The main focus of our September meeting was our quarterly contests, with winners going on to our annual stage and close-up contests. Before we began, however, Magic Supply Co’s Kirk Deweese gave a brief talk on cheap knock-offs of magic apparatus. He pointed out that the $60 trick that you buy on Ebay for $10 is usually inferior to the genuine article (besides the ethical issues involved due to loose patent and copyright laws).
Josephine Malia opened the stage competition with an illusion built around the theme of the recent eclipse (that was visible in the parts of our area that were not affected by the cloud cover), as she produced her younger brother from an apparently empty box.
Phil King then turned to mentalism, when he predicted a word that a spectator would select from words written on index cards by members of the audience.
David Sandy performed a jumping-silk trick, followed by a pair of rising-card effects—one with the deck in his hand, one with the deck in a clear glass.
Steve Steiner performed a couple of routines which would be considered standard—pom-pom pole and the balancing of several items on a curved device held on one finger—but he made it his own with his patter involving a description of a Boy-Scout camp-out.
Jack Cunningham performed a gag book test (Shawn Farquahar’s creation) in which he appeared to be getting answers from a duplicate copy of the book, only to show that the pages of the book were blank. He also did an elaborate number force.
The top three vote-getters—David, Josephine, and Phil—will move on to the annual competition this coming January.
Four members competed in the close-up contest. Justin Scott performed an “Out of This World” variation, followed by his “Psychic Trick of Death”—a variation of a Paul Harris routine where he makes several attempts to find a spectator’s chosen card, finally revealing that the cards “wrongly” chosen spell out the spectator’s magic word.
Roger Miller performed B’Wave (showing that a spectator’s chosen Queen card was the only non-blank card in the packet), the hopping half, and a down-the-ladder routine with a bill and two rubber bands.
Stu Lewis performed “Sam the Bellhop.” Israel Rivera changed a two-dollar bill into two singles (and back again), and a “Coin Squeeze” (coinbox) routine. After the timer explained that Justin had been disqualified for exceeding the time limit, the voters had only to make an up-and-down vote on the three remaining contestants, and all were chosen to move on to next month’s annual close-up contest.
Following the contests, three members took part in the open, non-competitive portion of the evening.
David Sandy, as he has done quite often, showed us some rare items from his collection—card frames which used various principles to make a card appear under clear glass.
John Hicks, our resident card expert, performed a “You Do as I Do” routine which he explained that he had reverse engineered one that had fooled Penn and Teller on television. It fooled me also.
Danny Mooncalf spoke about some of the pitfalls of street magic, such as over-active spectators who insist on shuffling your set-up deck and the exposure to theft when performing in an unprotected environment.
If you read this in early November, you might still be able to enroll in our Workshop. If you are reading it later and did not attend, I can predict that you will have missed an incredible event.
I’m looking forward to meeting several readers of this column at our November Workshop.
Come visit us sometime. Stu Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.