Ring #320 July Newsletter

Ring #320

Of the International Brotherhood of Magicians

President – Eddie Tobey   Vice President – Brian Bence   Secretary – Dennis Phillips   Treasurer – David Clauss

Sergeant at Arms – Jim Champion

JULY 2011

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June, 2011 meeting

Secretary Dennis Phillips had to work an emergency shift at Verstandig Broadcasting (WSVA Radio) and missed the Tuesday meeting. President Eddie Tobey provides this report:

What a fun evening! Everyone came to order for the Ring 320 meeting on Tuesday, June 21st and there were lots of stories being told about recent shows, conventions and anecdotes. In attendance were President Eddie Tobey, Yvonne Tobey, Jim Oberg, John Leeth, Sergeant at Arms Jim Champion, John Coleman, Steve Pittella, guest Mark Cline, Treasurer David Clauss, Vice President Brian Bence and Richard Gimbert. President Eddie Tobey talked about the recent Colombini lecture at Divine Magic and Novelties in Richmond. This was sponsored by Richmond’s IBM Ring 180. Vice President Brian Bence, Richard Gimbert and John Coleman told of their experiences at the Magi-Whirl convention in the Washington, DC area. We also spoke about the great time we had at Peter and Jackie Monticup’s home for the May meeting. It’s great to see that the Magic community is active in performing and sharing their art!

There are lots of events coming up and were discussed. Guest Mark Cline and member Steve Pittella told us about a large local event that is dated Saturday, July 23rd called Sweet Dreams. This annual event has crowds that number into the thousands and their committee has interest in having Magicians perform. As ideas were being discussed, the director for the event, Kevin Blackford, came through the door with his daughter, Emma. We showed them just a small bit of the work we do and he expressed excitement for us to participate. Such a great opportunity for Ring 320! Other issues discussed was performing a Day of Magic in early August for Steve Pittella’s Boardwalk Café, the upcoming Essential Magic Conference(essentialmagicconference.com), and the events planned for the Staunton Downtown Development on June 24th, Fridays in September and Sparkles and Sweets in November. Other items of business discussed were recruiting new members and how to publicize the Ring.

The theme for the evening was “Productions”. Several of us did various interpretations on this subject ranging from a silk color change production to cards productions. A wonderful night for all who were there.

President Eddie Tobey, “Tobini”


 Dennis’ Deliberations……………    Comment and Editorial


Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.
                                                                                                                                                        –Oliver Wendell Holmes


The word “Music” comes from “The Muses”, the mythological goddesses of the arts such as poetry, dance, music and others.  We should all appreciate the fact that all true art comes from within and touches the viewers and listeners within.   To the ancients it seemed like the person was processed by some delightful spirit or force that erupted outward in delightful artistic expression. Today we would try to explain it psychologically.


Did you ever watch a wonderful magic act and get a feeling that propelled you beyond simple appreciation of the cleverness and mystery?  It is like something from the magician touched your soul.  Something “connected”.  If that is the case, then the magician was able to bring the music within them outside.   Some very clever and talented magicians never quite get their internal music outside of themselves. You watch and say to yourself, “He or she is great but there just isn’t the real emotional connection”.    Sometimes, the magician is just showing you someone else’s music.   They either haven’t found theirs or they lack any.  Worse, when some began they had great music but they kept playing the same song and they turned into a mechanical jukebox.


As I approach the Hayflick Limit of biologic life, I get to thinking about time running out.  How many people spend their whole lives getting prepared to bring out their music and then time runs out.  I have known at least 6 incredibly talented magicians who were always preparing and never brought out their inside music. They always wanted “one more move” or  “the prop I really need to get going”.  The truth is that they needed to worry about their routines and props later.  The first two skills they need are communication (speaking and its related technology) as well as stage movement.   All successful stage performers have these two basic skills. Before you pull out one prop, can you entertain an audience for 10 minutes by speaking or making faces or telling jokes or doing impressions?  Do you walk on like you belong on stage?  Do people feel comfortable and relaxed watching you? They need to like YOU and find YOU entertaining and then the props and all the rest just add to your personality.


 I was going to finish this column with a story about the return of the Pendragons.  It was a romantic myth while it lasted.  Jon and Charlotte making magic again with their aging flabby bodies in Trinidad!   Doing their Subtrunk change in a little under 15 minutes?   By now you know that Jon , alone, was appearing there and apparently a lazy local newspaper reporter Googgled his name and assumed that he and Charlotte were still together and said they were appearing there.  It took less than 15 seconds (much longer than their old Sub Truck exchange) for that story to appear in a search engine and be seen by magician’s eyes!  It set the magic world ablaze and for a few moments I was thumping my chest over the prediction I made, when they broke up, that they would someday get together again.


Fantasy dies hard… the story wasn’t true. The positive news is that Jon seems to have satisfied the buyers to whom Charlotte sold of some of their old props and they never received them.


I still think there is more drama in this story, stay tuned.  It sounds like the stuff for a major movie?  


    The big current hype is the “buying opportunity” surrounding the extended end of Creative Magic of Utah.  They even made the cover of Magic Magazine!


 I hate to be a skeptic, but this smells of a poor deal to me, a stinking poor deal on gullible magicians. I hate to say at a future date, “I told you so!”


 First of all, in my theatrical and artistic feeling, I refuse to put anything on my stage from them that looks like an automobile collapsible sun shade! The stuff looks like garbage from my car trunk.  The only thing with some use for me could be the Shadow Tent but how many Boy Scout Troops do I perform for a year and especially WHERE do they have a stage to do this trick which can not be done surrounded? PLUS, I am not Mac King.  Okay, I admit that I have a bias against his stuff.  But the business deal is what really seems fishy.


 This guy claims that “we are closing the doors forever”. That is GOING OUT OF BUSINESS or in his case a 24 month slow inventory bleeding-spiral-of-business-death.  That makes no sense to me!


 I was a businessman for 34 years.


 Nobody who has a viable profitable money-making business (as he claims) is going out of business!  They sell their business to another business entity!  Nobody closing a business takes 24 months to do it and by only selling off the existing inventory! 


 Let me give you my analysis. This is my opinion and perspective, so don’t anybody sue me for expressing what I think is the issue.  Think for yourself and make up your own mind.


 This guy probably does not make much of what he sells himself. He probably gets it from Communist Red China or Communist Viet Nam or from any of the other  3rd world slave-labor countries that supply Wal*Mart and all the other Big Box retailers today.  He has to commit to buying massive orders.


 They do not work on credit, you PRE-PAY or at least mortgage your house and assets.  So he is probably in debt to someone here for all of his inventory commitments and holdings.     HE IS NOT selling the volume that he anticipated. WHO is buying $10,000 worth of magic to use? Almost every magic business making this price of props makes them to order and keeps their inventory low.


 So, his business model logically seems to have failed. What do you do with a failed magic prop business? 


He would get pennies on the dollar if he tried to sell off this stuff.


 SO…he creates a program that will sell off his inventory and fulfill his commitments and most probably provide “written contracts” which he can take to his lenders to stave off bankruptcy or immediate foreclosure!  You realize that banks look at purchase contracts as an “asset”.


 Here is the danger: You folks, the people that have “committed”, bail on him after 2 or 3 payments and he can not maintain enough income to keep going.  He then goes bankrupt. Your shipments end and the rest of his inventory is dumped for peanuts.   For years you find the stuff on tables at magic flea-markets for $10 bucks and you paid much more.


 His Facebook page is too filled with hype and what sounds like over-blown nonsense.   In essence, you are become a “shareholder” in his business and yet he offers no company information as to the number of investors, his financial status, etc. But you do get a certificate that you are a part owner!  I have an old share of Enron framed and hanging on my office wall. They don’t even tell you what their “final illusions” is!   Why pay $750 for something which you have no clue about?


 I seriously don’t think his grand plan is going to pan out for the better.    The rule of thumb in business and investing is: If it sounds too good to be true then it IS too good to be true. 


 Creative Magic just changed their name to “Creative Financing”?


 Dennis Phillips





About blueridgemagiciansring320

Secretary of Ring 320 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians located in the Western Virginia.
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