“Contests” was the name of the day for Friday, Day Four of the 84th Annual I.B.M. Convention. The Close-up Competition was held early afternoon, and the finalists of the Stage Competition were featured on the Gold Medal Show during the evening. In between there were more lectures, the Third Round of the Big Three Event, a Board of Trustees meeting, a special youth session and a pizza party, and even an Autograph Session by the stars. And throughout it all, the Dealers Room was open for seven hours today, a delightful place to buy and sell, to talk and share, and to gather with friends, new and old.
Dr. Aubrey Fine has been coordinating youth activities at the I.B.M. conventions for over a dozen years. Being a college teacher himself, he is passionate about putting young magicians in learning opportunities, and he arranged numerous activities to do just that all week. Today’s youth event was billed as “Youth Meet the Stars.” Howie Schwartzman talked with the group, and then demonstrated a nice card trick. Then Geoff Williams spoke to the youngsters, after which he taught them a trick. Late afternoon, the youth gathered again for a pizza party before leaving for the evening stage show.
Early afternoon the highly-anticipated Close-up Contest was held. Contestants rotated between four rooms, allowing smaller groups to see more with tiered seating. All the winners of the Stage and Close-up Contests will be announced at the Saturday evening show.
Following the Close-up Contest was the lecture of John Bannon, a lawyer by day and a widely-respected creator of close-up and card magic by night. He also is the creator of “Twisted Sisters,” one of the best-selling tricks of all time.
The evening Gold Medal Show was back at the Chrysler Theater. Featured were the finalists of the stage competition. The judges left to deliberate, and the contest winners will be announced at the Saturday night show. Rich Bloch was emcee for the show, and was at his best. Closing the show, appropriately, was the winner of the Gold Medal in 1999, George Saterial, from Massachusetts.
After the show and back at the hotel, David Acer from Canada lectured, and there was a meeting of the Invisible Lodge. Of course many attendees
had to set their alarms tonight in order to get up early Saturday, for the Order of Merlin breakfast at 8 am.