Busy, busy, busy. In addition to our quarterly contests, there was a lot going on at our March meeting. President Lance Rich started the proceedings with a restored newspaper routine accompanied by a rap poem.
Attendance at our monthly meetings is still going strong. Somewhere between forty and fifty were in attendance at our May meeting, including two new members—Wes Lande and Willie Leiva—who should be a great asset to the Ring.
The Comicon convention was in KC the last weekend of April, and we had a booth where we could entertain and promote the art of magic. Several ring members took part.
David Sandy started the meeting with what has now become a regular feature—a game of “Who’s on the phone?—asking members, 20-questions style, to identify the magician at the other end of the conversation. The final question asked of this month’s mystery guest (by someone who had already guessed correctly) was, “Do you have a beautiful wife?” As you might have guessed by now, the mystery magician was Michael Ammar, and David informed us that he will be one of the presenters at our November magic workshop. (Watch this space for other names when the contracts are signed).
Todd Lamanske followed with a mini-lecture on creativity in magic. He taught a card trick and explained how he developed it. His point was that we need to get out of the habit of doing routines exactly as described in the instructions.
Lance Rich then asked some card workers to come forward for a game. To the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it” he sang “If you’re a card guy and you know it, make a fan…pass…top change…” etc.
Dennis Burks led off the magic segment with a “Haunted Chimney” routine (essentially, a silk tube).
Josh Theno performed the “Miser’s Dream” to introduce a mini-lecture on humor in general and, more specifically, why magic is essentially humorous.
Stu Lewis performed his original “Ghost Deal” routine (with no gimmicks) and his Texas Hold-em Shuffle, a method for dealing a four-ace hand in hold-em poker with the number of hands determined by a spectator.
David Sandy showed us some magic tables from his vast magic collection, and he also demonstrated the “Blue Phantom,” similar to “Strato-Spheres but going far beyond that in mystery. He also talked about visiting Astra Magic Shop as a child, bringing back memories of the time that this was the main magic shop in the KC area. Chuck Replogle, who ran the shop, was in attendance.
Jack Cunningham did an open prediction.
Finally, Tom Burgoon read a couple of his magic-related poems and introduced his newly released CD of all of the poems he has written so far on the subject. (Highly recommended, but don’t play if for your non-magician friends).
Tom Frank was in town for a lecture May 10 (at the U.S. Toy & Magic Shop—a must stop for any magician passing through KC). His approach is a bit unusual—he performs his act and then asks the audience which routines and moves they want to have explained. This allowed him to focus on the things we really were interested in. He also talked about how street performers could increase their income by selling items such as gimmicked decks during their shows. While I have enjoyed getting to know many magicians over the years, he was absolutely one of the most congenial lecturers I have met. During a post-lecture stop at a nearby bar and grill, it was apparent that he was really interested in the attendees as people, not merely customers. We recommend him
Come visit us sometime. Stu Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.