The 24th. Annual New
England Gathering Of The Magi
known as The Inner Circle Of Bizarre Magic Gathering.
DATE HELD: November,
12th., 13th., 14th., 2015.
At the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Resorts,
1284 Strongtown Road,
Southbury, C.T. , U.S.A.
The special Honoree this
LOTHAR Malmberg writes:-
year's ICBM/The Gathering in New England was wonderful! There were almost 70 of us present and what a great mix of magic and
bizarre. Two of the guest lecturers - Geoff Williams and David Corsaro -both went out of their way to present some of their GREAT material with a
bizarre twist; very much appreciated by many.
I opened the lectures with a presentation and discussion on The Theatrical
Seance. Lots of discussion followed with almost another hour up in the hospitality suite! Comments heard were "helpful; sensitive; moving; strong
routine; good use of the pendulum; good use of the centre tear; good solutions to some problem places; etc."
Leslie Melville hosted two late-night sessions of dark, and humorous, tales in the
hospitality suite with a nice variety of attendees presenting. I have to admit that I have heard a few orations of the Cremation of Sam
Magee, over the years, but never such a presentation as given by Lee Woodside (?). The man's voice, clear recitation and southern accent made it
the most moving and best understood version I have ever heard!
The lecture by David Corsaro was oneI wish I had heard 30 years ago. A brilliant lecture on marketing with strong examples by using magic. THIS IS a lecture every club should be
bringing in! A young man who is up to date and knows his business because that IS his business!
Williams was hilarious presenting good magic and showing strong and respectful control of assistants while on his stage. I have to say that his cut and restored rope/knots over the head was one of the most entertaining
things I have seen in years!
Jimmy C was a class act. Nothing new to see but his magic was clean, well
presented, entertaining and he himself was always a gentleman and always willing to discuss, show or help. He was quite remarkable seeing as how he had a very late start in magic. A professional all the way.
And I would be remiss not to mention our gracious host - Mr. Joe Cabral! He went out of his way to make sure that everyone was enjoying themselves, even in the midst of two fairly large political 'disruptions' that most of
us did not see or feel! THAT is the mark of a real professional - putting personal feelings aside for the good of the whole. I was really impressed
with his hospitality, graciousness, availability and excellent organization
of this wonderful event.
I can only begin to imagine what the 25th anniversary of this event will be
like; AND THAT'S NEXT YEAR! Be sure to book it ASAP!
New England Gathering of the Magi / ICBM
A few random and early thoughts following my return from one of the most enjoyable gatherings Adrian and I have attended.
There seemed to be an influx of 'Newbies' this year, always a
good and healthy sign that the event, after a continuous and unbroken twenty four
years, can still attract.
The 'new' elements (Open Remembrance Ceremony, " Midnight
Matinees in the Hospitality Suite) were well received and will hopefully
continue at future
Highlights (for me) were the two lectures and Gala show performances by
respectively, David Cosaro and Geoff Williams, " both
technically mainstream performers but intelligent and astute enough to realise that
this is essentially a 'Bizarre Magick' event and professional enough to adjust
their material accordingly.
was lovely meeting Lothar Malmberg for the first time. We had
previously communicated but never met. Back home in Canada, he conducts private
psychic/spirit parties in people's homes and also presents spooky story
ghost walks. His lecture and subsequent Saturday Gala performance were
full of charm and style.
For their participation in
William Warlock's midnight, 'Appointment with Fear!' event, I would personally like to thank David Mousch, Gil Earl, Lee
Woodside, EvilDan Terelmes, Tom Smith, Mary Tomich, Odes Ohdner and Daniel
The camaraderie was, as always of the very
best and to see Scott Payne in his various incarnations is always a
delight! Great to see Craig and Joanne Dickson (my sincere apologies
again for you know why!) and Blackpool knowledgeable fanatic, Thom Dunlap.
And Joe Cabral, the Grand Magus himself on top form, bustling around and making sure everything was as it should be.
There were a couple of minor irritations (aren't there always?) of which I
may speak later but this was another success and further credit to Joe and
his support (I'm not referring to the surgical one!) for the creation of a
that I'm back home in Oklahoma City and have had plenty of time to collect
my thoughts, I figured that some of you on the Shadow Network might be
interested in a first-timer's take on the Gathering of the Inner Circle of
Bizarre Magick held in Southbury, Connecticut November 12-14th. I'll
get my complaints out of the way first thing: a noisy heating unit
and low water pressure in the hotel room and slooow service at the
banquet. Just minor annoyances, really.
I want to thank Rich Lavengood for taking the time to pick me up at the
airport Thursday and drop me back off on Sunday. It was much more
pleasant than having to drive in a strange place. Also, being able
to visit with him and Rick Mayers during the drive was very enjoyable.
"Bizarre Magick 101" was a great way to kick things off at 10:00
pm Thursday evening. Thanks to Odes Ohdner and Evil Dan for a
Although it was not bizarre, Jimmy C's lecture was very enjoyable.
His enthusiasm for magic was contagious. He also offered lots of
tips, ideas and one-liners that were worthwhile for the beginner or the
"Works in Progress" was a great place for folks to show their
routines. I was somewhat hesitant to perform but decided to try my
"Aunt Clara's Prediction." I'm glad that I did. I
received a great reaction and performing definitely helps people learn who
you are. I encourage everyone who goes to next year's convention to
work something up to perform. I very much enjoyed watching the other
Lothar Malmberg presented a great low-light séance and lecture. I
have studied séances for many years, but had not yet had the pleasure of
actually seeing one performed so it was quite a treat. He had some
wonderful effects and a great many
Friday evening show was a lot of fun. I have read about the antics
of Wabu Djambes and Dr. Mombo on the Shadow Digest for many years but
finally got to see them "in the flesh." Jimmy C's
"vent" bit with Joe Cabral was hilarious and the "Death of
Penn and Teller" was great. I had corresponded with Evil Dan
and seen him and Colleen on Jay Leno but it was a real treat to see them
on stage in person. I feel like I'm leaving someone out and if so I
The Saturday morning close-up show was a mixture of bizarre and
"standard" magic with many very strong routines. I thought
that Daniel Greenwolf's story about the dying little girl whose dad carved
and painted wooden hearts for her was very moving.
David Corsaro presented a lecture of very strong commercial magic
routines. He's a young man and his professionalism and people skills
tell me that he is going to go far in the world of magic.
Charlie Hayden showed some classics of magic including the flaming wallet
bottle production sponge balls and coin in bottle. His strong
personality lets him pull of treating his audience members in a way that
few people would be able to get away with. I know that I couldn't do
it but it seems to work for him.
Geoff Williams is another rising star of magic and he presented us with a
great lecture. He showed us some great routines and also offered
practical advice, such as a better way to handle the "Invisible
Deck." He very graciously offered to send us the directions for
his powerful "Devastation" card trick via email.
The banquet was great with the exception of the somewhat slow service that
was mentioned at the first. There were lots of fascinating magicians
to visit with while awaiting the food. One person remarked that the
banquet reminded him of a costume party and when I looked around the room
I saw what he meant. It was a fun atmosphere.
I did not take any notes during the Saturday night show. I just sat
back and enjoyed it. Lots of good magic!
I've been to an IBM convention and a few of the TAOM (Texas Association of
Magicians) conventions and they were good but they tend to have too many
people. This convention reminded me more of the ones that Bill Pitts
(Past President of IBM) used to sponsor in Eureka Spring Arkansas.
With about 75 people you can actually meet people. It is more like a
family atmosphere. Also the close-up shows are much better when you
don't have an audience of 400 or 500!
enjoyed the fact that we had enough free time during the day to session
with fellow magicians. I very much enjoyed sessioning with Professor
Rem and with Rick Mayers. Both showed me some new effects and
Professor Rem had lots of gags puzzles quizzes and other interesting
things. I've tried to contact him to see if he offers any of his
courses online such as "Suicide and Your Health" or "Tax
Shelters for the Indigent."
saved the best for last. I thought the hospitality suite was
wonderful. It was a great way to relax enjoy good food and drink and
to visit with people many of whom I have communicated with on the Shadow
Digest for many years. In addition I got to meet many new friends.
The icing on the cake was the chance to enjoy bizarre magick in a parlor
setting hosted by none other than Leslie Melville who traveled all the way
from Great Britain to be with us. The routines were wonderful.
I was a bit reluctant to recite "The Cremation of Sam McGee"
because it wasn't an actual routine only a poem. The reaction from
the audience told me that I should not have worried. I thank Lothar
Malmberg for his very kind words regarding my recitation of the poem.
I thought it interesting that he mentioned my southern accent. Heck
I thought I was the only one there who didn't have an accent! I
found it fascinating that both Leslie and Lothar had connections to the
poem. Leslie once resided in a town in Scotland that Robert William
Service had lived in and Lothar lives very close to the grave of the
actual Sam McGee!
I can't sign off without commenting on the welcome packet. Lots of
goodies were contained in it. I do have a question about one item.
It looked sort of like a two-sided leather coin purse except that it's
flat. Can anyone tell me what it is? Special thanks to Karl
Bartoni and Greg Solomon for the CD with the past 20 years of Ed Solomon's
Christmas music. What a nice treat!
I even learned something new ordering
breakfast one morning. I ordered a breakfast sandwich at Patty's
Pantry next door to the hotel and they asked if I wanted it on a
grinder. I said "I'm from Oklahoma. What the heck is a
In conclusion I truly enjoyed the Gathering and would highly recommend
it. I hope that I am able to attend the 25th Gathering in
2016. If so I hope to see you there.
Woodside, Oklahoma City
by Karl Bartoni,
Many thanks Lee for such an in depth review of the 24th ICBM
Gathering. When I used to organise the Edinburgh Gatherings I found that
those who attended returned home with totally different perspectives of
their time at the event which I liked to know about and so it was good to
read your review, as a first timer attending the ICBM Gathering. Thank you
for your 'special thanks' re. the Ed Solomon CD (given out in remembrance
of our dearly departed Ed Solomon). After thinking it would be nice for
attendees to remember Ed in this way, I contacted his son Greg for
permission before having a studio make the copies for me. Greg was only
too pleased to have me go ahead and in actual fact asked for a copy as he
hadn't got a copy.
With reference to Lee Woodside's remarks, it was good to get the thought's
of someone attending for the first time. There did seem to be a healthy
mix of new/regular attendees which gave the event freshness.
This was my ninth attendance and my son Adrian's fourth. He said it was
the most enjoyable one he had experienced and I felt there was more of a
'buzz' than in the last year or so.
With regard to the Midnight shows in the Hospitality Suite. They came
about as a result of my 'Jack the Ripper' presentation in 2014. I was scheduled
to perform in the main hall on Thursday evening.
It meant that the early Thursday arrivals, already ensconced in the Hospitality Suite were obliged to leave the comfort of their easy chairs
to go downstairs and sit the formally arranged rows of hard seats to watch me
for forty minutes before returning to the relaxing warmth of the
It occurred to me at the time that I could easily have performed the piece
in the informal 'parlour' setting where it might perhaps have been more suitable.
I later suggested to Joe that performances could take place there that
would permit the presentation of material that might be unsuitable or
inappropriate anywhere else. It would also create an opportunity for some
of the regular attending members who we don't often see performing (Mary
Tomich for instance!) to remind us of what they can do! Joe agreed and the result
was William Warlock's Appointment with Fear! I am already planning next