The Original Close-Up Convention

FFFF Chairman: Obie O'Brien
Obie O'Brien

FFFF Board Member: Glenn Brown
FFFF Board Member: Jimmy Cieslinski
FFFF Board Member: Dan Garrett
FFFF Board Member: Mike Joseph FFFF Board Member: Meir Yedid  
Board Of Directors:
Glenn Brown
Jimmy Cieslinski

Dan Garrett
Mike Joseph
Meir Yedid
Joan Caesar
Executive Assistant:

Joan Caesar
Backstage Crew:
Lee Eyler (Manager). Thomas Blacke, Jack Chancellor, Ray Eyler, Scott Miller.
Audiovisual Crew:
Jimmy C. (Manager), Joe Cappon, Larry Kohorst, Gary Ward, Rick Wilcox.
4F Shop Crew:
Rod Chow (Manager), Shank Kothare, Simon Lane, Rajneesh Madhok, Amanda Nicot, Jay McLaughlin, Ed Ripley, Michael Tallon.

Fechter's Finger Flicking Frolic
To all magicians interested in close up magic

An open letter from OBIE regarding 4F invitations

2020 will be 4F's 50th Anniversary!

I have been asked many times to state the ground rules for the 4F’s so that you can tell others and act accordingly, plus a few other pertinent facts. 4F has almost reached its maximum attendance and invitations will be harder to obtain.

4F is always held on the last Wed., Thurs., Fri. & Sat. in April at the Quality Inn in Batavia NY, about 33 miles East of the Buffalo airport. It is up to you to arrange for transportation from the Buffalo airport to Batavia. Taxis cost about $100-105 one-way. Magicians who fly in can arrange travel with a buddy, rent a car, etc. Find out who is coming from your area and work it out. For overseas attendees we are working on rides from the airport to Batavia, NY.

Your registration fee includes 7 close up shows, a Teach-A-Trick session, 1-2 workshops and 5-6 lectures. But that’s not all! Registrants also get: Hot buffets on Fri. and Sat. nights, Soup and sandwiches at noon on Sat., Plus Coffee, soft drinks & donuts or cake are available in my Hospitality room Wed. through Sat. nights and there’s, free beer, and soft drinks from noon on Friday for the rest of the convention. No other convention offers this much for your money.

You must have an invitation to attend.
Who sends it? OBIE!!! What can I say? The only exception is for full time performers in magic who might be off at the last minute.

How do you get this invitation?
You must have two sponsors who have attended a 4F
convention before and are willing to stick their necks out for you. They must write me a letter or call me on the phone or E-mail me telling me they are willing to sponsor you to the next 4F convention. This does not mean they are paying your registration. (Please remember the types of people we are looking for at 4F are performers & sharers, not lookers, not note takers, not spouses or not girlfriends). Don’t sponsor someone just because they are a friend. Take pride in whom you sponsor. Also your invitation is non transferable. (This means if you have paid and cannot attend, you can’t give your registration to someone else.)

First-timers are expected to perform and you must do at least one trick or a small routine that lasts about 6-7 minutes. As a first timer you are expected to present a show that meets the high caliber of magic and/or sleight-of-hand that will impress your peers. Most first timers to 4F will perform on the Friday or Saturday afternoon shows. After you become a regular attendee you MUST be ready to perform for 5-7 minutes at every convention if you are asked. There is an exception to this, as some of you know. As my prerogative, we have some good magic people who are book dealers, writers, collectors, etc. that are well known to the magic world whom we do not expect to perform.

Lastly, you must send me a $190 deposit which will be applied towards your registration and ensure that your name will be placed on the paid waiting list. Then as regular 4F registrants (they have first chance to attend) tell me they cannot attend, I will move names from the paid waiting list to the regular list. Those people will be notified by at least March 15th that they are OK to attend. Non USA magicians will be notified sooner. If you don't get to come your registration will either be refunded less $15 or applied to next year's waiting list.

Your first time attendance does not guarantee you a place for the next year's convention. You are on probation the first year and if you receive an invitation for the next year it means you were accepted by your peers for future 4F’s. I also must tell you that you can be taken off the invitation list for a number of reasons such as: Asked to perform and didn't, being a drunk, being loud and boisterous, doing drugs, pilfering, causing problems with the hotel and people at the front desk etc.

4F is not the normal convention that you will attend. The fellowship and camaraderie experienced at 4F is like one big happy family and we want to keep it that way. So, if you recommend someone or are recommended by a previous attendee you will experience a unique atmosphere in magic that you will never forget.

Your name goes off the invitation mailing list if you do not attend for 3 consecutive years or if we do not hear from you as to changes of address and your invitation was returned. All 4F electronic invitations are sent out either in October or November so that there is no excuse to complain in March or April that you didn't get your invitation. If you know what I mean and I think you do? Usually Dec. 31st is the deadline to get your check to me.

Sometimes the E-mail Electronic Invitation is lost in space or your computer will not accept it. So if you didn’t get yours by Dec 1st call or E-mail me and ask if I sent it. 4F is for performers not spouses, girlfriends, etc... So don't ask if they can come.

Also, if you missed the deadline and decide to come to hang around the hotel bar etc. you will never get an invitation again. I hate to tell people this but it is not fair to other attendees.

The last bit of information is that I never know who will be at 4F until 4Fers send me their money. We do not advertise who will be doing the lectures or who will be on the shows so don’t ask. You attend because you want to be there and share with your peers.

Magically Yours,


4F Updates will be posted from time to time.
© Copyright 1971-2022 by Obie O'Brien. All rights reserved.