Circle Of Bizarre Magic Convention,2009.
DATE: November, 12th, 13th & 14th.
THIS YEARS NEW VENUE WAS: The Radisson Hotel and Conference Center, Southbury, CT, U.S.A.
The theme this year was 'The Magic of Shadow Land' and the person being honoured was:
Lecturers included; Losander, Bob Fitch and Pasqual Perrino.
FULL DETAILS AT THE ICBM WEBSITE
Go direct to the ICBM website to view photographs by clicking HERE.
#1. By Chris Walden. (as reported daily to the Shadow Digest)
I arrived late, but was treated to the utmost in hospitality with cold pizza and hard liquor. I've only been here a few hours and already I've been treated to warm greetings, a discussion on the inevitable discovery of the supernatural and pro-wrestling videos on someone's iPhone. You can't make this stuff up. Today was a great day. More after tomorrow.
Today was a great day. It
started with a rousing lecture by Bob Neale which was different than
anything I'd attended before. Bob presented three pieces that he had
developed that had to do with some level of social message. He
performed each piece, told us about his reasoning and purpose for the
script and then invited open discussion about what he had done. All
of the comments were enlightening and showed the true depth of thinking
After Bob was lunch.
It's always a treat to see how a restaurant deals with a sudden influx of
three vans full of Bizarrists. ("Excuse me, young man.
Are you from a bus?" "Why yes we are.") Today
the special place was Friendly's, with specials that featured the Happy
Ending Sundae. Trips abroad made it harder to order that with a
straight face. It turned out to be two scoops of ice cream (good ice
Next was works in
progress. There were many interesting presentations across the
board, followed by the sort of constructive discussion that always seems
to come from this group of people. A special treat for me was to
take my story-driven approach to the Ambitious Card plot and discuss that
with Bob Fitch, who provided some challenging ideas about
Next was beer with
interesting people, including more stimulating conversation about goals
and methods. I am fascinated at how unlike other magic gatherings
this event is. Every conversation is useful and though-provoking.
I will be a step further on my path after this weekend.
Not too much time after
the bonus lecture before the Friday evening show. This was a great
example of what creative minds can do when they get together. I've
seen many magic variety shows which all run pretty much the same way.
This program had a plot featuring two comical cleaning guys who are
cleaning the Hotel Decatur... or Hotel Decay as it is sometimes known.
(There was a great visual with the sign for that joke that really had to
see. Very funny!) All of the introductions were handled
through an old entertainment log book that called back the ghosts of acts
from the past. Great stuff!
Saturday has come
and largely gone. I'm reporting a little early because the official
activities are over for the day, but I'm heading up to the hospitality
suite-- one of the key benefits of ICBM! I want to get some of this
information out before the fog of celebration clouds my recollections.
The afternoon had Bob
Fitch's lecture. I am pretty theatrically-wired. I don't have
the background or experience that many do, but I have a deep love for what
goes into putting on shows and portraying characters effectively. I
missed the beginning of the lecture because of some unfortunate
lunch/transportation issues. However, there was so much
The evening dinner was fine. Service was polite and I had nothing to complain about my food. The show was a fun evening. I won't go blow-by-blow with it either, but I'll mention things that stood out for me:
* Doctor Bruce used pain as a way to induce psychic ability with some fun stuff. I've been enjoying Bruce in this non-technical role. Fun stuff.
* Evil Dan and Colleen did a cute side-show bit with some truly beautiful carnival props of those clown faces that you're supposed to knock down with a ball. I got to help with this one and won a sock, which I will have autographed.
* Bob Fitch did coin magic. That is not an adequate explanation. He demonstrated all of the elements that he had talked about to do some beautiful sleight-of-hand with coins. The magic was not about the coins... it was connected with us. His timing is just so damned good that everything just happens.
* Leslie Melville performed with his impeccable pleasance. He told a delightful story about a man who found a box-- that wasn't really a box, just four sides without a top and a loose bottom that had a hole in it-- which contained many five-pound notes. Other good stuff, but that one really stood out, because in other hands it could have been tedious... but Leslie made it bright and interesting with the repetition being fun.
* Losander made things fly. It doesn't really matter what. Things floated and flew under some mysterious power in his presence. He has such a command of his floating objects that they have a life of their own. He makes them float perfectly still while he has movement around them. He has them move with such a slow tempo that it is unearthly. I have never seen Losander live and now I understand what levitation is supposed to look like. Truly impressive.
* Normally we are
treated to Harley Newman doing sword swallowing, but this year he did
something new and attempted to catch a blow dart in mid air. He
missed the catch, but managed to parry it. That's good enough to
make you not dead when being attacked by
I know that I left some
stuff out... but I can't tell everything.
#2 By Evildan.
Got home from
another great Gathering last night. We've been going non-stop all week. We
closed on a house on Monday and finished moving out of our apartment on
Thursday. We got up Friday, spent two hours finding clothes and props for
the Gathering and then hit the road.
We attended Bruce
Barnett's lecture on building a comedic character and comedy. Great stuff.
Bruce funneled info from many different resources to give a very detailed
lecture that I'm sure many, if not all, benefited from.
Hotel Decay was a great
late night feature. I didn't see much of it since I was a part of it and
spent most of the time backstage. But it was entertaining even backstage.
Cathy Mousch was the
queen of the hospitality suite again this year providing us with all types
of goodies to eat and drink into the wee hours of the night. And the
hospitality suite is the one big attraction of the Gathering. It's where
you can not only rub elbows with everyone, but sit down and talk to anyone
about anything from magic to any subject imaginable. The attendees at the
Gathering aren't your typical "trick hungry" lot. They have what
they do and they look to do it better. Don't get me wrong, they are always
on the lookout to find another piece or an idea that will lead to another
piece to put in their show, but they're not finger flickers looking to
boost their ego by stumping the best minds in magic. There is no sense of
competition here...just the sense of family. And that's why I've made it a
point to be at the Gathering every year for the past 14 years since I
discovered the ICBM.
#3 By Leslie Melville.
Returned home this
morning (Tuesday) " jet lagged from the ICBM Gathering in
Connecticut. Jet-lagged but totally content! Others have reported the
activities in more detail but I wanted to say 'Congratulations' to Joe
Cabral for pulling off yet another truly memorable and successful weekend
#3 By Odes Odhner.
A number of folks have
already reported on this year's Gathering, but I'll offer mine just
Back to Archive
Home Main Page