Saturday Night Contest - A FREE Trip To Magic-Con 2010

Addition to hiphopperco's entry to magic-con contest

Wow, there are so many great posts from everyone on the forums! I give mad props to everyone that has entered! I can't imagine how hard it has to be for the theory 11 team to pick a winner. I would like to thank everyone for the great read for the past week as well. I have an addition as well for my entry.

Incase you guys can't remember my post I'm the guy that said I would go to magic con with a tux painted on my body. The things people are willing to do these days lol. Well I ended up finding a video that I posted on youtube a while back that I thought you all may enjoy.

Good luck to everyone
Dec 21, 2009
Geez guys i think magic con should just be a free convention lol. Well hope my entry influences some people. Thanks for this opportunity T11

Here it is

James Kellogg

P.S. More details on this project as soon as I'm done I promise you guys won't be disappointed about it :)
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First of all, I would like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity not only for Theory11 members in general, but for those like me that are unable to go due to financial reasons. I have been recently admitted to the California State Polytechnic University of Pomona. Because of the recent budget cuts, there was a dramatic increase in tuition. My mother, the best damn mom there is, has to pay for my tuition, textbooks, car insurance, and gas on top of all the other life necessities.

When I was about 4-5 years old, my father walked away from our family leaving my mother with a great amount of fear and dismay. She had no idea how she was going to work her average job to support herself, my brother, and myself. We were forced to sell our two story home and car and move to a poorly maintained apartment where the carpet was almost nonexistent. There were many leaks in almost every corner of the house causing us to spend even more money to repair it. My mother was forced to work overtime to compensate for my father’s now missing income. We applied for all the free lunches we could get during school because $3.00 daily for my brother and I was already too much to give.

I worked countless jobs to help my mother during the end of middle school and high school. I believe one of my most stressful jobs by far was teaching a class at a summer Chinese school on how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. Every day I would wake up at 8:00 am, make myself breakfast (which was usually a slice of toast), and start an hour long treacherous bike ride up a hill to my Chinese School. After hours of frustrated teaching, I would hop back on my bike and start my hour long ride back home. I also made heavily modified Rubik’s cubes which I sold on eBay as a side job. An average Rubik’s Cube would take approximately 10-20 hours of work in total just for one handmade modification. I did whatever I could do to contribute to my loving mother’s hard work and dedication.

As things were finally starting to tape themselves back together, we received an appalling letter from my father’s new wife. She demanded the child support to be cut almost in half because my father was having his own financial issues. There was so much stress raging through my mother’s side of the family. I had so much on my mind to the point that my grades started to drop. One day, my brother showed me a YouTube video of Oz Pearlman performing many, many tricks to try and cheer me up. I was so baffled that I had to buy the DVD. The moment I received the DVD in the mail, I was hooked. I watched the DVD over and over again until one day I realized when Oz Pearlman was performing to live audience members, there was always one thing that I saw in every video, and that is a refreshing smile. I then realized that the day my brother showed me this video, it totally made my day. I constantly prayed to God to never let another family experience what we had experienced. Little did I know, I was engaging in a hobby that not only benefited me, but to the rest of the world as well. I was so happy to have the power to make someone’s day when they needed help or a friend to talk to. I knew this is what I wanted during the divorce period. If I couldn’t prevent something bad from happening, I could at least help make it better.

I looked for many ways to progress in magic. In 2009, I auditioned for the prestigious Magic Castle in Hollywood. I worked very hard in creating an original routine because I knew this is what magicians enjoy and respect. As I was creating my routine, I realized that I had a lot to contribute to the magic society. I watched a small clip of Jason England performing his bottom deal. As I watched it, I realized that each method that he taught was modified one after the other. It all started with Erdnase’s handling of the bottom deal which lead all the way to the mechanic’s grip strike bottom. I had so much to contribute to the magic world; and I was excited to share it. I always wanted to show the world all the tiny modifications that I have added to different tricks. I always believed in learning through the past where one would take an average effect and spice it up with their original handling and adjustments. I met up with a couple of friends and showed them a few of my ideas. Even though they had a lot more experience and knowledge, I was still able to contribute my minute ideas to create an easier handling or stronger effect. Many magicians such as Jay Sankey, Oz Pearlman, Wayne Houchin, etc. worked for months and years on material to provide to the magic society. If I had the opportunity to go to Magic-Con, I would certainly take the advantage to share my ideas with everyone.

Obviously, Magic-Con is totally out of the question at the moment. It’s a lifelong dream to attend a big magic convention where I can not only learn, but also contribute to my fellow magicians. Although I wouldn’t say I “deserve” to go to Magic-Con, but rather, I would really appreciate the paid trip. I can’t even begin show my appreciation for this contest. Thank you so much Theory11 for offering this wonderful and magnificent opportunity. It gives an immense amount of hope to those that have no chance in going. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Chris Joe, 18


Elite Member
Jun 17, 2009
NE Ohio.
Magic is not only an art for me, but a form of escape. To say I've learned a lot in the past year is true. I want to increase my knowledge and experience, and I think Magic-Con can help me.

Magic has always been my go-to activity when I'm bored or in a bad mood. The ability to conjure up a world of wonder astounds me. Yes, I know the secrets, but I get to present that amazing moment. Isn't that what magic really is? Not sleights and gimmicks, not gaffed cards or coin shells, but the ability to make a total stranger in total awe.

I'm sure there are much more deserving people who've posted in this thread. Some have made elaborate videos with Vegas Pro editing and Dana Hocking music, and normally I'd be one of them - in an effort to look nice and polished - but my computer's been on the fritz as of late. But I would like to go. Let me elaborate.

I feel I need a lot of experience and knowledge. See, I came from the Ellusionist school of, "Penguin Magic is bad. Instant downloads are NOT the way to go. Learn only this type of magic. It's OK to do magic." Then I transferred to the school of higher thinking, wherein open-mindedness is encouraged. I've learned a lot since then, but I still have much to go.

I want to be a better performer. I feel I'm not presenting my art correctly, and that can put it to shame. I want to do better service to magic, and how can I do so if I never learn? It doesn't help that, like a lot of young magicians today, I'm cash-strapped, and a trip to California with registration for the event itself, airfare, a hotel room - and on top of that, spending money! - might run upwards to over $1,000. Now that just isn't the kind of thing I can afford. I've come from rougher situations, but even in the present there are some difficulties. So needless to say giving a free trip would be a relief. It would just grant me the kind of opportunity that's far beyond my reach.

It would be a dream trip that only the most elite of society may be able to afford. I mean, come on, a room at the Hilton Bayfront??? It looks incredibly stunning, but I get the impression that it's the kind of hotel Paris Hilton herself can't even afford! From rags to riches is one thing, but this is a whole other ball game, and they simply won't let me play.

Taking a look at the guest list, there are the most amazing magicians in the world, or at least some of them - Danny Garcia, Chris Kenner, the Buck twins, John Carney, Bill Goodwin, Max Maven, Apollo Robbins, and many more - who will all put their time and effort in ensuring that event-goers will have the best time possible. So to skip out on a window of opportunity like this would be a fool's errand.

And then, best of all, the Guest of Honor: Juan Tamariz is magic at its best. I attest to the statement that he is the greatest performer alive, so to see him in person would be an honor and a great experience. Just the little nuances of how he performs are incredible. He inspires so greatly. A chance to learn from him, let alone watch him live, would be priceless. Well, I guess registration's around $300. (little joke there.)

And I feel I deserve to go. I've come a long way from where I used to be, in life and in magic, and I think Magic-Con would increase that advancement tenfold. It would be a great experience for me. I've never been to California, and I've never seen any of these magicians before. Learning from them and seeing them is a great, incredulous, dreamlike experience that I hope I will get the privilege of having.

I've had decidedly hard times in my life, and for once I'd like a few minutes of joy - or, in this case, a few days. I am better off, don't get me wrong, but when there's something that is a hope for me but is out of my reach, there are always almost no chances at obtaining that dream goal. With this contest, you've given that chance.

I want to be a better magician and have a fun time. Is that so wrong to ask? I feel I do deserve it, not as a reward or a special surprise, but because I've learned from the past and am more than willing to learn in the future. It would just be an amazing experience I would recall in my aging years.

The Magic-Con experience is more than just magic. It's a sightseeing tour, a world of attractions, a natural beauty, and much more. To learn magic on top of a vacation is just wonderful.

So in closing, I think I deserve to go because I have a chance for improvement in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity otherwise just a distant dream for me. Thank you for taking time to read this, and I hope you make the best decision. That might not be me, but whomever goes will undoubtedly deserve it.

Feb 8, 2010
The Magic-Con Song

Magic-Con's mission is to inspire CREATIVITY from real-world performers....

The written word won't suffice with such a contest. You gotta go out of the box....way out......and so I did.....

In a lyrical and poetic fashion, I composed a song on the piano describing the dynamite presenters of Magic-Con 2010.

Here is my submission:

In short, I've been doing magic for 10 years and I can truly appreciate the caliber of talent and vision you have for such a conference.

Ben Jackson


Elite Member
Aug 31, 2007
A Magic-Con Haiku


I will be honest. I am torn. To one degree, I want to go to Magic-Con so bad. When it was announced, I was following it closely and began to drop hints to my wife. As the time approached, my wife was sick of me talking about it and we talked about the reality, that we just don't have the money for me to do something like this. That didn't stop me. I recalculated everything. I found a cheap hotel with shared Bathrooms. Then I looked into other ways of getting me there. I eventually found that greyhound would be the cheapest way. It would only take 2 days 14 hours and 50 minutes each way with five transfers. So it brought the price down to just over $100 for travel. I would need to take six days off work, which means no family vacation. I brought the new plan to my wife and she talked some sense back into me. We recently had our first baby and my wife is just going back to work. My priorities have to be my family first. I would rather that my wife could stay home with our daughter, so I have been investing more into my magic to try and build my business up to the level where she can stay home. I know it will take a lot of work and some time, but I'm looking forward to it. I know that magic-con won't magically make me a better magician in terms of technical skill, but I know that this type of conference will grow me intellectually as well as instill even more passion into my magic. I appreciate the idea that it is striving to be more than a conference and a latest and greatest trick grab. David Copperfield thought about his magic as something much more than a bunch of tricks when he started and in the same way I want to see my magic as much more than that as well. Magic-con I'm sure will be like trying to drink from a fire hose, but it will shape and develop me as a performer. Which in turn will help me to achieve my goal of supporting my family. My wife wishes that I could go and was really excited to hear that this contest was on, but sometimes it is a hard bullet to bite and a hard lesson to learn when you need to sort out priorities.

I don't feel like I deserve it as much as some of the stories here. Of course the contest was not about how much you deserve it, but how much you WANT it.
Unfortunately I am far less artistic than others here and may not be the most creative, and I am terrible at video editing...

So after much thought, I decided I would try to put into words, how much I want to be at Magic-Con 2010, in the form of a Haiku:

lke aielia haoiefimmq,
Onut hei hoijhen queinfof lorusje,
ILenit winan wzdfvinmne.

Unfortunately that proves words cannot describe how much I want to be there.

Thanks for the chance.

Sep 20, 2009
i think that magic is heading towards a sense of super stardom and elitism that it doesn't need to go to. why shouldn't I or anyone be able to email Daniel Madison, or Daniel Garcia, or the buck twins, or any of our magician idols, just for a chat. or to hang about. but we hold them in such a high pedestal that they only run in their elite circle. and it's really not their faults. we put them there, we treat them like celebrities and superstars and we put them in a level and class of there own, they are people like me and you, they are magicians like me and you, yeah they are better then a lot of us. but that doesn't mean they are magic gods that cant be approached or talked to.

the magic community should be just that a community of magicians, our own special circle. there should be no "celebrities" and "superstars" we should be able to be connected to everyone. i'm seeing less and less comradery and less help between magician to magician.

Dai Vernon, use to live at the magic castle, he used to be there every day helping out younger magicians, teaching, guiding. where is that now? i don't see any of that. growing up i was by myself with my magic, i joined theory 11 a little under 1 year a go. i'm also a magician member at The Magic Castle, because i wanted to be part of this community of magicians. i thought this was a magic family, we existed in our own group, our own club, and it was special because the average person didn't know anything about our world, and we created experiences and "miracles" for people.

when i found out Bill Goodwin was the Librarian at the castle, i was amazed, here is one of my idols, belonging to the same club as me. and i went down there and met him, treated him like a regular person, and we jammed on cards all night long. and thats how i would treat anyone of these magician "superstars" thats how i would treat any magician. i don't see them as superstars, i see them as far out people that i would dig hanging around with.

for example

if i emailed Dan and Dave, and said hey next time your around southern California we should get together and jam on some cards or what not.. hang at the castle.. or just shoot the breeze around Hollywood..

would they take that serious? would they think i was just some Fan boy who wants to hang with the Buck Twins? would they give me the time of day?

of course i have my magician Idols too, Daniel Madison,Derren Brown, The Buck Twins. but i don't hold them at a level that i can reach, i don't hold them above me as a super star.

i think every magician deserves the chance to go to Magic-Con, i think that every magician deserves the chance to belong to the magic community. and i think we need to start making it more of a community

magic is my life and my passion, i practice everyday for every chance i get, i preform everyday, to everyone i can. and i have much to learn i know this but i have the will and the passion to take my magic beyond the possibilities.

i want to go because i want to learn from some great magicians, i want to go because i want to be around the magic.

don't confuse this with arrogance, i have the confidence in myself and my abilities..

i deserve to go because i know i do
Aug 31, 2007
Long Island/New York
Dear Theory11,
My name is Danny Tripi and I've been into magic my whole life. I'm 20 years old and go to a community college.​
College is more of a back up plan for me right now because I already know what I want to do for my future. I want to be performing magic on stage in front of large audiences. I want my shows to be funny, amazing, and above all, leaving my audiences wanting more. I'm more than willing to put in the time and effort it deserves.

Attending Magic-Con would be perfect for me because I'll meet and talk with other magicians who share the same goals as me and have the same passion about magic as I do. It would help me out a lot to see if I'm taking the right steps in order to achieve my goal.

If you chose me, you would Definitely Not be wasting your time. I'd be going to Magic-Con to do work. Paying attention to close details, taking notes, doing everything I can to absorb as much info as I possibly can to take it back with me to NY.

This opportunity is once in a lifetime and will help me in living my dream. My dream is to be Successful.

I don't measure success by how much money you make or by how famous you are. To me, being successful is doing what you love doing and being able to keep a roof over your head and putting bread on the table from doing it. If you have that, then you're set. I have so much ambition and I believe in myself. I was taught to dream big and with your help, you can help me achieve my dreams.

P.S. I decided to not post a sympathy reason as to why I should go to Magic Con because I'm trying this new thing called being Optimistic.;)
Apr 5, 2009
i keep reading these as they come in, and i'm like, whew, that was good. but i think i still got a shot. then i remember. popchris. , and some of those other SNC monsters. havent posted. and then i get nervous again. haha
Aug 4, 2008
Why I deserve to be at Magic-Con 2010, well I don't deserve it, I need it, as magicians we need Magic-Con, why? Because It´s probably the best thing to happen to the art since FISM. We are going to be there, not for buy the latest super gimmick or the latest instructional DVD, (we do that every day ;)), but to advance the art of magic, to really LEARN, to share ideas that would really contribute to the art forever, make it clearer, more concrete to us and to layman. Our art is more complicate than it seems, almost every factor and detail plays in game, and to learn how to control each of it, and make it the way we want to, it´s like to make a simple card switch to hit as hard as to see Criss Angel levitate in front of us live as he does it on TV ;) , it's to actually said you performed an illusion, but in the spectators mind it was pure magic, and there´s no reason in them to believe It´s not, that’s what magic it´s all about and that’s the way it should be, Magic-Con is going to help us, the new magic community, get closer to this goals ,because we are the magicians of the future right? but most importantly we are the magicians NOW. All the presenters and attendants are going to be there for one reason, to innovate, renew and to share what we love most, what I love most, the art of magic, but most importantly to have FUN in the process. I need magic as air every single day of my life, I realize I can´t live without it, to be at Magic-Con 2010 means more air for me, I need it, I can´t live without air.

Ps:Sorry if my English is bad as my primary language is spanish.
Ps.2: I also NEED to go to see Juan Tamariz live. OMG.. :)

Jul 1, 2009
Well I haven't post yet on the reason why I should go to Magic-Con because simply I don't deserve to go to Magic-con. Everyone here on the forums deserve this more than I do. Magic has open my eyes and mind and that the best prize.
I want to make this as short as I can but direct to the point since I know you guys at T11 have/will have a lot to read.

Both my parents are deaf & mute & my mother is also half blind along with that. The first thing that pops into your mind when you say parents, is communicating & talking with them & how much they embarrass you in front of your friends. As a kid I was taught by my mom how to communicate by using Sign Language; how to say I’m hungry, I’m sleepy, I’m bored, I’m very very bored, etc.

In my world, communicating with my parents wasn’t something I was automatically given, I had to learn it & earn it. In my own weird world, that was considered my first introduction to magic, let me explain.

Sign Language is different from voiced language. You must see/feel the sign in order to know what the person is talking about. Voiced language you can listen & understand without seeing.

That’s how I learned my first lesson in magic without participating in the world of magic. You must be clear about what you show to the person/spectator or else they will have no clue what you are talking about/what you are showing them.

If that was confusing, let me add this. I went through a learning process when I was very young to learn how to send a message in an unorthodox way that’s different from speaking it. Sign Language is communicated through a medium, with your hands. Same applies with magic; the actual magic effect is shown through a medium of cards, coins, whatever the object may be. I converted my skill of Sign Language to learning magic when I was 4 & it felt like I had already had a head start but didn’t know what it was.

First time I performed to my parents it felt right, as much as of a cliché & corny as it sounds. As if I had a head start, as if it was natural. They were surprised having never heard about or seeing magic, but they loved it. I will admit I haven’t had much experience with some parts of the magic world, such as stage, or street magic. But I do it at parties & at gatherings; I like to show magic to friends of my friends, & their friends & their friends. It’s because it trickles down the ladder back to me how they’re reactions are a couple of days later. In turn that forces the people who are down that ladder to become more interested than they were & it branches out to other people.

I want to go to Magic-Con because I want to gain more experience, to learn & listen from the greatest magicians in the world. It’s also to show my parents that our way of communication, Sign Language, isn’t as rare as it seems, it’s implemented in many different things all around the world but portrayed in different ways, such as magic. Along with that, it’s also to show how it has helped me get to where I am today, that it’s not just a hobby; it’s a part of my life, just as my friends & family are.

I’m not sure if what I said was actually clear, regardless, I’m glad I got to share with someone, especially from theory11.

- Brian Li
Feb 12, 2010
Moscow, RU
There is something BLAZING in here...

A newcomer in magic art.. Has created something completely new. Maybe the most magical revelation ever.

How many visual transformations have you seen on the market?
And those which you can hand out to your spectator immediately?
And those which are invisible?
And those which don't limit your style, creativity and routines?
And those which your spectators will keep for life?
And those which distort in spectators hands..?

Inspired by d+M BURN. Rediscovered principle..

Hello, I'm Daniel Dad. This is my contest entry. I present you BLAZE.​

Reality distorting effect. ANY deck of cards. ANY PAPER. ANYTHING revealed. Transformations. Appearances. Revelations. Predictions.


...spectators name appears on a selected playing card
...your contact details appear on a blank business card
...playing card visually changes itself in spectators hands
...image of a playing card appears on a blank piece of paper
...blank card transforms itself to a "thought-of" card
...image of a thought object appears on a piece of paper

Invisible, versatile, agile, stunning, in-the-hands effect.

Extremely easy to make with no chemicals or special liquids.

I've been working on this for half a year. Now i present it. This is my first release, a first REAL idea that works. And idea that i thought i should share. And idea that might be useful to a magic community..​

From Russia with love..)
Daniel Dad.
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