2010 Convention Recap by Beth C. Sheligo

The 2010 MAES was held at the Mount Laurel Marriott Hotel in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, August 19th -21st. The convention got underway on Thursday with a lecture on comedy magic by Tom Ladshaw, followed by the Dealers’ Show. The evening entertainment “Special Event” consisted of an hilarious hour of unpredictable magic by the charismatic Alain Choquette, who was left to improvise an act after his equipment failed to arrive from Canada. The resourceful Alain came up with 8 different ways to find a card lost in the deck, plus two predictions and a book test, all of which gained mega results. The evening concluded with our annual auction with auctioneer Marc DeSouza swinging the gavel.

The first order of business on Friday morning, was a lecture on coin magic by Dr. Michael Rubenstein, followed by the Close-Up Contest. A highlight of the competition was Ian Flinn’s clever routine of a dollar bill jumping up and down a ladder of rubberbands.

The contest was followed by a unique lecture by Jason Baney, entitled “The Prop Shop Lecture.” The Close Up Show ensued, with MC duties handled by Marc DeSouza, and the amazing talent of Jason Alan, Bill Citoni, Kosmo, who stopped the show and received a standing ovation for his highly honed street show performance, Michael Rubenstein’s fantastic coin effects, and the comedy of Geoff Williams. The William H. Endlich Memorial Show was emceed by Geoff Williams, and featured Robert Sode with a dove and manipulation act , Jason Alan performing a hilarious straight-jacket escape, and the illusions of the Gulemarians and their beautiful dogs. Alain Choquette lectured to conclude the evening.

Saturday was a big day for our contestants. The stage competition got underway at 9:00 a.m., and highlights included a manipulation act by Steve Owens featuring dancing cane, cigarettes and color changing balloons; a flashy and sophisticated act by Shari Nelson featuring doves and card productions; an adult-themed broomstick levitation by Almar and an his assistant, Ashley Stover, dressed in faux cow-skin fabric.

The afternoon featured lectures by Geoff Williams on stage magic and Losander on levitation, a stand-out lecture of any convention. Contest awards were presented prior to the start of the evening show:

The gala show was emceed by Tom Ladshaw, and featured the magic of Jason Baney, the hilarity of Pete Geist, the elegance of Losander, Scott Francis, and the music and choreographed magic of Dance of Illusion.