The Pacific Coast Association of Magicians (PCAM) holds an annual convention in a different city each year. Typically in the United States or Canada, in April 2019 it was hosted in the Philippines.
And what, exactly, happens at a magic convention? Picture your ordinary industry trade show with seminars, classes, speakers, and a dealer show. Then, make it a LOT more fun! Most of the attendees at this convention are either professional entertainers or very, very serious hobbyist magicians. They make their living by being colorful, fun, funny, and spreading amazement.
One of the hallmarks of the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians conventions are the contests. Performers can compete in different categories include close-up, platform, comedy, children’s, and stage magic. Competitors know what the judging requirements are in advance. Judging criteria includes items ranging ranging from technical skill to the surprise element to originality and others.
The judges are always past-presidents of the organization or very experienced professional magicians. As this was the first time that the PCAM convention has been held in the Philippines, it was a bit of an unknown how many people would attend the convention and how many competitors there would be. Attendance for the country’s first-ever international magic convention was very good: about 150 magicians attended, and the quality of the magic competitors was incredible. Performers from Thailand, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, the United States, and of the Philippines performed in the shows and competitons.