Sorcerer’s Circle Corner by Lance Rich
I’ve spoken before about how nice our Sorcerer’s Circle medallion is. (Seriously, I can’t think of another Ring who has something designed by a Hallmark artist!) I’ve also mentioned that I am not the only person to find these medallions pretty spectacular; Johnny Thompson actually wore his as part of his costume. That brings me to my version of the events David spoke about in his column…
My Mark Wilson experience began when, as a kid, I saw the Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic at K-Mart. I did not have enough money to buy it then. But I did peruse it in the store where a few things stood out to me. In addition to the cards, coins, and money magic the book touched on grand illusion; and that’s what I loved. When I had enough money, I went back to K-Mart but it was gone. It was a year or so before I finally picked up the book at a magic shop on vacation. This was a pre-Amazon world!
The first illusion I built was the Victory Cartons production of a woman. It was for my nephew’s birthday party and I was under the impression that a 5 year-old’s party needed a huge backdrop, two assistants, grand illusion, and a dancer in a sparkly dress. I was 15.
At 16, I adapted a principle from the Mark Wilson course into a large illusion (constructed with my dad) for my high school band concert. My band director was wrapped up in a large sheet, and he turned into me. He eventually reappeared in a large shadow box.
The Mark Wilson video course was at my public library and was another resource in my magical evolution. At 17, I attended my first magic convention (the 2001 IBM Convention in Orlando). Mark and Nani Darnell were there (as was Greg who closed the final night’s stage show). This is when I met Mark and Nani for the first time. I was a kid with a big goofy smile, shaking nervously as I looked into the camera. This was THE GUY from the book. THE GUY from the videos. THE GUY who had at that time done more magic on TV than anyone else. This was magic.
The first magic convention for a magician is like diving into Wonderland. Awestruck barely describes that feeling of being surrounded by your heroes, icons and stars – and being surrounded by people who are as much in love with magic as you are. As we are further removed from the newness and excitement of those types of first experiences, it’s easy for the feeling to start slipping. That’s why I always enjoy (at an IBM Convention at least) seeing those ‘First Convention’ ribbons on attendees young and old and hoping that they are experiencing what I felt on my first journey to Wonderland.
And speaking of Wonderland…I’ve been to Valencia, California. Okay – so it’s not exactly how Lewis Carroll made it out to be. But it is wonder-filled. The Mark Wilson offices and warehouse feels exactly as it should. It’s stacked with mementos and history and filled with decades of memories. But this is no time capsule. It’s a working office; Greg works on his own projects there but he is also extremely busy chronicling and preserving his parents legacy through the Allakazam Archives (www.allakazamarchives.com).
And I say all of this in this column, why? Because as I was in the heart of the operation (Mark Wilson’s office) I saw a number of awards, plaques and certificates given to him by all sorts of organizations, and lo and behold – hanging on the wall above the sofa (a prime piece of real estate) were the ‘Honorary Member Sorcerer’s Circle Medallions‘ which were presented to Mark and Nani at The Workshop in 2002. How special is it that for nearly two decades these mementos of our Kansas City magic community have hung directly across from Mark Wilson’s desk? I love these moments. I was thrilled to see this!
It was nice to see several people in their Sorcerer’s Circle medallions at the May and June meetings. Those who wore their medallions in May were entered to win a prize and congrats go to Roger Miller! He won posters from the last two IBM-SAM Combined Conventions and a Starbucks gift card.
I hope to continue to see the Sorcerer’s Circle medallions being worn en masse at club functions. As I explained in last month’s column, it is my belief that by wearing these medals, we elevate the prestige of not only the Sorcerer’s Circle – but of the Ring as a whole. If Mark Wilson and Nani Darnell are proudly displaying theirs, you should too!
Following my announcement in June of our Sorcerer’s Circle outing on the Gangster Tour – I decided July was too busy to try to work this in. We have a number of Ring functions in August as well. Sorcerer’s Circle members should look to do something the second weekend of September. I’ll have more details at the meeting!
At the Mark Wilson offices the ‘guest book’ is a copy of the Mark Wilson course. It’s been signed over the last decade by a who’s who of visitors. It made me smile, in that big goofy 17-year-old way, when I left my name on the Victory Cartons illusion page. The Wilson book left an indelible mark on my life, and now in a very small way, I’ve reciprocated by leaving my mark in his book.