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

Dec 10, 2007
My name is Victor Cruz, and I am a semi-professional magician from Virginia. Over the last few years of studying magic I have noticed the fundamental difference between amateur magicians and professional magicians has very little to do with technical skill. It comes down to your ability to present whatever skill level you are at in the best way possible. In the end it’s all about performance ability.

This is something that I think the people at Magic-Con understand. I love that they are bringing in people outside of the magic world to help us become better performers and help us to not always think like magicians. I feel like my ability to think outside the box when it comes to performances as well as my technical skill in magic allow me to bring a lot to the table at Magic-Con. I have so many ideas I want to share and so many people I think I could learn from as well.

Magic has been something I have fully committed myself to. I have driven all up and down the east coast in order to further my education in the art. I once drove eight and a half hours to see Michael Ammar perform in a little theatre in Abbeville, South Carolina, just to come back a day later. In 2008, I drove nearly four hours to see Dan and Dave lecture in Philadelphia just to come back that night. And last August I drove six hours to NYC to work with Rich Marotta on his Boadway show at the Snapple Theater just to come back that night because the trip was already costing me more than I would make all day. The money didn’t really matter because the learning experience was immeasurable. Each one of those trips inspired me more than any book or DVD ever could. That inspiration has led me to practice more and have an ever growing desire to be the best performer I could possibly be. Going to San Diego for Magic-Con would be the ultimate trip, learning experience, and inspiration. Unfortunately as a full time student working his way through college it is impossible for me to afford.

People can give you a thousand reasons why they deserve to go because they will take away so much, and because they haven’t experienced anything like this in the past. But that doesn’t mean you deserve to go, in order for you to “deserve” to go, you have to be able to bring as much to the table as you plan to take away from it. That is the ONLY way magic advances, and the only way we can keep it from dying. Don’t just take, borrow- and then give back something more creative than the idea you initially borrowed. That is what I think Magic-Con is about, and why I would love to be a part of it. I know that they are looking for creative thinkers to be active and involved in the convention and I feel like I fit that bill.

I deserve to go because I take magic as seriously as the presenters at Magic-Con, committing hours a day, EVERY day, to practicing and performing at every opportunity possible. Whether it is for charity events to raise money for a worthy cause or paid gigs doing walk around or stand up to fund my magic addiction, I always find performing to be the best way to train for my future career as a professional magician. I have always taken my magic seriously and I think Magic-Con would help me to be a stronger performer and help me to become a professional magician so that I don’t need to fall back on my degree once I’ve earned it.

I have taken the time to mentor students with less experience, either in magic or in performances, so that they can present the art in the best way possible. I am constantly working with them on presentation skills and sleights alike. I do this because I have seen the enormous impact that even the smallest sessions with my mentors have had on me. That is something I want to pass on.

Going to Magic-Con would allow me to learn more about the art and allow me to pass that knowledge on to the people I study with, as well as the audiences I perform for. In doing this, I feel that I will have continued my everlasting duty of keeping magic alive and thriving. Thank you for your time and consideration

Victor Cruz

P.S. Here is a link to a short flourishing video of mine, filmed performed and edited by myself:
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Aug 31, 2007
A Combination of Passions

congrats ben! truly awesome job!
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Sep 3, 2008
My Road to Magic-Con

I just thought I would add a little to my entry from earlier, considering how detailed others are.

My name is Steven Gagliardo, I am 16 my nickname is GagZ, yes GagZ and I love visual magic.

My first experience with magic was when I was 12-13. It was Niagara falls and I saw my first magic show. The next day my family was checking out of the hotel we were staying at and I was bored so I went over to the Gift shop and saw a Magic DVD. It was made by the magician who had performed for me last night. So, I begged my parents and they finally gave in. There were two DVD's one beginner and one advanced. Me being me I asked for the Advanced one. I ,on that 5 hour car ride home I played that DVD over and over. I soon learned it would take a lot of practice. After looking through the contents of the DVD I decided to learn a false cut, you know the three packets and the middle one spins out that kind. That was it. Once I learned that I put away the DVD for a long time.

About a year later it was preseason for my first year of high school soccer. I had always been a starter in the years before so I felt confident, even though I was slow I always kept going even when others stopped. At the end of the week it was announced who made the team. I didn't . I felt crushed. My entire life was flipped upside down. I went into high school unable to look my friends in the eyes. Everywhere I went I felt sorry for myself, I felt like I had lost everything. But, from the worst moment in my life came the best years of it. About a week later I was sitting at home on the computer when I saw a link to learn a magic trick. It was a simple vanishing toothpick.

That moment proved to be the most important one in my life. From that point on I was obsessed. I would practice and practice nonstop. After soccer season ended basketball began, and don't worry I made that team. So the season began with me practicing my simple moves at home every day after basketball practice. So ,up until that moment I had never shown a soul a single magic trick but as I sat in the locker room after a long game I felt a urge to practice my French Drop. As I sat there my buddies on the team saw me vanishing coins. They were amazed. So the entire ride home I showed my magic effects. That was the day I fell in love with magic.

Over these amazing years I have had some great moments. From getting people to run away screaming with my deck using the biddle trick to Daniel Madison’s angle zero on the locker room clock. My coach freaked from that one. I even got called out of my Gym class to do card tricks for the school counselor and the athletic director and the Principal. But my favorite moment was on the bus ride home from a game. It was a small bus and it was three to a seat, so I did a few tricks and I was feeling a bit cocky so I did Card to Mouth from the trilogy. I literally did that trick for the first time about two inches away from my buddy’s face. When I revealed the card , he flipped out. The whole bus knew I was doing a magic trick. It’s been about two years since that day on the bus now and I’ve only tried to be better.

One of the most important goals in magic for me was to inspire. Both myself and others. When I see good magic I never want it to stop. I’m not a professional magician, I don’t know if I ever could be one. But, if this Convention can teach me things cant be learned from some old book or new DVD and give me a chance to live my dream then this post could be my chance.

So there was a little history about me, I tried to write about the important moments and not drone on about every little detail. I have tried to learn as much as possible in magic, I constantly go over every magic related book and DVD I have to find those hidden gems. I am still learning and will continue to do so until I feel satisfied that I can create my own style of magic and magic effects. So in Conclusion Magic-Con would be the experience that would help me and others get to that next level that always seems out of reach no matter how many times I do a double lift. Maybe Magic-Con would help me learn to be creative, with all the amazing people there, I really wish I could go.

So Choose me. I’m not in magic for the money, I’m in it for the moments, the single fleeting second that they believe in real magic and I do too.

P.S. My favorite magic Moves are DPS, Versatile Spread control, pushoff double lift ,Pirandello False cut and of course the clipshift. My favorite magic books are The D Notes and Versatile card magic. I like to make short videos and have fun with my friends and my favorite video game is Modern Warfare 2 (knife runner).

And please look at my earlier post as well.

Thanks for reading this really long essay.

P.S. If I win I will run to the Gym to work out my arms so I can beat Mr. Kenner in a pushup contest.

Thanks again Here is a video showing myself, thanks again -Steven
Oct 5, 2008
"The Boy Who's Dreams All Came True in One Second" by Dalton Edwards(dontavius+R)

Dalton was born 17 years ago in the small mountain village of Cape Coral, located deep in the jungles of Florida. Throughout the years, he had developed a multitude of talents: he could play a
guitar, compose symphonies, and hit on women three times his age by the age of 7. A modern day renaissance man, he has devoted his life to being the very best, like no one ever was. To catch
them is his real test, to train them is his cause. Dalton found his life's true calling some four summers ago. His older brother, a charismatic stallion of a librarian, had checked out an old magic book,
dating back to the 1930's. From this most ancient of tomes, our young magician had learned techniques such as the french drop, the double lift, and the gator boot. From that day on, he has never been seen
without a deck of cards orbiting effortlessly between his hands. He soon found Theory 11, a website dedicated to the progression and evolution of the equisite art of magic. Several years pass; Dalton's
skills continued to multiply. A few months ago, he stumbled upon J.D. and Dimitra Sarantakos(Criss Angel's brother and mother, respectively) while touring the Circus Circus during a visit to his aunt
in Las Vegas. Working up all his courage, he politely asked Mrs. Sarantakos if he could display his skill. Over the next few minutes, he would astound, amaze, and beguile her with illusions of a level
only normally seen in Christopher Nolan movies. They were so impressed that J.D. immediately called Doug Malloy to set up a private meeting between the two. They met, along with Luke Dancy
and Joe Montie, at a local fast food restaurant, where Dalton performed the most important act of his life. They encouraged him, giving him pointers and valuable life lessons, nurturing him like a small deer.
One hour later, he was being filmed by the MindFreak crew during a signing at the Circus Circus. The next day, Dalton was on the phone with the great and voluptuous Chris Kenner. The two hit it off quite majestically,
and Chris invited Dalton to a David Copperfield show, afterwards inviting him to his palace. This was his last day in Vegas, and the bromance had ended before it could flourish into an awesome high five. To this day, Dalton
considers those few days in Vegas to be the best of his life: speaking with true proffessionals; like minded individuals filled with creativity and passion. He is truly devoted to the art, and believes that this convention
will propel him to unknown heights. There is nobody that wants this or needs this more than him. His misfortune is that he lives in Cape Coral, Florida, otherwise known as the armpit of the United States.
There are no oppurtunities in a place so flat, and his ticket out of this wasteland lies in your hands. Maybe you'll read this story, all at once the talk will stop, and then somebody
will say, "Wow." And then Daniel Garcia will look at them and say, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" And then Wayne Houchin will yell, "I'm way ahead of you buddy!" as he pulls up in the company motorcycle/monster truck
and as you all pile in, Daniel Madison shouts out, "LOCK AND LOAD!" And you drive full speed to Dalton's house and he comes out and says "Theory 11? But.." and you put a finger to his lips and say, "You had us at hello!" So we all load into the vehicle and peel out, popping a wheelie all the way down
the street while DragonForce blares out of the radio and then you and Dalton try to say something at the same time because you're both so excited, so then you both shut up so that the other can talk, and then you both say, "No, you go!", but then you both start talking again at the
same time, and you have to just laugh until you're crying tears of joy, and you all sense in your hearts that you will all be best friends forever and ever, and never think about what or who you were before. You will just enjoy the ever-unfolding
kaleidoscope of happiness and discovery and adventure and laughter that lie before you all.

Video of that faithful meeting in Circus Circus:
Sep 23, 2009

I found out about this contest about a day ago and didn't really have enough time to make a video so Im going to try my best. Hi, My name is Ryan Heiner I'm 16, I've been doing magic for about 3 years. My main interest is in card magic. I practice all the time, Magic is what i love. I think I deserve to go to Magic-Con because I will learn things that will help me with my carrier in magic, meeting all the greatest magicians. To see Dan and Dave Buck do their sick flourishes, to see Daniel Garcia do some thing fantastic, or to see David Williamson be hilarious, It would be so Amazing. This experience will greatly help me be a better performer and inspire me to think up new ideas and new things that might help the magic community some day. Another reason, my parents don't have any money to do this, my dad shattered his heel and our family lost 60,000 dollars because my dad was out of work for along time and now were trying to get back on our feet, I really wished I can go it would be unbelievable. It would be so awesome if i won,it would be a dream come true. Thank you for this contest, to give people, like me, a chance.
Feb 6, 2010

Hey, I know I already entered -- but here's part two of my entry!!!!!!!


I have three minutes left to post this - I hope it workssss.

Casey Rudd

Director of Operations
Team member
Jun 5, 2009
Charleston, SC
I loved reading and watching ALL of the entries. You guys did a great job. I think we need to give a shout out to all of the judges who are nice enough to give this prize. You guys rock, and can't wait to find out the results. Good luck to everyone and God Bless.

Feb 23, 2009
snc from mexico

Hi, I am from a border town with El Paso Texas, called Juarez in Mexico, maybe you have heard of this city before thanks to all the news around the world about the violence in the city.
I've been a magician for quite some years now, doing some gigs at restaurants and parties, but since last year i started thinking that I should do somthing for the community, something to help ease the stress of the people living in this city.
There are many good people in this city, so I thought that maybe doing something that can help put a smile on their faces and make them forget about what they are living, and transport them for a while to a magic moment, I could make people smile and bring hope that there are still good things for them.
Magic for me started to be the way to help people feel good again. I started to go on the weekends, to public places, parks, malls, some neighborhoods, and do some magic for the people, and sometimes a little show, I saw what I was creating was a great way of giving happiness, brining people together.

I am very happy of what Im doing, making the art of magic, the art af hope, a magical dream into a dream of hope, just putting a smile on these people's faces does so much for them, taking them to a confort after hearing so much negativeness in the news and streets, many of them have lost their families, jobs and hopes, when you remember them how to smile they know that they can be OK again.

I would like to have the chance to learn from the best, and give to the rest, so I can offer better things to these people that really need the moment. Maybe I don't deserve it, but I do know that the people of Juarez deserve this and much more.

Thankyou for the opportunity, I tried to submit a video that i made but it was taking to long, I will still try to send it to you anyway, so you can see how great it feels when you see these people happy for a moment.

Juan Tamariz, Gracias por tu carisma, filosofia de vida y magia y los buenos ratos que nos haces pasar.

Casey Rudd

Director of Operations
Team member
Jun 5, 2009
Charleston, SC
It's so nerve-racking, probably the most anticipating results for an SNC EVER. I dont think they'll be up for quite a while, considering all of the great entries and how long it takes for them to come to a conclusion.
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