FISM Day 6

I made it to the last day, and despite a late night, I got up on time!  FISM is the longest magic convention that I’ve ever attended.  You can really push yourself with lack of sleep at a three or four day magic convention, but with FISM at a week long, it’s really a marathon!

The final day of the convention ended with Stuart McDonald’s act, which I’d seen last year at Abbott’s Magic Get Together.  I thought he was going to be a strong contender, but it got a very different reaction to the act at FISM than he got at Abbott’s.  You should follow him on Facebook and read his post about how he feels he act was received and why it was received that way.  It’s very honest and I think correct in thinking that it was the wrong act for this specific contest.

After the contest, it was off for lunch.  I’m amazed that this area of Quebec City after having around 1,500 magicians in town for a week, people still asked up to show them tricks when we were at restaurants or bars.

chris hanowell, al nez

I think that’s a testament to how strong the magic is at FISM both on the stages and in the audiences.  No one is doing bad magic here, and everyone even informally has brought their “A game”.

The contests ended with the Winner’s Gala and the Awards Gala, which were to separate events. The Winner’s Gala was first, where the first place acts of all the categories in stage and close up performed their acts.  Unfortunately due to some really bad camera work, Markobi’s close up card act was unwatchable. It’s really disappointing for people who bought tickets to the show, to have an act that you couldn’t see because the camera was pointed in the wrong spot.  After Markobi, was Luis Olmedo who won Micro Magic and should be given the “boss status” award after the camera work was bad or non existent, he simply stopped and said, “I’ll wait” and did just that until the tech team got their sh*t together.  

Then the evening ended with the Awards Gala, which didn’t make sense as we already knew who the first place winners were.  While I congratulate everyone who got second and third place in their categories, it was pretty anticlimactic.  The only surprises were the Grand Prix and Special Awards, but that wasn’t enough to carry the Awards Gala. 

On the official FISM schedule after the Awards Gala was a “party” in the banquet room.  This party was moved to the back of the dealers room and was exactly what had been happening the previous few nights.  For an amazing week that really could have ended on a HIGH, the last two events were a bit of a let down.  While I should have hung out at the party, I had an early flight the next day and did my farewell tour saying goodbye and made it to my hotel for a solid five hours of sleep.


The day after FISM ended, when people were heading to the airport the texts started coming in.  People were testing for COVID before returning home and they were testing positive for COVID. 

Luckily I tested negative, but I still have a few more days before I’m officially in the clear.  

Exposure to COVID aside, I had as much fun at FISM as I did when I was a teenager going to magic conventions.  It rekindled my desire to attend more magic conventions and will probably carve out a week each summer to go to a magic convention. I left feeling inspired, and overall it’s good for my soul as an artist to be exposed to high level art!