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45 entries from September 2008

Magic Festival - Day 9

Today kicked off with Kikkii the Klown and a big walk-up crowd for her 9.30am show.

When we arrived just after 10am the crowd was really buzzing and some of the Trick or Treat Magicians were entertaining in the foyer and the atmosphere was great. Almost like a kiddie version of 'The Magic Castle'!

We did our two performances of 'The Wizards of Aus' and took a lunch break between shows with a chap who wants us to bring the show to a gorgeous theatre in country NSW. We also bumped into Jason Varga who was preparing for 'HypSkits'.

As predicted, the 7.30pm performance of 'HypSkits' was a sell out. The audience was enthusiastic and eager to go under. Many did, but Jason had a few very difficult problems to overcome - his mic was constantly crackling, music from the other two theatres was leaking into ours, and there was a crying baby in the audience! Chatting with volunteers later, several said they had felt themselves go under, but snapped out of it when they heard noises that broke their concentration.

After a loooong 30 minutes where Jason was putting people under, and they were snapping back out, Jason sent back all 8 of his volunteers and you could see the pressure building in him. He chose three more and thankfully they all went under so for the rest of the show we saw some good demonstrations of the power of hypnotism.

It was a tough night for Jason though, and he ended his show with some very successful spoon bending.

Magic Festival Day 8

A nice gentle start to the final week of The Melbourne Magic Festival with the opening of Kikkii The Klown's new show 'Kikkii's Magic Wishes'.

The show is ideal for pre-schoolers and features a cast of many! Lucas, who's celebrating his birthday, magicians Tim Credible and Dom, Pam the narrator, two giant Teddy Bears, Kikkii with Ace & Star the performing puppies. It includes two illusions and pre-show entertainment in the foyer and is just about 30 minutes, perfect length for littlies, and only costs $10.

Four more shows, 9.30am daily until Friday, and tix are available at the door.

As for us, we did another two performances of 'The Wizards of Aus' and had a great day! It really is so much fun to see the faces on not just the kids, but the adults too - especially the two guys who stand on stage and witness me escaping from a pair of handcuffs!  ;)

Victorian Tourism Centre Chapter 49: The rebirth of the phoenix

After only a few years of mass fax spam, harrassing telemarketing, selling consumers accommodation vouchers which don't work, selling consumers discount cards that aren't accepted anywhere, and taking consumers money without giving them anything at all, the Victorian Tourism Centre has been pounced upon by the fast-acting Consumer Affairs Victoria.

As you'll read here, the CAV have come down with the full brunt of the law and forced the VTC to change their name.

That's it.

Apparently, taking money under false pretences is okay, but don't you DARE try presenting yourself as a government agency!

Tourism and Major Events Minister Tim Holding said: "I am pleased that Consumer Affairs Victoria has taken this action as many people have written to me after purchasing accommodation through the Victorian Tourism Centre thinking they were receiving advice from Tourism Victoria."

Actually, most people wrote to CAV complaining that they purchased accommodation vouchers and received nothing.

"I have the same problem as Jamie. I was sucked into buying a discount card and told it would be 5 days before I received it, 2 weeks later, nothing. I don't have a number to contact them, has anyone. The money has come out of my account so I wish to chase this up. "

You can go here and read hundreds of posts just like this.

As a matter of fact, this post is the most helpful of all:

Victorian Tourism Centre
are now
Call 1300 767 030 now

***7 nights Quality Accomodation***
Normal Price $800-$2000
Bali & Fiji
Be the first 25 to purchase at todays price of $99 pp and receive a bonus 2 nights accomodation Voucher in Australia
*conditions apply*

100% price guarantee!
We Guarantee Our holidays will not be beaten
on a like for like basis- if so Make my holidays will refund your money & still provide you with the holiday to take in the next 24 mounths.

A quick trip to the website shows they haven't changed their ways at all. On their Contacts Page they are letting people know they won't be answering any complaints or requests for refunds.

Contact Us

Dear customers, we are currently facing a technical problem and you might have some difficulties getting through to us. Kindly email us your enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Australia Address:
Postal Address:
Make My Holidays – Level 28
303 Collins Street, Melbourne
Victoria – 3000
Ph: 1300 132 758
Fax: 03 9642 1954
ABN: 44133129932
email:[email protected]

More reviews from 'The Groggy Squirrel'

Nicholas Johnson's SCAMTASTIC got a great review in 'The Groggy Squirrel', with the reviewer saying "Despite fooling us over and over again, you just can’t help but like him. " Unfortunately the season is over, but it will look good in the portfolio!

Ashley Barnett's DWAYNE ROBBINS MOTIVATIONAL MAGICIAN also got a great review, hopefully we'll be able to catch the show tonight.

Magic Festival Day 7

Today is a much needed day off for the members of The Australian Institute of Magic. Some resting an recharging their wands, some doing parties and corporate gigs, and others rehearsing and preparing for the final big week of the Magic Festival.

Some highlights:

MONDAY - get up early and catch KIKKII THE KLOWN AND FRIENDS. Perfect entertainment for young families, 9.30am Monday to Friday.

TUESDAY - 7.30pm it's Jason Varga's hypnotism show HYPSKITS. You'd better call and book now for this one because it's already almost sold out!

WEDNESDAY - 7.30pm and if you enjoyed SCAMTASTIC, take a look a Barry Govan's show HEADS I WIN, TAILS YOU LOSE. You'll see card hustles, cons and scams performed by Australia's best card technician.

THURSDAY - 7.30pm it's Anthony DeMasi's new show ANTHONY DEMASI... SERIOUSLY. The Groggy Squirrel called him "the highlight of the show" when he appeared on MagiComedy last week. Come see what the excitement is all about!

And speaking of MagiComedy, tonight's special guest at 8.30pm is Escape Artist Ordinaire DIRK SNOT. He'll be attempting to escape tied like a mummy in Glad Wrap, while suspended upside down with his head in a bucket of water!!! This could well be his last ever performance!

FRIDAY - 8.30pm and MagiComedy goes Italian with MAGICO ITALIANO featuring Anthony DeMasi, Al Cappuccino and Trixie. A great night is guaranteed!

SATURDAY - is the final day of The Melbourne Magic Festival, and your last chance to catch THE WIZARDS OF AUS show at 7.30pm. For Sue-Anne and I it's a five show day! Wizards at 11am, 2pm, and 7.30pm. MagiComedy (with Mat Unwin, Sue-Anne and Al Cappuccino at 8.30pm) and Something About Needles & Razorblades at 9.30pm! Come along and join in the fun!

Magic Festival Day 6

It was AFL Grand Final day today, so we didn't schedule any shows until this evening, and even then we thought it was a bad night to do theatre. But 'Scamtastic' was a total sell-out with people turned away at the door!

MagiComedy had a good crowd at 50% capacity, and again it was great to see Harry Houdidn't in action - maybe we'll get a full 50 min show from him next year!  ;) (MagiComedy got a review in 'The Groggy Squirrel')

'Needles & Razorblades' had a very small crowd though, only 11 people so at one point there were more people on stage than in the audience! Thankfully though, they all enjoyed the show, despite the fact that the Needle Through Arm didn't work at all... in other words, it didn't go through my skin... those who do the effect can feel my pain. How did I get through it? I just carried on as if everything was happening as usual, I just didn't show my arm to the audience. It must have been a convincing display because at the end of it I got a round of applause even though nothing actually happened.

Last night was the first (and only) night that every single trick in the show worked perfectly. The ones that give me the most trouble are 'Needle Through Arm' and 'Fleshwound'. If they want to stay in the show, they'd better get their acts together! Only 4 more chances!!!

Magic Festival Day 5

This morning's offer in THE AGE of 12 free family passes to the show 'MagiComedy' resulted in over 100 people emailing in eager to nab them! Magic is still a pretty good drawcard here in Melbourne!

Tonight's 'SCAMTASTIC' is a good example of that, it's totally SOLD OUT, and the last show, tomorrow night, is almost full, so go online at and book your tix NOW!

'MagiComedy', at 8.30pm tonight still has some seats available at the door, so come on down and catch Mat Unwin, Sue-Anne Webster and special guest HARRY HOUDIDN'T in action.

Then stay on at 9.30pm for 'Something About Needles & Razorblades' with me. See if I manage to cheat death again!


Wow! What a GREAT night for Magic!

Tom Stevens and Troy Piccone said they had a sensational final Clown Wars show. This short season of five performances has been absolutely invaluable to them in creating a very commercial show.

Scamtastic was sold out and Nicholas not only killed, but he got the show on video!

MagiComedy was 2/3 full and everyone had a great time with Mat & Sue-Anne doing their best shows so far, and special guest Harry Houdidn't surprising everyone with his watch stealing and pick pocketing skills!

Razorblades, with the biggest crowd so far (at least  I'd guess) was the best Razor show ever. I'm tempted to just quit now that I've got lucky! ;) I rejigged the opening slightly (noticed by Justin Davenport, who saw the show last season and brought 16 friends along to see the show) and it made a world of difference. The audience relaxed, realising they were allowed to sit back and respond.

I'm looking forward to having tomorrow morning off, maybe sleeping in, and just doing one show tomorrow night... well, after Sue-Anne does 'MagiComedy'... which will be immediately after she does 90 mins of Jeannie strolling magic for Channel 7 at the MCG... well.. we'll sleep in a little... I'm glad Sunday is a day of rest!