At the beginning of the year I decided to seek an adventure and so I signed up for Doomsday Magic Convention in Whitby. Doing things by halves is not really in my nature, so I registered to compete with my act in the Hex Factor Magic Competition too! Doomsday Magic Convention is run by the uber talented Dan Baines of Lebanon Magic Circle and is a convention for magicians of the Bizzarre persuasion. Think ghost stories, theatrical seance and Vampires and you are heading in the right direction.
The dramatic drive across the wild moors to reach the town of Whitby did not disappoint, especially as the last village before you reach Whitby is called “Sleights”, very apt for a female magician! Whitby was glorious with it’s cobbled streets and gothic archways. A most befitting setting for a spooky magical weekend.
The day of magic consisted of lectures from Dan Baines himself and Don Deich who performs in New Orleans and Salem, Massachutsetts. Dan gave a really useful and interesting lecture on how to make your props look aged and authentic. Don talked about creating character and how certain small gestures, seemingly off the cuff, can convey volumes about your character on stage without the use of words. Also lecturing was the wonderful Alexander Romer from Germany who demonstrated the power of storytelling with Tarot. Dr Todd Landman performed an astonishingly clever lecture and performance which will stay with me for a very long time!
Finally there was the Hex Factor Competition in which I took party as Miss Sylvia Sceptre, Dark Mistress of Magic. The competition was fairly won by Robert Dahlstrom and his spooky doll automaton, Phillippe. His act was brilliant and an inspiration to us all. Although I didn’t win, I had an absolutely amazing experience and received some invaluable feedback about the future of my act – basically to keep going with it! I shall now proceed to blow my own trumpet, having neither current agent or pr person to blow it for me (so to speak), so please forgive my bragging!
The esteemed judges of the competition were Dr Landman (Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Founder of Psycrets, Visiting Professor of Performance Magic) Reece Shearsmith (Actor and Creator of The League of Gentleman and Inside Number 9) and Mr Paul Voodini (Top UK Mentalist and esteemed author of Dolly Biters! and Miss Katie Bell, Victorian Vampire). Comments received from the judges were: “Your personality shone through… I loved every second of it..” (Mr Voodini), “timeless, elegant and beautifully Victorian.. Brilliant! (Reece Shearsmith), “Mesmerising and enchanting…all eyes on!” (Dr Landman). Other lovely comments followed like flowers thrown on the stage such as:
"Whilst away, I saw the most beautiful, polished and mesmerizing act that was bizarre magic personified. Careena Fenton, you have a very, very bright future in our world. Well done again!"
(Mark Dilliway, Magician and Mentalist).
Needless to say, I was extremely happy with such feedback and have since been walking around in a daze of happiness.
Miss Sylvia Sceptre will soon have her very own website but you can link through to her facebook page here. You can watch the video of the competition here. Sylvia’s performance is perfect for Ghost Nights, Steampunk Events and Cabaret.