06 Sep 2013
Well we were treated to two excellent lectures during May. The first of these was by our own Steve Naylor and it was a lecture not to be missed. It was entitled ‘Table Hopping With Both Feet On The Ground’ and had first been given to the Northern Magic Circle’s Spring Parade convention in April. Steve’s delivery of the lecture was as professional as any lecture I have seen and was full of invaluable advice for those interested in table hopping. Steve’s many years of experience in this business shone through and there was something for everyone, even those like myself who don’t do much in the way of close up magic.
There is too much in Steve’s lecture to be able to give a lot of detail in this review but to sum up, there was advice in all aspects of making Table Hopping work for you, such as how to plan the business side, which effects work best in restaurant situations, the best way of approaching and leaving the tables, plus any problems you may encounter.
Steve showed us three of his favourite effects which best suited working the tables. The first was his International Coins Across. To a CD of restaurant background noise, Steve showed three coins, a Chinese coin, an American Half-Dollar and an Old English Penny. One by one, these coins magically jumped from one hand to the other. Steve next vanished a half dollar and produced it from various parts of his clothing, finally turning it into a large 4” diameter shiny coin which he dropped with a loud clunk onto the table. Steve’s last effect was to turn a signed card invisible, then make it appear from a previously empty card box. None of these effects were particularly complicated to perform, which is ideal under pressured and noisy restaurant circumstances, but they all gave maximum impact to the customer.
Steve’s lecture was thoroughly enjoyed by all and, as shown by the large amount of people who came to see it, was superbly received. It was yet another great lecture to add to all the other great evenings we have had over the last year. Steve has lecture notes available and I highly recommend that you seek him out and buy a set. You might even find a penny taped to the back...
Our second lecture in May, one which was an additional bonus, was that given by Canadian magician Shawn Farquhar. Shawn is the Canadian Association of Magician’s ‘Magician Of The Year’ and the International Brotherhood of Magicians awarded him both Stage Magician and Sleight of Hand Magician of the year, making him the only magician in history to win both world championships in the same year.
I saw Shawn’s lecture at the Blackpool Convention a couple of years ago so I sort of knew what to expect - and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Shawn delivered a fast paced and energetic lecture and, with his catchphrase “It’s easy!”, there was no way you couldn’t be enthralled right from the beginning.
Shawn started his lecture with a Cups and Balls routine. Like his lecture style, the routine was fast paced and superbly executed, but the kicker at the end was when all three cups turned out to be solid blocks of steel! Totally unexpected, this was a great way to start the evening. Shawn’s next trick was a Matrix effect using two poker chips and two photographs of his hand. Having made the poker chips appear under one photo, the chip was finally shown to actually be part of the photo. We were also shown a coin version of the Matrix using four 2p coins. Next Paul Sunderland was asked to sign a blank CD and also choose a card. The name of the card appeared on the CD and Paul's name had vanished. Shawn had Paul sign a second CD which was placed back in it’s case. Shawn magically took the CD off the name - no that’s not a misprint, he actually took the CD away from the name! When the box was opened, there was just a clear disc with Paul’s name on it! Superb!
For his next effect, Shawn had Alex Wright choose a card and write his name on it. An Ambitious Card routine followed with Alex’s card making a constant reappearance. Finally the pack was made to disappear from between Alex’s hands and a clear plastic block appeared in it’s place. After a break to give the audience a chance to get it’s breath back, Shawn showed us another version of the above trick but this time the cards were riffled through in the volunteers hands to prove they were real - this time though, they ended up all blank!. The original signed card had now vanished and reappeared in a plastic holder inside Shawn’s wallet. Next, Gary Brook was asked to pick a card. This card disappeared from the deck and appeared under a security tag inside Shawn’s jacket - then it disappeared from there and reappeared face up in the pack, all happening so quickly you could easily miss it.
Shawn’s final trick, and I have to say my favourite, was to take a photograph of his daughter Hannah and fold it up. He then ripped it into four pieces and restored it. However, the photo was now restored in the wrong order - the four pieces were in the wrong places. It even had the torn edges around the outside!
This ended a fantastic evening, one also greatly enjoyed by a large audience - over 50 people came to see Shawn, including many members of other magic societies. Thank you to both Steve and Shawn for giving up your time to bring us such high quality lectures.