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Abbotts 68th Get Together 2005

by John Sturk

Here's my story of my Abbott's Get-Together experience.

I had been involved in my local club for all of two years when I attended Abbott's Close-Up Convention in 2005. At the last minute, I decided to enter the contest, my first magic competition, figuring that I had nothing to lose. My nervous energy was channeled into a first place performance - and an invitation to perform in the Get-Together's close-up show that August.

My senses were overwhelmed when I came back to Colon that summer. Magic for four days straight? And people were actually going to sit and watch me do my pathetic excuse for an act?

Over those four days I experienced more, asked more questions, learned more, and made more friends than I could have ever expected. On one of the nights, I had misplaced my close-up case. Fortunately, it turned up, just before I was informed a collection was about to have taken place to help replace my missing props. It was that gesture that assured me I was now part of a very special group of people who cared about the art - and each other.

The following year, I looked forward to the 2006 Get-Together with eager anticipation. I was working that summer as a street performer in Mackinaw City, MI, a gig I had secured through contacts formed through Abbott's. I received a phone call from Hank Moorehouse, who encouraged me to enter the Stage Contest. I was primarily a close-up magician, parlor at best, but reluctantly I agreed.

I went into both the Stage Contest and Curly's Close-Up Contest that year with the same attitude I had at my first contest: that I had nothing to lose from the experience. I won both contests, and from what I am told, am the first man in history to win both contests in the same year.

2007's Get-Together found me in a familiar place: fresh out of college, I needed a job, something to make a career. On a whim, I contact FUN Incorporated, America's largest magic manufacturer, whose owner and a few staff members were regulars in Colon in August. A brief meeting over milkshakes at the M&M Cafe led to a formal interview in October, and by mid-November I, the puny kid with 5 years of magic experience under his belt, was hired on full-time and moving to Chicago.

The Abbott's Get-Together did more than just inspire me to be a better magician - it literally changed the course of my life. For showing me all the wonder that a magical life can bring, I will be forever thankful to Colon and her shining jewel that is the Abbott's Get-Together.

The Magic of John Sturk
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