Showing posts with label ~SAM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ~SAM. Show all posts

04 July 2017

Canadians competing at IBM SAM 2017

A little bird has told me that four Canadians will be competing at the upcoming IBM-SAM Combined Convention.

Keep an eye out for Philippe Theriault, Nicky Circelli, and Nicolas Dutel (stage), and Chris Bruce (close up) who all made the preliminary judges’ selection to compete for IBM and SAM prizes plus a chance to obtain a spot to compete at FISM 2018 in South Korea!

Joan Caesar is  a co-chair of the competition, along with Vinny Grosso, Past President of the SAM.

Break a leg Canada!

[With thanks to Joan Caesar for sending me the information.]

02 July 2017

Canadians at IBM SAM 2017

The IBM-SAM Combined Convention is coming up July 12th to 15th!

Canadian roll call please!

So far, I've got:
  • Julianna Chen (stage and lecture), 
  • Jay Sankey (close-up and lecture), 
  • Murray Hatfield and Teresa (stage and lecture), and 
  • The Outerbridges (stage and lecture).

Who'd I miss?

From Ted Outerbridge's Facebook page:

08 January 2017

Shawn Farquhar in The Magic Compass' top 20

A friendly reminder that this is the last day to nominate a Canadian magicians for the 2016 "Readers' Choice Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year" award!

From The Magic Compass:
Before we look ahead to a new year we thought we would once again look back at the 20 top magic news stories, posts and viral videos of 2016. This list was compiled from the most popular posts from magic related Facebook pages, YouTube sites, Twitter, Reddit, The Magic Compass and other social media. Some of the things that made this list surprised us. Other stories that we liked a lot didn’t gain any traction at all.

Read more

From Shawn Farquhar's Facebook page:

28 July 2016

Shawn Farquhar RVP for SAM Canada

Congratulations Shawn!

From Shawn Farquhar's Facebook page:
I am happy and honored to announce I am the new RVP for the SAM for Canada. As the founder of SAM #95, a thirty year member, Dean of my Assembly and life time member #363 I look forward to working to make the SAM's presence in Canada bigger and better.

Read more and have your say.

17 March 2016

Random thoughts on "Outerbridge Clockwork Mysteries"

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Marion and Ted Outerbridge perform their show "Clockwork Mysteries" last month.  They had just completed a 5,500 mile US lecture tour.  I caught them at the Milton Centre for the Arts.
[As an aside, I encourage you to go and see a show at this fabulous 500 seat theatre.  It's approximately 25 minutes west of Toronto's western border.  The facilities are modern and spacious.  On the lower level, it appears that all seats have amazing sight lines.  (I didn't venture up to the balcony.)  The seats are a little bit wider than standard theatre seats, which makes them very comfortable!  They offer amenities like a coat check (by donation) and the ability to pre-order intermission refreshments.  Best of all, parking is free and plentiful.]

Here are some random thoughts that came to mind while watching their amazing time travel themed show:
  • A fast paced, extremely entertaining, high-energy show.
  • All illusions, big and small, were masterfully performed.
  • Greta the Psychic Goose earns her keep.
  • There is a nice ratio of grand illusion, intimate magic, and mentalism.
  • I really enjoy watching "assistants" do magic in their own right.  Marion owns it!
  • Those of you who know me well, know that my opinion of magicians is heavily weighted on how they treat their audience members.  One of my favourite moments in the show, lasted no more than 2 seconds.  Ted walked into the audience to select a volunteer.  He found someone he wanted to bring on stage.  She said, "no."  Instead of cajoling or otherwise pressuring her, he simply moved on and found someone else.  That's how you make the audience feel like you can be trusted to treat them right.  Show people respect from the get go.
  • Ted has a knack for picking awesome audience volunteers.  Six year old Archer was a really good sport and owned that stage!
  • Nine year olds can't be trusted to count down from 90.
  • Ted's disco ball jacket is a thing of sheer beauty!
  • I love that audiences in 2016, still enjoy watching someone get sawed in half, into halves, into two pieces.  
  • Among other wonderful pieces, we were treated to: "The Psychic is Right,"  "The Time Machine," "Alarm Clock," "Floating Barricade Light," "Outside of the Box," and their elegantly performed "Levitation."
  • The biggest mystery of the night for me:  How does Marion manage all of those costume changes?

If you get a chance to see them perform their show "Clockwork Mysteries," go and see it!

(If you're at the upcoming CAM convention, you'll get a taste of their show in the Grand Gala performance at the CAMaraderie Convention/Festival de magie de Québec on April 23, 2016.  They're also scheduled to perform at SAM New York's "2016 Salute to Magic" on May 7th.)

To learn more about this fabulous duo, listen to the Scott Wells' podcast 278: The Inner Secrets of the Outerbridges or visit their website at

Disclosure:  My family and I were guests at this show. The opinions expressed above are entirely my own. I did not receive compensation for the writing or the publishing of this article.

03 August 2015

Review: Michael Close reviews "The Experts"

Read Michael Close's thoughts on "The Experts" from the July issue of MUM Magazine.

From Sharing Wonder:
Mark Twain said a classic is a book that people praise and don’t read, a definition that certainly applies to The Expert at the Card Table by S.W. Erdnase. Dai Vernon was the primary champion of the book; his approach to card handling, shaped by Erdnase’s philosophy and techniques, astonished everyone. Vernon shared his insights to the members of the New York inner circle, and years later even offered personal lessons on the techniques (a project abandoned because of too few interested parties). Charlie Miller and Ross Bertram (in Canada) were also exponents of Erdnase.

Read more.

06 July 2015

Shawn Farquhar awarded the SAM Patriot and Heroism medal and plaque

Congratulations Shawn!

From Shawn Farquhar's Facebook page:

Honoured, proud and humbled to be awarded the SAM Patriot and Heroism medal and plaque. #ibmprez #keepcalmandperformmagic #sharingmymagic #shawnfarquhar
Posted by Shawn Farquhar on Friday, 3 July 2015

20 January 2015

Thirty seconds with Dan Wiebe

This is the first in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds.  Little did they know ...

Semi-professional magician, Dan Wiebe, from Winnipeg Manitoba, is one of the first faces I remember meeting at my first visit to Sorcerers Safari.   Dan is super friendly and has a great sense of humour.  His son Graham previously attended camp for over half a dozen years.  Dan's been an instructor with the camp for seven years.

Dan would rather watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, than Star Wars.

Dan's most embarrassing magical moment was during a performance as "Alex R. O'Leif," when he blanked on the script after recognizing a student as an audience member.
Dan loves that Sorcerers Safari as a fun place to be.  He's a big part of making it that way.  His classes are practical, patiently taught, entertaining and creative.  For the very young kids with shorter attention spans, he'll sometimes get them to do a little craft that gets incorporated into the routine he teaches.  While helping set-up last year's camper show, he made sure that all of the kids would be showcased and their talents highlighted in a lighthearted and entertaining way.  (Who can forget the sight of one of the smallest performers choosing what had to be the tallest volunteer?)  Dan's first memory of magic dates back to about ten years of age, when he watched someone make an "invisible flea" fly onto a piece of paper.

Dan is a 13 year instructor with the Society of Young Magicians (youth chapter of the Society of American Magicians).  His advice for young magicians:  "Practise."

When not in a magical mood, you're likely to find Dan at a computer.

From Becky Wells' Facebook page:

For more information about the Society of Young Magicians in Winnipeg:

09 July 2014

Canadians at the World Championships of Magic

Updated July 10 to add this article from The Now Newspaper:
NORTH DELTA — A North Delta couple was crowned “North American Champions of Stage Magic” after traveling to St. Louis last week for the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Society of American Magicians and North American F.I.S.M. Championships Combined Convention.

Trevor and Lorena Watters met while studying at Douglas College, and now the couple, who reside in North Delta, perform comedy magic routines together, competing at an international level.  
Read more.

Congratulations to Shin Lim and Lorena & Trevor Watters on their successes at the IBM/SAM competitions!  Wishing you all the best at the FISM World Championships next July.  (Visit the IBM website to read the full list of contest winners.)

Trevor Watters has a magic touch with women.

On one of his first dates with an 18-year-old named Lorena, Watters invited her back to his parents’ house in Delta.

Some men might have chatted a bit before quickly moving to hanky-panky. Not Watters.
He had placed a large illusionist’s box in the living room. He invited Lorena to climb into it so he could stick 12 swords into her.

Read more.

From the Edmonton Journal and CTV News:
Three Canadians from the Vancouver-area will represent North America at the World Championships of Magic in Italy next summer.

Trevor and Lorena Watters, a North Delta couple, beat six other finalists to win the North American Stage Magic Championship in St. Louis this weekend.

Vancouver-born Shin Lim will represent North America under the category of magic acts performed to a small audience without a stage.

Read more.

04 July 2014

Breaking news from IBM/SAM

Updated July 5th to add the official announcement from Trevor and congratulations from the Vanishing Rabbit and Clive Court:

From Murray Hatfield's Twitter feed:

Congratulations  Lorena and Trevor!!!

IBM/SAM Competition Finals update

Thanks for the update Jen!  Way to go Lorena and Trevor!

From Jen Segal's Facebook page:

14 February 2014

Full tution scholarship to Sorcerers Safari Magic and Peformance Camp

From the Society of American Magicians:
In addition, the Magic Endowment Fund Is Providing Scholarships to ... [snip] ... the Sorcerers Summer Safari located near Toronto in Haliburton, Ontario, Canada for the week of August 15 to August 20, 2014. The Magic Endowment Fund Is Proud to Offer the Scholarships Which It Has Done for the Past 21 years. Involvement in the magical arts not only makes a crucial difference in the lives of youngsters during their formative years, it has been proven to develop character and good traits and combat juvenile delinquency.

Read more and apply.

01 November 2013

Chris Westfall on M-U-M cover

Read James Alan's article, "Magic Saved My Life," about Chris Westfall in the November issue of M-U-M!

From The Society of American Magicians:
A magician stands at a fork in the road. One path leads to magic; the other path leads to dangerous behavior, possible incarceration, and possible death. (So, let the reader be warned.) Chris Westfall is a remarkable magician in more ways than one. On the surface, he seems fairly ordinary; an arsenal of card tricks, rubber bands around his wrist, a mildly goofy, slightly off-Sankey sense of humor. None of that seems to explain how busy he is. He currently juggles four restaurant gigs in Toronto in addition to professional close-up gigs. In the summer he adds a series of kids’ day-camp workshops that fuels weekends full of children’s shows. Of course, he’s not organized enough to give me an exact figure, but a back-of-an-envelope estimate has him doing about six hundred dates a year.

Read more.

19 October 2013

2014 Combined convention contests

From Ring 49:
For the first time at any magic convention there will be a triple magic championship competition. The combination of the I.B.M. and S.A.M. annual competitions with the 2014 FISM North America Championships of Magic will offer the greatest magic competition ever presented.  These three magic contests will offer a total of over $30,000 cash awards plus performing contracts. While you must be a North American resident to be eligible for the FISM Championships, all accepted contest participants, regardless of their home country, are eligible for the I.B.M. and S.A.M. cash awards.

The contest is limited to 30 stage and 30 close-up competitors. These competitors will be chosen from audition videos (see the website for details). A potential of fifteen residents of North America will have the opportunity to advance to the FISM 2015 World Championship of Magic in Rimini, Italy. Two of these winners will be crowned FISM 2014 North American Champions, one in stage and one in close-up.

Read more.

19 March 2013

Mayhew and Train: Underground in Washington

From the Society of American Magicians:
Show Producer Mike Miller announced a new idea not offered before at a convention, as an added bonus to those attending the SAM Convention in Washington DC, July 3-6, 2013:

After the Dealer Room closes each night, some of the best close-up performers (some you know and all you should know) will session with the conventioneers till early morning!

Read more.

How exciting to see Chris Mayhew and Ben Train on the list!

19 July 2011

Review of SAM 2011

Over at Magic & Illusion, Wayne Kawamoto reviews SAM 2011 in Pittsburgh.

Under the heading of "The Contests" Wayne has this to say about Richard Forget:
Richard Forget offered an effect that can only be described as "zombie fire." Forget also produced a drum set on stage and offered manipulations - vanishes and multiplications - with the drum sticks.
Read more.
Those of you who are attending the CAM/PCAM M.A.G.I.C. convention this year will have to tell me all about Richard's act.  It sounds fabulous!

04 July 2011

Shawn Farquhar: FISM North America / SAM 2011

Shawn Farquhar will be performing at the SAM convention in Pittsburgh, PA which runs from July 13 to 16, 2011.  Also taking place at SAM 2011 is the first FISM North American Championships!  Good luck to the competitors!

For more information about convention, visit the SAM website.

[h/t: Northern Sleights]