T.A.O.M. Day 2 in Houston, TX

The first full day of the T.A.O.M. convention was just that with lots of lectures, contests, fun, dealer deals, shows and more. With $5,000 in cash prize money on the table, the level of competition was keen among the 14 close-up contestants. Due to time conflicts with the close-up contests, Chad Long's lecture was delayed until after the evening's stage show. But he, Tony Clark, Chris Korn, Mark Mason and Eric Jones all scored well with their lectures. David Hira hosted the evening show that featured Tony Clark, Joe Givan & Carol Massie and Asi Wind. This was the first evening show that was opened to the public. And due to the wonderful publicity, including the newspaper and blog article in the Houston Chronicle, the ballroom was near its 900 seat capacity. You can read the article and see photos and a video at http://www.chron.com/default/article/Texas-magician-convention-opens-downtown...

As the day began, I sat down with Walter "Zaney" Blaney after the Order of Willard breakfast. The Order of Willard is for those with at least 25 years of membership in the TAOM and Walter has well over 50 years. Walter is a virtual repository of magic history, particularly about magic in and around Texas. But here he has some interesting tales to tell including a little about a Kennedy assasination conspiracy theory. I also chatted with Joshua Jay about taking over the Magifest in Columbus, Ohio then I talked with Chris Bontjes, President of the S.A.M. who was attending the TAOM for his second time. After the evening show, I sat down with Scott Hollingsworth, past president of the TAOM and past Entertainment Director of the Magic Island. We talked about many things but I did ask him for his thoughts on the future of the Magic Island.

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