is coming out soon.