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Old 08-13-09, 05:27 PM   #1
nick nickolas
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Default European Championships of Street Magicians

The European Championships of Street Magicians

After 40 or so hours traveling I arrived in St Wendel with my Missis, Ulla Taylor and 15 month daughter Rubyanna.

Knackered, sweaty, laden with suitcases, baby toys and a pram. We made it to a cafe and met Georg the organizer, he somewhat reminded me of Fog Horn Leghorn. After a brief chat and coffee, we get to the digs I dump the bags, baby and collapse !!

Flickto a Spanish Magician I met in Portugal last year was there, an excellent card worker and great friend. together we both went to do a gig for 300 polictical party supporters after their 10 km walk.
The town major cooked sausages for everyone and talked some German of which we didn't understand.

Flickto and I did 10 mins or so each, me in English and him silent, the crowd seemed a bit dead but they had walked all day! I heard later they all enjoyed it and we got paid a bit more than expected, which was nice.

Later met with Spanish magician Fernando who was there to watch and learn.. ending up In a fantastic house truck with Parisian, Gilbert, a 30yr veteran of the street. He showed us a book he made of street performing in Paris 20 yrs ago including great pics of police arresting acts, stories and lies were exchanged till the early hours.

DAY 2, a giggling baby climbing over my jetlagged body and pounding head , it was time for breakfast. Typical Eurobrekky, bread, cheese meat and eggs mixed with coffee and orange juice seemed to fix the problems.

Today Flickto and I had a gig in Saarbruken. A town 40 kms from St Wendal, Flickto with his yellow tails custom tricycle and top hat was like the pied piper leading folk half way round the town.

Shows went well and we finished in the Irish bar for a few Guinness.

Back in St Wendel we met up with the other artists for food and beers supplied by Mr Georg.
Saw Ben aka Mago Bastardo a fellow I met over 10 years ago when he had been on the street for a month. Now a well healed street man with a trampoline acrobatic show. The only magic was that he was still alive he would say at the end of his set. Also was good to see Miss Minnetti old friend from Holland and Jo and Jake aka Mustapha and Daisy who I haven't seen for 10 years.

Pete Wardell, Humph and Steve Faulkner, 3 Covent Garden boys who never seemed to be more than a meter apart looked on like Huey Dewey and Louie.
A Cackle of Spanish folk were hooting enjoying life in the corner. Lotsa kids mingling and climbing, great for my daughter to play with new pals.

Beer, beer, beer, seemed to be Georgs motto as we swallowed and gulped. It was the wee hours again, great preparation for a 9am start!

DAY 3,
The beginning of the Championships, we had 2 shows each it was hot and humid, the crowds were good. Bumped into the unstoppable Charlie Caper a good street comrade, fresh from FISM, he was jetlagged and tired, we shared coffee at the back stage tent, parted company and went to work.

I had an antique motorcycle race roaring through my pitch delaying the start, noisy and smelly, but they certainly got a good edge for me. Had a lot of fun and improvisation in that set with a drunk photographer and dreadlocked dog, probably my favorite of the weekend.

Out of the 30 or so acts there, only a few I would say were actual street magicians. Some magicians having their first experience on the street. Also jugglers/ escape artists/ Ballooners which I found weird as it was a street MAGICIANS festival ???

By 10 pm burnt out I went back to the digs to lay down for an hour before the midnight call at the Irish Pub,,, I missed it all !! Waking at 7am. Bright shiny and ready to go I must say,,

DAY 4,
A few weary eyes showed for breakfast, Huey, Louie and Dewey arrived together, ate together, left together.
We watched a video of Flicktos magic marionette show,,,fantastic!
Off to work again, shows were shown, people were entertained some paid some did not. Ulla Taylors magic pavement art she was commissened to do was taking shape.

The back stage tent was full of props, sweaty costumes, fruit and mineral water, for some reason you couldn't get still water in that town.
Oh yeah and the wasps, they were everywhere fighting for your food and drink, no one got stung which was incredible.

By 6pm they were putting benches out for the final show. This show went on and on and on it was at least 3 hours.
Great acts, a innovative juggling duo called xtrart, 2 fantastic clown mcs Linne and Riesling, a bloke called Noah who climbed a bendy lamppost, think of Funny Bones the film.
A mentalist and vent called Timothy Trust blew them away.
My favorite came on 3 times Johnny walker who drank Johnny Walker and proceeded to get more and more inebriated during his appearances.

Ted McCoy a German speaking Scott got 3rd prize.
Balloon twisting Tobi Van Deister was granted 2nd, great act but no magic,
1st went to the unstoppable Charlie Caper.
I wasn't in the competition as I live in Australia but was given a special comedy award..

Great acts for the finale but once again tooooo long a show in my opinion.

Food and drinks were provided from midnight. There were half a dozen left when Mr Caper cracked open the Single Malt bottle. The birds were tweeting when I finally laid down my head.

DAY 5, 9am Mouth feeling like the inside of a bird cage, orange juice was ingested, Geog turned up gave everyone T Shirts and paid us all some cash for expenses.
Then we went to work a free for all day, loads of crowds loads of acts the hats were mediocre the audiences were great. I saw Gilbert's show a flea circus with a brilliant ending and the best mechanical man I have seen he finished with a fire blow, very good character his 30 years experience shone true.

The Major cooked the food. Schnapps and beers flowed freely in the tent, kids scuttled between peoples legs and the Spanish partied loudly while the Huey Dewey and Louie sat together and looked on.

The Gig was good, I would liked to have seen more real street magicians there myself, and would have been good to have some small bottles of water for the artists on the pitches.

Some people were complaining about the lack of expenses and the small hats. I had some extra gigs and expenses as I came from Australia, my hats were okish but you can't expect massive donations as there were 30 plus acts and people can give a fiver to everyone.

Good partying and good socializing but hard work especially if you are up till 5am every night. Also I discovered the judges were not paid any travel expenses and had to get there off there own steam which I thought a bit off.

Overall, good fun good hospitality, but don't go expecting to make big bucks.
Next year Georg wants to make it a World Street Magicians festival so lets see some of you real workers in Germany.

Last edited by nick nickolas; 08-14-09 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 08-15-09, 04:57 AM   #2
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Default Thanks, Nick for making time for write-up

I was interested to hear something of what's going on in Europe, and in your life.
MagiCol. The presentation makes the magic.
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Old 08-15-09, 08:31 PM   #3
martin ewen
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Yeah good one nick, we should do this journalling more often.
I have the port credit and Toronto fests the next two weeks, you've got me all journally.
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Old 06-28-11, 10:39 PM   #4
Dan Berlin
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Yeah great Job Nick, I wanna see you this year!
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