In the 21st century, magicians (like Simon Pierro and his iPad tricks) are often looking to technology to find new ways to amaze people with their magic. At tech conference/film & music festival SXSW, engineers are looking to magic to improve their own products, as showcased by an upcoming presentation by Laura Mingail entitled “Using Magician’s Tricks to Develop VR AR Content.”
Mingail is the Senior Director of Marketing and Business Development for Secret Location, an Emmy award-winning company building virtual and augmented reality experiences based on movies, video games, and even concerts. She’s also the granddaughter of Henry Gordon, a magician, skeptic, and recipient of the Order of Merlin in 2001. In her upcoming presentation, she will combine her roots in the magic world with her expertise in technological storytelling in a presentation that will reveal, according to the description, “how to use magicians’ tricks when storytelling in VR/AR, based on secret magic notes, and [her] experience in the VR/AR industry.” Magician Scott Wells will also be on hand to perform magic for the presentation, showcasing traditional uses for magic.
Registered SXSW goers will be able to attend the talk on Tuesday, March 13 at 5pm in the JW Marriott Salon 1-2. Registration for SXSW is still open, and you can find out more details here.
Correction: This article incorrectly referred to this event as a “panel”; it is actually a presentation specially crafted by Mingail to show how magic can be incorporated into VR and AR technology. We have updated the piece to reflect the distinction.
The EG Conference is a yearly gathering of creative individuals from all over the world, where the best and brightest minds give speeches, perform, or otherwise offer inspiration to artists, inventors, and innovators from a variety of fields. This year’s conference is still a few months away, but more concrete details about the schedule are starting to trickle out, and one of the first individuals confirmed is none other than Madhi Gilbert.
Gilbert’s story of how he became one of the world’s foremost experts on card magic despite being born without arms or legs is an inspiration for us all, and he’ll likely touch on that (and perform some magic) during his presentation. Other confirmed presenters for the 2018 conference include Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Carol Guzy, Flint activist LeeAnne Walters, and attorney Lawrence Lessig.
Other presenters, along with the full schedule, will be revealed in the coming weeks at egconf.com. Previous years have featured talks by prominent illusionists like Max Maven, Eric Mead, and Marco Tempest, so there’s a good chance Gilbert could be accompanied by other magicians this year.
The conference will take place at Carmel-by-the-Sea, California between Thursday, May 3 and Saturday, May 5, 2018. Registration is still available, with single tickets going for $3,500. If that’s a bit out of your price range, EG offers a sign-up form for students and other low-income individuals to request notification for when discounted tickets are available. Or, you can just wait for individual talks to be made available online via streaming video—we’ll be sure to post them here once they’re live.
What began as a small, one-day gathering in 1952 in Blackpool, England has blossomed into a three-day magic extravaganza, and next month, the 66th annual Blackpool Magic Convention will see some of the world’s greatest magicians performing under one roof.
The convention will take place from Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18, and illusionists of all stripes can register for single day tickets or the entire weekend. Registration gets you access to daily lectures, fringe shows, over 100 dealers from all over the world, access to the Thursday mega auction, as well as tickets to each evening’s gala show.
There are dozens of performers slated to appear, including mentalist Asi Wind, close-up magician Paul Gordan, seven-time Magic Castle award winner Pop Haydn, expert card mechanic Richard Turner, Spanish sleight of hand artist Javier Benitez, and so many more. For a full list of appearances, be sure to check the convention’s 2018 artiste page.
If you’re interested in watching some great magic but don’t want to register for the full package, tickets to individual gala shows are available for the public, and can be purchased via Ticketweb for £20. Nine-year-old magician and Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Issy Simpson headlines on Friday, February 16, Richard Cadell & Sooty headline on Saturday, February 17, and 12-person magic troupe Magus Utopia will debut their new act to close out the weekend on Sunday, February 18. Each headliner is accompanied by a bevy of other performers, and each gala will perform twice each nice, once at 6:15pm, and again at 8:45pm
Registration is still available for individual days at £70 per day (£50 for juniors under 16 years of age), or £130 for the entire weekend (£65 for juniors). For more information on registration, performers, shows, and other details, head over to the convention’s official page.
The Portland Magic Jam has brought the best in prestidigitation to the Pacific Northwest for a few years now, and it returns in January 2018 with a slate of headliners including David Stone, Richard Osterlind, Rocco, and Pop Haydn.
Filling the Portland Airport Sheraton Inn from January 12-14, the Magic Jam brings together hobbyists and professionals from Oregon, Washington, and elsewhere for a weekend of collaboration, celebration, and performance. Registration to the event includes lectures, close-up shows, access to the dealer’s room, tickets to the evening stage show, and more.
Pre-registration for the event is $130 for adults, $65 for spouses, children under 18, and accompanying parents, but this price will only be available until December 31. Hotel rooms at the Airport Sheraton are available at a discounted rate until December 22 (or space runs out). Extra-fee workshops are also available. Tickets to the evening show are also available separately, and to the public for $20 in advance, or $25 at the door.
For more information on the magic jam, as well as how to buy your tickets, head over to pdxmagicjam.com.
We all know that when we agree to see a magician perform, we’re effectively giving our consent to be lied to. But what is the psychology behind our love of being fooled? Why do we lie to one another, even when we know it’s wrong? And how do we find the truth when misinformation is easier than ever to spread?
These questions and many more will be asked and (hopefully) answered at an upcoming day-long conference at Emory University this Friday. Entitled “The Lying Conference”, the university has assembled a wide variety of experts from an array of professions, including psychology, journalism, theater, and magic. Each one will give presentations on the science, history, and art of lying, and how it applies to our lives in the 21st century.
“Lying is kind of a hot topic right now, with all the buzz about fake news and accusations of cover-ups and deception,” Emory development psychologist and lead organizer Philippe Rochat states on the University’s event page. “When we talk about lying, what we are indirectly trying to understand is, what is the truth? It can be a profound question.”
Talks will begin at 8:30 am and last until 6:30 pm, and include topics such as “Little liars: How children learn to tell lies?” presented by developmental psychologist Kang Lee, “What Happened to The News? – Technology, Politics and the Vanishing Truth” presented by CNN international anchor Jonathan Mann, and “The Science of Magic and the Art of Deception” presented by magician and author Alex Stone.
The event is free and open to the public, though registration for the event is requested, and can be done on the conference’s Eventbrite page. For more information, please contact Natalie Eldred at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-727-6199.
The Magic & Mystery School’s Magic and Meaning Conference is right around the corner and still accepting registrations for what is sure to be an enlightening and entertaining weekend of magic and instruction.
Running from October 18-21 and held at the Sunset Station Hotel in Las Vegas, the Magic & Meaning Conference is a small, exclusive gathering of amateur and expert magicians looking to hone their craft, meet other members of the magic community, and learn from the best. Instructors include Jeff McBride, Tobias Beckwith, Bryce Kuhlman, Larry Hass, Ph.D., and Abigail Spinner McBride.
The highlight of the conference are its PEP talks—20-minute lectures on the Performance, Entertainment, and Philosophy of magic. Other events include Ensemble Shows, which allow attendees to practice in front of the group, live shows, optional evening activities, and the “Return of the Mysteries” event, held on the first night in a secret location only revealed once attendees arrive. Mat Franco, America’s Got Talent winner and host of Magic Reinvented Nightly, will also be in attendance as the guest of honor.
Tickets are still on sale for $445 for the entire weekend, but if you’re looking for a last-minute seat, register ASAP, as spots are limited to only 78 attendees. If you’re not able to make it this year, tickets for next year’s conference are already available for pre-registration for $395, and is scheduled to run October 17-20, 2018.