I hope that you are all well and that you had a fantastic Christmas and New Year. Of course, that does feel a long time ago already!
Unfortunately like many this year, I suffered from a cold/flu. It was really disappointing as my daughter and I were due to go to "The Magic Circle Christmas Show" in London between Christmas and New Year. The reviews were really good for the show and it was such a shame to miss it. Will have to try again this Christmas!
Like many, I of course watched the BGT "Ultimate Magician" last Christmas. And while we all know that ITV butchered many of the acts, cutting down performances and some dodgy angles/editing, it should not take away from the many fantastic performances. All magicians performing were excellent and I enjoyed the show. I do know though that those who were lucky to see all the performers live, saw the complete performances which you have to be envious of.
At Christmas, I also received a few new books. I am really looking forward to reading all of these and I will start with "Becoming Better" by Chris Dugdale. He has kindly sent a review edition of his book and I will be writing up a review and posting it very soon.
To learn more about this book, do visit www.becomingbetterbook.com
On first glance, a lot of the focus is on presentation techniques and the business side of the industry. I love books like this and know I will gain a lot from it.
"Magic 1400's - 1950's" was also an unexpected present. A massive volume about the history of magic which focuses a lot on the Golden Age of Magic. A real coffee table sized book to browse. This book is a serious weight!
Collectables wise, I still await my Ali Bongo poster that I purchased in late Nov/Dec and cannot wait to see it. It was a poster owned by Paul Daniels as part of his personal collection. Hopefully it may arrive soon so I can share more info.
Playing card wise, I was also able to gain a signed card from Chris Dugdale. Take a look in the collectable page which I will be updating with more information about this latest addition.
Show wise, like many, I am really looking forward to the BMC convention in February. Some fantastic talent has been announced and I am particularly hopeful that I will get to see Lea Kyle and Tom Brace perform. Of course many other excellent performers as well and I believe that Eric Chien is also performing at a Gala performance. I just can't wait to see these shows and spend time at lectures with other magician friends. I am just hoping that no rail strikes cause any issues as the weather prevented my from travelling last year.
Also in February, I have "An Evening of Deception" booked. Mark Shortland. I believe that is the weekend after BMC. A review will follow!
This week, I was able to join the Leicester Magicians Network for our first meeting of the year. An enjoyable meeting which was hosted by Scot Jerram. To know more about the LMN club, if you are Midlands based, do visit their website here which I also manage. A well established club that is now in its third year.
It was great to meet up with all the members and was nice to meet Ed (The Crap Illusionist). Ed had some fantastic mystery boxes for sale and I was able to get a couple with loads of goodies, books and some Paul Daniels collectables (wallet and book). Looking forward to working my way through that haul.
I previously mentioned that I now wish to pursue more time myself practising and performing magic, hence not being quite as active as I once was blogging. I bought a couple of effects in December and I was able to pick up a couple more things this week. A classic children's trick which makes a nice prop for display in my office and a Tenyo effect.
This time for the purchases, I used Alakazam who were excellent. I like watching their videos on social media.
For the Tenyo affect, I am practising and gradually mastering. The challenge is when trying to script at the same time. I tried recording myself and in a future update, will possibly share. It is quite difficult performing a routine and getting the scripting right. All part of the fun though.
Well, I think that brings us up to date. Keep an eye out on the site for some reviews coming soon of BMC and the Chris Dugdale book "Becoming Better".
Martin (Magic Seats).