Such is Life
A few years ago, while wearing out my credit card to attend a magic convention on the other side of the country, I was visiting a magician friend at the bar who had spent nothing to be at the same function. I had to give this some thought.
Magic conventions seem to exist and succeed for several reasons. Most attendees, I assume, attend for the big evening shows. Others find the lectures to be of most value. Still many others feel the dealer room is where it all happens. In recent years the close up shows have risen in popularity. Finally, some may feel it’s necessary to take it all in to receive the best bang for their buck.
There are those of us though, myself included, who have about burned out on big evening shows, close up shows, contests, dealers shows, and lectures. Yet we still make the annual pilgrimage to DMS or whatever. Many of us hit several of the things a year both in and out of the U.S. So if we are no longer interested in the events of the conference what’s the attractions
That’s it. Fellowship; we simply attend to see old friends, meet new friends, laugh, visit, gas up a bit, and solve the problems of the magic world. You see this at every convention, including DMS. The action may be at the bar, the lobby, the restaurant, or any convenient spot between those locations. It’s where the fun stuff happens. There are the jokes, the gags, the bits of business, the exaggerations, and the multitude of impromptu shows. It’s where the legends of magic creep out and join the rank and file. It’s the prelude to the all night close up sessions, which for me, in years past, made the conventions worth the effort.
Have I made the point? There are scheduled events, and non-scheduled events. It’s the non-scheduled events which, to my way of thinking, make the conventions the most fun. Many would agree.
Sadly, an evil seer lurks within! Yikes! How can that be? What could be evil about the fun and frivolity of the bar action during the non scheduled events. When you are next involved in one of the devil-may-care-anything-goes fun fests at the bar or lobby look around. You will see many who are joining in and enjoying themselves along with the others who are not registered for the convention. Some feel since they are only there to visit and see friends there is no need or requirement to register. The thought is, why pay the fee if they don’t attend any of the events. True perhaps, entirely true. Why pay for shows, lectures, and entry to the dealer room when they never attend a single scheduled function or event?
On the surface it seems and sounds all well and good. Who could argue? Well, for one, I’ll be more than happy to argue the point. These people, though they are doing nothing legally wrong, are FREELOADERS! Plain and simple, they are magic freeloaders. Look at it this way. They are there to have fun and visit with friends. That’s entirely legal. What’s the beef, it’s a public place? Yet what brings their friends to the venue? The convention, that’s what. What pays for the convention? Registrations, that’s what. Would those friends be there if there were no convention? Probably not. Would there be a convention if there were no registrations. Absolutely not! Hence, they are magic freeloaders taking advantage of what others are paying to enjoy. In addition to the registration fee many attendees spend literally hundreds of dollars in air fares, cabs, meals, and hotels, just to see the magic and visit with old friends. Because these people keep the conventions alive and well the magic freeloaders are able to cash in on the fun for the price of a few beers. I’m sorry to have to admit, my friend mentioned in the beginning of this column is one of these magic freeloaders. Such is life.