August 20th Ring Meeting

IBM Logo

September 2013


Ring #320     The Blue Ridge Magicians

President       Wes Iseli

   Vice President   Eddie Tobey “Tobini”

Treasurer           David Clauss

Sgt. at Arms       Jim Champion

Secretary          Dennis Phillips

Here are the themes for the Ring Meetings for the rest of the 2013.


Remember these are only suggested themes

September – Holiday themed magic

October – Swap Meet

November – First trick / favorite trick….. or both

December – Christmas Dinner & Show 

  Ring Report

   August , 2013 Ring Meeting

Our August Ring meeting saw the return of member Josh Meggison.  President Wes Iseli conducted our pre-meeting teach-in.  He focused on “How to make Money in Magic”. Wes works fulltime. His only job for the past 16 years has been performing magic, so he is an expert in the subject.  He went over a dozen or so marketing ideas in his booklet about being a successful professional.

Under old business, we are still working on a fund-raising show for The March of Dimes.  Under New Business, We have booked the Jason Palter lecture for April 14th.   October is magic month and George Buckley and Eddie Tobey are working on a media blitz for the Ring.

The theme of our Ring meeting show was comedy and it kicked off with Josh Meggison doing a mysterious ring and chain routine.  Jim Champion did an effect, “Night out with the Girls”. It was the story of bathing beauties and interns and the beauty that one guy ended up with.  George Buckley did a cute John Fedko inspired trick that was a kind of Card Monte with a rabbit card. He also had a topsy-turvy smiley face card.

Dennis Phillips had a few sight gags and jokes and a demonstration of funny hats such as the plunger under the Wizard’s Hat.  Ron Schneider had some fabulous card effects where cards change places, were very ambitious  and finally the signed card appears in his wallet.

Eddie Tobey had a clever Ring and Shoelace effect where the lace visibly linked and unlinked. Wes Iseli concluded the show with his new improved magnetic spoon routine. He has themed the effect so that the boy volunteer assistant become a Super Hero, named Magnet Man.

Dennis Phillips

 Dennis Deliberations….      Editorial and Comment

 By Dennis Phillips

September 2013

 There seem to four kinds of people:

The optimist who sees the glass as half full.

The pessimist who sees the glass as half empty.

An engineer who sees the glass and says, “That glass is twice as big as it needs to be!”

And the magician who sees the glass says, “Damn! I wish the magic companies would make a glass that lets ALL of the liquid drain out!”

The month, I am engaging in a kind of mea culpa.  When I am wrong about something, I want to make it right.

 It’s about Jeff McBride.  I guess that I never fully understood him and as a result was unenthusiastic about his work. When he appeared at the Daytona Convention a few years ago, he closed the big show with his wife Abbie Spinner and Eugene Burger and I was muted in my accolades.  Okay, again I need to fess up again. I all but panned the show. As I recall, I thought the whole show was small and simple for that stage and he engaged in a lot of posing and mugging and fiddling with odd unworldly props such as twin  LED floating canes, and a plastic mask that was trying to kill him.  The show was ,as my country Grandma used to say, “Artsy-Fartsy”.  But I respected the stage effort and McBride does have some good signature pieces such as his water bowls, Miser’s Dream and classic Mask Act and he does a dynamic card manipulation sequence.

Well, recently I was asked to look at his 3-D set from L&L called “ Jeff McBride and his Magic on Stage”. While I retain the concept that he is a quirky performer, I was very impressed by his knowledge, stage thoughts and teaching ability.  Watching the series led me to a much greater appreciation for his work.  My head seamstress, Trish, at my old Winter Park Costume Shop, loved McBride and I recall her snatching the copy of Linking Ring when the mailman delivered it with McBride on the cover.  Trish was a 60s Hippie who never grew out of her love for the odd and mystical.

So let’s look at the outstanding job that McBride’s did on his 3 VHS cassette series:

Tape One is McBride’s Commando Act. It all fits inside a lawyer’s shoulder bag. It packs small and plays big. The routine has 5 parts to it. They are vanishing cane and silk productions, cut and restore rope, ring on string, linking rings, mouth coil with the finale of a bottle of Champaign produced. Also there are a few bonus tricks that are not part of the commando act but they could be added. The act has audience participation it. While there are some things that I would not do such as the mouth coil, Jeff’s approach to doing a “perform-anywhere-no-cases to-carry act” was excellent.  On the tape he credits the concept to Jeff Sheridan who he watched in a New York park. In today’s downsizing, Jeff gave me the motivation to get a Commando Act together. I can already do 10 minutes out of my suit coat pockets ,as needed when I am substitute teaching in public schools, but I can see that a satchel and some thought can make it a full stage presentation.

Tape Two is Exotic Mysteries. It is a fusion of a martial arts feel, dance, Kabuki Theater with all the stagecraft. You will get a feeling that he was influenced by Fu-Manchu (David Bamberg) and the classic turn-of-the-century Asian themed acts.  You may not do the specific routines but the insights into staging them and the thought on movement and how to get the most out of the routine is valuable. The tape was very colorful and also contains lots of great ideas on silks and paper spring flowers. Everything shows that McBride put a lot of thought into what he does.

Tape Three is Classic magic. This contains a great teaching segment on the Dancing Cane. It will teach you everything you need to know. It also has excellent instruction on the classic Zombie. I was excited to see his Zombie gimmick with its small wire bend under the cork. He says the idea was from Finn John. It makes a big difference in control of the ball when peaking over the edge. Jeff is quite accomplished at presenting the Zombie.  His Fountain of Silks and Twentieth-century Silks had subtle bits of preparation and performance that were very good.  If you would like to do the 20th Century Silks and hold the tips of both silks and shake them before you tie them together, watch his video!

Page Two—-

Finally, if you are really into gaining an academic understanding and enjoy intellectual stimulation. Try this:

Why is deception such an essential part of the human condition? What evolutionary purpose does it fulfill? How can we recognize it on an individual level, and overcome it on a societal level in a modern democracy?

Watch an exciting panel of scientists and public intellectuals including revolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, notable social psychologist Carol Tavris, accomplished neurobiologist and laboratory directors at Barrow Neurobiological Institute Stephen Macknick and Susana Martinez-Conde, acclaimed magicians Jamy Ian Swiss and Joshua Jay, and Origins Project director and moderator, physicist Lawrence Krauss as they discuss the biological, behavioral, and political boundaries of this controversial issue.

Part 1 of 2 (1:37:48) :

Part 2 of 2 (49:11) :




About blueridgemagiciansring320

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