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Close Encounters of the Magic Kind

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Close Encounters of the Magic Kind was an annual invitation only Close-Up convention in Rochester, New York, created by Keith Walker.

It started in 1972 as a close up magic show held twice a year. Tickets were sold in advance to the public to see close-up magicians perform from tables set up in different locations around the restaurant and party house.

It 1982, Keith Walker and a few other local magicians turned it into a invitation only convention in the fall, as not to conflict with the FFFF convention held nearby in the spring. It was attended by nearly 100 close-up magician and fans including Derek Dingle, Meir Yedid, Darwin Ortiz, Frank Garcia, Richard Kaufman, Gary Ouellet Tom Mullica Paul Gertner Trevor Lewis, Terry Seabrooke, Sid Lorraine, John Cornelius, Bob Read, Ray Mertz, Howard Lyons, and Ed Eckl.[1] Obie O'Brien was also honored.[2]

They held their 20th anniversary in 2002 featuring Bob Sheets, Gazzo, Garrett Thomas, Robert Bengle and Rocco.

The last few years of CEMK was ran by Walker's protege, magician Johnathan Blades.


  1. MUM, FEBRUARY,1983
  2. How to Run a Close-Up Convention by Ron Zollweg, Genii 1983 May