It seems that congratulations are in order.
Four days ago, at the awards ceremony of the FISM Magic World Championships, I was awarded the prize for “Most Original Close-Up Act.” It came as a complete shock, and I’m still a little dazed.
There are a ludicrous number of people that need to be thanked. In this post I’m just going to focus on the most core contributors, because even that is a pretty vast list. I apologise in advance for everyone I will inevitably forget to mention in my post-FISM daze.
Firstly and most importantly, the Black Label Productions team, each one of whom were utterly indispensable in more ways than could possibly be listed here. Dave Lee, Yao Wong, YC Lo – this is as much their trophy as mine.
Thanks to everyone in Melbourne who helped in that final balls-to-the-wall hectic week: Alex De La Rambellje for the enormous amount of work sorting out my mess of character and scripting, Vyom Sharma, Celeste Cody, and Luke Hocking for their valuable insights and support about the same, Tammii Twister for her connection to Celeste DeMatteis who provided some important last-minute secret work, Nathan Ernest and David Jones for further thoughts on the routine, Mat Unwin for the equipment supplies and unwavering optimism, and the two Nicks (Johnson and Kesidis) for their patience and understanding with my insane logistical shenanigans when rehearsing at the MMF Close-Up Gallery.
As well as all the members of AIM and the participants at the MMF, the two officials deserve their own section: thank you to Tim Ellis and Lee Cohen for their ideas, input, sponsorship and support. It wouldn’t have happened without you.
Thank you to Jo Clyne for her logistical support on the day of the competition, as well as her scripting advice in the final two days (on the train to Blackpool, and then in the bar at the hotel) that significantly changed the entire presentation for the better.
Thank you to everyone at the AMA / Magic Castle who provided input on the routine, and helped fix so many of the problems that it was facing back in June. In particular: Shoot Ogawa, Bill Goodwin, Pete Biro, Paul Green, Jon Armstrong, and everyone else in Hollywood who contributed ideas to the brainstorm. And thank you to the AMA and Magic Castle as a whole, for providing possibly the best magic workshopping environment on the planet.
Tiffany Hindman helped and kept me sane in far too many ways to mention, and it was her display box (with Chris’ cardboard mount) that was handed out at the actual competition.
Pete Isaac created the music, both for my FISM 2009 act as well as this routine. His patience with the ever-shifting design brief was saintly and much appreciated.
Thank you also to the people whose work the act was inspired by and built from, most notably Ian Rowland and Angus Lavery. Not to mention Harry Eng, Jerry Andrus, and all the other impossible object makers out there, without whom I never would have been inspired to attempt an act like this one in the first place.
And finally, thank you to the innumerable list of other people who supported, assisted, encouraged, constructively criticised, and said soothing things when I was freaking out.
(Also, a cryptic shout-out to Magnus, age 4, who was once quoted saying something very wise in a Melbourne Metro newspaper.)