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Old 08-31-05, 10:27 PM   #1
nick nickolas
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 528
Hat Adeaide Magic Convention 2005. A Review

DAY ONE.......

“These are the only set of keys, the others are miles away” I was told by my Brent my buddy Scoots brother as we were led to a flat situated behind The Directors pub in Adelaide.
“ No worries mate, thanks” I replied
“Have a great weekend” he said as I saw him drive away.

I was there with my friend Tony Roberts a 40 yr old man, 10yr comedian and 1 year magician, to attend the national magic convention .
The official beginning of the event was 5pm today, unfortunately we didn’t arrive ‘till 10pm.

Everything had gone smooth, the twenty dollar discount we scored on the overnighter train ride, help support the beer, poker and a concoction of strange people for 10 hours.
The affluent crowds in the mall supported my pockets, that afternoon.

It was now about 4pm, I was at the bar chatting to a professional poker player named Chevy when Tony pops back from the digs.
“I’ve locked the keys in the room” Tony exclaimed, as I watched Amy the barmaid clearing tables.

I proceeded to view a sim card switching, phone charging, international texting frustrated Tony. Searching mentally, for the answer to the problem inside his calm exterior while I was talking poker strategies with Chevy.

“Maybe check at the desk” I mentioned 3 hours later in my role as the beer drinking director of the event.
Tony’s aura filled the room even before he returned and threw an envelope containing a 2nd set of Keys. With my name written on it !!
“Oh great you got them” exclaimed Amy the barmaid “I put them there this morning for you guys!!”
Well that was it, bubble finally burst we made our way to West Lakes Resort.

Now I’ve been to a few of these gatherings before, actually cleaned up half the awards at Melbourne last year, this was Tony’s first. He was armed with a perfect faro shuffle and original gags (even though some would make your grandma vomit), I was armed with recognition and reputation.

The dealers room was open, nine or so tables laid out with colorful boxes, plastic bags containing bits of brass and plastic, ropes, rubber hands, smoke puffs, boxes for containing large mammals, flashing ties etc…
Weaving around these tables were a shuffle of magicians, some 40 yr professionals, some teenage prodigies, some 50 yr olds who are still living with there parents…

They’d stop, have a look, the salesman’s eyes would dart around, checking the dexterous fingers flicking through his piles of merchandise, every now and then hitting eye contact “This would be great for your act, fit right in…. What is it you do again?” They’d explain, money changes hands and secrets are passed.

The Westlakes Resort, has three bars to choose from,
The Lounge, The Piano and The Sports. Being only 5 steps away The Sports bar was the obvious choice.
A good cubby hole area including a pool table and a texas hold ‘em machine was home to the magicians. Walking in with Roy Hopford one of the committee I was bought a drink and introduced to a hubble of teenagers, hands together below their waists flicking cards and coins around, just to think that’s how I used to be.

I met a lad called Justin he showed me a trick I blew it (forgot which card I had) he didn’t bat just changed the zone and did something incredible, his brother looked on a 35 yr old building contractor Brendan who was down from Sydney to hang out.

“Hey mate how are you?” It was Gary Cohen from Hey Presto a lovable rogue and a consummate sales man, I’d met last year.
Gary didn’t have a dealers stand here so had his pockets full of tricky trinkets and flaming wallets.

He’d pull them out sporadically to punt on to some innocent magician with patent shoes and a playing card tie. Then begin to explain how great this piece of colored plastic and string would be for their act, he tried it on us between sips of his baileys and milk, “No Gary …No, No Gary …No” (A catch phrase from a high profile stop smoking campaign) was chanted more than once during the next 3 days.

Gary had come down with Steve Hart A Sydney based cruise ship worker, fisherman and prankster, Drinks were drunk and thoughts were thunk, as stories were told.

James sleight a stout WA magician came over, shared a drink, then performed a fantastic card torn and restoration which he proceeded to explain to Tony.

I swapped stories played pool, and bounced around trying to organize a card texas hold -em championship after the gala show tomorrow night.
Not sure of the time but the bar had closed and mmm we must have got a cab home.


Last edited by nick nickolas; 09-01-05 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 09-01-05, 10:04 PM   #2
nick nickolas
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 528
Hat DAY 2...

Day 2…

It was about half way through the shower when I woke up, warm water beating on my back. Releasing I’d slept in my tee shirt, I peeled the wet cloth from my back, engineered a shave, toweled my body dry, inhaled a bloody mary at the bar and got a cab back to magicland,,

Tony and I wandered in during the close up competition. There were 7 or so tables with magicians rotating 8minite routines.
I caught a cups and balls routine with colored balls, saw a man bend a fork, and Justin from last night with green cards, it was over. I was stopped in my tracks. On my way out when an American bloke was spinning a card around his body in mid air.

The shuffle of magicians moved around the dealers’ room. Soup and Rolls were served; I went outside in the sun, lakeside, enjoying the weather.
Had a laugh with Steve Walker a Pommie/Aussie with a crackling sense of humor, learnt all about diabetes from a girl called Marika and found out why Gary Cohen drinks baileys and milk.

Chuck Hickock a mentalist from USA gave a lecture on mind magic and performance, I took in half of it learnt some stuff then went to explore the shopping mall across the road. Wandering round the neon maze of shoes and sushi I ponder on the thought… “If you paid to see a mentalist lecture would you be a fundamentalist?”

Finally finding my way out of the plastic floresant labyrinth, expecting to see a resort hotel, I was suddenly faced with Adelaide Football Stadium, ingesting thousands of flag flying, striped woolen heads, into her belly.
A donkey of a walk around the mall perimeter, the Sports bar came into view, amongst the jungle of Port Adelaide Fans and big screens I find a corner, sit down with a red bull and my newspaper.

By the time I caught up with Tony, I’d missed the kids’ magic lecture by James Sleight, but caught up on the cricket score and had the run down on the footy.
Gary, Steve, Tony and I, sauntered off to the quiet zone of the piano bar. A couple more red bulls and vodka later with a few pots chasing, amid a flaming wallet and flash paper, tales of pranks and fishing were exchanged and chants of “No Gary …No” were harked. We were ready for the Gala Show ….

Amongst a menagerie of twisted balloons, expensive haircuts and playing card ties we found our table, ordered food and drinks, Steve Hart twisted the molecules of balloons together into a single gigantic atom, gave them to a kid who was on an international flight tomorrow, poor flight crew.
A few flying rolls and latex bones later, excellent food was delivered and eaten,

The show was to begin.

Roy Hopwood was the mc, who did a bit between each act, some new twists on old tricks and old gags with new dags.

Darren Schutz had a ring, sparkles and a monkey in a barrel,

George Sands, a sparklier shirt and top hat. He performed a dancing hanky routine and produced a dove, returning after the mc, with a sawing through illusion, I have to ask myself which was thicker the table or the box ?

Chuck Hickock, mind coach was next, A Tony Robbins look-alike he performed a mentalist effect with 50 cards, containing the U.S. States. Seemed a bit mickey to me, when he used someone from his table to help him, the audience liked it.

Pavel, knots jumped onto ropes. He pulled ropes through his neck. I didn’t see the invisible ropes but the walking knot was unbelievable.

Raymond Crowe, an unusualist. Slick, sharp and professional, he opened a mime door, collected a baby, showed us ventriloquism, hand shadows and closed with a slinky illusion. Fantastic I’m awake..

George Stass Dressed in a turban appeared from a reversed mis-made illusion and performed the banana/bandanna trick.

Joel Howlett (J.D.)..Young, keen, clean, very sharp. Manipulations performed with with canes, cards and doves. His assistant, little sister Monica (6) made an appearance and nearly stole the spotlight.
Defiantly look out for him in the future.

James Sleight, Closed with a great torn and restored newspaper and linking rings.


A bunch of us went to the sports bar after the gala show, footy fans and drunken females filled the room, magicians were flitting around doing tricks,
I sat wondering if this pot of beer could put out Gary’s flaming wallet, when a gaggle of drunk girls came up demanding to see a trick, a couple of guys agreed and I looked on at the pissed abusive women.
Then one slurringly drippled that I do something other than look like Ozzy Osbourne. Noticing her cigarette, I pulled out a 20 dollar bill (cig in bill vanish), asked her for the cig.
Snatching the money from my hand she howled “you blokes don’t understand us women, your just trying to get us naked in bed.” I looked at her, tried to imagine her naked body.
While I was thinking about 2 poached eggs and a piece of toast I snatched my money back, she screeched on more, then Gary held my hand as I proceeded to explain as a gay man I had no interest in her eggs and toast . Gary and I then started a conversation about the fine art of fellacio…..they left !

The sports bar closed, the lounge bar closed, ending up in Steves room the four rough diamonds emptied his mini bar, it was around about 5am..
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Old 09-04-05, 09:05 AM   #3
nick nickolas
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 528
Default 3rd and final day

DAY 3..
My eyes, glued together with sleep were opened with a splash of coffee and a slap of reality. Pavels lecture on rope magic was to start in an hour.
The room was packed and rightly so, what a great lecture, ingenious ways of using ropes, magnets and silks, I learnt a lot, check him out if he comes to a town near you he’s a genius thinker.

After a short break of coffee and biscuits the magicians once again filled the lecture room to hear Dave Flanagan. A well healed comedian and comedy teacher. He was up to talk about using comedy and writing original material to suit your act, mike technique and timing.
Fantastic talk on a subject that most magicians need to study more.

Then out came a fantastic bbq meal, just what the body needed. This venue certainly does provide excellent food and hospitality I must say.
There we were sitting in the sun mixing and mingling, chomping down on our fodder, telling stories and discussing secrets.
One of the committee members came up and asked if I’d like to enter the stage competition, I declined wanting rather to watch.
It seemed they only had 2 competitors this year. I coerced Tony into doing it, making 3.

First up was Joel Howlett (J.D.).
He stood clad in top hat and holding a cane, back toward the audience. We waited and waited, sound problems, curtain problems, after 2/3 minutes the curtain finally closed; grey noise filtered the room amongst sniggers and sarcastic applause.
The music started, the curtains opened, closed, the music crackled.
Third time lucky, curtains, music, Joel unfazed, spun around changed the cane into silk filled glitter dust when you noticed his hat was still ‘floating’. Billiard ball manipulation followed by a fantastic 3 ring routine was defiantly a hard act to follow.

Tony Roberts was up next, 15 minutes of stand –up followed by a card in cigarette routine. The audience laughed, others cringed, some vomited in their handbags, he came off saying to me “ a magic audience ain’t like your smoke filled comedy club is it mate ?” I laughed.

The 3rd and final act was John Turner he came out with a pack of cards, a popping head set mike. An audience member was introduced on stage, asked to stand on the trap door, over the bag of cement.
A card was taken, signed and a duck was shot, lifesavers were discovered in which said card was found.

The shortest stage competition I’ve ever witnessed.

Joel Howlett took first prize, also the Junior Close- Up and John Turner took the main close –up.
Lovely looking, awards fantasy dragons and wizard design.

Back in the dealers room I saw a man floating balls, and balloons, Pavel was selling colored ropes and people were investing there last dollars on folding cards and hanging coins.

Sports Bar beckoning, I sat drinking a beer while watching a karaoke rig being set up.
Magicians filtered in, some staying an extra night, most leaving soon.
Alan Slogget was king of the pool table for a while then was kicked off and never seen again, Tony with new found sleights was seen milling around peroxide females, singing Elvis songs, Gary and Steve shared a few zambucas then got a cab to a plane to Sydney, I drank a few more then took the karaoke mike as Ozzy. Brendan and Justin were playing the Hold-Em machine so I went all in.

Last drinks were called and drunk, discovering the lounge bar was open, Roy Hopwood, Brendan, Justin, Tony and myself the ( last 5.) we ended up there. Trying to coerce Justin to go over and hussle some drinks from the gaggle of girls in the corner, “3 tricks only" I was saying " Less is more.”
Roy keenly sprung up to demonstrate the hussle, Justin looks on, I didn’t ( my back was toward the target table).
I heard the squeaking of balloons and the giggles of the gaggle..
Roy reappears with 2 glasses of whiskey for moi.. cheers !

Lounge closed Brendan and Justin’s room was the last call, a couple of more hours and a cab back to the Directors.
Great convention, Great hospitality, Great Venue…what more can I say… Cheers to everyone who made this a fantastic convention.

Nickolas 2005

Last edited by nick nickolas; 09-04-05 at 09:35 AM.
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