Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Professor Hass Lectures at February Meeting

Prior the lecture, President Mike Taggert encouraged members to sell tickets to lay people for Ring 50’s annual Magi-Whirl Gala show March 29 in the 750-seat theater at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia. The show will feature Rich Bloch as the master of ceremonies. The program will include illusionist Kenrick “Ice” McDonald and the magic of Aldo and Rachel Colombini, Swami Yomahmi, and DC Magician of the Year Noland Montgomery.

Larry Hass, founding director of “The Theory and Art of Magic” program at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania, urged Ring 50 members at their February meeting to “make performances more magical” in a new lecture he has developed.
Hass, a philosophy professor at the college who is a magician in his own right, has written a new book, “Transformations: Creating Magic Out of Tricks,” which serves as the foundation for his lecture. He pointed out that experiencing magic is not commonplace but rare. “It touches your heart,” he stressed. Hass noted he personally experienced a feeling of real magic that made him exclaim “Wow!, when he saw the late Tommy Wonder, a creative Dutch magician, perform in Chicago. He then invited others to complete the declaration: “I will never forget the night I saw…” Former Ring 50 president Eric Henning said he would never forget the first time he saw Harry Blackstone Jr. on stage. Rucj Uffelman topped that by recalling witnessing Harry Blackstone Sr. perform. Sam Brothers added he was inspired when he first watched the late Doug Henning.

All eyes were on Dr. Larry Hass

Hass encouraged magicians to develop individual presentational frames for their own acts. He told the Ring 50 audience that frames should “come from your own imagination” and he emphasized that even silent presentations have frames. He also told his lecture crowd of more than 65 that some standard card moves such as the finger break, which has been used by magicians for a half century, may be “on their way out” because lay audiences now are quick to recognize the method. He added that frustration count and double lift also may be on the endangered list. While some methods are close to extinction “we can try to repair them,” he said.

New Members Voted Onboard Ring 50

Two new members were inducted as new Ring 50 members at the meeting. They are Peter Zawadzki, who has been a Yogi Magic Mart student in Baltimore and was inspired by Jeff McBride, and Brandon Tucker, a junior member who started doing stage magic when he was 9 years old. He is now interested in close-up and street magic.
~~ Jim Flanigan

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