14th Los Angeles Conference on Magic History – 2015
“The art of magic enjoys a wide variety of ambassadors – all provide valuable services. On one end, there are the hobbyists who performs for friends. On the other end of the spectrum, there are dedicated artist whom have vested years of time, practice, “as well as” comprehensive study of its history. The LA Conference of Magic History is geared to the ladder. The collective conscious of the attendees is probably the most geographically centered on the planet when it comes to wisdom and knowledge. – Joe Stevens
14th Los Angeles Conference on Magic History – Nov. 5-7th, North Hollywood, CA.
A unique weekend of entertainment, edification and fellowship for lovers of the art of conjuring – By Joe Stevens
Executive Producers & Hosts:
It is my pleasure to announce that this wonderful event is not replicated by any other group in the world! Having been in magic for almost 50 years — and having attended many conventions world-wide — there is nothing like this conference!
Attended by 200 national and international aficionados, this invitational event is held every two years and features notable historians, collectors and celebrities. Just as it is always highly anticipated, so too, do all attendees depart with something significantly more substantive than just learning the latest card or coin trick. Yet, there is a dealer room too.
What’s on display in the dealer room: Everything from beautiful antique apparatus, to stone lithographs, ephemera, signed black and white photos of celebrity magicians (from many years ago), letters and personal items.
What’s not on display in the dealer room: Try to imagine a magic convention where the dealer room isn’t featuring the newest magic products just released a few days prior. A dealer room where you don’t see anyone “pitching” products. You don’t see signage attached to products that read, “ask me for a demonstration.” In fact, there is nothing new in the dealer room at all – and that is exactly the way the attendees want it.
The history of the art is so embedded at this event that revelations of treasured secrets “past to present” are illustrated with equal enthusiasm. In fact, some of the more talked-about exhibits and forums are those which showcase the secrets of antique pieces that have mystified magic’s brightest minds for many years. There is something almost romantic about an effect created 75-100 years ago that still puzzles magicians to this day. It’s the thrill of being absolutely humbled by minds of the past. Those in the past who didn’t have the benefit of modern technology still leave even the most educated magic minds scratching their heads… There is no greater source of inspiration nor a greater thrill to a magician, than to be humbled by their peers of the past.
Here is a partial list of some of the topics highlighted at this year’s 2015 conference.
• A discourse on the famous Harry Kellar, America’s greatest magician at the end of the 1900’s.
• A highlight of Harry’s famous “Blue Room” illusion which was performed on stage. (The secret and workings were all explained.)
Exhibitions and Special Displays;
• Rare magic and historical pieces of magic which were on display.
• Insightful discussions on Harry Houdini.
• Illusions of the famous Chung Ling Soo.
• Techniques of the famous “Cards to Pocket.”
• A tour of SPECTRAL MOTION-SECRETS OF ANIMATRONIC.
• John Gaughan presented “Houdini’s Robot”-The Master Mystery. (Automaton)
• Secrets of the famous Newspaper Tear and demonstrated.
• John Carney presented specialties of “L’Homme Masque.”
• Final act of the event was presented by Mike Caveney who performed the historical illusion, “Sawing a lady in Half”. (The most famous Sawing of all Sawing thru a lady.)
• Mike Caveney presented “The Birth of a Pearl,” invented by Chung Ling Soo. It last appeared on stage more than sixty years ago. We found out where it has been hidden all of these years.
Anything and everything presented was from the past, and attendees were exhilarated by what they learned on effects that they had only read or heard about before. All of those people (attendees and producers), whose names are too many to list, I cannot thank enough for the time they spent in making a successful event.
Every two years, I look forward to this event because it’s’ so intriguing and refreshing. I enjoy all magic conventions, but many of them are hard work, yet this one is so enjoyable for me personally. It has a great energy and vibe to it, its focus is true to my passion for antiquity and history. Even the dealer room is relaxing! I actually can sit down in my booth and interact with my friends. At regular conventions, as I have taught my son Mark, it’s a sin to sit down behind the booth! Yet this event is different, in so many great ways – I had to write up something about it.
In closing my highlight — which proves even as a magic dealer — you can still enjoy finding something special in the dealer room. A window card of Harry Blackstone Sr. For anyone, this would be something nice to own, but imagine my surprise when I studied it more intently… I first noticed the year – 1946, and then quickly after to my astonishment the venue – The Orpheum Theatre in Wichita, Kansas! In that audience there was a 10 year-old boy, who was lucky enough to be called on-stage and also won the magic rabbit. That night changed the life of that boy, who was bit hard by the magic bug. That 10-year old boy was me! Finding that window card — the card that was used to advertise the same show that changed my life — was a powerful emotional experience for me that once again affirmed why the LA Conference on Magic History is truly special.
Stevens Magic Emporium
Credits: Stevens Magic Emporium obtained prior permission to use images and other content from the LA Conference on Magic History.