IBM/SAM 2017 REPORT – Deana Murray

Deana Murray

Greetings from the IBM/SAM Combined Convention in Louisville, Kentucky From: Deana Murray

OMG! I just returned from a 5-Day WOW whose 1st evening began with a “Red Carpet” Premiere of Lance Burton’s Independent Film “BILLY TOPIT – Master Magician” held in the beautiful Whitney Theater at the Kentucky Center.

This was followed by an autograph part. (Which unfortunately, my magical friend and traveling companion, Sheri Proctor and I missed out on due to airplane delays in Atlanta… but that’s another story.) the Official Convention Honorees and genuine hometown gentlemen from Louisville, (who later became famous) were none other than LANCE BURTON – Master magician and MAC KING – King of comedy Magic. In having advocated for the location Of this very convention, and in recognizing their successes and combined contributions to making our world a better place… awards came from everywhere. Even the Governor of Kentucky and the Mayor of Louisville sent Accommodation letters! Other events, including the excellent and various lectures, contests, banquets and parties were held at the Galt house Hotel (s). Actually, there are two towers with a breezeway lounge that crosses over the street below which connected them. (The breezeway was called “The Conservatory’, the magicians used it to connect with each other.) The view of the Louisville skyline was wonderful and open. And the Hotel was within easy walking distance of the Kentucky Center for all the BIG GALA SHOWS.

Louisville is also home to the story of a couple of other famous men who started from and returned to such a beautiful area. Lewis and Clark. Also home to the oldest River Paddleboat still moving people along this section
of the Ohio River banks where the lives of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn can be easily imagined. This is also home to the “Louisville Slugger” Baseball Bat Company and the Muhammad Ali Museum. And of course, The Kentucky Derby. All of these seemingly unrelated bits of history of different times in the past – and yet present, HERE and congruently together. Somehow, symbolic of the history of magic that was being seen, written, and talked about during the course of this year’s Combined IBM/SAM Convention.

A special highlight came with a CARD and a TASK. Locate, thank and ask for the autographs of as many PAST Presidents from the IBM – SAM – or International Brotherhoods as we could. And have them write down for Which years. There were over 25 in attendance from all around the world. The attendee with the most signatures. On their card, won a FREE REGISTRATION to the next 2018 IBM Convention is in MICHIGAN., and the next 2018 SAM Convention is in FLORIDA. Even Domenico Dante, the International President of FISM and Juliana Chen, ‘The world’s first lady of magic’ were there to see and judge the competitions. The contestants who qualified as the best from the sanctioned event were invited to enter the upcoming FISM International Convention in Korea. What a great way to get conversations started with the dedicated people who have run the business of these magic groups for so long. Taking a moment to ask questions or acknowledge their commitment to push forward, reward excellence and Preserve what is our collective history was a very clever idea from the organizers.

Domenico spoke eloquently at the final ceremonies about this very theory. He reminded us all of a young Magician, from Louisville, in a magical moment ‘not so long ago’ who walked away with the GRAND PRIX AWARD at FISM: LANCE BURTON. There was a feeling that a full circle of history was being made as he announced the names of the well-deserved and now newly-qualified contestants that would be coming fromHERE – Louisville, with Invitations to the next FISM Convention. They would now walk through those same doors marked…”Future of Magic”.


The caliber of magic and people of magic put in our path were about the best in the world. It was easy to start a conversation with any of them. The concentric circles of friends were apparent everywhere, and growing. The Dealer Room was full of collectibles; some rare props, books, a few posters and a lot of known of newly improved Items at decent prices. Usually his is another ‘tell’ of the thought provoking question… “What is the future of Magic” Turns out, we’re in good shape. On balance, there’s enough for the creative potential on any magician. People are still inventing, discussing and creating new ways to make many more magical moments to come.

And in the future, MAGIC WILL BE MORE HIGH-TECH. It’s almost a new genre that unfolding. The way we buy, perceive, communicate and learn magic has now integrated into performance. It used to be that, “Mark Wilson’s #1 RULE for magicians was “NO CAMERA IS THE TRICKS”. Nothing done that you couldn’t reproduce in front of a live audience, right? Today – the CAMERA IS THE TRICK. Computer programmed, remote controlled, interactive films or recordings that instantly play and loop at will, projections that can instantly appear on your phone…from or for a live audience. It’s wonderful to watch, but I’m still processing the format. (But that’s another story – to be written into the future history of magic.)

As more than a few of us were unable to attend that 1st evening’s events, an additional poster signing session with All the acts was arranged. Lance Burton made DVD’s of his movie available to assembly and then donated all The proceeds to the local Louisville Chapter of Humane Society. (* NOTE: The film was delightful. A story of a Magician and his friends, written and performed by magicians as some see themselves in ordinary and Extraordinary circumstances. Nice DREAM SEQUENCES of illusions taken from Lance’ MONTE CARLO Showroom Playbook. Loosely threaded around a plausible plot….made real by the camera.) Mac King took precious time away from his show at Harrah’s in Las Vegas to spend with us. Making us laugh wherever he was. Between his Endearing ‘off the cuff – of a plaid suit” humor or easy banter between these two friends, we were given a sense Of camaraderie and the opportunity to applaud them and the organizers of this convention. *My specials THANKS to BILL and BECKI WELLS…Bill, himself a Past-President of the IBM!

As for me, and perhaps others… that ‘Red Carpet EFFECT’ I mentioned earlier.. I thought we had missed that 1st Night…actually re-appeared and lasted for the duration of the Convention. I don’t think my feet touched the ground again until the Convention was over, and we were on our way home to our families and real lives, descending through the clouds and touching back down, ever so gently into Wichita, Kansas.

Congratulations again to ALL the CONTESTANT WINNERS. Go out there and show the world your CHARM!