Sue-Anne Webster’s Magic News from FISM

Tim Ellis and Sue-Anne Webster attended the FISM; each with
a different role.  Mr. Ellis served as a
judge and Ms. Webster provided an outstanding review of virtually every act in
the competition. 
We've included a few of her reviews here but the full list
can be found at their outstanding web site here .
Ms. Webster is more than a great writer, she is a very
honest reporter. 
Her article candidly
reviews the great, the average, and the very poor performances offered by
competitors.
We've included Ms. Webster's reviews of some of our
favorite performers. 
You must read her
entire review here .
  
 
 

Arthur Trace
Manipulation
U.S.A.
Sponsor – Dale Hindman (Academy of
Magical Arts)

"Post Modern Art"

An original and very creative
routine.

A cloth covered a framed piece of
artwork on an easel. Arthur entered, pulled off the cloth revealing a piece of
modern art in white, black and grey tones.

His movements were seamlessly
choreographed with his cool jazz music. Arthur plucked a circle from the
painting to do ball manipulation with amazing speed and dexterity. The white
balls changed to green and he picked another ball from the painting that became
orange.

Another white ball was added to
the mix, all the while manipulating the balls with great speed. A blue silk
appeared and turned the white ball blue. Another white ball to red and he put
all of the balls back into the painting to colour it up. He wiped the green
ball with his hand and smeared green paint on the picture.

Arthur dipped a brush into a paint
tin and painted a short white line on his black suit which he peeled off. It
became a card for manipulation with pure white cards, which then turned to red
and blue.

He painted a long white line on
his jacket, peeled it off and made cards out of the strip for a card fan that
turned into a coloured fan of cards. Arthur looked confident and smooth and his
moves were clean.

A card fountain appeared in front
of the painting, and as the cards flew into the air a few of them became a part
of the painting. He moved a couple of lines on the painting, took off his
"prescription" glasses and threw them on to the painting turning it
into a self-portrait.

An excellent routine, very
engaging. One of my favourites.

 

Rick Merrill
Card Magic
U.S.A.
Sponsor – Dale Hindman (Academy of
Magical Arts)

Rick Merrill walked out carrying a
pencil and began getting laughs before he even spoke. He plays a nerdish
character who was "home schooled" and as he delivers a brilliantly
scripted comedy routine he performs the most visual sleight of hand you've ever
seen.

He started by producing three
coins, changing them into Chinese coins, then repeating the whole thing with
jumbo coins. The coins seemed to appear and vanish at his fingertips
effortlessly.

He then went through a series of
manipulations with a coin and a Sharpie that really has to be seen to be
disbelieved.

Finally, Rick whipped the audience
into a frenzy with his "Sharpie impressions" (Penn, Teller, Uri
Geller, Jeff McBride, Doug Henning and Shimada) and received a partial standing
ovation.

 

Pilou
Manipulation
France
Sponsor – Guy Lamelot (Federation
Francaise Des Artistes Prestidigitateurs)

A "youth" in a beret and
street clothes reminiscent of Oliver Twist did what can be described as a
celebratory dance of magic.

Pilou was so easy, so natural, so
exciting and so happy as he displayed his incredible talents in dexterity and
performance.

He produced card fans to an apple,
which turned into a red silk that produced an apple again, which he pockets.
From the silk he produced a candle, as he lit it, there was a flash and it
turned into an apple again which he pockets. After producing three apples, he
juggled them in character.

He produced a flash that produced
a newspaper and confetti. He produced another apple from his hat, produced more
cards for a card manipulation routine, then single card productions.

He pulled out his shoe from his
beret, another apple and more and more cards, card scaling, card fan
productions, card juggling, catching a card in his mouth and hands to produce a
card fan that changed into a newspaper and confetti again. He took an apple
from his beret, then tipped up his beret causing many apples to fall out.

He sat sprawled easily over a
barrel, casually producing more and more cards and an apple, a red silk
revealed a large card fan that he split into two. He got up and scaled more
cards, produced his two shoes from his beret, then continued into large card
productions, then a newspaper and confetti again, more large cards, huge cards
from his beret, a card fan that he doubled into two card fans and confetti
burst everywhere.

An excellent act!!!

 

Shawn Farquhar
Parlour Magic
Canada
Sponsor – Joan Caesar (Association
Canadienne De Magiciens)

An extremely well rehearsed card
trick using a heart shaped projection screen to allow the audience to see the
clever card manipulation filmed live on camera.

A sealed regular deck of cards was
used, unwrapped for a spectator to select a card.
Before selecting a card, one Joker
and two advertising cards were thrown away. 53 cards remained.

A card was selected and signed by
the volunteer and returned to the deck. The card manipulation was performed
like ballet in the hands to the music 'shape Of  My Heart' by Sting.

A story was told in the song and
echoed in the card moves. The spectator's card was featured throughout the
routine as was a King which became half-faded. After the song had finished,
Shawn threw the Joker away and the spectator's card was instantly back in the
sealed deck which was then opened in front of the spectator.

There were 52 cards in order
including the faded King and the spectator's signed card, all of which were
given to the spectator as a souvenir.

A fabulous act.

(Shawn previously received a
second place with this act in Parlour Magic FISM 2003).

 

Rocco
Parlour Magic
U.S.A.
Sponsor – Dale Hindman (Academy of
Magical Arts)

Rocco, in his unique style, did a
version of his food production act and feasted on the results.

He produced and munched on bread
sticks, crumbling them in his hands and letting it all fall to the floor, He
produced salt and salted the food for flavour, he transformed the bread sticks
into pretzels, and bigger pretzels, and a bigger one still.

He changed tack and took a silk
tie to produce a rose from which he took the bud and put it on his jacket.

He produced a white ball and
turned it into a cane. Streamers were torn and rolled up into a ball that
turned into a candle. He lit the candle and squashed it into a cigarette. Now
he approached the microphone and spoke, but wandered away from it still talking
as he explained how he can control water.

He took a vase of water and poured
the water into a bowl and drank from it while still chewing on something. He
drank again, christened himself and then blessed the audience.

A flower drooped and he placed the
vase on his table, but missed at it dropped to the floor. (A trusty crew member
rushed on stage to put it back on the table).

Now he had two bowls of water and
continued to drink from them. The bowls kept filling and he
drank and drank and
drank and drank.

There was a fire in the bowl which
turned to red and white confetti. He finished by transforming the bowl into
confetti and streamers.
(This was the first time Rocco has
competed at FISM since winning 3rd Place in Micro Magic in 1994).

 

Yamagami Brothers
Stage Illusions
Japan
Sponsor – Junichiro Sejima
(Society of Japanese Magicians)

These two young ten year old
brothers graced the FISM stage again with their ever so cute smiles and dynamism.
(We saw them in 2003 aged seven and they absolutely stole the show with their
illusions).

One dressed in a blue costume, the
other in red and together they performed a levitation over a stylized chair on
a small podium which they seemed to have some difficulty with. The "red"
brother uneasily floated to the ground from the podium then both performed an
upbeat, synchronized dance sequence with cartwheels.

Finally, they performed a sword
box/sub trunk illusion in the shape of a small pyramid. The "blue"
brother locked the "red" brother inside the pyramid, pushed five
swords through the box, pulled them out, stood on the pyramid, held up a silver
cloth and did an exchange with his brother.

Unfortunately, the secret was
exposed and the brothers did their best to cover it, then they marched off the
stage together.

The Yamagami Brothers have
fabulous presentational skills.

Gregory Wilson

Card Magic

U.S.A.
Sponsor – Dale Hindman (Academy of
Magical Arts)

Gregory has presented this routine
at FISM 2000 (where he won equal 3rd place in Cards) and FISM 2003
(where he won equal 2nd place) and it is always entertaining.

The close-up table is set as his
office and, on a small table to one side, is a time-clock. Gregory entered to a
great reaction and began with a joke as he poured a long stream of glitter from
his hand and said "Sorry about all the glitter, I shook Rocco's hand
before I came on."

He explained that card tricks are
his job and began by pouring a cup of coffee from a card case before taking a
deck of cards out of it. Gregory picked up a spike from his "desk" on
which was impaled a folded card, the audience called out a card at random and
he let them take the card off the spike, unfold it and it was the same card.

He almost got away with this
effect but the angles were bad from where I was sitting. He had Obie O'Brien
choose and sign a card which reappeared in a sealed deck in its original
position (this was a new addition to the act) and then he finished the act by
finding all of the cards from one suit in order.

His finale, find the 10 through
king from a card fountain from the time clock, messed up and he failed to find
the cards but the audience responded very well regardless.

Jon Armstrong

Card Magic

U.S.A.
Sponsor – Dale Hindman (Academy of
Magical Arts)

Jon began by having Rich Bloch and
his wife both choose the same card as he riffled through the deck. Next he had
Rich wrap a rubber band around the deck and Jon asked them both to choose a
card as he riffled and looked away. He stuck a card to his forehead (2S) but it
wasn't either of the chosen cards (AS & 7D).

In what appeared to be a very fast
thinking "out," Jon took his wallet from his jacket and inside were
the two chosen cards. Quickly running out of time Jon had the deck shuffled and
asked a lady for her phone number and then dealt it out, producing one card for
each number, onto the table.

Unfortunately Jon ran out of time
and was disqualified.


Tim Ellis and Sue-Anne Webster attended the FISM; each with
a different role.  Mr. Ellis served as a
judge and Ms. Webster provided an outstanding review of virtually every act in
the competition. 
We've included a few of her reviews here but the full list
can be found at their outstanding web site here .
Ms. Webster is more than a great writer, she is a very
honest reporter. 
Her article candidly
reviews the great, the average, and the very poor performances offered by
competitors.
We've included Ms. Webster's reviews of some of our
favorite performers. 
You must read her
entire review here .
  
 
 

Arthur Trace
Manipulation
U.S.A.
Sponsor – Dale Hindman (Academy of
Magical Arts)

"Post Modern Art"

An original and very creative
routine.

A cloth covered a framed piece of
artwork on an easel. Arthur entered, pulled off the cloth revealing a piece of
modern art in white, black and grey tones.

His movements were seamlessly
choreographed with his cool jazz music. Arthur plucked a circle from the
painting to do ball manipulation with amazing speed and dexterity. The white
balls changed to green and he picked another ball from the painting that became
orange.

Another white ball was added to
the mix, all the while manipulating the balls with great speed. A blue silk
appeared and turned the white ball blue. Another white ball to red and he put
all of the balls back into the painting to colour it up. He wiped the green
ball with his hand and smeared green paint on the picture.

Arthur dipped a brush into a paint
tin and painted a short white line on his black suit which he peeled off. It
became a card for manipulation with pure white cards, which then turned to red
and blue.

He painted a long white line on
his jacket, peeled it off and made cards out of the strip for a card fan that
turned into a coloured fan of cards. Arthur looked confident and smooth and his
moves were clean.

A card fountain appeared in front
of the painting, and as the cards flew into the air a few of them became a part
of the painting. He moved a couple of lines on the painting, took off his
"prescription" glasses and threw them on to the painting turning it
into a self-portrait.

An excellent routine, very
engaging. One of my favourites.

 

Rick Merrill
Card Magic
U.S.A.
Sponsor – Dale Hindman (Academy of
Magical Arts)

Rick Merrill walked out carrying a
pencil and began getting laughs before he even spoke. He plays a nerdish
character who was "home schooled" and as he delivers a brilliantly
scripted comedy routine he performs the most visual sleight of hand you've ever
seen.

He started by producing three
coins, changing them into Chinese coins, then repeating the whole thing with
jumbo coins. The coins seemed to appear and vanish at his fingertips
effortlessly.

He then went through a series of
manipulations with a coin and a Sharpie that really has to be seen to be
disbelieved.

Finally, Rick whipped the audience
into a frenzy with his "Sharpie impressions" (Penn, Teller, Uri
Geller, Jeff McBride, Doug Henning and Shimada) and received a partial standing
ovation.

 

Pilou
Manipulation
France
Sponsor – Guy Lamelot (Federation
Francaise Des Artistes Prestidigitateurs)

A "youth" in a beret and
street clothes reminiscent of Oliver Twist did what can be described as a
celebratory dance of magic.

Pilou was so easy, so natural, so
exciting and so happy as he displayed his incredible talents in dexterity and
performance.

He produced card fans to an apple,
which turned into a red silk that produced an apple again, which he pockets.
From the silk he produced a candle, as he lit it, there was a flash and it
turned into an apple again which he pockets. After producing three apples, he
juggled them in character.

He produced a flash that produced
a newspaper and confetti. He produced another apple from his hat, produced more
cards for a card manipulation routine, then single card productions.

He pulled out his shoe from his
beret, another apple and more and more cards, card scaling, card fan
productions, card juggling, catching a card in his mouth and hands to produce a
card fan that changed into a newspaper and confetti again. He took an apple
from his beret, then tipped up his beret causing many apples to fall out.

He sat sprawled easily over a
barrel, casually producing more and more cards and an apple, a red silk
revealed a large card fan that he split into two. He got up and scaled more
cards, produced his two shoes from his beret, then continued into large card
productions, then a newspaper and confetti again, more large cards, huge cards
from his beret, a card fan that he doubled into two card fans and confetti
burst everywhere.

An excellent act!!!

 

Shawn Farquhar
Parlour Magic
Canada
Sponsor – Joan Caesar (Association
Canadienne De Magiciens)

An extremely well rehearsed card
trick using a heart shaped projection screen to allow the audience to see the
clever card manipulation filmed live on camera.

A sealed regular deck of cards was
used, unwrapped for a spectator to select a card.
Before selecting a card, one Joker
and two advertising cards were thrown away. 53 cards remained.

A card was selected and signed by
the volunteer and returned to the deck. The card manipulation was performed
like ballet in the hands to the music 'shape Of  My Heart' by Sting.

A story was told in the song and
echoed in the card moves. The spectator's card was featured throughout the
routine as was a King which became half-faded. After the song had finished,
Shawn threw the Joker away and the spectator's card was instantly back in the
sealed deck which was then opened in front of the spectator.

There were 52 cards in order
including the faded King and the spectator's signed card, all of which were
given to the spectator as a souvenir.

A fabulous act.

(Shawn previously received a
second place with this act in Parlour Magic FISM 2003).

 

Rocco
Parlour Magic
U.S.A.
Sponsor – Dale Hindman (Academy of
Magical Arts)

Rocco, in his unique style, did a
version of his food production act and feasted on the results.

He produced and munched on bread
sticks, crumbling them in his hands and letting it all fall to the floor, He
produced salt and salted the food for flavour, he transformed the bread sticks
into pretzels, and bigger pretzels, and a bigger one still.

He changed tack and took a silk
tie to produce a rose from which he took the bud and put it on his jacket.

He produced a white ball and
turned it into a cane. Streamers were torn and rolled up into a ball that
turned into a candle. He lit the candle and squashed it into a cigarette. Now
he approached the microphone and spoke, but wandered away from it still talking
as he explained how he can control water.

He took a vase of water and poured
the water into a bowl and drank from it while still chewing on something. He
drank again, christened himself and then blessed the audience.

A flower drooped and he placed the
vase on his table, but missed at it dropped to the floor. (A trusty crew member
rushed on stage to put it back on the table).

Now he had two bowls of water and
continued to drink from them. The bowls kept filling and he
drank and drank and
drank and drank.

There was a fire in the bowl which
turned to red and white confetti. He finished by transforming the bowl into
confetti and streamers.
(This was the first time Rocco has
competed at FISM since winning 3rd Place in Micro Magic in 1994).

 

Yamagami Brothers
Stage Illusions
Japan
Sponsor – Junichiro Sejima
(Society of Japanese Magicians)

These two young ten year old
brothers graced the FISM stage again with their ever so cute smiles and dynamism.
(We saw them in 2003 aged seven and they absolutely stole the show with their
illusions).

One dressed in a blue costume, the
other in red and together they performed a levitation over a stylized chair on
a small podium which they seemed to have some difficulty with. The "red"
brother uneasily floated to the ground from the podium then both performed an
upbeat, synchronized dance sequence with cartwheels.

Finally, they performed a sword
box/sub trunk illusion in the shape of a small pyramid. The "blue"
brother locked the "red" brother inside the pyramid, pushed five
swords through the box, pulled them out, stood on the pyramid, held up a silver
cloth and did an exchange with his brother.

Unfortunately, the secret was
exposed and the brothers did their best to cover it, then they marched off the
stage together.

The Yamagami Brothers have
fabulous presentational skills.

Gregory Wilson

Card Magic

U.S.A.
Sponsor – Dale Hindman (Academy of
Magical Arts)

Gregory has presented this routine
at FISM 2000 (where he won equal 3rd place in Cards) and FISM 2003
(where he won equal 2nd place) and it is always entertaining.

The close-up table is set as his
office and, on a small table to one side, is a time-clock. Gregory entered to a
great reaction and began with a joke as he poured a long stream of glitter from
his hand and said "Sorry about all the glitter, I shook Rocco's hand
before I came on."

He explained that card tricks are
his job and began by pouring a cup of coffee from a card case before taking a
deck of cards out of it. Gregory picked up a spike from his "desk" on
which was impaled a folded card, the audience called out a card at random and
he let them take the card off the spike, unfold it and it was the same card.

He almost got away with this
effect but the angles were bad from where I was sitting. He had Obie O'Brien
choose and sign a card which reappeared in a sealed deck in its original
position (this was a new addition to the act) and then he finished the act by
finding all of the cards from one suit in order.

His finale, find the 10 through
king from a card fountain from the time clock, messed up and he failed to find
the cards but the audience responded very well regardless.

Jon Armstrong

Card Magic

U.S.A.
Sponsor – Dale Hindman (Academy of
Magical Arts)

Jon began by having Rich Bloch and
his wife both choose the same card as he riffled through the deck. Next he had
Rich wrap a rubber band around the deck and Jon asked them both to choose a
card as he riffled and looked away. He stuck a card to his forehead (2S) but it
wasn't either of the chosen cards (AS & 7D).

In what appeared to be a very fast
thinking "out," Jon took his wallet from his jacket and inside were
the two chosen cards. Quickly running out of time Jon had the deck shuffled and
asked a lady for her phone number and then dealt it out, producing one card for
each number, onto the table.

Unfortunately Jon ran out of time
and was disqualified.

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