My first session convention was ten years ago.

Rory reflects on ten years of magic conventions and the moments that change his career.

Photo of the session convention magicians jamming close-up tricks with Dynamo watching in awe
The Session Convention

The Session 2024 is coming up in January.

I looked in my phone to find photos from the convention ten years back.

Sadly, my camera roll doesn't go quite that far back.

I did, however, discover that the first photo in my phone is from 2015, and it's a photo of Dynamo and Andy Nyman doing a mindfulness acting exercise side by side. There's a mug of tea on the table, alongside an open box of chocolates and three phones in glass bottles.

How did nineteen-year-old Rory get in the room with the world's most famous magician and Derren Brown's award-winning co-writer and director?

Well, I'll tell you.

One year earlier, at age eighteen, my Mom drove me from our town to the top end of Bristol to a bar not far from where Derren Brown lived when he began his hypnotism shows. I was going to Bristol to meet two Welsh magicians who were a few years older than me and had driven down from Cardiff.

When I finished school, I wanted to work in TV, but I didn't know anyone who worked or lived in London. With an interest in magic, I was aware of young magic consultants like Calen Morelli and Blake Vogt, who had posted original tricks online before getting hired to work on TV magic shows.

This felt like the most straightforward way into TV for me.

A magician called Lloyd Barnes saw my videos.

He liked them and invited me to meet him, and someone called Geraint Clarke. At the table in that bar that day, we all said we wanted to get jobs in the magic industry. Within two years, all three of us made it happen.

Lloyd told me about a magic convention called The Session. This was news to me, with not much more than an interest in magic and certainly zero interest in performing tricks; I didn't know about The Session. I'd never heard about Andi Gladwin or Joshua Jay, the founders of Vanishing Inc. – a company I also did not know. In fact, Lloyd and Geraint were the first two magicians I'd ever met.

I asked my Grandparents to get me a Session Convention ticket for Christmas. A few weeks later, Mom dropped me at a motorway junction so Lloyd and Geraint could pick me up on their way to the convention.

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