Contest Rules

We will be having four contests: a Strolling Magician Contest on Friday evening, a Close-up Contest on Saturday afternoon, a Junior Stage Contest for kids under 18 years of age on Saturday morning, and a Senior Stage Contest for adults 18 years of age and older, also on Saturday morning. The Close-up and Strolling Magician contests are open to all ages.

View Contest Rules

Contest Rules

• The Contestant(s) and any assistant(s) or helper(s) must be registered for the convention.
• Anyone who is not registered at the convention will not be admitted without a special ticket that costs $20.00 and is only good for the contest.

Strolling Magician Contest

• Anyone who is not registered at the convention will not be admitted to the audience.

• Acts are to go from table to table. The more tables you visit the more votes you can get. Audience members will vote by ballot.


Contest Categories:

• Strolling Magic
• Close-up
• Youth Stage
• Adult Stage

The Adult competition is for persons who are 18 years of age or older as of the first day of the competition. The Youth competition is for persons who are younger than 18 years of age on the first day of the competition.

Qualifying to Compete

All persons performing in a competition act must be registered for the convention.

An act cannot enter the competition if they are a paid performer at the same convention.

The Contest Chairperson may limit the number of contestants in any contest category based on time limitations for the overall contest.

Time Limits for Contestant’s Acts

There is a limit on the amount of time that a contestant can perform. The limit is eight minutes for both stage acts and close-up acts.

For stage acts, time begins when the performer’s name is announced to the audience. For close-up acts, time begins when the performer begins their presentation.

In addition to the eight minutes of performance time, each act will be given one minute of on-stage set-up time prior to performing, and one minute of on-stage clear-out time after performing. The combination of on-stage set-up time, performance time, and clear-out time adds-up to a ten minute maximum. This limit allows 6 performers to compete per hour of contest time.

Additional off-stage set-up and clear-out time (in the wings) is limited only by venue availability. Typically, an hour of set-up time before the contest performance is available, although backstage space is limited.

Exceeding the performance time limit of eight minutes or the overall act limit of ten minutes will result in a scoring penalty as follows:

– Loss of one (1) point from the overall score for each 15 seconds overtime or portion thereof.
– Maximum of sixty (60) seconds overtime with four (4) point deduction.
– Over sixty (60) seconds overtime will result in disqualification.

Pre-Contest Meeting and Talk-Through

All stage performers must attend the pre-contest meeting. Stage performers must also participate in a show talk-through to establish stage entrances, exits, and technical cues. The meeting is also to review the contest rules, scoring system, and to answer questions.

The meeting date, time, and location will be published in the convention schedule, but in the event that it is not, it is the responsibility of each contestant to obtain the meeting date, time, and location, and to be present.

Persons not attending the pre-contest meeting may be disqualified.

What Performers Need to Bring to the Contest

Bring EVERYTHING that you need to perform your act!

Stage – Contestants are responsible for bringing all equipment necessary to perform their act, including all props and tables.

Close-up – Contestants will be provided with a table and two chairs.

Prohibited Props and Devices

Due to insurance and safety requirements, no pyrotechnic devices of any kind are allowed. This includes flash paper, flash powder, flash string, flash cotton, flash pots, smoke pots, sparklers, fog or haze machines, etc.. Also not permitted are any devices that involve flames or potential sources of flame such as candles, matches, lighters, lighter fluid, “Fickle Fire”, Sterno, etc..  Also not permitted are helium balloons or any helium-filled device that might float up to the ceiling.

The Technical Director and/or the Stage Manager may withhold permission to perform from any Contestant for any concern about safety or potential property damage.

Confetti, Streamers, Etc.

The use of confetti is discouraged. The use of Mylar confetti is prohibited. Performers are responsible for cleaning-up all confetti or streamers that they produce, spill, or otherwise use, both on-stage and backstage.


Stage – Contestants are required to bring a copy of their music on either USB thumb drive, Cel Phone (With proper headphone adaptor) or audio CD (recorded media) to the talk-through. If there are any sound cues, other than to begin playing the music at the beginning of the act, such cues must be provided to the Stage Manager during the talk-through.

– Please label your media with your full name, and indicate which “track” should be played.
– Retrieval of media after the contest show is the responsibility of each Contestant.
– Please do not attempt to retrieve your media (CD or drive) during the show.

Close-up – If music is to be played for a close-up performance, the Contestant must play it on an amplified playback device, such as a “boom box”, that they bring to the performance table themselves.


Stage – Contestants will have a choice of using either a stand-up microphone, a handheld microphone, or a head-worn microphone which will be provided for use during their act only.

Close-up – No microphones are provided.


Stage – Limited theatrical lighting will be provided. This will generally include a “stage wash” and a follow spotlight, with the possibility of varying brightness and some limited ability to vary color. Lighting cues must be reviewed with the Stage Manager during the talk-through.

Close-up – No special lighting will be provided for the close-up performance.


Acts are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 points in five categories as follows:

– Appearance
– Showmanship
– Technique/Skill
– Originality
– Overall Entertainment Value

Fifty (50) points is the maximum score available from an individual judge. Penalties for exceeding time limits will be deducted from each judge’s score sheet. Generally, three or five judges will evaluate all performers in each category.

All Contests

Everything must be appropriate for family audiences. (G rated)

A completed official entry form must be turned in to Irv Cook at registration.

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