Sunday, January 29, 2023

Magifest 2023 - Columbus, OH

I attended Magifest this year. It was a fun-packed couple of days and I had a fantastic time. 

Before the show even started, we met one of the performers, Peter Turner, in the convention space, just hanging out with fans and doing mentalism tricks. When I approached the crowd gathered around his table, he immediately asked me if I would like to help him do a trick. IT WAS AWESOME. We attended his performance and lecture later that evening and that, too, was awesome. 

Peter Turner, center

The first lecture we actually attended was about Ionia - a famous female magician in the early 19th century. She only performed magic for a few years, but her act was said to be spectacular, and the beautiful promotional posters that survived from that time are highly valuable collectibles. 

Ionia - Inspiration

Charles Green
Aside from that, she lived a long and interesting life, married a Russian prince, and eventually returned to France where she died in 1973. This was one of my favorite talks. The presenter, Charles Green, researched, wrote, and published a gorgeous book about her life.

Book cover

 We saw another great presentation by Margalit Fox, the author of The Confidence Men, a true story about two men who used mentalism to escape from a POW camp. 

As luck would have, we ran into another magician/performer that we've been following on Youtube for some time - Chris Ramsay. 
Chris Ramsay, on right

One of the biggest highlights of the whole weekend was meeting Lance Burton, who gave an interview about his life and career, and generously signed posters for 1000 fans at this convention. 

Lance Burton

So, I spent way WAY too much in the dealer room. I picked up a beautifully bound hard copy of the catalog for an auction of items from Ricky Jay's collection that will happen in February 2023. He had a lot of weird bizarre interesting things in his collection. 

Now I have a couple/few beautiful magic-related coffee-table books to display around my home. 

We saw many other amazing performances by other magicians including six different winners of FISM, and Paul Gertner, who appeared on Penn & Teller's Fool Us FIVE times. Interestingly enough, Paul Gertner was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and his father was a steel worker. 

That's all I will say for now. A magician never reveals her secrets. 

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