Interview with Alex Zander, President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians discusses the impacts of coronavirus on their convention and information for local Ring Meetings.
WATCH: International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) President, Alex Zander shares message for members about coronavirus impacts
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LINKS TO IBM
International Brotherhood of Magicians website: magician.org
International Brotherhood of Magicians Convention Website: ibmconvention.com
Audio Transcript: International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) President, Alex Zander shares message for members about coronavirus impacts
Ryan Joyce: So you are, you just had a flight yourself or were you coming from?
Alex Zander: I did, yeah. I, so yesterday I came from, uh, the Winter Carnival Of Magic in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Oh yeah. Yup. So I was previously working in the Houston livestock show and rodeo, one of the biggest fairs in the United States, uh, from the beginning of the month. So was there supposedly until the end of the month, uh, or were just about, and then I was having a performance of Wizards Magic Theater in Orlando, Florida. And then Atlanta Magic night in Georgia, uh, with the winter carnival in between at the Houston livestock show and rodeo. So I flew out of Houston. Uh, the day was cancelled when I was also scheduled to fly to winter carnival at the same time, Joe Turner, who a producer of Atlanta Magic Night and past president of the IBM (International Brotherhood of Magicians) , he was great. He was there at the Carnival with me.
And, and to his credit, he was able to very quickly rectify and, and get something rebooked to get me out the next day, which, uh, as we've just seen some announcements from, uh, the government of Canada. Shockingly good and important. Uh, timing is an interesting time. Um, it's challenging because from a magic perspective when a lot of us would, would go, you know, I thought, okay, I'm coming back home early, maybe I can just go in and do rent a small theatre or just a, um, intimate showroom and, uh, and have a couple people together, especially when people are, people are worried we need entertainment right now and say, Hey, at least like, we could go and sell 20, 30 tickets and do something fun. But that itself is risk and it's, yeah, optically is terrible. And, uh, and it's, it's not, it's not an easy salt for a lot of entertainers right now.
Ryan Joyce: And the fact is we're all in it together. There's, there's been no, there's been no time when it's been there. You have toilet paper under there? Are you hoarding toilet paper? How was this impacting any events for IBM (International Brotherhood of Magicians)? What is the current state?
Alex Zander: Yeah, good question there. There's a lot of, there's a lot of concern, uh, from a domestic and international perspective of just, just what is going on with conventions generally. Um, there was a couple of days ago that I heard that, that, uh, FISM North America, uh, cars was gonna be cancelled for may and uh, and that broke my heart. And uh, and I feel for a lot of, a lot of the competitors who've worked so hard to, to get to this point and I feel the questions from them as well, and trying to provide a level of, um, of assurance because the reality is things are going to be okay. We're going to get over it. There will be a point in me what I hope is the very near future where we're going to look back and say, Hey, you remember when we all lost $20 billion of our economy? That was fine. The amount of material and it sounds insensitive, but the way that we find, we find positivity and healing in comedy and in entertainment and we are the entertainers of the world. So we put on a smile even when it's difficult. Hey, I have great friends, myself included there. There are plenty of, of professionals yourself that who work around the world who I know we are, there is, there's a substantial hit being taken. It can't, it can't be overstated, but it honestly, if we can put on the smile then, then we're, we're doing this wrong and that's not just, that's job, not just full time performance that is straight across the professional spectrum. If you are a hobbyist, a magic enthusiast, then maybe, maybe now's the time to pull out that trick. That's, that'd be been thinking of for a couple months and sure that uh, you know, with, with your friends, with your family, um, yes.
Ryan Joyce: If you're a hobbyist as well also and you have an income. Consider supporting the magic artists and magicians in the community because this is, this online diversification is really going to be away a lot of us can, can surge ahead. So,
Alex Zander: Totally so.
Ryan Joyce: Normalcy will restore and entertainment will surge when the things going back to normal.
Alex Zander: Exactly. Yeah. There was, there was, um, um, yeah, you know, it's, it's concerning and it's scary for a lot of us, but it's where, uh, it's where everybody who has put some of their time and focus and love into the art of magic and studying and, and providing some of that wonder it is your time to show, uh, it is now. So, so as it pertains to the IBM (International Brotherhood of Magicians) and, and convention and things, so, so health of our members of our, our community, magic community and larger, uh, that is our priority. That needs to come first. Um, the IBM convention is July eight to 11, so it's, it's months away. It's, it's mid-summer. Uh, and we're continuing. Yes, very much so. So we're still on track to, to, uh, provide an awesome gathering of talent and, and a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from true greats. Uh, now, now if the virus continues to present itself in months ahead, uh, we're definitely gonna keep everybody informed of, of any changes on that. Um, and that safety is at the forefront of our minds. So, uh, any future decisions on that is, is predicated on, on well being of attendees, but we're men, we're monitoring the medical response in the U S and to keep people up to date on things though, uh, any emotional
Ryan Joyce: What's the best way to stay up-to-date with IBM (International Brotherhood of Magicians), with you and the decisions. What is the best way for people to follow
Alex Zander: IBMconvention.com We'll have all the major updates for convention stuff, magician.org we'll have anything there and, and can link as well. Uh, Instagram is great. IBM magic, uh, on Instagram and on Facebook will have, uh, you know, responses going there shortly. We're, uh, just a few hours away from a major meeting with our executive and convention committees. Again operating on the basis that uh, things are, think things are in a, in a sense of panic mode. And our job is to not give into that panic. We have to be cautious, we have to be careful, we have to respect the, the health and jeopardy of, of our loved ones and friends around us, uh, and take good care of ourselves. Um, herd immunity is a thing, you know, like we need to work together and sell. You know, if you're going out to get groceries, if you're not under a self isolation and you're going to go get groceries, ask your neighbor if they need groceries. Right? This is something just came from prime minister Trudeau this afternoon or this morning during his, his press release. Um, any travelers, if you're coming into, I know we speak in a Canadian context, you know, from an international perspective, if you are self isolating, which, which I do urge you to do unless you need to go out, don't, uh, you know, make sure that you have the things necessary to, to be at home for awhile and, and, and work hard, work diligently and do well by your condition.
Ryan Joyce: Pick a new skill, pick a new effect, pick something that you can work on and make it get a four-month mission that by, you know, or some kind of date that you've got set that it's, it's a new routine to your show or something. Something. Have a mission. We've got to reset.
Alex Zander: There's always something new to add and something new that gets put off after something new comes in. So spend some time and do some good work. And, and if you're honestly out of, uh, every creative idea and you feel you've accomplished any of one of them in your show, then do some personal growth. Read, read a self-development book, do a few pushups, write something you don't like. There's, it's, it's all right. Uh, and, and on a global scale, we are going to pull through this folks. Um, if I could mention as it begins to ring meetings, uh, cause those are much more prominent, little bit less than than the convention. We can't give specific guidance about whether you should or should not meet, cause our rings are in diverse countries, States, provinces all over the world. So instead of that, uh, the IBM (International Brotherhood of Magicians) urges any rings and local magic communities to follow recommendations of your local state or federal medical furries and governments and, and everyone's safety is paramount and we're confident you're going to do what's best for all concerned in your area and be responsive to the needs of, of loved ones and your members as well.
Um, so, so from the IBM (International Brotherhood of Magicians) capacity, like we are, we're, we're an organization built on fellowship, right. And so that's, uh, that's the real magic that keeps, that keeps everybody strong. There are communities that have lasted for years. Vancouver magic circle is a 75-year organization. The IBM (International Brotherhood of Magicians)is celebrating its hundredth year, uh, in, in, just to await the PCM invention is the longest-running convention in the world, celebrating 89, I think, 88, 89, uh, consistent conventions all the way through wartime or the only convention who continued every through wartime as well. And, and kept up the spirits of people in that way. So, uh,
It's all going to be fine. It seems panicked because the shelves are empty, but it's, it's everything will return to normality and we can keep each other all in check. That's our, that's how we're,
we don't do it. And even when things are difficult and we all know it, that yes, it is, and, and we will deal with that as urgently and where possible when we have that power. But until then "Keep Calm and Perform Magic"
Ryan Joyce: Alex. Thank you, president, of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. I appreciate the update and if there's any way we can help spread the messages that you may have, let me know.
WATCH Joan Caesar (Founder, Canadian Association of Magicians & International Brotherhood of Magician Past-President) talks coronavirus impacts