Of the International Brotherhood of Magicians
President – Eddie Tobey Vice President – George Buckley
Secretary – Dennis Phillips Treasurer – David Clauss
Sergeant at Arms – Jim Champion
Next Month’s (May) theme: Suspensions-Levitations
(don’t all bring Zombie balls! And ITRs)
Maybe the Staunton Armory for a 4th of July Show?
Peter Monticup’s Lecture June 19th at the Ring!
Possible Meeting themes for the rest of the year!
May- Suspensions levitations
June- Tricks collecting dust
July- Magic for Emcees
August- Mystery bag
September- Holiday magic (Christmas, Halloween)
October- Book review
November- Video reviews
December- Instant resets
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April 17, 2012 Meeting
We had ten people present for the April meeting. After a short business meeting where we discussed out plans for the rest of the year, it was show time. The theme of this meeting was “walk-around” magic. President Eddie Tobey showed a Jeff Williams effect with a borrowed deck and short set up in front of the spectators. It was called, The Coincidence with Four Cards. In an increasing mysterious series of revelations a spectator’s free choices show that the cards revealed were all the same number value.
Steve Pittella, our ring’s Side Show and unusual stunt expert, showed a fun walk-around novelty. He had a brightly colored yellow and red-striped stick with tips and short streamers on the end. He challenged anyone to be quick enough to catch the stick as he dropped it horizontally from his outstretched hands. As much as they tried, no one could! He followed it up with the dame stunt using a crisp dollar bill and the challenge, “You catch it and you can keep it!” No one could. David Clauss then demonstrated that he was quick enough to snatch coins out of hands.
Eddie Tobey did another walk around card trick he called “The Card Cut Mystery”. Dennis Phillips brought his restaurant close-up case and some home made props. The first was Tipsy Turvey Crayons, with giant size crayons. He then handed out a soft drink novelty to everyone present that was shown in a recent Nathan Kranzo Ring lecture. Many effects can be done with the soft drink can cover that is made from a plastic drink bottle. Phillips showed his extended Professors Nightmare Routine concluding with his Jarden Ellis finish. He taught how to do the Block and cord tie. This is one of his favorite walk around effects because everything can be examined and he had a good patter line with it. Finally he did Grant’s Ribbon through the Body which is seldom scene today. It is as was advertised in the 50s and 60s, a vest pocket illusion.
Eddie Tobey concluded the show with a clever code to communicate a color to an assistant who is out of the room. This is very good for psychic parlor shows.
Dennis’ Deliberations…………… Comment and Editorial
“Don’t pay too much attention to the advice of others — you might end up like them.” — Magician David Stone.
Linking Ring magazine, Vol. 92, Number 4, April 2012
I used to think that Senator Clarke Crandall (1906-1975) was an old angry old guy. Now that I am old, I realize that it was just his wisdom and honesty. He did not mind offending anyone for the sake of the truth.
Crandall was an Abbotts and Magic Castle legend with his long curled moustache and cowboy hat and boots. He was a very funny comedy magician with a great Card Duck and Cups and Balls Routine. Abbotts still has an award in his name at the annual Get Together given to the best comedy act.
Crandall had a way of cutting to the chase in his observations of magic and magicians. It was best not to get on his wrong side and if you did, he was open with his rebukes. He was a host at the Magic Castle, introducing the acts and fended off people who were improperly attired (there is a strict dress code). “What are you too cheap to buy a decent suit? You have to wear Buick seat covers?”. “Who did you chase down to steal that shirt?” He was the original grumpy old man and his wit and sarcasm were accepted and expected by all. He would do a weekly X-rated show on Saturday nights at midnight. He had a column in The New Tops magazine, from Abbotts, called “It’s A Mystery To Me.” Usually in it he was befuddled by how someone could come up with such awful magic.
Here is my offering, with the help of Canadian magician, Larry Thornton, created in the spirit of Senator Clarke Crandall. This is not an attempt to put down magicians or magic clubs but to appeal to honesty and transforming magic clubs into places where you can get valuable guidance and advice on improving the difficult art of entertaining with magic. It is what Crandall would do today, if he were alive:
1. If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: “Take two aspirin,” and “Keep away from magic clubs.”
2. A word to the wise isn’t necessary. It’s the stupid magicians who need the advice.
3. Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t: Keep magic as a hobby for annoying strangers on the street, your cerebrally-challenged relatives, semi-comatose friends and acquaintances, and other such long-suffering magic watchers.
4. If I were asked to give magicians what I consider the single most useful bit of advice (“Not a lot!” – Paul Daniels), it would be this: No one of sane mind and countenance ever wakes up in the morning and suddenly thinks to himself, “Gee, I have this sudden craving to see some magic!“
5. Go ahead and be whacky. Get into a looney frame of mind that encourages you for the first time in your life to ask yourself, “What’s so weird about magicians that causes so many people to turn their backs, cross their eyes, and stick a finger in their mouths in mock gag?”
6. When a magic fanatic doesn’t listen to his conscience, it’s usually because he doesn’t want advice from a total stranger.
7. A typical magic club member owes his failure to having listened to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.
8. Advice after a mediocre magic performance is like medicine after death.
9. Dying is a dull, dreary affair. And so my advice is to give up the dream of being a magic superstar, and thereby die only once.
10. It takes nearly as much ability to know how to profit from good advice as it does to roll a rabbit across your knuckles for lack of a few coins.
11. When a young magician asks you for advice be leery – what he is actually asking for is your praise.
12. My advice when all is said is to perform magic: If you find success, you’ll be happy; and if not, you can always become a magic dealer or go on the lecture circuit.
13. Magic is the only hobby where people ride to a club in a car, to get advice from those who took the bus.
14. The people sensible enough to give aspiring magicians advice are usually sensible enough to give none.
15. We hate to see some magicians give others advice when we know how badly they need it themselves.
16.Old magicians love to give young magicians advice; it compensates them for their inability to set a bad example.
17. The advice of ancient magicians to their younger cohorts is very apt to be as unreal as a collection of the hundred best magic books that are never opened.
18. If you don’t know what magic road to go down in order to avoid failure — any road will get you there.
19. There are always three magic performances for the one you actually gave: The one you rehearsed, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.
20. According to most magicians, their number one fear is failing to fool an audience. Number two then, must be death. Does that sound right? If it does, then this must mean that if you go to a magician’s funeral, you’re better off in the casket than showing people in the back row your favorite card tricks.
And finally: Too many magicians overvalue what they do in their marketing, while those who see them work undervalue who they are.