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31 entries from August 2008

Melbourne Magic Festival - Spread the word!


Discount tickets for advance purchases are no longer available, but you can book your tickets NOW for all shows at THE MELBOURNE MAGIC FESTIVAL by CLICKING HERE.

Please help spread the word about this amazing Festival. The Australian Institute of Magic hopes to stage it twice a year and to help showcase emerging and established magical talent here in Melbourne.

Tickets range from only $10 to $18 and generous discounts are available for groups of 4 or more.












From the latest issue of Frequent Flyer News

Where there's smoke... there's Qantas

And no, this is nothing to do with the latest series of incidents currently plaguing the beleaguered airline!   You may have noticed an additional item on your on-board duty-free selection that has anti-smoking lobbyists fuming. This month Qantas has resumed the controversial sale of tobacco on board after almost ten years since it was stopped.

Legislation prohibits the packs from being advertised in the shopping catalogue but it is

legal to stack them on the duty-free trolley and wheel them through the cabin. A letter recently sent to Qantas staff by management allegedly states: "It's vital that duty free carts are taken out into the economy cabin, with the cigarettes displayed prominently on top''.

Some are seeing it as no coincidence that the move comes as Qantas appoints a recently retired tobacco executive to its board. Paul Rayner, who was finance director of British American Tobacco and previously chief operating officer of British American Tobacco Australasia, joined the Qantas board as a as a non-executive director earlier this month. Qantas are adamantly denying that there is any link.

Qantas claims that they are merely catering for consumer demand, whilst lobby groups see the move as an unacceptable return to the "bad old days". They claim the move acts to normalise and condone the act of smoking.

Greedy cash grab or good customer service? We'll leave that decision up

The G-Force Gala Dinner

Wow! What a night!

We've just got back from a huge gig at Crown Casino where we were part of the Gala Dinner for the massive Genesys G-Force conference.

It was a complete change from last Friday's gig up in Maroochydore where we did a 30 minute stage show. John Blackman was compere and although the awards, auction, speeches etc took longer than scheduled and we went on an hour late, it was a laid back conference crowd who were happy for us to do as long as we wanted.

Tonight's show was timed down to the second!

Sue-Anne and I were booked to do two, fast-paced illusion spots during the one hour circus/burlesque show. We did the Houdini Trunk and the Chainsawing in Half, and the challenge was to do both as fast as possible without establishing ourselves as characters and bonding with the audience first.

The show opened with the Itchy Feet Pep Band then sequed into ringmaster Brian Nankervis who was interupted by Matt Hughes and his classic OH & S trampoline act then followed by an aerial act.

We had to perform on a low stage in the centre of the Palladium showroom, surrounded by about a thousand people eating dinner and I was worried how we'd be able to hold everyone's attention! We rewrote the Houdini Trunk as 'The Lucky Door Prize' and it really worked. As I was about to read out "the winner's name", you could hear a pin drop.

It was quite frantic though because, just before we were about to go on (we were following a very good dance troupe doing a medley from Chicago) we were informed our CD was not working! Seeing the whole piece had been scripted to music that drove it along, it made an already difficult show seem impossible... but thankfully the music came on and the routine played even better than expected. Sue-Anne even came up with a touch that made the transformation from me into her seem instantaneous. (The event manager complimented her after saying he'd gotten jaded after seeing a lot of magic but that he loved our trunk and said it was the fastest change he'd ever seen). And, we got a really awful new dress that looked absolutely hilarious on me at the end of the act.

But, it wasn't over yet. We had about 12 minutes before Sue-Anne had to saw me in half so it was a race back to the dressing room to change costumes while Mat Unwin (best stage manager in the world!!!) organised all of our props and kept everything under control.

The sawing had been shifted to the closing number of the show, so after a hula hoop artist, another dance number and a web act, we were back on stage for the sawing. Thanks to Mat, Fred and Bear (I'm sure I've spelled his name wrong..) our multitude of props seemed to appear on stage instantly. They even taped the plastic sheet down on the dance floor in record time which was good because it was the most bloody sawing we've ever done! Blood was everywhere!! It looked really good and I wish we got some photos.

From there it was a quick curtain call, get changed and after washing the blood off all the props we were out of there just after 9pm. It was sooooo good having a professional team to work with!

Right now the conference crowd is still partying on with Angry Anderson, Wendy Stapleton, Tex Perkins, Stig Mareebo and much more entertainment.

Even when they arrived, the foyer was filled with fortune tellers, Wii stations, Danceheads, and all sorts of attractions.

I can't imagine any of the guests of this three-day conference saying they weren't thoroughly entertained. It was a great night and we were glad to be a part of it!

This is the website of the Production Manager in charge of Logistics and Co Producer of the dinner