Article by Mark Stevens
In all my years attending magic shows, conventions, congresses‘, seminar’s and FISM’s – I have never seen or experienced something as unique as the Magic Jamboree in Newberg, Oregon. Before I forget – you can check out the offical website for The Magic Jamboree by clicking HERE. Or for the physical address go to: http://www.magicjamboree.com You will be amazed to see such a unique venue.
The famous sign on the property that hangs only a few days a year – the Jamboree is ON! Special thanks to Rick and Debbie Kramien for hosting this event!
This year – 2010, the Magic Jamboree was back in business after taking a year off, and as expected the people came! The old saying, “if you build it – they will come” well that is exactly what Stan’s son Rick Kramien has been hard at work doing for many years. I had the pleasure of going this year with my good friend (and Stan & Rick’s) too – Mark Burger (Buma Jr.). The ole’ man – Joe Stevens – wasn’t able to attend at the last minute due to a business meeting in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis, but he would call several times a day asking: What’s the action? How is Stan feeling? Is he happy? Are you demonstrating? Don’t forget this, and that! Let me talk to Buma Jr., Let me talk to Stan.” While most of this is typical Joe Stevens talk whenever I’m at a convention – this time was different – he really wanted to be there and was calling like a reporter covering a major story asking for “last minute breaking news!” Joe was planning to be with all of us but had to fly unplanned to Minneapolis to negotiate the final details on an important magic opportunity. That came up when I was in Brazil, and that is why I had to make changes for arrival and departure dates (and do so over a WIFI connection) internationally. Wow! But it was all worth the efforts.
It’s a damn good thing this was a picture and not a video with sound, otherwise the FCC would of paid us a visit! Left to Right – Mark Burger – Mark Stevens – Rick Kramien (3 son’s of magicians who’s fathers ran together in the good ole’ days) Center – Stan Kramien.
For Buma Jr., and myself it was all about the fellowship and the chance to spend time with friends and customers and meet new people and re-fresh friendships from long ago. For years Stan has tried to get Buma to come to the Jamboree and this year he finally did. It meant a lot to Stan as he remembers many years when Buma Sr. (Marvin Burger) came every year to the event. My personal highlight is always watching Stan as he cruises around on his scooter barking out orders or making conversation. My only regret – Where was Pete Biro? We were hoping to see you there Pete!
Big Oregon Sky overlooking the Kramien Estate and into the Mountains.
Not a bad place to lay your head down after a good day of fun, fellowship and magic.
This was enjoyable in many ways beyond the companionship as Mark Burger (Buma Jr), provided me with a rich and very interesting history of how this event came to be. For Buma Jr., it’s all about the personality – and Stan Kramien has that and so much more. Mark Burger grew up watching his father Marvin Burger (Buma Sr.), attend many conventions such as these and it would be an understatement to say that times were quite a bit different in those days. There are some great stories that I hope will be put in print some day. Mark Burger was right when he said this is the only convention (The Magic Jamboree) – which still has the sentimental ingredients (thanks to the larger then life personality of Stan Kramien) he found so interesting in his life. Stan truly is a living legend.
Mike Caveney performing his classic linking coat hangers.
With Stan there is no sugar coating, there is no sense nor need for diplomacy. This open honesty may for many appear to be abrasive, yet it is not. Stan is one of those guys that speaks his mind and while he may not agree with you – he doesn’t hold grudges and only a few seconds after his bark, any disagreement is already removed from his mind. Maybe I prefer this type of personality because I was raised in it as Joe’s son (as many of you already know).
Our good friends from Creative Magic!
The Magic Gods shined favorably on us during this event and provided us with perfect weather. The fresh country air is another unique feature compared to most magic conventions where you breath recycled air generated from machines. One of my favorite memories of this event is the cozy nights and beautiful big skies of Oregon. As stated earlier I was in Brazil (just prior to this venue). I planned important changes last minute and only had a few days to adapt from that trip before being whisked off to this event. I knew that sleep would be something of sort supply, and I was right.
As if there was any doubt – just in case you’re not sure you have arrived to the Jamboree – the Safari greets all arrivals.
For those of you that have not attended this event let me try to paint a picture in your mind. Imagine a ranch or farm without animals – well, at least without the usual farm animals. Now imagine a mini carnival that is housed in a very large remodeled fully functional barn, that is fitted with every possible contraption a performer could want. Some of the features include a full stage, a professional sound-booth that rivals that of any theatre, a fully operating kitchen, two full bathrooms (men’s and women’s), a full lighting system with racks mounted featuring a variety of special effects and general lighting for the stage. There are about 14 rows of seats in front of the stage and to the back of them and on the sides you will find casino style large booth which easily will sit 6 persons. This venue is titled, in typical Stan Kramien style – The Big Top Arena!
This BBQ along with excellent event staff kicked out 400 hamburgers and 200 hot dogs – for one lunch! This is “how they do it” at the Big Top Arena!
The first time I wrote about this event I deemed it, Magic Woodstock – because that really is the best way one can describe it. People come with campers and yes, Rick and Debbie Kramien offer full hook-ups with electric, water and plumbing (thanks in large part to George Morelan Plumbing – Rick’s company). As you will see in the photos, many people pitch tents and why not? The weather is perfect this time of year for camping, the nights have just the right amount of chill in the air to make it cozy. For magicians on a budget, you can’t beat this venue, as you can camp out and have no hotel expense (once again – Magic Woodstock comes to mind).
Rick and Debbie’s estate features full hooks up for water and electric, sleeping in the Oregon Country is nothing short of perfect.
All that attend this event are sort of “magic campers” – so it’s like going to magic camp! During the day in-between breakfast, lunch and dinner, there is popcorn flowing with nachos & cheese and plenty of cold beverages of all types.
This years talent was impressive and included: Mike Caveney and Tina Lennert, Christopher Hart, Dana Daniels, David Charvet, Sterling Dietz and Stan Kramien – who provided a very good lecture focusing on the classics of magic. Mike Caveney also lectured and served as MC for The Saturday Night Show. Sterling Dietz also performed and provided an incredible show filled with great variety not only in the effects he chose to perform, but in his ability to cross the bridges of Stage, Parlor and Close-Up magic – all of which were included in his show (no small feat in itself).
And the winner is?????
Also impressive was the competitions that brought performers from Canada and the US, engaging in close-uUp and stage competitions. The Jamboree has it all – with the perfect balance of lectures, stage shows, close-up venues and these competitions.
Stan says – “Now – everyone look to your right! Now everyone look to your left! Touch your nose!” (When Stan gives orders you follow them – and the apple don’t fall far from the tree!)
Mark Burger (Buma Jr) has some fine products on display and wait till you get a peak at his latest creations not yet available but forthcoming. Go to Mark’s website to view some of his products at: www.houseofmagic.com
Thanks Stan for inviting me to your fantastic Jamboree … You are truly one of the greatest in many ways, including but not limited to your illustrious and amazing performing life. I remember the time you picked me up 5 years ago to drive me out to the Jamboree (in Newberg) and we stopped and had breakfast together – I really enjoyed spending time with you and that is exactly the best way to end this story. Stan Kramien is the rare type of person that you can be comfortable with, relax and be yourself. Stan is also a walking encyclopedia of magic information and history – Thank God we have him!
I also want to give a shout out to the many friends and customers that come every year from Oregon, Washington, Canada and everywhere else to the Stevens Magic Emporium dealer booth. The biggest enjoyment for me (being raised providing face-to-face service and placing the emphasis on relationships and building trust), is the fellowship and conversation with you all. I realized how grounded and warm the people from this region are – the first time I came to the Jamboree years ago. Thanks for the feedback and positive comments you provided, as well as (of course) your support at the dealer booth and continued support of our family business (via online, telephone, mail-order or catalog) support. The entire Stevens Family remains humbled and appreciative. Yes, commerce has changed in the new age, in some ways it’s better, but in other ways, it sometimes lacks the personal “human” touch that is the core of our misson at Stevens Magic Emporium. Call us crazy, but we are still kicking out up to 6 catalogs a year which are sent to all active customers.
Extended Free Catalog Subscription Offer: For those of you that do not get our catalogs, we are extending the free 2-year subscription offered at The Jamboree. All you have to do is send us an e-mail, ([email protected]), letter or call us and give us your mailing address. We’ll send you our past 3 most recent catalogs and add you to the FUTURE mailings for two-years free (that’s up to 18 catalogs)! We usually charge a nominal fee for just a set of three previous catalogs. But you can get fully subscribed – just mentioning “Magic Jamboree” when you contact us. Hard copy catalogs are still great to get and allow you to stay up to date with the finest selection of magic effects. Remember, we carefully select the products featured in our catalogs – so sometimes what’s NOT inside them, is just as important as what is! We do the pre-screening for you, and we have built our reputation doing so.
You can also access our most recent catalog right now in PDF form (to view on-line or print out). Even better the titles of each product on the PDF catalog feature links directly to the product pages on our website, many of which also have video demonstrations at the bottom of the product page. Look for the TV icon, next to the prices on the PDF (or actual hard copy) catalogs, this is your way to know that a video demonstration is available. Scroll all the way down on the product page to find the videos. For our most recent PDF Stevens Magic Emporium Catalog – CLICK HERE!
RSS IMAGE/ICON LOCATED BELOW
New Feature: RSS Feed available at Stevens Magic Emporium: We also invite you to subscribe to our RSS feed – you can choose up to three categories independently or select them all! You’ll automatically be notified when updates are made. Like anything new, it may take a little time to get used to, but RSS is here to stay because it’s so powerful at providing you with the information you want instantly.
For those not familiar with RSS feeds, the best way to add them is to look for the orange image/icon (see image directly above) where it is located on your “browser.” With Internet Explorer it is usually located at the top right on your browser tool bar just to the right of the Home Image. Once you find it, look for the Down Arrow right next to the image. Click on the Down Arrow (not the actual image). Only by clicking on the “Down Arrow,” will you will get a drop down menu featuring all three individual choices you can subscribe to.
With Mozilla Firefox, this image is usually located directly in the address window – to the right of the address. Here you can click directly on the image and the drop down menu will appear listing three options (specials, new products & best sellers), you can choose any one of these or subscribe to all of them. (If you wish to subscribe to all of them you may have to repeat the process for each category individually – but it takes only a few seconds.)
I captured this photo of Stan as he was holding court, right where he wants to be – master of ceremonies during a video presentation at the start of the Saturday night show. I think it’s a classic photo.
Thanks Stan, Rick and Debbie – for your wonderful hospitality! This event is the greatest value I have ever seen in terms of “bang for your buck!” When you consider the fact that it’s easily possible to camp out for two days, (if you choose to – and if not there are very reasonable hotel rates). All your meals/snacks/drinks are covered, and in typical Kramien hospitality – there is no shortage of food/drink. There is a basketball court and other sports activities. You get to view and participate in many shows, lectures and competitions, mingle with friends and meet new one’s, cruise the dealers and purchase the latest and greatest effects, all for one amazingly low price. It’s a No Brainer! All that and getting to watch Stan perform and/or just be “Stan” – you gotta love it – I know Buma Jr., and myself sure do!
For more information about the Magic Jamboree – go to their offical website – Click HERE!
To view highlights from the 2004 Magic Jamboree – Click HERE!
For more information – check out Stan’s Contribution to GeMiNi – Click HERE!