Next week marks the beginning of the 4F convention - the “Original Close-Up Magic Convention” and the most prestigious gathering of close-up magicians in the world. This invitation-only event continues to feature the best performers, creators, and lecturers in the world and has done so for 46 years.
A remarkable achievement - and an even more remarkable gathering.
The first time I ever performed at 4F I was surprisingly calm. I had worked a lot of conventions and performing for magicians never really rattled my nerves. Then, I stepped behind the table to begin…
The first few rows at 4F are filled with former Guests of Honor and I didn’t really realize that until I looked up! You stand before of a wall of talent and skill that would make any magician tremble. Where ever your eyes come to rest you’re looking in the face of a legend. If you’re not humbled by it - then you’re not paying attention. I pushed forward with legs of jelly and I can honestly say that I remember little of what actually occurred during my spot. When it was done - the reaction seemed good, the audience applauded, and I was never so relieved to be finished with a show!
Each year I look forward to the event as a time not only to see some of the best magic, but to catch up with friends that I see but once a year. Eddie Fechter passed away in 1979 but his impact has extended across the globe and through the decades. But most remarkable to me is that to this day, when I perform locally, his name and the Forks Hotel are mentioned frequently by non magicians who remember the place and the man fondly.
We should all be so lucky to leave that sort of legacy.
Dick Cook put together a wonderful photo montage on Eddie, the Forks, and the Convention. It was originally played at the 2009 Convention but an updated version is now online for all to see.