World Magic Seminar 2011 – Summary Review


World Magic Seminar XXXIV – 2011


A very special thanks to all who attended the 2011 World Magic Seminar – February 27th – March 2nd, 2011 at the Orleans Hotel. This was the 34th consecutive year, by no means a record, but certainly entitled to respect for achieving this amazingly consistency. This year’s primary highlight of course was Juan Tamariz’s attendance and lectures. The success of his private lecture series was so good, they ended up successfully scheduling “two” sessions for it (Group A & Group B).


On hand as has always been the case at the World Magic Seminar, since it’s inception was most of the “Who’s Who” in the world of magic celebrity including but certainly not limited to:

  • Siegfried & Roy – Sponsers since it’s inception.
  • Lance Burton – Sponsor of the Teen Program since 1994.
  • Criss Angel – Valued supporter WMS and vested with Lance regards to the teens.
  • Juan Tamariz – Espana
  • Jeff McBride
  • John Thompson
  • Ayala & Tanya – Mexico
  • Nathan Burton
  • Tim Wright
  • Silvan
  • James Dimmare
  • Simon Aronson
  • Fielding West
  • Luna Shimada
  • Henry Vargas – Brazil
  • Carlton Beck
  • many, many more …


Let the show begin! Feb. 26th – Saturday Set Up!

“Make Believe” – Documentary Feature Presentation at WMS

It was also exciting for attendee’s as they got a private initial showing or the documentary – Make Believe” which is an enthralling film following six teen magicians in their pursuit to win the coveted title of: Teen World Champion at the World Magic Seminar. The film takes us along the personal journey’s of six teen magicians as they follow their dreams. The documentary film has been fortunate to have some excellent feedback.

“…………….the most adorable doc you’ll see this year, funny and touching.” – Toronto Film Scene

“…………….Make Believe is not a film about magic, but rather an intimate journey and personal portrait of magic. Tonight Movie

This is a must see for anyone interested in the future of our art and it’s great that magic is once again in the spotlight of the film industry.


Stevens Magic Products/Apparatus Booth – Set Up Day Before The Start.

People’s Choice International Challenge

Abbi McBride hosted this WMS International Challenge in the Orleans Showroom on Tuesday afternoon. The Challenge, as always, features outstanding performers from around the world competing for the $5,000 Siegfried & Roy Golden Lions Head “and” Sarmoti Awards!” This year seven competitors traveled to Las Vegas from seven different countries (pretty good huh?).

  1. Jason Andrews – USA
  2. Jordan Gomez – France
  3. Hun Lee – Korea
  4. Jeremy Pei – Singapore
  5. Mantas – Latvia
  6. Circe Martinez – Cuba
  7. Romany – UK


This year we botiqued our booth by manufacturer and/or product line


Here we have the SME Media Booth, with all types of media available – and yes – Juan Tamariz books Sold Out!

Lectures and Demonstrations

The first Desert Magic Seminar in 1978 was referred to as “The Slydini Seminar” and featured the iconic “father of Close-Up Magic.” Tony Slydini presented three solid hours of shows and lectures, plus additional semi-private lessons available to the 90 magicians in attendance. From that time to now, the World Magic Seminar has taken pride in it’s educational offering, expanding the number and nature of lectures with an emphasis on variety and versatility. This years WMS XXXIV has gathered some of the most towering talents and creative minds in magic, all of whom have traveled here to present their intimate insights into their artistry, technique and methodology to their peers. To accomodate the large number of attendees at some of the demonstrations, registrants were divided into two groups, each of which had an opportunity to learn from the guest lecturers in an environment most conducive to observation, practice and learning….

1. John Armstrong – Encyclopedic recall, masterful technique and incalcuable charm combine to generate his diverse captivating card magic.

2. Juan Tamariz – Direct from Spain, known to experts as one of the best magicians of our time.

3. Sophie Evans – A television favorite on the UK Series “Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” her sultry sorcery entices, embraces and enthralls you.

4. Jonathan Pendragon – One of magic’s most dynamic illusionist redesigns and restructures his art and leaves spectators astounded.

5. Ginny & Simon Aronson – Legendary Chicago mind-reading team presented a through provoking lecture on extra-sensory perception.

6. Peter Samelson – Imaginative, artisitic, his prestidigitation offers fundamental challenges to the senses.


How bout this pretty picture – the flowers too! Deana Murray and Martha Stevens

Every year, there is a very special event hosted by Lynette Chappell, Irene Larsen, Deana Murray & Martha Stevens, and the truth is this is often one of the hottest events at the Seminar because the ladies are treated to VIP services that equal the awesome benefits the teens have when Lance Burton invites them to his home and Criss Angel “comped” all the teens for his “Believe” show. Last year’s ladies event featured an exclusive tour of the S&R Secret Garden, with host Siegfried! This year as always, Lynette Chappell was on hand to lend her amazing contribution which made this year’s event equally special.


Deana Murray, Lynette Chappell and Martha Stevens greet for the opening of the Ladies Event!

Personally Speaking – Joe’s review of the WMS


It is now history and the SUPER HERO of the entire event was: Juan Tamariz


A magical yeoman who was so gracious and splendid with his knowledge, talent and personality! In the short time there, he did TWO concerts. And TWO workshops that was attended by enthusiasts of the event.

Juan just has to be one of the TOP magic thinkers in our world of magic and he graced the entire event. Many traveled from afar just to see and be with him and attend his workshops.



Jeff McBride’s “Opening Night Party” was a huge hit again! You felt like you were at a magical carnival what with all of the roving and standing acts spread around the party room! The food was excellent! The service by the hotel was first class! The on-going entertainment was superb! And it gave all of us a chance to see and talk with those at the party.


Surprise guest was the wonderful Slyvan, from Italy, who flew in just for the Channing Pollock session. Not ever having met Sylvan, but talking to him all of these years, needless to say it was an emotional feeling for me to meet and talk to him! One of Italy’s greatest all-time performers for sure. Other performers included James Dimmare, Carlton Beck, John Thompson, Norm Nielsen.




The Seminar Opening stage show was excellent, and Fielding West, my old Kansas buddy did an excellent job as M.C. Nathan Burton “mystified” them with his original illusions. Stan Allen got a huge reception with his famous Rabbit-vent act that took him around the world working “Cruise ships!”


Skilldini-(Tim Wright) made me laugh as he has honed his comedy act to the fullest! Ty Tojo captured the audience with his award winning juggling act and he is only 12 years old and from Japan!


Martha never gets tired of watching James Dimmare as his classic & elegant miracles are always brilliant! She loves to watch him dance around the stage. One smooth performer!


Ty Tojo – Japan – He’s only 12 years old!

This annual event produced a winner from Great Britain, Romany, whose elegant act won the most first place awards and won the Siegfried & Roy’s Golden Lion Head award and $5,000.00 for first place.


A knowledgeable panel of professional personalities conducted a rare talk on a performer that, to this day, has never been topped! Channing Pollock inspired so many of us with his sophisticated act that you had to see it to understand. James Dimmare, Carlton Beck, John Thompson, Norm Nielsen and Silvan participated in their thoughts as all of them were inspired by Channing!

CLOSING SHOW PERFORMERS – As is always the case the closing show is one of the highlights and this year was not execption. A few of the performers that contributed are below. Ayala & Tanya brought out all the illusions for a fantastic performance. And in WMS Tradition, last years Teen Winner returns to perform on the closing show and this year it was our good friend – Henry Vargas from Brazil.




HENRY VARGAS – BRAZIL – Our good friend who hosted us in his beautiful city of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, where Cilene is from. Look for more from this exceptionally tallented performer!


Jon Armstrong, Sophie Evans, Jonathan Pendragon, Peter Samelson and Ginny & Simon Aronson gave it their all. They all were excellent but this legendary Chicago mind-reading team presented a fast, thought-provoking progression of experiments in extra-sensory perception is an act that I always enjoy seeing as it is an act that one does not learn in just one hour, or week or months!

GinnySimon.jpg JonArmstrong.jpg JonathanPendragon.jpg



The award winning documentary MAKE BELIEVE is an enthralling film following six teen magicians in their pursuit to win the title of TEEN WORLD CHAMPION from last year’s World Magic Seminar. The film takes us along on a personal journey of each of these 6 teen magicians as they follow their dreams. It is not a film about magic, but rather an intimate journey of adolescence, told through the art of magic.


Once again, this was a HUGE highlight sponsored by Lance, and organized by Chris Koch and her son Bill. The weekend provides workshops, lectures and one on one sessions that are facilitated by Jeff Mc Bride, Eugene Burger

and their guest lecturers. It is provided FREE of charge to teen magicians and they were treated to a fantastic experience by being guests of Chris Angel at his show and lunch at Chris’ house. Dr. Nick Saint Erne, who has been a part of the teen event since its incepton also helps with the awards, organizations and set-ups. The “Teen Stage Challenge” has been sponsored by Lance Burton since 1994. This year the teens from all over the world competed for prize money totaling $3,000.00.

SPOUSES ONLY EVENT (as noted above by Mark)


Pictured left to right: Martha Stevens, Lynette Chappell, Deana Murray, Maureen Owen and Irene Larsen. It was a well received highlight for the ladies. Stories, laughs, history and inside the scenes of past historical “ladies events” going back as far as the most famous of all. “A Date with Roy” back in the 1980’s!


Andy Greget-USA, Norm Nielsen USA, Magic Magazine, Bill Smith’s Magic Ventures-USA, UGM-Japan, Dante-Italy, BJW Jeweler’s-USA, WMS-USA, Brinium-X-Latvia

Joker Magic-Hungary, SEO Magic-USA, Jeremy Pei-Singapore, Losander-USA, Hornecker-France, Magiclatex-Spain, Magic Smith-USA, Lee Alexander-UK,

Auke Van Dukkom-Holland, Kreis-Japan-Card Shark-Germany, Mark Mason-UK, Yigal Mesika-USA, Pierre Mayer-France-Rudy Coby-USA. Ed’s Magic-USA.

There were many, many more highlights as I have only mentioned a few that were impressive to Martha & I.

We had many folks come up to us and tell us that it was a great and wonderful event, and this was pleasing to both of us.


We thank Bob Rossi, Norm & Lupe Nielsen, Jeff and Abby McBride, Bill Smith for all the hard work they contributed to the success of the event! Bob Rossi gets the most credit as he was in the trenches for over one year in preparation!


“From the very start till this year’s event, thank you friends & colleagues for 34 memorable years attending and supporting the World Magic Seminar” Joe, Martha & Mark Stevens

Here is a look back at a previous Ladies Luncheon that Roy hosted, and in fact at this event, he had a celebrity guest to help him – Mohammad Ali.





Thanks for your support! See you all next year!