04 April 2017

Browser's Magic Bash 2017 recap

In case you missed it, I live-Tweeted and live-blogged this year's Browser's Magic Bash last Saturday.  In this post I've consolidated (and edited) the blog posts and Tweets. (For the complete list of Tweets and photos check out this Twitter link to #BrowsersBash2017.)  It's a very long post.  Click "read more" below to view it.  Thanks for joining in.

I hope you all had as much fun as I did!



PRE-EVENT:

I arrived at the hotel sometime after 7:30am.  The event staff were working hard getting everything ready.




Here's a peek of the entrance closer to 8:15:




And a pre-event look at the hall:




Photo evidence of people hard at work:









Some people may have found a minute or two to play:


A lot more people than this were there, when the doors were finally opened (I know because I inadvertently found myself locked out of the hall and in the thick of the crush!):




MIX AND MINGLE:

Doors opened and the hall filled.  Time to check out the playbill.



The day's agenda:


Grab some breakfast (at the far end is Aaron Fisher, Michael Ammar, and Adam Grace):


Visit the booths:



And make this:


look like this:


You could hear the excitement in the room.




There were some technical delays. (Unfortunately the event was riddled with audio visual issues this year.)  So magicians did what entertainers do to help pass the time.  They entertained!







Jeff Pinsky told some stories, as did Jeff Hinchliffe, and Keith Brown.


IT BEGINS!




And then things got theatrical as Sandy Mack brought a bit of Broadway to The Bash.





THE MORNING SHOW


Watch the final bows!





We then heard from Jeff:
  • We were thanked for our support of The Browser's Den.
  • We learned that for reasons of health, Silly Billy was unable to attend The Bash this year.
  • He recognized other noteables of the magic community in attendance:  Phil Cox from Kind of Magic, Evelyn and Phil Matlin from Perfect Magic, Joan Caesar, past-President of IBM and CAM, and the Cooper family!
  • The day's Zone Performers: Al Grose, Arthur Poon, Morgan Pierce, Alex Boyer, Derick Finn, and Rosemary Reid.
  • And last but not least, it was time for lunch!



IN HONOUR OF DARYL EASTON:

Michael Ammar, one of Daryl Easton’s closest friends and coworkers, paid tribute to Daryl by reading his fantastic Facebook tribute to Daryl that begins, "There's a hole in the curtain."




Lee announced that part of the proceeds from every ticket sold for this year's Bash being donated CAM-H (Centre for Addiction & Mental Health) in Daryl’s name.

To donate directly to the family, visit the GoFundMe campaign for the Easton Family.


MINI-TALKS
  • The first mini-talk was Rosemary Reid, who hit it out of the park with a tightly scripted, high impact, entertainingly delivered piece on women in magic.
  • Next up was Keith Brown telling his story of how magic almost cost him his life and encouraging us to turn our greatest failures into the launchpad of our greatest success. 
  • Then came Joanne Pomeroy from the United States Playing Card Company.  Among other things, she told us about a very special deck of cards developed in WWII to help allied prisoners escape from German POW camps.  She also arranged for everyone to receive a free deck of cards!


LECTURES

Michael Ammar talked about:

  • Things that look like corks.
  • Topits.
  • And then he had and amazing a "Lightning Round" which was 15 minutes rapid fire, brilliant ideas such as the rabbit cannon, cut and restored silk, wind-up deck, vanishing wine glass, Sheer Surprise, The Little Hand, and a really cool floating glass!
  • My favourite take-aways were less about technique, and more about performance: 
    - You have a responsibility when you bring someone up on stage. Don't cross the line.
    - Perform so people leave liking magic more than when they came.

While some technical issues were addressed, Glenn Ottaway did a short impromptu set between lectures.


Eugene Burger discussed:


There was some free time to check out the deals in the Dealers' Area, visit with the talent, catch-up with familiar people, and make new friends!  There were also Zone Performers entertaining at designated tables.

And then, dinner!


After dinner, Jeff started things off with some acknowledgements:
  • Thank you very much to the MonteCassino staff!
  • Thank you also to: Annie Pinsky, Dick Joiner, Mike & Jen Segal, Michael Gillis, Eric Hansen, Jon Sy, John Morgan, Luiz Castro, Chris Mayhew, Lidden Li, Stephanie Kline, Jeff Hinchliffe, Andres Gil, Shawna York, Nicole Lee, John Michalson, Roxanne Talbot, and Christina Asher.
  • Thanks again to Bash Ambassadors:  Arthur Poon, Al Grose, Derick Finn, Rosemary Reid, Morgan Pierce & Alex Boyer!
  • The musical interludes today were custom-made songs sung by the multitalented Dan McClean Jr.!
  • Last, but definitely not least, a big thank you to John Talbot and Lee Asher!

And then on with the evening show!


THE STAGE SHOW



This is what the audience did when Jeff came back on stage:




And then Jeff told us that Shawna would be leaving the Browser's family.  Thank you and best wishes Shawna!





He also told us that Jeff Hinchliffe would be returning to the store.  Welcome back Jeff H.!





We were treated to Dan McLean Jr. playing us out.





While the day had it's share of hiccoughs, it was a fabulous event!  Don't just take my word for it, here's what other's had to say:























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