2005archive icbm. .

The Inner Circle Of Bizarre Magic Convention, U.S.A.

 10th.,11th.,& 12th. November,2005 at the
Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Cromwell, CT, U.S.A.

Review by Bruce Barnett.
I just returned from the 14th anual ICBM Gathering of the Mages in Cromwell, CT. This convention is great for inspiring and recharging one's career. This year's theme is honoring women in Magic. As a side comment, Walt Anthony researched and personally invited 400 professional women magicians to this convention. Not one responded.

I arrived about 10:30 Friday Morning, missing the opening ceremony. I hear there was both a male and female version of Joe Cabral, our Host. It's too bad I missed this.  I caught the tail end of Dr. Charles J. Pecor's lecture "The Power of the Word" and bought the notes. The subtitle is "Notes on scripting and delivering entertaining Performancer material." Those than know about Charles experience would know how qualified Charles is to teach this topic, as he has multiple degrees in theater. Glancing at the notes, the topics included;

......................................Modes of Delivery
......................................Delivering the Word
......................................The Four Questions
......................................Speech As an Overlaid Function
......................................Suggestions for Improvement
......................................Vocal Exercises
......................................Exercises for Good Breathing
......................................Tension and Relaxation Exercises
......................................Exercise for Articulation
......................................Exercise for Shading
......................................Exercise of Emphasis
......................................Final Thoughts.
I regret I missed the lecture, but I will treasure the notes.

Next was a Lecture by Losander. Fantastic. He discussed two IT hookups which he used for levitating bills and bubbles. He demonstrated his dancing wand, and showed his three modifications to the traditional Zombie gimmick. This was very effective. He demonstrated his "Chain Breaker" thumb tie, and revealed his floating bubble work.  He then demonstrated his floating table. This was literally awe-inspiring.

The Works in Progress followed lunch. Then Brian Hatcher did a pseudo-science non-coincidence. Walt Anthony used a Himilayan butter churn to show how devotion affects a key. Bosco (Martin Carli) shows how coins from a magic tree can pay for smoke. Heather and Vlad did a 2-person divination routine. Jonathan Forst did a simple and effect routine with a twine from a noose. Professor Rem demonstrated unlikely coincidences in a well paced performance. Sol Levine did a T-Shirt revelation. Rich Lavengood showed "How to Flirt" with a Jumbo Die. Ed Solomon had many of us in tears with a "Sandpiper to bring you joy."

After Dinner, the Guest of Honor - Diana Enright - discussed issues with being a woman magician. Many joined in at the end, as we had a very good discussion.  I think that one reason why women are so welcomed in the ICBM is because Women must over overcome stereotypes and break down barriers to be successful. But all Bizarre magicians must also accomplish this. A recurring theme this weekend is breaking down these barriers.

The last thing scheduled was Walt Anthony's "The Biz-ness of Bizarre." This was worth the price of the convention. Walt spent 2 hours discussing dozens of aspects of being a successful performer. Personally I think he revealed too much information, because he discusses his own material in great detail, not as a template, but as an example.

Walt went into detail into branding, self-promotion, customer service, promotion, sales, vision statements, press releases, PSA's. He also discussed the barriers we have to overcome - both external and internal.

As part of the talk, Walt discussed 20 essential books covering all of the techniques needed to be successful. He tied in real-world results using these books, such as one person who's income went from $500 a month to $10,000 a month in 6 months just by following the steps described.

At the end, Walt spread a hundred business cards our, and gave comments on ways to improve them. Then at the end, he handed out the lecture notes, and the 20 "best-of-breed" books to attendees for free, just asking that each of us limit our choice to one that interests us most. I picked up a book on Voice training.

After Walt's session, we went up to the hospitality suite. Beer, wine, bottled water, and soda were available to drink. Snacks included chicken wings, mini-quiches, swedish meetballs, cheese, veggies, red pepper hummus, babaganoush, cookies, cake, lemon squares, pinwheel sandwiches, brownies, and much more. Delicious, but I am afraid we failed to eat it all. We tried! Honest!

This is the third (?) year we met in this hotel. But it's no longer a Raddison, but a Crown Plaza (high-end Holiday Inn I think).  Talking to some of the hotel staff, they mentioned that the new owner already upgraded the beds and bathrooms. There is 3 million dollars planned for more improvements. The hotel is very nice and spacious.

The dealers room was busy. One of the busiest was Mary Tomich, who was selling many odd imported items at wholesale cost. I bought a 5" by 5" bone box for $7, and 3 rosewood and brass pillboxes (a mini version of Zingg's Tibetan Wishing Box) for the price of $1 - for all three. Other people also picked up some great deals.

Several of the dealers had Ren Fair offerings. Boxes, cloaks, a gourgeous hand-made cape, jewelry. Bosco was selling some excess items. EvilDan was selling his leather wallets. Brother Shadow, Ed Solomon, and Loren Tindall had tables. I also spent time at Craig Dickson's, and Losander's table.

Professor Rem was wandering around, passing out "quizes" and other amusing hand-outs. He was also showing his folded money origami.

The close-up show was the first event Saturday. Our hosts, Rifor and Mortis, were emcees. The first item of business was awarding Death certificates to deserving members. This is done early, so they have a chance to enjoy them while they are alive.

Mary Tomich demonstrated a coincidence with an old ring and some Tarot

Vlad demonstrated mind control.

Yona Chock gave us a folklore or rather "fakelore" concerning the history of Hawai'i and Palm trees, based on Clippo.

Kali showed us an emotional piece dealing with ice and snow.

Diana Enright shows us how to brew tea, which evoked a rainbow of memories both emotionally and physically.

Losander asked us to catch salt in mid-air. Usually this effect is a throw-a-way, but Losander made it a charming piece.

David Parr showed us "A Game of Life and Death" in a well-paced entertaining routine.

Next was the David Parr lecture. The first room was competing with music from the next room. We decided to move the lecture to a room that next door had hundreds of people yelling as loud as they can. David handled the distraction well. I think the best part of his lecture was his description of how he broke down barriers of tradition. Other routines was tips on vanishing a match with a thumb tip, Bob Neale's "Thirteen Guests", "Quick to Tell" modified for fortune telling, which he called "Past Present and Future." He also did a presentation concerning the Seven Deadly Sins.

Next was the banquet. Food was very good. I got a generous serving of chicken, and many people could not finish their prime rib.

The Saturday Evening pre-show began with a visit by Dr Mombo. This was
a highlight, as we haven't seen Dr. Mambo for three years. Apparently there is a tradition using a "pumpkazu" - a large vegetable which is half pumpkin and half zuchini. It was easy to see which side was which by the color. This was sliced while on Dr. Mambo's belly.

The show began with the Invocation.  The Emcee was Margaret Steel. Due to a sholder injury, she was unable to perform, but she smoothly handled the crown while talking about Adelaide Hermann.

The first act was Colleen Mahar, who did fast-paced using lit objects in a dark room. The crowd loved it.

Kali started with a Shadow Box appearance, and followed with a routine featuring the production of rats and snakes.

Brittany did what I think is a slave-girl routine, which ended with a transposition between her captor and the slave using a sub-truck. Joe Cabral was a last minute substitute for the slave driver, and he seemed to be a natural. <grin>

Diana Enright was "Princess Lotus Blossom" showing us the Afghan bands.

Marlene Clark did an updated version of his dialog with Satan (using a face puppet to turn Charles Pecor into a Vent figure).

Kardor dazzled us all with his amazing demonstration of chuzpah. A crowd favorite.

Yona Chock performed several effects with an ancestor theme.

David Parr showed us a flexible mirror, and then ate an apple with a razor blade. He followed it up with some dental floss, and produced a string of blades as a finally. A smooth performer.

The ending act was Losander. He is spouse of Luna, and one way to describe their differences is that Luna is Fire and Earth, while Losander is Water and Air. He showed us many of his lecture effects as part of the show, and you can see the fun he has doing it. I liked the bubble dancing above the silk, which was then caught (ala Zombie). The floating table caused the audience to gasp many times. My wife kept saying "How does he do it?" followed by "No! Don't tell me. I don't want to know." It's obviously a lightweight table. But when he draped a cloth over it, and turned the table around, let go of the corners, lightly touching and moving and tilted the lamp on top of the cloth - it was mind-boggling.

Again we adjourned to the hospitality suite.  I've been on the road for the entire week, and I left early as I couldn't keep my eyes open.

I hope those that stayed for the David Parr and Losander workshops on Sunday enjoyed them. All in all it was a wonderful convention and chance to spend time with my friends.

Bruce Barnett.

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