Unfortunately, it looks like the horrible weather we experienced last year is picking up where it left off. In just the last few days there have been reports of damaging tornadoes throughout the Midwest as well as in other parts of the country. If areas near you are affected, I urge you to do what you can to help out. Donating shows for fundraisers is wonderful. So is donating clothing, household items, labor and blood.
If you should find yourself personally affected by a disaster, remember that the S.A.M. may be able to help you. The S.A.M. offers assistance to magicians and allied artists through the Disaster Relief Fund. This is offered through the S.A.M. Magic Endowment Fund and is available to all magicians and allied artists (clowns, jugglers, ventriloquists, etc.). You do NOT need to be a member of the S.A.M. to apply for assistance. If you’ve lost property or magic props due to a disaster, contact email@example.com. For injury or illness aide, apply to the Houdini Fund by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on these programs, visit the S.A.M. website at www.magicsam.com. These programs are just two of the many reasons why I am proud to be a member of the S.A.M.
Facebook. Facebook. Facebook. What a great way to keep in touch! There are three Facebook pages you should be a part of. First is the S.A.M. Midwest RVP group. This is where I’ll keep you posted on the latest breaking news in the S.A.M. along with magical happenings in the Midwest. You can also post any news you have from your area and any other magic-related tidbits. You’ll also want to go to S.A.M. Compeers (Unofficial). Although it says “Unofficial”, it really is the OFFICIAL Facebook page. There’s a ton of interesting stuff on this page. Enjoy. Finally, the S.A.M. 2012 Annual Conference page will keep you up-to-date on the fantastic convention in Las Vegas this Summer.
Convention Registration Rates Increase On April 1st! No, this isn’t my attempt at an April Fool’s Day joke. Register for the convention now at the low price of just $250. After April 1st, it goes up to $275. Just last week it was announced that Fielding West is going to be the Master of Ceremonies at the convention’s gala show. Fielding is on the cover of this month’s Magic Magazine and is one of the funniest magicians you’ll ever see.
Other convention news: Convention information has been updated on the S.A.M. App. If you don’t have it, get it for free at the iTunes App Store. The convention is still looking for young talent to perform in the Stars of Tomorrow show at the convention. They’re looking for both close-up and stage performers. If you know someone between the ages of 7 and 17, have them (or their parents) get in touch with Marlene Clark. The Stars of Tomorrow application and information can be found at www.magicsym.com. If you or your Assembly wants to run an ad in the 2012 Convention Program, the deadline to do so is April 23rd. These ads can congratulate officers, recognize David Copperfield as the honoree of the convention or promote your show, your product or your Assembly. Rates are very reasonable, too. Contact the program editor, David Goodsell at SuperG13@comcast.net.
I’d like to echo something that S.A.M. President Vinny Grosso mentioned in his article in this month’s M-U-M. I urge you to go out of your way to order something from one of our advertisers and then let them know you saw their ad in M-U-M. I just received a Bunny Tear Surprise that I ordered from Toekneemagic.com. I think it will be a great addition to my kid’s shows around Easter. I have my eye on a few other things advertised in M-U-M and when I buy, I’ll make sure I let the advertiser know that their ad is working. It’s a great way to prove the value of advertising in M-U-M.
There are a couple of great smaller conventions happening in the Midwest. The Branson Magic Bonanza is April 26-28 in Branson, Missouri. They always have a great line-up of acts and lecturers. www.bransonmagicbonanza.com. Marty and Brenda Hahn do a wonderful job putting this convention on every year and it’s a lot of fun. Plus, it’s in Branson, which is a fun place to be anyway. Unfortunately, I’m unable to attend this year because of scheduling conflicts. However, I will be at AbraCORNdabra in Altoona, Iowa (just outside of Des Moines) May 18-20. Last year was the first year for this convention and they really hit it out of the park. Steve Daly is the driving force behind this convention and last year I was so impressed with everything. In fact, he asked for criticism of the convention, and the worst thing I could come up with was that there wasn’t a pitcher of water on a back table during one of the lectures. Seriously … that was the WORST thing. If you decide to go to AbraCORNdabra, look for me. I’d love to meet (or re-meet) you. www.abracorndabra.com.
On March 17th I’m going to be representing you at the S.A.M. National Council meeting in Philadelphia. I’m sure I’m going to come back with lots of interesting news. So, you can either wait two weeks to find out about it in my next newsletter, or you can find out about it immediately on the S.A.M. Midwest RVP Facebook page.
I hope you, your family and your Assembly has a fun, profitable and safe month.
— Jeff Sikora
S.A.M. Midwest Regional Vice President