Wednesday, April 18, 2007

IBM National Capital Ring 50’s Magi-Whirl 2007 is a GREAT Success!

To say, “Magi-Whirl 2007 was awesome” would be an understatement. Some say it was the best ever! The organizational skills of Mike Taggert, Bob Patterson, and Dwight Redman combined with IBM Ring 50 volunteers brought about the best one can hope for. The packed schedule included four lectures, two close-up performances, a dealer’s showcase, and a Gala evening magic show. The Gala show incorporated the best and most original top line performers. And if all that is not enough – there was plenty of time to socialize with friends, fellow magicians, and performers. Special guests including Al Cohen enjoyed good conversations with the organizers, many of the magic dealers, and performers that he has known.

Registration was accomplished in minutes without hassle or delay. Friday evening was a good time to socialize and watch the magic that takes place by individuals. Eric Henning on “Killing a Restaurant with Magic” gave the first lecture. Eric has performed his award-winning magic on three continents, from the streets of Paris to the Festivals of Avignon and Lausanne, from the tropical paradise of Barbados to events all over the Baltimore and Washington area. He has had the extraordinary privilege of performing at two Presidential Inaugural Candlelight Dinners, in 2001 & 2005. Magi-Whirl attendees went away with many great ideas and techniques on how to perform Restaurant magic.

This was followed by one of the best shows I have seen performed by the.
dealers The dealers were: Denny & Lee Magic Studio, DoveLite Magic, Fred’s Magic Books, Guaranteed Magic, Hughes Magic Inc, Magic by Michael Lair, Magic Goods, Silk King Studio, Sorcery with Class, Wayne’s Pre-owned Magic, and Wonder Imagery. Many new items were demonstrated and put all of us in a good mood for buying new magic tricks.

On Saturday the doors opened promptly at 9:00 AM and dealers began selling. The first lecture was by Michael Lair. Michael is a skilled lecturer and has lectured in every major city for the past several years. His lecture is full of variety with visual close-up magic using coins, cards, sponge balls, and animations of objects, to exciting stage magic using candles, fans, coils, swords, throw streamers, and Chinese fans. He had the attendees on the edge of their seats throughout his presentation.

Tim Sonefelt opened the afternoon session. Tim was named South Carolina Magician of the Year by his peers, the very first person to ever receive this honor! All the way from Anderson, SC, Tim has been professionally performing since 1988. His laid back style helps everyone to relax, ensuring they have a great time. When you combine a unique sense of humor with award winning magic, you have an unbeatable entertainment package. He combines music, magic, comedy, live animals, and audience participation. All that combined makes his lecture one of the best I've attended in a while.

The duo of Larsen Eisenberg and Scott Correll and close-up shows had something to please everyone. This was excellent close up magic! Larsen’s approach to magic is well oiled. He took us through some card feats that made my eyes go funny and my head spin. Sometimes you think to yourself “This is beyond me” and indeed it would be very difficult to replicate Larsen’s sleight of hand. Scott won the spectators over with some very strong and obviously well tested magical effects.

On Saturday before the evening dinner break we were treated to a Question and Answer period with Washington DC’s only Magi Shop owner, Barry Taylor. Barry’s Magic Shop is one of the largest magic emporiums in the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. Barry delivered as only he can do, polished and professional with decades of magic performance. He started with his own performing background and went on to tell told us about his shows, TV appearances and forced relocation of his shop. Barry performs close-up and stage magic, having traveled across Europe and toured Japan four times. With his wife Susan, they performed in their own critically acclaimed "Psychic Ghost Theatre" production, which successfully entertained and mystified audiences for many years. There is so much to learn from this icon. What a treat this was.

At 6:30 PM before the evening Gala Show was to begin, walk around magic was provided by Ring 50’s Larry Lipman, Sam Brothers, Larson Eisenberg, Dwight Redman, Louis Hofheimer, Bert Udovin, and Matt Hiller. Everybody was seated at 7:30 PM. In a most professional manner, our emcee for the evening, Bob Carnathan, announced the opening act, The Magic of Michael Lair from Canton Ohio. Next was Bob Sanders, from Alabama with his charming Southern American cadence, he took us all into his light humorous type of magic using silks and doves with tremendous skill. Ruth Rice Crone from Silk King Studios assisted him. What a delight. Then came Tim Sonefelt with his non-stop visual gags and magic. The audience roared with laughter throughout his act, well done! IBM Ring 50’s own Dwight Redman, Washington DC’s Magician of the Year, winner of the Dan Lacey Trophy, presented magic that was entertaining and so slick the only way to describe Dwight’s act is “Pure Gold”. Closing the first half of the show was Michael Taggert by levitating himself above the stage. After an intermission Scott Correll from Pennsylvania entertained us with his comedy puppet and magic. Krendl & Company closed the Gala show with many large stage illusions. Paul, with the accom­paniment of his wife, Leslie, took full con­trol of the stage as they performed to put the audience in complete amazement. While Paul was performing, Leslie, a professional ballerina, would hand him his materi­als and dance around on stage. She participated in most of the tricks, which included getting cut in half and a Metamorphosis. Krendl and Company is currently the third largest magic group in Virginia.
~~ Bob Patterson

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Ring 50 “Spring Cleaning” Auction Draws A Crowd at April Meeting

Before the auction began Dick Christian (Christian the Magician) performed for the 61 members of the audience one of the last remaining and operational Blooming Rose Bushes.
Our auctioneers Dick Christian and IBM Past President, Bill Wells did a fantastic job demonstrating the live auction items and getting the best dollar. Overall lucky bidders got some fine magic equipment. Lucky bidders walked off with some of the interesting pieces like: A Square Circle, Spear Thru Head, Guillotine, Silk Production Box, Spirit Slates, Dove Vanish Box, Fire Purse, Mental Epic, and a collection of Eugene Burger Books, just to name a few. Louis Hofheimer (Capt Token) was top bidder for a collectors item T-Shirt from the former Al’s Magic Shop. Dwight Redman was the lucky bidder for a Kollossal Killer Wallet, another hard to find quality item. Mike Leggett tied up Abbott’s Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks. Eric Henning struggled to the top with a high bid for a 22"x33" framed Magic Castle Lithograph by Terry Lamb. Louis Meyer was happy to see his Ian Adair’s Crown Jewel get lots of bids bringing in four times more than he expected. Eighty-four items sold in the auction netting the Ring $171.30 in fees and donations for the Ring Treasury. Twenty-four items were sold in the live auction and sixty nifty magic items in the silent auction.

Magi-Whirl 2007 Is Happening April 13 & 14
This years Magi-Whirl events have some of the finest lectures and performers that you won’t want to miss. If you haven’t paid for your registration, you can do it on-line until April 10th. After that you will have to pay at the door. The registration fee is $50. If you only want to attend the Saturday evening Gala Show featuring the Magic of Krandl & Company, the Amazing Humorist Tim Sonefelt, Magic by Bob Sanders, the Magic of Michael Lair, Magician Extraordinaire Michael Taggert, DC Magician of the Year Dwight Redman, and Magical Master of Ceremonies – Bob Carnathan, the cost is $10. Cash or checks are only acceptable at the school. Make checks out to IBM Ring 50, there is no ATM available.
Directions to Magi-Whirl - Using I-495 (Beltway):
Take Exit 176B (Telegraph Rd. North). Follow overhead signs to Duke Street West (Route 236 West/Landmark). At the 2nd traffic light, turn right on Cambridge Rd. and then an immediate left. Drive a very short distance up the hill to Bishop Ireton on the right. Use the very first entrance to the parking lot. Entrance to Magi-Whirl is at the far end of the parking lot.

Other Ring 50 News
Jeffery Sobel was voted into the Ring on April 4th. In the wings waiting for membership into Ring 50 are: Gabriel Brehm, Jay Krasnow, and Terrance Moran. Pending IBM membership is Jeff Dionise, and Teresito Malicse. Dave Gregory of Georgetown has expressed an interest in joining Ring 50.

2007 Dues Due
Fourteen 2006 members have not come forward with their dues for 2007. The Constitution and By-Laws state: “Article II, Sect 4, Any member whose dues are three months in arrears shall be automatically suspended.” Suspension will be effective in May. If you don’t have a 2007 membership card, better get one soon. The $15 dues may be sent to Bob Patterson, Treasurer, 3450 Wainscott Place, Lake Ridge, VA 22192-5263. Make checks payable to IBM Ring 50.

Nominations for Office
Wow! Time flies when you are having fun. Another year has gone by. Next month, May, we will hold our annual election for officers. At the June meeting the officers will be installed. Those nominated are: President, Mike Taggert, Vice President, Louis Myer, Treasurer, Bob Patterson, Secretary, Laurie Curry, Sergeant-at-Arms, Reggie Rice, Director at Large, Don Freedman, Director at Large, Bill Wells and Director & Past President Dwight Redman.

Sharpen Your Skills – Two Contests Coming
May 2 Meeting - Magician of the Year Competition
May’s Ring 50 meeting will feature our annual Dan Lacey Magician of the Year competition open to all members. If you want to compete begin your planning now. Each magician will be given seven minutes to a maximum of nine minutes for his or her performance. Competitors will be judged on such things as performance skills, entertainment, and originality. All performers will need to be paid up members of IBM Ring 50 in order to compete. The competition honors the memory of the late Dan Lacey, a former Ring 50 president, who inspired members to explore their limits in performing magic. A bequest from his family and his workplace provided a rotating trophy, which is awarded to each year’s winner. Potential competitors should contact Ring 50 President Dwight Redman.

June 6th Meeting - Winton Carroll Award “Most Humorous Magician”
This is a new contest with a $100 award for the magician showing a ‘bit of humor’. Contest will be held each year for the next five years and will be separate from any other contest. The winner will be determined by "people's choice" in which each member of the audience has the opportunity to vote for the comedy magician of their choice. The one with the most votes wins. Ballots will be made up the day before the meeting once all the contestants have applied. This contest is open to all members. Apply to Dwight Redman for the Winton Carroll Contest.

~~ Bob Patterson