The 84th Annual Convention of the International Brotherhood of Magicians came to a close sometime after midnight, July 7, after five days of wall-to-wall magic. Appropriately, Day Five of the convention was packed with over sixteen hours of magic, including a special breakfast, two lectures, six teach-in sessions, (given twice); a special panel discussion, a youth show, the awards presentation, the Stars of Magic Show, and a Farewell Party, including a Strolling Olympics. Whew!
The annual Order of Merlin Breakfast began the day at 8 am. This is the special event which recognizes longevity in the membership. You earn the Order of Merlin award with twenty-five years of continuous membership. Then at thirty-five years, it becomes an Order of Merlin Shield award. At fifty years, the award is the Order of Merlin Excalibur, and at sixty years, it is the Order of Merlin Excelsior. The complete list of the class of 2012 is given in the July issue of The Linking Ring. The guest speaker for the breakfast was Chip Romero, the cruise ship magic king, and magic historian.
One of the biggest benefits of entering the I.B.M. contests, is getting constructive feedback from the judges. The annual Judges Critique sessions were held this morning. At the same time, the always-popular Juliana Chen, from Las Vegas, lectured to attendees.
Last year in Dallas, one of the most popular events at the I.B.M. Convention was the SIG (Special Interest Groups), small-group teach-in sessions. So this year's convention committee was smart to bring them back. This year they called them Six Pack Sessions, featuring -- you guessed it -- six teach-in sessions. They they repeated them so attendees could get to two of the six sessions.
A clever addition to the convention was a Panel Discussion by the Stars of Asia. What a neat session, an opportunity to talk with and ask questions of the performers from the night before.
Meanwhile, the youth were wrapping up the week of special events, by conducting their own show. After listening to, talking with, and learning from magicians all week, it was time for the young, aspiring magicians to perform themselves, for each other. Acts came from all over -- Argentina, Kansas, Virginia, Tennessee, etc. A couple of them even served as emcees. Afterward, Aubrey and Bruce taught them a couple of card tricks. What a great week it was for the youth.
Paul Gertner, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was the last lecturer for the convention, and the last event of the daytime hours.
At 7 pm, a special Awards Presentation at the Chrysler Theater, announced the winners of the Close-up and Stage Competitions. Those winners are listed in a separate news release on this page.
Immediately following the announcement of the contest winners, the final evening show took place -- the "Stars of Magic Show." It was another terrific way to end a terrific week. So how do you say goodbye to all the friends -- old and new -- you talked with during the week? How about a Farewell Party, including the popular Strolling Olympics? And that's why the oldest and best magic convention in the world, went past midnight after five days.
Start making your plans now to attend the 85th Annual I.B.M. Convention in Phoenix, Arizona Next July. More details will starting coming your way soon.
One more time, you can download the entire convention program. Also, be reminded that all the photos at the convention were taken by Michael Messing, and that they are copyrighted by the I.B.M.