OK, here’s one of the cooler things that happened at World Fantasy last weekend. (And this is saying something, because it was a fantastic convention. I love WFC because it has one of the highest concentrations of incredibly cool and fun people of any convention I visit, including Worldcon. It’s just jam-packed with tons of wonderful folks, people with whom I love to hang out, and many of whom I only see once a year. And I always make new friends at WFC, too.)
But anyway. There I was, minding my own business, when Derryl Murphy waved me over and said, “Hey, Ian, check this out. This guy’s doing card tricks.”
So I figured it was somebody just hanging around doing little bar bet stuff. I expected to meet a scruffy barfly. But no.
“This guy” was Jonathan Pendragon, a professional magician. A Magic Castle professional magician. Just hanging around doing card tricks. Really good card tricks. Right there in the restaurant and bar. He did a trick for me right there– he handed me a deck of cards, I shuffled it (I swear I really shuffled it), and then when he started pulling cards off the top of the deck they alternated red, black, red, black, all the way down. It was very cool.
I admit that as soon as I heard “professional magician” and saw some of this stuff, I immediately checked that I still had my wallet.
Of course, he wasn’t there to meet the likes of us. Someone had arranged for him to come down to meet Neil Gaiman, who was a guest of honor at WFC last weekend, and who showed up about 10 minutes later. So then Pendragon pulled out the really boffo tricks. All with one deck of cards.
Truly amazing stuff. It’s one thing to see things like this on TV, or from a distance. But it’s even cooler up close and personal like that. I swear I wasn’t standing more than five feet away and I have no idea how he made stuff appear and disappear.
I’d say there were barely more than a dozen of us standing around, watching this private show.
So that was neat.