September Ring Meeting Report

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


Breaking NEWS

Our Ring has a blog!        

Join in on the fun and post your information and thoughts.

Type in and Click “subscribe” to this:


                                              Ring members, please contribute and sent Dennis your photos (as a jpeg) for use in the blog posts.

October Ring meeting will be in Waynesboro at the church. It will be the annual Swap Meet!

Bring things to sell and trade! Other dealers will be there.

The November meeting is in the planning phase and scheduled to be at Swannonoa Mansion

The December meeting is the annual banquet

Hopefully the January meeting will be the Peter Monticup lecture.


September, 2011 meeting

Our early Fall Ring meeting had nineteen people in attendance. After a short business meeting, we got to the main event of the evening, the Nathan Kranzo lecture. Nathan is from Flint, Michigan and is a part of the new generation of magic creators and performers.  He sprinkled comedy and skillful techniques for an enjoyable lecture.  Nathan opened with a cute sight gag. He attempted to vanish a small piece of paper in his fist and he used a handful of thumb tips as his magic dust! The paper vanished in a shower of thumb tips.  He then went into a coin routine with 3 coins. They vanished and appeared from hand to hand.   Another funny bit was when he took one coin and flipped it up and asked “head or tails?” and when he slapped it on the back of his wrist, out of his palm fell a long fur tail. He said, “tails!”

Kranzo then moved to card magic. A selected card mysteriously swiveled in the deck as if by hidden forces. Later we found that the method was not the classic Haunted Pack method but a very clever and inexpensive mechanical gimmick.  He moved to a sympathetic card effect where a chosen card had the same physical thing happen to it as his business card.  As the spectator folded the business card , the playing card found to be mysteriously folded and in the deck which was in the card case.  Later a burned corner sympathetically appeared on the matching business card which was being held by the spectator. Nathan went into a flying card effect using his own special loops.  A series of effects followed with the classic but enhanced Mene Tekel Deck followed. Nathan has taken the Mene Tekel deck method to a totally new and mysterious impressive level.  One effect was an amazing single card in blue jeans where the unforced card was found in the fly of his jeans.

Nathan then moved to mentalism and showed a magazine and a freely chosen page was torn into many small pieces and the spectator chose a shred of paper and Kranzo was able to tell the words on the page. A very novel dictionary test was used combining the old method of Grant’s Brain Echo along with the David Hoy book test.  Nathan gave some ways to make the classic Hoy method even more amazing.

The ring benefited and enjoyed watching the hip and contemporary magic lecture of Nathan Kranzo.

We have many fun activities planned for the Ring for this Fall and Winter!

Dennis Phillips

  Dennis’ Deliberations……………    Comment and Editorial

“A magician auditioned for an agent. He produced 100 cards, one at a time, then did the 3 rope trick then wrapped himself in his cape and disappeared. The agent said,” Good but that cape trick… can you open with that?”

 The future of illusionists and magic is evolving and You Tube and free-market capitalism (“everything is for sale”) has changed it all.   Now more than ever, EVERYTHING is about marketing and clawing your way through the economic wasteland. Some people like the constant thrill of competition.  You have to be sharp, on target, capitalized and superior just to survive.  I forgot that you also have to be connected. 

Who’s Got Talent in 2011?

 When a huge hoard of kids are jumping around frantically on the stage in some simulacrum of “dancing” and beat out one lone talent who can play the piano well and sing sensationally, something’s dreadfully wrong.

 Likewise with this American television show that can’t find anyone out of over 300 million of its citizens to judge the talent, and must rely instead on a snotty British Murdoch-journalist, the wife of a burnt-out druggy British rock star, and an unfunny bald comedian from Canada.  Something is wrong!  Something is wrong with show business!

 Sometimes I hate walk-around magicians. Sure I give kudos to real professional magicians, but I just want to beat the tar out of street magicians because they are often floating on top  in the ‘Porta Potty’ of life. Okay okay, here’s the scenario…

 A non magician friend related to me that his entourage and was getting all crazy at the “in-spot”  club in the downtown of a nearby city. He said , “We danced, talked, we got tipsy and closed the club. They were outside trying to get a cab to go back to my place for some after hours partying but then *BAM!* — out of nowhere this grunge magician starts harassing the ladies. He was doing card tricks, he’s doing several ancient hackneyed tricks, but the thing that angered them the most was that he was not dressed to impress. He was wearing a worn out surfing shirt, raggedy old blue jeans, and had messy hair. He was one step above homeless bum. What the heck is he doing out at 2 am anyway? Trying to make time with the women? Oh pleeeeeeease.

So I approached this dirt bag and told him to back up and leave my ladies alone. He then goes “C’mon man, I’m working my magic.”  To which I replied, “Hey buddy, I’m not looking for any trouble, just leave the girls alone.” Now you’re probably wondering, why am I interfering with this situation? Why can’t he just stay out of it and let the girls take care of them selves? The answer is simple my friends: The girls were pretty drunk and the ‘magic dirtbag’ was trying to lure them away from the group, he kept backing up and they were following. The ladies just wanted to see some magic; they didn’t realize what was going on. And me, I take care of my friends.

 Back to the verbalization: The grunge magician says, “Go have another drink, you lush,” where I respond, “Open your mouth again you psycho, and I’ll shove a fist down your throat”.   And right when I said that, three other guys from my entourage magically appeared behind me. He looked angry, looked at me, the ladies giggled, and then he just walked away. These grunge magicians are morons.  …The story ends with me and my entourage having some drinks at my place until the sun came up.”

Morons like that trashes our art. The general public does not know the difference.  I am considering carrying a heavy magic wand ( the size of a Night Stick)   and if I ever come across one of these jerks, I may rearrange his face. Regardless, just what IS the motivation of most so-called “street magicians”? Where is the “cash transition” in this kind of magic?

I’m reminded of a story with regards to the hype of show business. The famous escape-artist Harry Houdini used to do an escape from a large, towering safe. It was supposedly “donated” by large locksmith firm, as a “challenge escape”. It would serve as fantastic publicity for the company, should the escape artist fail to extricate himself.  At first, Houdini made it look EASY, and partly because it WAS easy (safes are designed to keep people from getting INTO them, not out!)  But he didn’t get the kind of audience reaction he was hoping for.  

 So one day he hit upon a plan, or maybe it was suggested to him by some other showbiz crony. Audiences were much more patient back at the turn of the twentieth century. Since music was a rarity and the phonographic records of that day were horrible in quality they’d listen to any live orchestra for a while, while watching to see if the guy could make good his escape from an examined, securely nailed packing box, tank of water, or whatever. So once Houdini was locked into the safe, it was pointed out to the expectant crowd how dangerously little air there was in the safe (“If I’m not out in FIVE MINUTES it means CERTAIN DEATH!! “)  — Thus primed, the audience saw Houdini get locked into the safe, and a giant three-fold screen would be placed in front of the “door” of the safe. This, of course, was to preserve the *mystery* as to how the magician made his escape. And to add to the drama, a couple of burly men would stand on either side of the screen holding large, grotesquely ominous-looking AXES in their hands.  (Not that they could hack their way into a heavy metal safe!)  

 Houdini, trapped in the safe, would then calmly take the “tumbler plate” off the inside of the door with his hidden tools, and… well, “pick the lock” and open the door. He opened the door very carefully and quietly, just wide enough to squeeze out, and then he’d sit on a small folding stool and calmly read a magazine for a while. A glass of water was on the floor beside him (or maybe it was situated in a secret pocket in the inside back of the screen; or perhaps water, magazine and stool had been hidden in the safe itself.).  The MUSIC played on.  ….TICK, TICK, TICK went the time, up to, and way BEYOND the allotted danger-point. The audience gradually changed from idly restless, to deeply concerned.  And within a few minutes after that, *panic* began to set in.  “GET HIM OUT! HE’S SUFFOCATING IN THERE!!!” 

 At the height of the swelling hysteria, just when the audience was reaching the breaking-point and seemed about to RIOT — Houdini would throw the glass of water on his head, mess-up his hair, hyper-ventilate, and STAGGER TRIUMPHANTLY OUT FROM BEHIND THE SCREEN, looking thoroughly exhausted and seemingly “sweating profusely” from head to toe!  –By this point, a stunned but deliriously-happy and excited mob, out front, (no longer the polite and reserved audience) would BURST INTO WILD CHEERING AND APPLAUSE!   Sometimes they even rushed the stage in their delirium, and carried the “desperately worn-out” STAR of the evening — mosh-pit fashion — up the centre isle of the theatre and out onto the street.

 The Master of Deception had once again proven his mettle against impossible odds. He had, at the DIRE RISK of LIFE AND LIMB, escaped dramatically from the potential TOMB of a locksmith’s safe — and in the process, climbed another notch up the “ladder” of legendary fame.  Is that the end of our lesson for today? Pretty much.  Just remember, it does not matter what you do; what counts is are you entertaining them. 

 I hope all of you have a great Halloween Season!  Thrill your audiences.

 Dennis Phillips




About blueridgemagiciansring320

Secretary of Ring 320 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians located in the Western Virginia.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s