Lance Burton Teen Seminar Set for Jacksonville Convention

IBM Jacksonville Convention LogoEugene Burger and Larry Hass will be facilitating the Lance Burton Teen Seminar at the 87th Annual I.B.M. Convention in Jacksonville, FL on July 13-15, 2015. The McBride Magic and Mystery School has been facilitating Lance Burton’s young magician’s events since its inception in 2003.

Along with Eugene and Larry we are expecting participation from I.B.M. International President, Shawn Farquhar and Oscar Munoz.  This event is being sponsored by the I.B.M. Endowment and Development Fund and is open to all magicians ages 13-19 that are registered for the I.B.M. Convention at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE. Stay tuned for future announcements about the event!

If you haven’t registered yet – don’t wait any longer – register today!! Registration fees increase on March 1, 2015!!!

To register go to http://www.magician.org/convention/upcoming-convention.

Penn & Teller’s Fool Us Television Show Starts Tonight!

Inside Magic Image of Penn & Teller's Fool UsPenn & Teller’s Fool Us appears in the United States starting tonight. We are excited. We usually hate Wednesdays which we call “hump day” because it was when we were usually forced to visit our hunchback great aunt. Now we have a reason to love Wednesdays.

Fool Us was a big hit in the UK last year and it is our understanding its US run will consist of 9 episodes from that series. If folks here enjoy it as much as they did over there, Penn & Teller say the network may launch the show for American audiences with more American magicians.

In an interview with The Chicago Sun-Times, Penn gives fans of the show hope of a US version:

We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves here, but if U.S. audiences like this, and the ratings justify it, the CW tells us we’ll do a second American season — with American magicians. Although there are wonderful, wonderful magicians in the U.K., there quite simply better ones — and more of them — in the U.S.A. It’s simply that America is a bigger country with more magicians out there. That’s all it is.

Penn, Teller and all real magicians enjoy being fooled. We echo Penn’s declaration except for the part about his mom:

Those that fooled us, fooled the pants off us! It was the exact feeling I had when my mom did the first magic trick for me when I was 6! I got that same feeling with this show. It’s a feeling of your whole world being discombobulated for a moment. It’s just glorious!

The show’s premise is simple. A magician comes on, performs a trick and if he or she fools Penn & Teller then he or she wins. If they can figure out how the trick was done, he or she loses.

We appreciated how Penn & Teller took great care to make sure they did not expose methods but provided just enough information to the contestant to confirm that they knew the secret.

Our favorite performers of the series were Piff the Magic Dragon and Shawn Farquhar. Piff makes us laugh no matter what he says. Shawn blows our mind no matter what he does. We were blown away by his card effect and hope it is in the series shown here in the US.

So now you know where we will be tonight. We have a flat screen television viewable from our kitchen in our apartment next to the bakery for dog treats here in West Hollywood. True, it is not our television but in the apartment across the alley but we bought a remote on eBay that works and know for a fact that the young couple who live there will be out tonight. We will be perched on our kitchen counter watching – and if our neighbors have left their windows open, listening.

Read a great interview with Penn about the show in The Sun-Times here.

Special Message to IBM-SAM Members

IBM SAM FISMGreetings to All I.B.M. & S.A.M. Members!

Click the link below for a special message from the Incoming I.B.M. International President – Shawn Farquhar and Incoming S.A.M. National President – Kenrick “Ice” McDonald.

http://vimeo.com/96735905

If you haven’t registered yet, don’t wait!  There are some registrations still available, but the registration price increases $100.00 on June 15th.

The Combined Convention offers a unique opportunity for both of our organizations to come together to celebrate and promote our love for magic. As an added feature the 2014 Combined Convention will host the North American FISM Championships to determine who will represent North America at the 2015 FISM Championships in Rimini, Italy.  You can’t see this at any other convention.

So join us for all the fun, excitement and magic in St. Louis this June 30 – July 5, where It’s All About the Magic.  Register today at:  http://ibmsam.com/registration

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Bill Wells & Mark Weidhaas
Co-Chairs – 2014 I.B.M./S.A.M. Combined Convention

Is Penn & Teller’s Fool Us Coming to US TV?

Inside Magic Image of Penn & Teller's Fool UsAccording to reports from the Television Critics Association meeting, the CW just purchased nine episodes of Penn & Teller: Fool Us for U.S. broadcast.

The show is fantastic but previously only available in the UK.

Aspiring magicians perform their best trick and if Penn & Teller cannot figure out the secret, the magician wins a trip to Vegas to perform at the Rio Hotel and Casino.

There have been some great performances including that of Inside Magic Favorite Shawn Farquhar.  Check out the YouTube version of his work here.

It appears the CW deal is to purchase the rights for the nine episodes already filmed.  There was no word on whether the broadcaster would have rights to make a second season for the US.

Here’s hoping.

Magician Shawn Farquhar and Love at First Sight

Inside Magic Image of Couple in LoveIn our discussion of Penn & Teller’s new UK television series Fool Us! earlier this week, we mentioned that Inside Magic favorite Shawn Farquhar thoroughly stumped the duo.  We offered the incident to show how gracious and excited Penn & Teller were to be fooled.

We provided a YouTube link to Mr. Farquhar’s segment to prove the alleged “Bad Boys of Magic” are no different from any of us. They love magic and love to be fooled.

There were three contestants in this year’s International Brotherhood of Magicians Stage Competition who fooled us badly.  It was a wonderful feeling.  Our peanut size and shaped brain instantly switched from “figure it out” mode to “enjoy it” mode.  Once we gave into the reality that the unreal was happening, we felt the same exhilaration experienced at the start of our 43 years in magic.

Back then it was a red plastic ball that appeared and disappeared from an interesting-looking royal blue plastic vase.  We had no clue how it could be done and, as we say at the special meetings we are required to attend, “it’s okay.”

The sesame seed sized portion of our peanut-esque brain responsible for accepting or rejecting visual images based on their conformity some established measure of reality was delighted to take a break and let the impossible flow unhindered into our active consciousness.  The effect is similar to shoving a peanut butter sandwich into a DVD player.

In our experience, most magicians want to be fooled.

They also want to learn secrets or hypothesize methods but that process comes later.  Similar to falling in love at first sight, the experience of being mystified is precious, unique and always unanticipated.  Love may fade immediately after the first sight and the baffled magician may wonder how he or she could have been fooled once the trick’s secret is known.

Most magicians chase the prospect of being truly amazed.  There  may be years between those epiphanies but that’s enough to keep us in the hunt.

Continue reading Magician Shawn Farquhar and Love at First Sight