Thursday, December 21, 2006

Henning Headlines at First Night Annapolis

On December 31, 2006, Ring 50 Past President Eric Henning will be the headline family entertainer at First Night Annapolis. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., he'll be performing a special 30-minute show five times throughout the evening in the 600-seat Key Auditorium at St. John's College. Even though Henning is in the event's largest venue, only 10% of the expected 30,000 visitors will be able to see his show. "It's a great honor, but also a great opportunity," said Henning. "It's going to be challenging to fill such a large space with magic!"

Purchasing a souvenir admission button to First Night Annapolis 2006 allows you access to all of the fantastic venues and are available through www.FirstNightAnnapolis.ORG and select local Giant Food and Ledo's Pizza locations in Anne Arundel County. Since 1990, Maryland's capital city has been transformed every year on December 31st into a swirling theatre-without-walls, a non-stop stage where the easygoing atmosphere erases barriers between performer and audience. This festival offers spirited indoor performances in buildings seldom used for anything the likes of what First Night Annapolis brings to them and surrounding streets as well.

Beginning with First Act’s performances where children big and small are entertained in highly interactive environments throughout the evening’s First Night Annapolis programming, family-centric performances run right up until our traditional “March to Midnight” for the waterfront fireworks finale!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

"Holiday Magic" at Ring 50 Meeting

Ring 50 President, Dwight Redman, opened the December meeting. The 12 guests were introduced to the 65 members attending the meeting. Mike Taggert gave an update on the progress of “Magi-Whirl 2007”. So far we have received contracts from eight dealers with the possibility of two more. The Saturday night Gala show line-up will have some top performers led by our own magical master of ceremonies, Bob Carnathan. For more information on “Magi-Whirl 2007” go to Mike reminded members wishing to put an Ad in the Gala Program to be sure and submit it to Bob Patterson before March 23, 2007. Dwight then opened the “Holiday Magic Show” teaching us how to do the color changing silk.

Arnold Fuoco did a routine showing a picture of Rudolph but he had no red nose. After repeated attempts he proudly displayed his red nose, then his red nose vanished and appeared on Arny’s nose. The Christmas season always has candy canes and the Holiday Magic Show was no exception. The Amazing Fuoco brought out his candy canes with tassels (ala striped Chinese sticks) and entertained us with an amusing routine including a tassel in the pants.

Tim Cannon, our newest member, baffled the audience with a cut and restored rope routine in which he showed us how sharp the scissors were by accidentally cutting his finger. After applying a band-aid he went did a modified Martin Lewis "Snacks Alive" vanishing coke bottle in a bag and produce a can of Pringles and tennis balls. Then he pulled pieces of newspaper from his pockets and socks and performed Mark Mason's "No Tear-Torn & Restored Newspaper".

Don Freedman presented a Cost Analysis Simulator routine. Geoff Weber played the role of the contractor who submitted the cost proposal. Bob Patterson was the cost estimator who was holding the contractor cost proposal in a sealed envelope. Kevin Sievers acting as the contracting officer calculated the cost of the contractor’s proposal using a psychic calculator to create a random number that identified a page, a line, and an image out of a book of over 175,000 clip art images. When Bob opened the sealed envelope inside was a large version of Santa Claus that matched the selected one in the book of clip art.

Noland Montgomery performed Rich Marotta's routine called "Mugged," in which the performer recounts how he was robbed at gunpoint. The magician places the cash from his wallet, his wrist watch, and finger ring in a ski mask, as he re-enacts the robbery for the audience, but then demonstrates how he outwitted the thief making the three items disappear from inside the mask and reappear in their original locations, with the cash back in the wallet, the watch back on his wrist, and the ring on his finger. Noland followed this with a Joe Lefler's version of "mental epic" in which three members of the audience are asked to think, respectively, of a city, a means of travel, and a dollar number, and send their thoughts to the magician telepathically. Noland ultimately demonstrated that he has correctly read the spectators minds using a white board to record their telepathic waves.

"Mr. Magic", Bert Udovin, pulled four quarters from the air and dropped them into a bag. These changed into a dollar bill when the bag was emptied. Next he then found three rabbits in an "Empty Coin Purse". The rabbits changed from one in each hand to two in one hand. Then all three magically go from the magician’s hand to join the assistant's one. Bert ended with the "Dove Pan" where he tore some paper to make an animal and placed them in the “Dove Pan”. Suddenly a rabbit appeared in the pan.

Jim Flanigan (TVP) opened with a Santa clown presentation of the Professor's Nightmare in which he made three varying strands of blue rope turn into three equal lengths. The rope appeared to be tangled into a mess only to come out as one full length. Then Jim pulled a chicken and four eggs out of the Santa hat as a prelude to doing a holiday version of Grandma's Necklace. A young lady from the audience, Molly, held a wand as two pieces of rope were tied over it. Four colored scarves were wrapped around the ropes and two solid rings dangled from the strands. When the wand was taken away and waved over the ropes, all of the scarves and rings fell to the floor. Next he did a Spiderman coloring book presentation. Jim ended the set with a card prediction using Tom Onosaka's Frame-Up in which the chosen card appears in a framed drawing of a whole deck of cards.

The legendary Rick Beatty came on stage with a warning for everyone that power tools are not toys, showing a large nail thru his finger. There was a search for Rudolph’s nose that began with Rick finding them in the pockets of the kids present (d-lites) then progressing to solid noses that kept disappearing and reappearing then multiplying into four (sponge balls). And for his grand finale, a recitation of the classic poem entitled, “Twas The Night Before Christmas”, but was it tragically interrupted when the mouse he was holding was accidentally smooshed.

Geoff Weber announced his gig Friday nights 15 & 29 December at the "Haad Thai" Restaurant. He then demonstrated the powers of the mind by making a randomly selected bell from the five that were suspended by a cord from a wand to swing.

“James Wand” (aka James Munton) invited all the kids on stage to help him. After some fun bits of business, he asked one of the kids to select a card that was shown to the audience and returned to the pack. He asked the other kids to each pick a number which when added together came to 14. Using the skillful touch of a gambler, James cut exactly 14 cards The kids helped James count the cards and the 14th card just happened to be the original selected card! James then led the kids in a cheerful rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas!" to close the meeting...

~ ~ Bob Patterson

Monday, November 20, 2006

Barry's Magic Shop Featured in Comic Strip

"Zippy the Pinhead" strip takes Barry's plight nationwide.

Barry Taylor, proprietor, writes:
"Barry’s Magic Shop is the focus on Zippy the Pinhead in today’s Washington Post Comic section. Zippy’s writer, Bill Griffith, is aware of our plight with Montgomery County Government and wrote about smoke and mirrors used by the County.

Things do not look good for us right now. I will be writing you another letter in December asking you to write a letter or resend your letter to Ike Leggett, the new County Executive as of Dec. 4. Mr. Leggett has the power to reverse the decision to tear down our building. We are given until Jan. 31, 2007 to stay. I will also ask that you carbon copy your letter to press which I will provide links.

Warmest wishes,

Barry & Susie

Barry’s Magic Shop

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fantastic November Meeting Night for Ring 50

President Dwight Redman opened the November meeting and welcomed the guests. Jim Flanigan, TVP, on the behalf of International Brotherhood of Magicians, presented Roy Barnes with a certificate for his outstanding support of the IBM and The Linking Ring. Roy compiled the Ring Reports each month and maintained the Index to The Linking Ring. The presentation was made on behalf of International I.B.M. President (2005-2006) Roger Miller at the Ring 50 meeting due to Roy Barnes living in the Washington area. Mike Taggert, VP and Chairman for Magi-Whirl 2007, gave a progress report on Magi-Whirl. Magi-Whirl 2007 will be held on April 13 & 14, 2007. Four lectures, plus two close-up performances, and a Gala evening show. Magi-Whirl is being held at Bishop Ireton High School, 201 Cambridge Rd, Alexandria VA. $45 in advance, $50 at the door. Details: Mike reminded everyone that if they wanted to put an ad in the Registration Program or the Gala Show Program to get the information to Bob Patterson as soon as possible. Amateur Magician, Tim Cannon was voted into Ring 50.

Dwight then introduced our lecturer for the evening, John B. Born, first place winner of the Golden Cups competition at the 2006 IBM Convention in Miami. Details of his lecture are below.

Award-Winning Magician John B. Born - Teaches His Craft!

John B. Born’s lecture focused on some of the most intricate and beautiful plots close-up magic has to offer. He divided the lecture into three main components (over two hours of instruction). The first session focused on how advanced preparation will reap great rewards in effect, and demonstrated how to construct routines and use principles (instead of difficult sleight-of-hand) in such a way that the performer becomes so far ahead of his audiences that it is not even fair. This included work on the “Any Card At Any Number” plot, as well as several other mental magic miracles appropriate for stand-up shows. The second session spotlighted beautiful magical offerings from the table, and demonstrated how to take full advantage of gaffs to create miracles not otherwise possible. This session included (but not limited to) extensive work on the “Bare-handed Matrix” and “Translocation” plots. The third session focused on sleight-of-hand techniques for the coin enthusiast. John created a whole new realm of coin techniques out of the development of his “Balance Palm,” and demonstrated techniques that range from easy-to-learn to extremely advanced. This session also included many great pointers on well-known coin techniques with regard to the importance of movement and motivation. The material covered varied in difficulty from nearly self-working to “I can’t believe he just did that.” John Born does for "Chink-a-Chink" what Derek Dingle did for "Triumph". He has added kicker after kicker, while at the same time enhancing the cleanliness and impact of the underlying effect. For all the talk we hear these days about "going the extra mile" and "showing no mercy", one sees very little of this sort of material performed or published. Thankfully, John does both. Whether one is interested in thought and motivation behind basic technique, fascinated by intense principles with (and without) a memorized deck, or engrossed in knuckle-busting sleight-of-hand, the lecture by John B. Born will be not be forgotten.

~ ~ Bob Patterson

Friday, October 06, 2006

Spooky Magic Night at Ring 50 brings out the Spiders, Ghosts, and Magical Spirits

President Dwight Redman opened the Spooky Magic show for the 50 members of the audience with a gruesome butcher knife blade being smashed down and through his arm while attempting to cut an orange in mid air! Ouch!

Captain Token the Magician (Louis Hofheimer) opened his performance with a board of lethal spikes was shoved through thru his arm without any noticeable harm. Then from an empty tube he produced a mountain of silks. With a whirl his solid cane vanished and left behind two silks. Capt Token then poured a 12-ounce can of grape soda filling four 8-ounce glasses. Then a young audience member had her head pierced with a flaming spear.

Jim Flanigan opened with The Web in which four blank cards were placed in volunteer Laurie Currie's hand. When the cards were shown again, there were spider webs on each one. They were turned over and she was asked to wave her hand over them. She let out a loud scream when she saw a black spider was clinging to the back of her hand. Next he performed a variation of the popular Bob Sheets illusion Hang 'Em High. Sitting in a chair, he struck a pose similar to one done by the actor Edward Norton in the "The Illusionist". He told how Norton, playing the part of a magician, made ghostly figures of a boy and a woman appear beside him. Jim planned to transform himself into an apparition and pull a solid object through his body. Two audience volunteers checked out the long length of rope by doing several tug-of-war yanks. Then, appearing to go into a trance, Jim pulled the rope through his body.

Rucj Uffelman began his presentation with a brief discussion of the Celtic roots of Halloween and their belief that the dead walked among the living on Halloween and the laws of nature were distorted on that evening. While he was talking Rucj set out a carved wooden stand which supported a pendulum. He started the pendulum and moved on to performing a book test based on the Dracula novel. As Rucj performed, audience noticed and became amused by the pendulum in the background; its swings became larger and larger until the pendulum was going around and around in full circles appearing to violate the law of gravity. Rucj concluded his presentation by having a spectator freely select one of eight face down cards. The seven unselected cards were then each revealed to depict the image of a fly. Rucj tied the fly image to one of the characters in the Dracula novel, as he had the spectator show that the selected card displayed the image of a bloody smashed fly.

Mike Taggert, Magician Extraordinaire, mystified everyone with his original routine entitled the bad guy in the box also known as Maggie and Jigs by Viking. After making a fruit and vegetable salad with his disecto equipment, he invited an audience member to join him to di-sect his hand.

Keith Pass drew a picture of a spooky skull on a white board (Axtell Drawing Board) and suddenly it came to life and the eyes began to move. Keith demonstrated a form of Pepper's Ghost making the spirit of John Carver come back from the dead to take back his lucky coin using a coin thru the glass effect.

“Lorenzo the Great” (Larry Lipman) performed a trick he calls "strap tube" a version of "ropes through neck" using straps and a plastic tube (hence the imaginative name). Two volunteers pull the straps through the tube and through Matt Hiller’s body. The top half of his body slammed down on the bottom half of his body and there wasn’t too much blood and it didn’t hurt a bit.

Past President Eric Henning recounted a dream in which he played a game of "Nine Card Monte" with the Devil. Even though old Scratch cheated, Eric won his soul back in this version of Steve Bryant's "Satan's Monte." He then had three helpers choose cards, which were shuffled back into the deck, and proposed to find the cards with his "hypersensitive touch." While Eric's head was turned away, the cards mysteriously rose into his hand one at a time - the last card rising while the cased deck was held by an audience member!

Noland Montgomery opened with a card routine involving a tongue-in-cheek manipulative sequence in which he removed a deck from its box, one handed, then apparently made the box disappear, but only temporarily. He then did a comedy mind reading trick involving two spectators, a deck of cards, and an over sized rubber ear. He followed this with his "street" version of the cups and balls--which is a two cup, two ball routine using the "Gazzo" cups (a very very large set of cups), a gibeciere (poacher's pouch), a magic wand, and a hat, and culminating with the production of two baseballs from under the cups followed by a coconut from under the seemingly empty hat.
~ ~ Bob Patterson

Thursday, September 07, 2006

New Members Perform at September Meeting

President Dwight Redman opened the meeting and welcomed the guests. Bob Patterson, Treasurer, presented the proposed budget for 2006-07. A lengthy discussion about Magi-Whirl 2007 followed. It was decided that Ring 50 would have Magi-Whirl 2007. The tentative plan is to have it in April 2007 as a two-day event. New member Betty Rexine (photo below with Sam Brothers) was voted in unanimously

New members put on the September program. All were great performers with amazing skills and many new techniques were demonstrated. The 45 members in attendance enjoyed the show.

Bert Udovin opened with an attempt to reveal cards selected by three spectators Upon failure he sent the spectators to their seats and went on to cut three pages from a newspaper, origami style, to reveal the three cards previously chosen. Next he made a card, animal and number predictions on a slate. These were revealed to be those named by the spectators. An audience member shuffled and imaginary deck and named an imaginary card. The real card was found reversed in a real deck.

Bryan McDaniel did a comic grocery store mind reading routine where he correctly predicted the 'thought of' price of a randomly chosen grocery store item, by displaying the bar code. Then Bryan presented an original comedy effect titled, "Practice is Over-rated ~ Instant Magician Course". Using a computer, a layman was able to scroll through the directions within the 'course' and instantly become a magician by spelling out the name of a randomly chosen card and accurately locating its position within the shuffled deck.

Larsen Eisenberg's first effect was his version of Red Hot Momma where a selected card turns into a "negative" after a picture is taken of the deck with an imaginary camera. A second spectator tries to take a picture of their own card, they miss and the first negative is changed into a "double exposure” card. Then Larsen did a Kostya Kimlat effect where a member of the audience is made the magician and finds both a selected card and a thought of card. Then he performed Banacheck's Inivisible Palm Pilot routine from Banacheck's Psi Series DVD's

Mano Mandal began with two equal lengths of rope that changed sizes, changed to 3 ropes, and change to one long rope with a knot flying in the air. He then had two spectators write down information. After some a deep mind reading trance, he was able to identify the items that were written down.

Ashley Taggert had a card selected and placed in spectators pocket. A rubber band was placed around the deck and passed to 8 audience members to take a peek at a card in the deck. Using the Mathematical Algorithmic Geometric Interlanionary Calculus or M-A-G-I-C formula, she revealed the 8 cards viewed by the audience and the card selected by the spectator.

Sam Brothers using the skill of John Bannon's "Origami Poker" had volunteer Betty Rexine shuffle the deck and name her favorite suit. The cards were scattered and mix up with some reversed. When re-assembled by the spectator directions all the cards face up were revealed as the same suit selected by the spectator.

Reggie Rice entered with a bowling bowl production from a briefcase. During his performance he opened up a hot hardbound book and real flames shot out! Reggie with the help of his assistant, Carton Silvestro, built a sign saying ‘Will Do Tricks For Food’. He performed a straitjacket escape in 21 seconds.

Jeff Dionise has submitted his application for membership in Ring 50.

Photos by Larry Lipman
~ ~ Bob Patterson

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Join Ring 50!

The International Brotherhood of Magicians, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the art of magic, was founded in 1922 as a correspondence club among three magicians, one of whom lived in Canada, thereby giving the club its international flavor.

Its monthly publication, "The Linking Ring," originated as a mimeographed newsletter. Today it is the most widely read magic magazine in the world, sent to some 11,000 members in more than 35 countries.

The annual I.B.M. Convention is a showcase for the world's finest magicians.

For a printable membership application for the I.B.M., click here.

I.B.M. Ring 50, The National Capital Ring, is a local chapter of the I.B.M. It was organized in 1947 and has held monthly meetings ever since. The Ring has approximately 100 members ranging from novices to professional performers who create, publish, sell and perform close-up, table, cabaret and stage magic.

To join Ring 50, an applicant must be interested in magic and be (or become) a member of the I.B.M.

Why Join Ring 50?

1. Fellowship - Ring 50 is a place where you can get together with others who share your passion for our Art. You'll be encouraged and stay in touch with the latest developements of the craft. You'll see magic performed in widely different styles - and you'll have fun!

2. Learning - Our more experienced members are generous in sharing their knowledge, and some things are learned best from teacher to student, not from books or videos. Ring 50 provides a place for hands-on learning. Ring 50 also brings top magicians from around the country and the world to lecture -
lectures that are free to members.

3. Growing - In a very real sense, your local Ring provides a place to be bad so you can become good. We've all seen performers who give magic a bad name by performing in public (even for money!) before they are ready. Ring 50's "Open Mike" nights offer you the opportunity to get help and advice on that new routine before the public sees it.

4. Community Connection - Ring 50 has projects and benefit shows throughout the year that offer you the chance to bring magic to the local community, thereby helping you, helping the community and increasing awareness and interest in magic.

5. Giving Back - As a more experienced magician, you may have benefited from a mentor or teacher. Now you have a chance to give back. As magic shops close, younger magi have fewer mentors - and you can help mold the next generation of magicians.

6. Magi-Whirl - The DC area's ONLY magic convention has already attracted attendees from an 8-state radius. You don't have to drive that far - it's in your backyard!

7. FUN!

How to Join Ring 50
Initial dues are $18.00 for Ring 50 ($3.00 initiation fee plus $15.00 first year Ring dues.) Annual dues of $15.00 thereafter are payable each February.

For a printable Ring 50 membership application form, click here and save the PDF file to your computer. Then print it, complete and sign it, and bring it along with your I.B.M. membership card or acceptance letter from I.B.M. to the next Ring 50 meeting.

IMPORTANT: Dues are due and payable in February of each year. We understand that you might not be able to get to every meeting, so for your convenience, you can also make your dues check payable to "I.B.M. Ring 50" and mail it to:

Bob Patterson, Treasurer
3450 Wainscott Place
Lake Ridge, VA 22192-5263

If you have questions or need more information, please feel free to contact a Ring 50 Officer (see Officers link in right column.)

* Fees and dues of the I.B.M. and/or Ring 50 are subject to change without notice on this Web site.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

"The Illusionist" Movie To Open Nationwide

Heralds a Season of Magic-Themed Films
Review by Eric Henning

The folks behind the new Ed Norton film "The Illusionist" have been very busy. I got a call about six weeks ago and they were contacting all the magicians in the Baltimore/Washington DC area with free passes for a sneak preview on August 10. Betsy and I went, saw lots of magic friends and a good movie.

"The Illusionist" is set in early 1900's Vienna (although filmed in Berlin, Prague andVienna), and revolves around a deadly love triangle between a beautiful Hungarian countess (Jessica Biel) and the two men who love her: her brutal, boorish fiancé, the Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary (Rufus Sewell); and her childhood friend, a poor woodworker-turned-magician (Ed Norton). Adding to the fun is a great turn by Paul Giamatti (Sideways) as the dyspeptic local Chief Inspector caught between a desire for justice and his royal patron's bidding.

The murder-mystery plot is a bit thin, but the characters are robustly played by the excellent cast, with Oscar-caliber costumes and art direction. The magic is both sleight of hand and computer-generated (where needed, never gratuitous) and treated with great respect. There is even a moment when a major trick is "revealed" but not revealed. A common parlor trick is taught to one of the characters (and hence, the audience). I am told that Ed Norton really got into the sleight of hand, and he does bust some very nice moves with a billiard ball.

If you like period romances, you will love this movie. If you like thrillers, you will find it so-so. If you are looking for mostly magic, you will be disappointed, as the magic serves the plot and is not the star. I think this is as it should be, but some may feel otherwise. All in all, well worth seeing on the big screen, especially if you can get to a discount matinée. "The Illusionist" has been playing for two weeks in seleceted cities (including the Baltimore/Washington market), and opens nationwide Friday, September 1. Here's the trailer:

Coming October 20 is the big-budget thriller,
"The Prestige," based on the award-winning Christopher Priest novel about two rival magicians in turn-of-the-century England. Another magic-themed film with a star-studded cast, it should do well. Directed by Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins), and starring Christian Bale (Batman Begins), Hugh Jackman (X-Men) and Michael Caine (every English-language film of the past forty years).

Here's the trailer for "The Prestige":

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Children’s Magic Topic of August Meeting

Laurie Curry was the emcee for the National Capital Ring 50 August ‘Magic For Children’ meeting. There were 25 children and 72 adults attending the performance by eight Ring Magicians. After brief announcements the “Magic for Children” began.

Leading off the evening’s entertainment was President Dwight Redman with a Martin Lewis’ Cardiographic. A young boy selected a card from the deck and Dwight took a sketchpad and began to draw what he believed was the boy’s selected card. He revealed his sketch only to be told by everyone that it was incorrect. He then added a few lines to the picture and told the audience that it is really just the deck of cards he was drawing. He told the spectator to concentrate on his card and, as if by magic, the chosen card rose from the SKETCH of the deck! Truly an unbelievable sight. Then for the best part - the sketch was torn from the pad and given to the young man to keep!

Eric Redman’s Magic Coloring Book routine combined action, color, magic, children participation and even got some “oohs” from the adults. He showed the children a coloring book that they could clearly see had all blank pages. Suddenly, with a wave of his hand, black and white outlined pictures appeared in the book. After the cheers died, he took it one-step further and showed all the pictures colored. Next Eric did Ton Onosaka’s Royal Revision. He invited a young spectator to the stage and showed the audience a large Ace of Diamonds card as his prediction and then slid it into an open frame. The young spectator did not see this prediction. Eric showed the audience and oversized deck with all Ace of Diamonds. The spectator then selected a card. They laugh as they realize the magician can't miss! However the chosen card turned out to be the Queen of Diamonds. The large prediction card is then turned toward the audience and as Eric remove the Ace slowly from the frame it visibly turned into the Queen of Diamonds right before their eyes!!

This is Eric’s last meeting with us as he has taken a job in New Orleans, LA and will be leaving the area soon. Thanks Eric for the many performances and support of The National Capital Ring 50.

Matt Pernick was out to teach the kids some magic. He showed the audience an oversized Dubious Domino. First, the two-sided domino had one spot on it. The other side had four. But when he turned the domino over again, it was shown to have three spots on one side and six on the other. Professor Matt offered to teach the trick to the audience. But the explanation proved more puzzling than the trick first demonstrated. Spots on the domino multiplied unexpectedly, proving the magician's explanation useless. In the end, the domino was full of new spots. He followed that with a red silk that he packed into his fist. The silk turned into an egg, and both hands were shown empty. Then he let the kids in on the secret: Matt repeated the trick while explaining it all, and when they though they had it, he took the hole off the egg and broke the egg into a glass to show it was a real egg! Then Matt went on to the Torn and restored newspaper “illusion”. The magician tore the current “Washington Post” into pieces and openly displayed the pieces both
front and back keeping them in full sight at all times. He put the pieces together into a packet and gave them a shake. The pieces were instantly restored into the same undamaged newspaper!

Bob Greenwald with the help of a young lady, from the audience, performed the cut and restored string. After the string was cut, the two lengths of string seem to melt back together in her hands.

“Bugler” (aka Scott McDonald) came on with trumpets blowing. He opened with a blooming silk creating the illusion of a fountain of silk on his palm. Next a Genii Tube was opened and shown empty. When it was closed and latched, a production of silks was made. Again shown empty and again more silks appeared. “Bugler” began Topsy Turvy Bottles by holding one bottle covered by a metal tube and a young lady volunteer held a second bottle covered by a metal tube. The tubes were tilted back and forth with the girl duplicating the magicians every move. However, on raising the covers “Bugler” and the girl’s bottles were not in the same position; one is upright the other upside down. This was repeated several times and they never match even though they started out the same. A very amusing performance for the audience. “Bugler” used a unique deck that was actually cut in half diagonally for his next effect. Each split half was fanned out, face down and two spectators select a card, one from each half. After a bit of by-play and it was found that the selected cards did not match when put together. He removed from a previously displayed paper bag a jumbo card with the two selected diagonal halves mated to form a complete card!

Louis Meyer did a comedy tissue paper tear with the assistance of a young girl matching him tear for tear. His torn tissues were restored as several colorful streamers from his mouth. He took the torn tissues from the girl and made several hand jesters and made them disappear over her shoulders.

“Lorenzo the Great” (aka Larry Lipman) mystified his young assistant with a paper tear with the restoration being a Princess Hat. “Lorenzo” ask another kid from the audience to open the “Can of Wands” and take one out. When he did, out flew 5 spring wands to the surprise of the audience as well as the kid! They never expected wands to come jumping out of the little can! Then “Lorenzo” presented one of the classics, Mismade Flag. The magician used 3 different silks - one red, one white, and one blue. With the help of young President Abe Lincoln (complete with top hat and beard) the silks were placed in the bag but the blue silk fell to the floor apparently by accident. With a flourish our young Abe removed the silks from the bag and they had transformed into a flag, however, the Stars were missing. “Lorenzo” acted surprised and the audience along with young Abe was quick to point out the blue silk on the floor. The blue silk and the mismade flag are put back in the bag and this time when the flag is removed the colors are reversed. Nothing seems to be going right! Poor “Lorenzo”. The mismade flag is put back in the bag once again and this time it finally comes out as a normal flag.

To wrap up the evenings performance, “Secret Agent, James Wand” (aka James Munton) brought up onto the stage 5 potential Secret Agents. He grilled them and taught them how to lie. He had them repeat the lie back to him. One young girl even repeated it back with his British accent to the amusement of everyone. The gang mixed up the 4 blank cards and 1 card with the secret map. Each secret agent took a card and kept it hidden. As they were quizzed “James Wand” narrowed in on the agent with the hidden map card.

-- Bob Patterson

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Award-Winning Magician Glenn Gary Opens Parlor Magic Show at Historic National Press Club

Sleight of Hand, Close-Up Magic and Charm
Casts Spell on Audience in Intimate Setting

Washington, DC - Glenn Gary, Washington DC's leading magician, announced today that he will perform every Friday night at the National Press Club in a new show called Parlor Magic, starting September 1, 2006.

"This is by far one of the very best close-up magic shows I've ever performed, both for the level of sophistication and mastery required," Gary says. "People won't need to travel to Las Vegas now to see world class magic. They'll be able to see illusions and magic effects that will simply amaze them, right before their eyes, and right here in DC."

The Parlor Magic show harkens back to another age and time a hundred years ago when the rich and famous entertained in the parlors of their homes. With only 40 guests per show at 7 pm and 9 pm, the show takes on an intimate feel of yesteryear. Gary's program includes several signature magic effects, including a floating card box effect which he originated and made famous.

The show is expected to become a must-see event in Washington, DC for individuals and groups visiting the city as well as residents of the greater Washington area. Tickets are available from .

Glenn Gary is considered one the best sleight of hand artists and conjurors practicing today. He has been twice awarded the "Best Manipulation Act" and "Best of Competition" by his peers at The Magician's Alliance of Eastern States. He is the Past President of the Society of American Magicians, Assembly 252, and Past President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, National Capital Ring 50. He resides in a suburb of Washington, DC with his family.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Barry's Magic Shop in today's Washington Post

The Washington Post has written a wonderful  article on Barry's Magic Shop. 
and there is also a video of Barry on

You can also post a comment on the Post's website.


Eric Henning

P.S. You may have to register with to access the article and video. Registration is fast and free.

Friday, July 21, 2006

July 21-22: Alain Nu at the National Theatre DC - FREE!

"Circus of the Mind" in Washington D.C.

The National Theatre is sponsoring Alain Nu to perform in the first annual Capital Fringe Festival. Alain debuts his one-man experience, "Circus of the Mind" in the Helen Hayes Gallery. A FREE evening with Alain Nu that will stretch the boundaries of your mind.

Only TWO shows on TWO nights, totalling only FOUR (4) shows during the week-long Capital Fringe Festival. Showtimes are on Friday, July 21st & Saturday, July 22nd at 6pm and 7:30pm.

Seats are first come first served! Tickets can be picked up from the National’s ticket booth at least a half hour before each show.

Complete info is at Alain Nu's Web site and
the National Theatre site.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Meeting Schedule 2006-7

August 2 -- Children's Show
September 6 -- New Members Perform
October 4 -- Spooky Magic
November 1 -- John Born lecture
December 6 -- Holiday Magic

January 3 -- Ring Magic
February 7 -- Teach a sleight/ move/ false shuffle/ etc.
March 7 -- Mentalism
April 4 -- Auction
May 2 -- Dan Lacy Contest
June 6 -- Winton Carroll Award “Most Humorous Magician”

July -- No meeting - I.B.M. Convention - See you in Reno!

Please remember all of this is subject to change.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Members Attend IBM International Convention

Four members of the National Capital Ring 50 attended the “Greatest Annual Magic Convention on Earth” in Miami Florida June 27 – July 1, 2006. Bob Patterson, Sam Brothers, Reggie Rice and Stuart Finley attended the conclave to exchange and seek new ideas in magic.

Stuart Finley (left) and Bob Patterson waiting for the Aldo Colombini lecture to begin.
Bob and Stuart enjoyed the keynote speaker, Cesareo Pelaez, at the Order of Merlin breakfast. Cesareo, a.k.a. Marco the Magi, is the founder and leader of the long running stage magic show-Le Grand David and His Own Spectacular Magic Company. He had his own magic troupe by the age of fifteen. Cesareo spoke of his experience during his many years of magic. He was recognized by the Academy of Magical Arts as Magician of the Year in 1981. He was voted into the Society of American Magicians Hall of Fame, elected National President of S.A.M. in 1985 and has received its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1995 he was named the prestigious Milbourne Christopher Foundation’s Illusionist of the Year.

There were 30 magicians participating in close up contest and 31 performers from 7 countries and 10 states competing in the stage contest. Dave Kaplin from Ohio was the “Peoples Choice”. The four evening gala shows were held at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. The theater first opened in 1926 has been totally restored with stunning Moorish architecture, perfect acoustics and simulated night sky complete with rolling clouds. A “Magical Transformation” by David and Dania was an amazing performance. In seven minutes they combined a series of elegant ballroom sequences with at least nine showstopper colorful costume changes.

Reggie Rice (center) discussing techniques with new magic friends.
One of the highlights and junior winner of the talent contest was Eli Portola, a ten-year-old boy with a very professional performance including the Magical production of his sister from seemingly nowhere.

Reggie and Sam shared their techniques and skills to fellow magicians between lectures, performances, and shopping at the many dealer tables. Bob spent a lot of time visiting the many many dealers and purchasing a few magic items. His favorite dealer was Mark Mason from JB Magic. Mark was continuously performing the magical produces that he brought for sale. His British accent and humor was something to be admired. He was like a one-man show all day long. His table always had a gathering of magicians watching his demonstrations and buying several of his products.

Sam Brothers (right) showing an amazing card trick to Joel Dresnick.
We don’t know what went on behind the scenes, but from my point of view it was a very successful convention orchestrated by the convention staff. I believe all attendees experienced a memorable and pleasurable time in Miami. I am looking forward to Reno in 2007.
– Bob Patterson

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Let's Not Lose This Bit Of Magic in Wheaton

As seen in the Washington Post, Sunday, June 18, 2006; B08

For three decades Barry Taylor has enchanted the children and adults who have come through his door, dazzling them with eye-popping card effects and the latest magic tricks and illusions. His captivating smile and warm demeanor have charmed thousands. Barry's Magic Shop, his small, family-owned business in Wheaton, is the only remaining magic shop in the Washington area. Yet it has been threatened with eviction by Montgomery County through the Wheaton Redevelopment Program. The county government reportedly plans to develop a landscaped pedestrian walkway in a location that has only limited foot traffic near Wheaton Plaza.

Barry Taylor and his wife, Susan Kang, have helped magicians grow in their Art for more than 30 years.
Barry's, at 11234 Georgia Ave., is only a short stroll from a Metro stop. It features a full range of classic illusions and up-to-the-minute releases in magic tricks, books, videos and DVDs. The shop has been the last of its kind in the capital region since the closing more than four years ago of the historic Al's Magic Shop, which had been a landmark in downtown Washington since 1936. In recent years Barry's also has maintained an intimate magic theater above the shop that has received extensive praise and recognition.

Barry Taylor and Susie Kang, the proprietors, feel that rents in today's market would make it difficult to relocate. They are excellent professional performers who have entertained audiences throughout the region and across the country. For many years they produced their Psychic Ghost Theatre show above the shop and have allowed magicians to perform there.

Barry's serves not only professional and amateur magicians in this region but also attracts magic practitioners from around the world who visit our area. The shop is a sanctuary for children who are interested in pursuing the magical arts and adults seeking a special way to entertain and amuse their friends.

I worked part time as a salesman at Al's Magic Shop for several years. The veteran owner, Al Cohen, deserved his reputation as the world's greatest magic demonstrator. When his shop closed, there was a great sadness and void among magicians.

There will be again if Barry's Magic Shop closes.

-- James C. Flanigan
is the territorial vice president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Ring 50 Elects New Officers

Dwight Redmanwas installed as the new president of Ring 50 at our June meeting. Dwight credits his role as a father for his interest in magic. He began coaching his sonEric when he was 5, and then was bitten by the magical bug himself. Eric is now 21, a recent college graduate and a top-notch magician.
TVP Jim Flanigan, left, congratulates Dwight Redman as he takes over as Ring 50 leader.

Others installed were Mike Taggert as vice president, Bob Fay continuing as secretary, Bob Patterson returning as treasurer and Geoff Weber staying on as sergeant-at-arms. New directors were Don Freedman, the retiring ring president, and Glenn Gary and James Munton, both former presidents.

IBM Territorial Vice President Jim Flanigan performed a Points of Light candlelight installation ceremony. The evening's program featured acts by the new officers and directors. Using a large sketch pad filled with 125 numbers, Dwight correctly predicted - well almost - a random number chosen by an audience member. A spectator was asked to select a card from one of two decks, one with blue backs, the other with red. The chosen card, an ace of clubs, appeared in the deck held by participant. The same card also was in sealed envelope in Dwight's pocket.

Don provided us with his version of the Deal or No Deal show. He handed out a series of double sealed envelopes to a group of volunteers offering a chance to win a dinner for two at a popular restaurant but he managed to elude any big payoff. One helper did opt out of the selection process and took home a dime instead of a loser's card.

Mike Taggert, who was the emcee of the evening's amazing show, delivered a terrific comedy mentalism act using the colorful face of a genie to reveal a spectator's card with the whole audience's help. He then performed a beautiful lotus bowl water production while pretending to be a bell ringing, chanting guru dressed in a cap and robe. He concluded his segment with a rising card effect using cards selected by two audience members.

The entertainment also included an eye-popping card routine by Bob Fay in which he showed how four jokers from a blue-backed deck could blush. All four jokers' backs turned to red and then the whole deck blushed red.

Geoff began with a fiery pantomime silk routine ending with the production of a black and white streamer. He plucked a red light out of thin air in a D'Lite-ful demonstration of magical manipulation. And he did a slick dancing silk effect.

New officers of Ring 50 pose for official photo after a candlelight installation ceremony. From left to right: Bob Patterson, Bob Fay, Jim Flanigan, Dwight Redman, Mike Taggert, Geoff Weber, Don Freedman and Glenn Gary.
Bob Patterson delivered some old favorites that included the Professor's Nightmare ropes and a colorful 20th Century Silks routine using a P& L change bag. He vanished the silk with a Tommy Windsor popcorn box. He also did a Spelling Bee routine showing a board with seven random letters that turned into the message "Ring 50" when after the letter cards were shuffled by an audience member. He finished by changing three silver CD's into different colors before changing them back to silver.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Area Magicians for Hire

These professional magicians, based in the Washington area,
are listed in alphabetical order.
Please contact them directly to discuss your entertainment needs.

Wayne Alan
America's only World Champion Stage Illusionist,
as seen on national TV and The White House.
Innovative Illusions Inc.
3103 Newcastle Lane, Riva, MD 21140
Phone 410-956-8132 Fax 410-956-0338

Bob Carnathan
Classic Magic for Elegant Events
Bethesda, MD
Phone: 301 469 5030

Stuart Finley
Tel: 703-860-8924

Glenn Gary
The Classical Magic of Glenn Gary
Winner, Clint Reidel Trophy for Best Act of Competition AND
Best Stage Manipulation at Magicians' Alliance of Eastern States
Tel: 703-963-0790

Eric Henning
Magic for Corporate, Private and Community Events
as seen at the National Christmas Tree Lighting!
Tel: (toll-free) 1-800-485-0029

Larry Lipman
"Lorenzo the Great"
Specializing in Magic for Children
Tel: 703-859-8526

Noland Montgomery
Magical Entertainment for All Ages
Tel: 301-572-7743

Eric Redman
As seen on network TV: "Lance Burton's Young Magicians"
"Showtime at The Apollo"
Tel: 301-927-7717 Email: blaq__majik@hotmail.comWeb:

Reggie Rice
"Super MAGIC Man" - Truly a One-Of-A-Kind Entertainer
Tel: 240-298-6077

Michael Taggert
Magician Extraordinaire
"Nominated Best in the 'Burg." Award-winning magic for the whole family, renaissance entertainment, platform and stage performances.
Tel: 540-370-0752

The Prince of Conjuring
Family and Corporate Entertainer - Voted "The Most Humorous Entertainer of the Year"
Tel: 240-988-3441


If you are a performing magician and a current Ring 50 member
and would like to be listed in this section,
please email
Eric Henning
with your information.

Meeting Info

Ring 50 meets the first Wednesday of the month (except July) at

Bishop Ireton High School

201 Cambridge Rd  Alexandria, VA 22301

Click here for a map & directions.

6:00 p.m. Counts of Conjuring (Magic Youth Int'l chapter) meeting.

8:00 p.m. Meeting

All magicians and magic enthusiasts are most welcome!

Ring 50 Officers 2006-7

Dwight Redman - President
Mike Taggert
- Vice President
Bob Fay - Secretary
Bob Patterson
- Treasurer
Geoff Weber - Sergeant-at-Arms
Jim Flanigan - Magi-Gram Editor
Eric Henning - Webmaster

Ring 50 Selects Magician of the Year

Dwight Redman was a repeat winner of the Ring 50 Magician of the Year at our May 3. 2006 meeting. He was awarded the Dan Lacey Memorial Trophy for his performance. Dwight first won the cup three years ago when the competition started.

Tom Lacey, left, son of former Ring 50 President Dan Lacey, presents the Dan Lacey Memorial Trophy to Dwight Redman as the 2006 Magician of the Year.
Dwight's rapport with the audience stood out among his peers as he presented a clever game routine based on the popular Star Trek series. He "transported" a chosen card selected by a spectator into a glass bottle inside a closed set of boxes held by an audience member. He also used jumbo cards to tell his version of the Gemini Twins story.

Dwight's son, Eric Redman, who also is a magician, was a close runner-up in the contest. He concluded his presentation with an eye-popping illusion in which he pulled a long, heavy chain through his body as the links were held at opposite ends by two husky volunteers.

The competition honors the memory of former Ring 50 President Dan Lacey.

Noland Montgomery, who was the winner of the Dan Lacey trophy the previous two years, delivered a slick four-ace routine. Later, with the help of a young lady from the crowd, he kept everyone's attention with a humorous Cut-and-Restored Rope routine.

Arnie Fuoco displayed his originality and creativity by taking several traditional routines one step further. He especially caught the magical group's attention when he ended a Professor's Nightmare (Carver Ropes) effect by actually showing all three ropes, which first were various lengths, all visibly the same length.

Bob Carnathan offered a beautiful Color Changing Silk rhapsody in which he teased his spectators with a closed fist after changing a red fabric to a white one before opening his hand to show the red one was truly gone.

Former Ring 50 President Ken Norris borrowed the jacket of Stuart Finley, who also once led our group, to perform a Knife Through Jacket effect. As Stu walked away, Ken demonstrated his skill as a pickpocket by returning his helper's wallet, watch and other items.

Geoff Webber, with the help of an attractive assistant, poured a variety of drinks from a single chocolate milk carton. The various beverages were passed out to members of the audience. John Roberts, another former Ring 50 leader, did a chain with lock routine. Cristian Vidrascu turned a deck of blank cards into normal ones during a card selection effect.

Jim Flanigan, who is Territorial Vice President of the IBM for the Washington area, was presented with a Lifetime Membership certificate at the meeting by Ring 50 President Don Freedman. Later, Jim served as one of the judges of the Magician of the Year competition.
Ring 50 President Don Freedman (L) presents a Lifetime Membership certificate to Jim Flanigan, who is the IBM's territorial vice president for the Washington area and a longtime newsletter editor of the Ring 50 Magi-Gram.

During the business meeting preceding the show, Dwight Redman was elected president of Ring 50 for the coming year. He will be installed along with other officers at the June meeting.