ImagE - The Interactive Magic Experience

27th January 2002
Reported by Stuart Bowie

The problem with many lectures in magic is that, however good the lecturer, it is often difficult to take away more than one or two ideas, moves or routines. If you are like me you think that you have remembered, you think that you know the move but when it comes to trying it out at home the unexpected problems begin. This is exactly the problem Mark Leveridge's ImagE, (Interactive Magic Experience) was designed to overcome. Small numbers, longer sessions and personal hands-on instruction from the lecturer.

I booked into two of the five sessions on offer through the day. With Mark's organisation skills it is possible to attend all five as they are repeated throughout the day. Mike Austin set the tone. First, we arranged the chairs in a close circle so that everyone could see. Did everyone have coin? If not we soon did. Mike performed one of his own personal coin routines then step by step he broke it down. Sleight by sleight we worked through the technique, the misdirection, the angles, the logic behind the construction of the routine. In true workshop style everyone practiced, was given personal help and we watched each other as we tried the moves.


This was a really super session. I took away so much. What I learnt will have universal application to coin work. I doubt very much that I will perform 'Mike Austin's' coin routine. Far more valuable I have the basis to develop 'Stuart's' coin routine.

Second up was Paul Gordon teaching his own card creations. Different in style but similar in principle. Personal tuition, hands on practice and perhaps above everything confidence building. "See, it is easy" he said as we discovered that it was possible to perfect faro a block of ten cards. And the thing was it was true! I have been doing it at home ever since. Paul's approach was faster than the previous session and we covered a great deal of material. To be truthful I missed some bits, but no loss. The structure of the day allowed time to sit around tables in the central dealers hall, have refreshments and practice again. Several people from the session spent more time with Paul and with Mike going through material, solving problems in a further interactive session.

I haven't enjoyed a magic 'convention' so much in years. I really learnt lots. Browsed the dealers. Met people I knew, and some I got to know, chatted and left feeling that I had just had a great magic session with friends.

Stuart Bowie, February 2002