ImagE - Interactive Magic Experience

January 25th 2004
Reviewed by Paul Preager

Sunday January 25 saw the second Mark Leveridge Interactive Magic Experience, a day of magic workshops tutored by a selection of expert tutors on a variety of magical subjects. Set to become a biannual event Mark Leveridge has taken the initiative to provide an alternative to the standard magic convention experience. Conventions can be great for stage shows, close-up performances, dealers and socialising with magical friends. But learning from lectures at a big convention can have its drawbacks. You can be one of hundreds or even thousands in a vast hall struggling to understand intricate moves even when shown on a screen or not getting a fully detailed explanation because, Ďitís in the notesí. As entertaining as some lectures are, the conditions are far from ideal for actually learning the detail of a magic routine.

This day is not about shows, has only a handful of dealers and a different atmosphere with the emphasis on providing an interactive learning experience with each workshop being as Ďin the handsí as each tutor can make it. The 90-minute workshops are repeated throughout the day so you can select whichever ones suit you with your choice of sessions time-tabled in advance for you. Itís unique in the UK and because of smaller numbers, transforms the passive lecture situation into an interactive workshop that comes close to personal tuition. Between sessions everyone gets together and shares ideas and thoughts over coffee or lunch and then moves to the next workshop.

Workshop tutors included Mark Paul, Michael Vincent, Paul Hallas, Bob Wooding and Mark Leveridge himself. The workshops were suited to all levels of and types of magician and throughout the day everyone from full timers to novices were getting to grips with anything from coin and card moves to spoon bending (spoons provided!), mind reading, elements of audience attention control and some amazing balloon models. This is an ideal way to get to grips with all kinds of magical techniques, guided by an expert, rather than struggling with props in the hands and turning the pages of a book with your tongue Ė Iím sure weíve all been there! This day is a great idea to improve learning in magic but itís just a pity it will only be held every two years.

© Paul Preager, January 2004.