KANSAS CITY RING 129 HOSTS STAGE MAGICIAN OF THE YEAR COMPETITION
By Stu Lewis
Ring 129 held its annual banquet and stage competition on the evening of January 20 at the Roeland Park Community Center.
Following a delicious catered dinner, we were ready for some magic.
Pete Walterscheid served as master of ceremonies for the competition. Instead of supplementing the performances of the contestants with his own magic repertoire, he chose instead to use humor (some of it rather corny) to fill the gaps between the acts.
This year three members acted as judges rather than having all members in the audience vote, a change from previous years.
Keith Leff was chosen as winner of the Enslow award, named for our late president H. Claude Enslow, whose daughter and great granddaughter were in attendance.
Roger Miller was first runner up, while Travis Porter took third place.
Pete Walterscheid and his wife Nancy did a comedy routine based on Johnny Carson’s “Carnac the Magnificent” (with a magic theme) while the judges were conferring.
We then presented plaques to two members who had worked countless hours to make our past two ‘Ring 129’s The Workshop’ a success—David Sandy, who organized and chaired the events; and Terry Magellssen (in absentia), whose tech work made the shows and lectures possible.
Seven members who had qualified in our quarterly contests were on hand to compete.
Phil King started the contest with a mentalism routine. As people entered the building, they were asked to write a four-digit number and drop it into a box.
Phil began the performance by having four numbers drawn at random and having the digits read off in apparently random order. He then showed that the total of the new numbers thus created matched his predicted total.
Keith Leff began his act with a flag-based routine, changing red, white, and blue silks to an American flag, and doing some rope tricks with red, white, and blue ropes. He concluded with “Snowstorm in China.
Youth magician Josephine Malia did a mock science lecture and showed remarkable poise in soldiering on despite technical difficulties that would have caused many magicians to panic. She concluded by fulfilling every girl’s fantasy—making her brother disappear (though she brought him back at the end).
Roger Miller did a gag card in balloon routine in which spectators “shot” at the balloons causing them to burst.
Stu Lewis did a couple of mental routines with seven audience volunteers—a Woody Aragon routine in which they tore cards in half and despite various counting and discarding of half-cards the last half-card left matched their “target” card; and Chris Carter’s “Vocabulation,” in which spectators mix face-up and face-down alphabet cards to arrive at the word “Miracle.
Travis Porter did a couple of danger effects, slamming his hand down on three Styrofoam cups, leaving the one with the spike under it intact; and having a spectator choose three of four staple guns to staple (without success) a card to his hand, after which he showed that the one gun not chosen actually was loaded with staples.
Justin Scott did a three-card monte with four cards and extracted a chosen card from a resealed deck.
We won’t know where Justin might have placed, since he exceeded the time limit and was therefore not eligible to win.
Finally, we inducted our new officers and recognized members for service to the Ring by either inducting new members into our honor society, the Sorcerers’ Circle, or awarding stars to present members who essentially requalified by continued service. Ring president Lance Rich was our one new member, and stars were awarded to Alan Goodheart, Phil King, Keith Leff, Chuck Replogle, and David Sandy.
We cannot end this article without giving credit to Duane and Janie Fields, who, as they have done for so many years, organized and chaired the event.