NEMCON 41 HONOREE
Our NEMCON 41 Honoree is Bill Hoagland. Bill started learning magic as a kid. He watched magic on TV and took books out of the library to learn more and more. When one of the books referenced a magic store in New York City called Tannen’s, he got the address and ordered his first catalog by mail. He then ordered all kinds of stuff that looked cool in the photos. Through a friend, Bill was introduced to S.A.M. Assembly #127 in Wallingford and Tom and Neal Prete. Tom owned a magic store, and he helped Bill buy the right magic and showed him how to perform it. Tom Prete along with his son Neal started Bill on his way to performing children’s magic. When Tom would sell Bill some magic, Neal would teach Bill how to perform it. Eventually they started hiring Bill to perform at children’s parties for money.
Bill joined the S.A.M., along with the Tom Prete Assembly #127 in 1999. It wasn't long before he started volunteering to help with things in the club, and eventually he volunteered to be on the board. He has served as Secretary, Vice President and President several times over the past 24 years. Once you are involved in the Assembly, eventually you are involved in NEMCON. Bill started helping at NEMCON by doing small jobs, like watching the door, or carrying equipment around.
When Tom Prete passed control of NEMCON on to Henry Holava, who then incorporated NEMCON as a non-profit corporation, Bill served on the board with Henry. In 2011, Bill became Chairman when Henry moved south for his retirement. Bill led NEMCON for 11 years and his leadership made NEMCON run smoother every year. Although Bill is no longer the NEMCON chair, NEMCON is stronger because of the team he formed. He remains on the Board and he continues to encourage his successors to bring their new ideas to make NEMCON even better.
On the personal side Bill has been performing magic in New England for over 35 years! He began as a children's performer and discovered that parents were laughing too! Bill performs at campgrounds, Blue & Gold banquets, corporate parties, birthday parties, Holiday Events, and almost anywhere else you can think of. Bill has shared his magic talent for over 10 years with young patients at Yale New Haven Hospital as well as several area non-profit organizations.
Bill co-produced a monthly magic show called Comedy Magic Monthly at BAR on Crown St. New Haven, CT. He coordinated that show with Jim Spinnato for 3 years and learned a lot about producing a monthly magic show. He has also been a performer at the long running show in Boston, The Mystery Lounge. He currently opens many shows a year for Jim Spinnato at Comix Roadhouse at Mohegan Sun.
Bill’s other love is photography. He has photographed NEMCON for at least 20 years and offers the photos to all the performers. He has also photographed several magic conventions around the country. He sees his photograph as just another way to show his love of magic as an art.
Bill’s commitment to our magic community and his dedication to NEMCON make him the ideal person to honor at this year’s NEMCON. We proudly present Bill Hoagland as the NEMCON 41 Honoree!