Thursday, December 31, 2009

Houdini Night, February Lecture Slated

Houdini Night at the January 6th Meeting
The January meeting will be Houdini Magic Night. Houdini initially focused on traditional card tricks. At one point, he billed himself as the "King of Cards." But he soon began experimenting with escape acts and became widely known as "The Handcuff King." He would free himself from jails, handcuffs, chains, ropes, and straitjackets, He later exposed séances and spiritualism. If you have magic related to Houdini and would like to perform, please email Ring 50 President Louis Meyer so he can put you on the program.

Bizzaro, The Optical Illusionist slated for February 3rd Meeting
In a world full of reality TV and lackluster entertainment, Bizzaro, The Optical Illusionist strives to open people’s eyes and prove that Different isn’t Bad. Bizzaro has performed from coast to coast and appeared on FOX, NBC, America’s got Talent, and the Travel Channel’s Extreme Conventions. "My lecture has a little bit for everyone. Anyone who has seen me before knows a big part of my lectures is about building creativity and character as well.” All of that and some new products developed and performed in Las Vegas await you so come join the party and bring a friend! The lecture is free to paid-up Ring 50 members, all other magicians $10 at the door.

Ring 50 Magic Youth International Meeting "The Counts of Conjuring"
Don’t forget to encourage a youth to attend the Ring 50 MYI. The youth meeting starts at 6:00 pm at the Holiday Inn in Alexandria. The Youth Ring is open for children ages 7-17. Please let Louis know if you are bringing any youths so that we can be better prepared for them. A Magic Youth International Ring will offer a fun, interactive, and safe environment for the young magicians. We have averaged about 5 kids per meeting but we would love to build that up.

Ring 50 Treasurer Collecting Dues for 2010
Ring 50 annual dues of $15 for 2010 are due by February. Anyone, wishing to do so, can pay their dues at the January 6th meeting. The Ring 50 Treasurer, Bob Patterson, requests that you pay by check, as this eases the record keeping. Make checks payable to IBM Ring 50. Cash will be accepted providing you have the correct change ($15). If you are unable to make the meetings, you can also send a check to his home address at 3450 Wainscott Place, Lake Ridge, VA 22192-5362. Enjoy your Ring activities throughout 2010 by paying your dues now.

Meeting Schedule 2010-2011 Update

IBM Ring 50 Schedule 2010
(as of 21 July 10)
Watch our website for updates to the schedule

August 4……….. Alain Nu Lecture - "Mentalism 2010”
“Pro Mental Workshop” before the meeting (extra charge)
September 1……. Magic by First Time Performers
October 6..……… Ken Trombly Lecture - Collecting Magic Ephemera
November 3……. Linking Reviewers Perform
December 1…….. TBA
January 5……….. TBA
February 2 ………TBA
March 2………….. Auction Night
April 6 ………….. TBA and Nominations for Officers
April 29 & 30……Magi-Whirl 2011, Washington DC, Ring 50
May 4…………….Dan Lacey Contest, and Election of Officers
June 1…………….Winton Carroll Contest “Most Humorous Magician”
Jun 28 - Jul 2 … 83rd IBM Convention, Dallas, Texas
July 6 …………… No Ring 50 Meeting

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Devious December Knight

Photo: Eric Henning

Gasps and nods of approval went around the room as salt poured out of the light bulb, which, just moments before, had been lit. Ring 50's December 2 meeting featured the unusual and clever methods of Pittsburgh's Devin Knight, a full-time professional mentalist. Devin was a protege of the late Al Mann, and has the same knack for creating devious foolers. In a direct, unadorned style reminiscent of the late Del Ray, Devin presented a number of his original magic and mental pieces, which had caused such a sensation at the recent Mindvention.

After Knight's opening gambit with the Salt from Light Bulb, he moved into mental magic, with "Poker Tells," in which a spectator correctly sorts the four Aces by suit sight unseen, and the performer reveals he predicted the outcome.

The one knuckle-buster came next, with Knight doing a slow-motion bare hand vanish of the four Aces one at a time, only to find them in his coat pocket. This "Dissolving Aces" was a beautiful piece, reminiscent of Slydini.

In the comedy magic realm, Knight offered his "Baby Gag on Steroids," in which the prediction actually does come out right at the end. The stand-up workers and emcees were very interested in this one.

Going into pure mentalism, Knight performed "Predictionary," in which a spectator's though-of word is found to be the only word circled in magic marker in a pocket dictionary. When Knight signed the page and gave the book to the helper to keep, it stunned the crowd.

Next came "Farsight." An audience helper freely chose one of twelve face-up cards, covering the remaining cards with a bandanna and placing the chosen card on top, then turning it face down. Despite the fact that his back was turned the entire time, Knight correctly identified the chosen card.

Next came "Spray Paint Surprise," in which a borrowed ring vanishes and is heard inside a can of spray paint. Knight "sprayed" the ring onto an index card and then squeezed the ring out of the card. This was a quirky piece that could be a feature in a parlor set.

"Out of Sight" is Knight's take on the David Hoy "Tossed-Out Deck," with a twist: a spectator examined and thoroughly shuffled the deck before Knight tossed it out for cards to be peeked. As usual, the method was devious and unexpected, and the necessary bits could be easily made up of things the average magician has lying around.

Perhaps the strangest item in an already-strange set was "Retro-Sight," in which printed flash cards were reflected in a mirror - and the printed words reversed themselves and could be read in the mirror!

"Around the Square" breathed new life into the venerable "Squircle," turning it into an ESP card revelation. When it was obvious that the helper had chosen the circle, but Devin had cut a square into the newspaper, he unfolded the paper. When the square cutout visibly and instantly changed to a circle, an audible gasp went around the room.

In "Deal or No Deal," Knight revealed the duplicate of a freely-chosen card inside a simple ungaffed cardboard box. This example of ultra-clean mental magic has been making the rounds of the message boards, and it really is as good as it it sounds.

Knight closed with "Food for Thought," in which a helper's menu choice is revealed to match the performer's, and "Chess Gambit," a super-clean prediction of a chosen chess piece.

Although each routine was available for purchase, Knight did explain in detail how to construct all the necessary apparatus, so it was not essential to buy anything. However, Ring 50 members swarmed the sales table at the break and again at the end of the evening.

For Knight, it was the end of a two-month, 24-city tour. For some Ring 50 members, it was the beginning of their work in mentalism.

NEWS: Click here to read the December 2009 Magi-Gram.

Free Magic Show Dec. 20th in Maryland

Ring 50 members, Theo Rushin is mounting a free magic show show in Germantown, MD, on Sunday December 20, 2009 at 4 p.m. at Lake Seneca Elementary School. Ring 50 Sergeant-At-Arms Tom Paxton and past President Dwight Redman will also be featured in this family show. Tell your friends! Full info is at

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Children’s Magic Presented at the November Meeting

Seventeen children and forty adults packed the meeting room at the Holiday Inn in Alexandria to watch members of Ring 50 perform “Kids Magic”. President Louis Meyer was the lead-off magician. He introduced his friend “Rodney” who perched upon a lota bowl. Louis emptied the bowl throughout his act and the bowl appeared to hold gallons of water.

Lorenzo the Great” (Larry Lipman) got on his knees and entertained the littlest of the kids with a silk routine. Each of the little kids held a silk and helped “Lorenzo the Great” make it disappear. He followed this with a Jasper the Ghost Halloween routine.

Noland Montgomery performed a miser's dream routine using a boy from the audience as a helper, plucking coins from the boy’s ear, shirt, elbow, collar, and hair, and then finishing with a stream of coins from the boy's nose. This was followed by a puppet routine using a rabbit-in-hat puppet named "Chester," who did exactly the opposite of everything Noland told him, to the hysterical delight of the audience.

With Hippity Hop Rabbits, "Whitey" and "Blackie", John Roberts had the kids screaming "turn them around" - adults laughing - the kids yelling - "No, The other way!” Then at the end there was absolute silence when the surprise ending occurred with the back side of "Whitey" and "Blackie" rabbits were now red and green.

Dwight Redman performed 'Dots Impossible' showing a two-sided giant domino card with a spot on one side and four spots on the other. He turned the domino card back to the first side- now there were three spots instead of one! He turned it over again, and now there were six spots instead of four! If that wasn’t amazing enough, he pretended to "teach the secret" to the audience. Just when they thought they knew how it's done- there were now eight spots on the card! Then Dwight performed his version of Martin Lewis’ Cardiographic. The magician had a spectator select a card and then he took a sketch pad and began to draw what he believed will be the selected card. Then he told the audience that it is really just the deck of cards he was drawing. As if by magic, the chosen card appeared from the sketch of the deck! Then the sketch is torn from the pad and given to the spectator to keep!

Bob Mills (special guest) did some funny gags then a routine in which the Mom knew ahead of time which color Peanut M&M would be taken out of the bag by her son, and then the remaining M&Ms all changed to her chosen color, blue.

Past President Eric Henning folded a handkerchief into a mouse, then wound it up (to the delight of the kids) and chased it around the room as it jumped out of his hands. He then told a story (set to music) about a kingdom without colors, and had the children collect the colors from their clothes and toss them at a tube and a black-and-white flower silk became colored and grew to four times its size. His energy kicked the show up a notch.

Theo Rushin presented his version of the Benson Bowl routine with a young lady from the audience. This is a true classic of magic in which sponge balls magically disappear and reappear one at a time under an inverted bowl.

Dick Christian did two effects, his classic egg bag routine with a girl (Sarah) and boy (Robert) from the audience. Then after producing several colorful silks he produced a seldom-seen classic live rabbit ("Snowball, the Magic Bunny") from his empty top hat. At the conclusion of the show, the children were invited to the stage to pet “Snowball”.

Click here to read the November Magi-Gram Newsletter.

Ring 50 Welcomes New Members
Three new members were voted into Ring 50 on November 4, 2009. Robert Brantner is an amateur magician and a pilot with the airline industry. He hails from West River Maryland. Herb Hughes form Alexandria Virginia is an orthodontist and became interested in magic in 1990. He started performing illusions for his patients and subsequently performed at elementary schools, Fall Festivals, Christmas shows and dental illusions during Dental Month. Greg Szlyk, from Fredericksburg Virginia, has been interested in magic since he was a child. He is most comfortable with close-up magic with coins and cards. Congratulations to these new members of I.B.M. Ring 50.

Devin Knight to Lecture at the December 2nd Meeting
Devin Knight’s lecture is a combination of comedy, close-up stage magic, and mentalism. He has something for everyone. Devin has a long list of effects to be taught during his lecture. Items such as: One-By-One, Tele-Food, Impossible Prediction, Sanda-Panda, Improved Baby-Gag, Around The Square, Salt To Bulb, Random Thoughts, Predictionary, Paint Surprise, Borrowed Ring To Light bulb, Farsight, Psychic Spectator, Chess Gambit, The Best Of Al Mann, Plus other surprise items to be added. The lecture is free to paid-up Ring 50 members, all other magicians $10 at the door.

Magi-Whirl 2010
Bob Patterson reminded members to register early for Magi-Whirl 2010 to save. Magi-Whirl will be April 9 & 10, 2010. The headliners for the two day event are: Duane Laflin, Sammy Smith, and Jim Sisti. There will be four lectures, plus three close-up performances, and a 90 minute Gala evening show.

Ring 50 Treasurer Collecting Dues for 2010
Ring 50 annual dues of $15 for 2010 are due by the February. Anyone, wishing to do so, may pay their dues at the December 2nd meeting. The Ring 50 Treasurer, Bob Patterson, requests that you pay by check, as this eases the record keeping. Make checks payable to IBM Ring 50. Cash will be accepted providing you have the correct change ($15). If you are unable to make the meetings, you can also send a check to his home address at 3450 Wainscott Place, Lake Ridge, VA 22192-5362. Enjoy your Ring activities throughout 2010 by paying your dues now.

~ ~ Bob Patterson

Friday, September 04, 2009

Old Dogs, New Tricks in September

For September we had 43 people including many guests. Magi-Whirl Chairman Mike Taggert awarded certificates of appreciation to the 2009 volunteers.

The senior member of the Board of Directors, Don Freedman (above, on left), gave President Louis Meyer (on right) a plaque in appreciation for being the president for 2008-2009.

Two new members were voted into Ring 50. Bob Wieman of Alexandria, VA dabbled in magic since the age of 6 and has taught magic since 1991. Bob was a member of Ring 50 from 1995 to 1997. John Whitney of Alexandria, VA performed over 300 magic shows in High School and College.

Our theme was "Try A New Trick" and Noland Montgomery performed Richard Sanders' "Visi-bill," a variation on the classic bill switch in which a $5 bill visibly morphs into a $20 bill, and then back again to a $5. This was followed by the Karrell Fox-Dick Stoner comedy routine in which the name of a chosen card appears on the lenses of a pair of giant glasses worn by the performer.

Larry Lipman aka "Lorenzo the Great" performed his version of Tarbell's "Flying Cards and Envelopes" updated to include a Harry Potter-style demonstration of apparition. With help from two young assistants, the audience made three selected cards out of a dozen disappear from one envelope and reappear in another.

Kevin McGuire did his own version of the "Professor's Nightmare," with some of Richard Sanders' "Fiber Optics" thrown in. This was his first performance at Ring 50, and he acquitted himself very well.

Using an assistants borrowed belt and one finger and a little plastic gimmick, John Roberts demonstrated a seemingly impossible suspended levitation. John followed this with another balancing act using a long Japanese box with three tassels on strings that passed through it (a la pom pom stick). The box was opened briefly to show the separate strings. The tassels represented "Compromise", "Happiness" and "Integrity" By pulling on the mysteriously linked tassels John showed various ways these concepts could be "Balanced".

Tom Paxton showed a helper 4 wallets, each containing one bill of different denominations. They selected one, and he was was able to determine which bill they had chosen.

Eric Henning performed Paul Green's "I Knew It All The Time," predicting chosen cards in more and more bizarre ways, until he divined a card chosen at random by a committee. He then went into the Malini Card Stab, in which three audience members looked at cards, which were lost in the deck, Henning was blindfolded and proceeded to stab each card on the point of a wicked-looking stiletto.

Geoff Weber asked a volunteer to remove a freely thought of card from an "invisible deck". Instead of revealing the card in the traditional manner, Geoff revealed a tattoo on his back that accurately predicted the selection. Next, Geoff transformed the invisible deck into a visible one, and had another card selected and returned. He wrapped a quarter in tissue paper and set it on top of the pack. The paper was lit on fire, and in a flash, it burned a hole down through the deck, stopping on the selected card.

Theo Rushin Jr.performed two effects. The first invoked a spectator's cell phone and a balloon. Pressing the inflated balloon against the phone he caused the phone to be inserted into the balloon. The second effect included a story about three mummies and a coffin. After asking the spectator to place one of the mummy statues in the coffin and hide the other two, Theo was able to correctly discern which mummy was in the coffin ...twice! This is was a great lead-in to the announcement of next month's meeting theme: Spooky Magic!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

September Meeting - Try Something New

Our September 2 meeting will be a "Try a New Trick" session. We all have something that we've been tinkering with and would like to get feedback on, or just try it out in front of real people in a safe environment. This is your chance! Get out that new trick, that old trick in the sock drawer, or that new routine for an old favorite, and take it out for a spin! To perform, contact Ring 50 President Louis Meyer.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Anatomy Lesson at August Meeting

DC Magician of the Year Dick Christian and Ring 50 President Louis Meyer gave a joint lecture, "Anatomy of a Show," at the August 5 meeting. Distilling the best advice from classic magic authors and his own 60+ years of experience, much of it as a full-time magician working primarily for adults, Dick talked about what goes into transforming magic tricks into a coherent show that will please a paying audience in the real world.

Dick talked about the dangers of "winging it;" the importance of creating scripts; how to structure comedy routines; the uses and abuses of repetition; timing; the difference between practice and rehearsal; how to choose openers, middles and closers and much more. He also very thoughtfully provided an outline of his talk, which including a suggested reading list, as well as handouts of supplemental material, such as the "24 Rules of Magic" from Maskelyne and Devant's "Our Magic."

After Dick's talk, Louis Meyer noted that there was little to add, but did share his perspective as a full-time children's entertainer. His tips on how to tweak your show to make it effective for children were very helpful. The members left the meeting greatly encouraged and with their brains completely full!

Louis noted that Washington DC’s Convention For Children's Entertainers, "Kapital Konvention," will be held on January 27-29, 2010 in Springfield, VA.

Michael Taggert reminded everyone of the great lineup of Duane Laflin, Samuel Patrick Smith, and Jim Sisti at Magi-Whirl on April 9-10, 2010

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July-August Magi-Gram is Here!

You can view, download and print out the latest issue of our monthly newsletter the Magi-Gram, here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

August 5 Meeting Will Dissect Shows

The theme for our August 5 meeting will be “The Anatomy of a Magic Show,” a lecture featuring Ring 50’s Magician of the Year Dick Christian and Ring 50 President Louis Meyer. One segment will cover adult performances while the second half will deal with kids performances. This will also be about teaching the basics of putting together a routine or show.

Monday, June 22, 2009

WInton Carroll Comedy Magic Contest in June

The June meeting began with Magi-Whirl Chairman Michael Taggert (left) presenting a HUGE check to Kevin Curry of Bishop Ireton High School for their portion of the proceeds from the Magi-Whirl Gala Public Show. We are very grateful to BIHS for their gracious partnership with us.

TVP Jim Flanigan (above, second from left) installed the new officers(from right): President Louis Meyer (not pictured), VP Arnold Fuoco, Secretary Eric Henning, Treasurer Bob Patterson, Sergeant-at-Arms Tom Paxton, Board Members Dwight Redman, Don Freedman and Michael Taggert. Congrats to all!

Next up was Ring 50’s annual contest for the Winton Carroll Comedy Magician Award. Jim Flanigan and Laurie Curry appeared as a pair of clowns named "Flim" and "Flam." They pulled a small white rabbit and a six-foot-long rabbit from their comic hats. They also produced two long strands of silk from their head ware as well as a 10-foot-long straw. They concluded their segment with a funny jumbo card effect using a sliding card frame.

An old lady took the stage, was chased behind the backdrop and emerged – as Reggie Rice! Reggie (above, center) followed with a comedy card trick with volunteers, during which the selection and a borrowed ring vanished. Reggie produced some quarters, which were put into a gumball machine to find the ring and the card. The machine jammed, and Reggie got more laughs from the struggle with the machine.

Bob Carnathan (left) did two card tricks which got progressively more difficult, with some hilarious byplay with his audience helpers.

Turley the Magician (below, left) began with an appearing wand, growing bow tie, and corsage to sunflower. He then invited a young man to assist me with the sword through the neck illusion mixed with gags and one liner comedy.

Dick Christian closed with comedy mental magic, in which he was “unable” to divine a selected card, but the entire audience received the card’s identity “telepathically” and yelled out the card on cue to the amazement of the chooser.

In the end, the audience voted for – Turley, who now has the custody of the Jester’s Staff and the title of “DC Comedy Magician of the Year 2009.” Congratulations, Hugh!

Ring 50 does not meet in July due to the IBM Convention, so we’ll see you in August for a special double lecture on the “Anatomy of a Show.”

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Ring 50 Officers 2009-2010

Congratulations to our new officers!

Louis Meyer

Vice President
Arnie Fuoco
(703) 521-6286

Secretary & Webmaster
Eric Henning

Bob Patterson
(703) 490-1222

Tom Paxton
(301) 596-7407

Magi-Gram Editor
Jim Flanigan

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ring 50 to Launch Magic Youth International Chapter

President of Ring 50, Louis Meyer, is announcing the beginning of our Youth Ring in DC. The first meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn in Alexandria on June 3rd at 6:00pm. The Youth Ring will be open for youths ages 7-17. Every meeting will teach the youth’s magic history, presentation, and a magic trick that they will practice and perform at the meeting. The meetings will run about 90 minutes. Parents can drop the children off or stay for the meeting. Every month we will have a guest magician come and demonstrate the magic trick or the magic history. Please encourage anyone you think would be interested in joining to come. The child members will need to become Junior Members of the IBM then members of our Youth Ring. There are small fees and we will go over that at the first meeting. I can promise you that we, as a club, will offer a fun, interactive, and safe environment for the youths. We will need a few volunteers to help with the meetings. Even if you can only make it to one meeting, that will help. For safety reasons we need more than one adult there, preferably a woman volunteer. But any volunteer will be greatly appreciated. Please email Louis at if you are interested in volunteering or becoming a member of MYI.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ring 50 picks Magician of Year

After President Louis Meyer opened the May meeting, accomplished IBM Ring 50 magicians competed for the annual Dan Lacey Memorial Trophy and the title of ‘Magician of the Year’ before an audience of 57 people. Dan Lacey was a former Ring 50 president (1999-2000) who was noted for promoting goodwill and fellowship. The four Judges based their selections on originality, presentation, performance, and entertainment skills. This was a top-notch contest and a very close competition by all contestants. Dick Christian was declared the winner and was presented with the Dan Lacey Trophy for his performance by Louis Meyer, and Cecelia (Lacey) Richey. Dick did his adaptation of Terry Seabrook's classic "Burned Bill to Wallet." He borrowed a $100 bill, used three envelopes and put the bill into one of them, after mixing them up he then labeled the envelopes and two were selected by the volunteer to be burned. The remaining envelope which was thought to have the bill was shown empty. Dick gave his wallet to the volunteer and the bill was found inside a stapled cardboard holder in the wallet.

Dwight Redman did a prediction using 3 different colored envelopes. The woman chose yellow, a man chose blue, and magician left with red. The Woman’s prediction in the envelope said she would choose yellow, the man’s envelope said he would choose blue, the magician’s says the woman will choose yellow, the man will choose blue, and the magician will be left with red. Then he then did a version of Sidewalk Shuffle – a 3 card monte. Next he introduced a Star Trek plot with selected Star Trek card appearing in a nest of boxes and a bottle.

Theo Rushin Jr. performed as a laid off worker who suddenly find pleasure in doing magic for the people on the street. After pulling a mug full of water from an apparently empty paper bag he began with finding and pulling an unusually long piece of rope from his sleeve and pants legs. Then he performed a series of rope and ring-n-rope tricks. He concluded with taking out a wad of one dollar bills from a wallet that was once on fire. He changed the one dollar bills into a hand full of five dollar bills.

The contest included last year’s winner Nolan Montgomery. After magically producing a deck of playing cards, Noland performed a version of "multiple selection" involving the entire audience which he divided into 6 teams. He had each of the teams pick and remember a card. He ultimately revealed each chosen card in rapid-fire succession, including, in one case, using ‘sleight of nose,’ and in another, causing a selected card to shoot out of his hat.

Tom Paxton did an optical illusion routine with business card. Two volunteers assisted with a random number divination using a dice and a divination of a volunteer’s emotional connection or experience.

Reggie ‘Supermagicman’ Rice came on stage with his Michael Jackson style dress and dancing to MJ song Danger doing productions of silks, flowers, fans, cane, and some sleight of hand with a billiard ball. Ending with a production of the USA flag and a large fan.

Arnie Fuoco used a magic light at his finger tips to change a red rose to white rose, to make color changes to a Chinese coin, and a white rope to a red rope. The magic light was also use to change the colors of a CD and a scarf. He used the finger tip light in conjunction with a coloring book making the colors appear and then having all the pages turn blank. He ended the light show by filling a bag with lights and causing them to disappear. He then produced playing cards out of thin air, ending with a double fan of jumbo cards.

Eric Henning opened with a dollar bill that multiplied, into many bills. The last bill was a million-dollar bill which he then ripped it up, ate it, and it became a 50-foot money streamer. Next Eric did a strong elegant Linking Ring routine with Japanese music from the early 1900's. His finale was a story about bubbles ending with a bubble visibly becoming solid.

Rick Beatty ended the competition with an ugly, rainbow-scaled fish that he called Sebastian the Psychic Salmon to predict the name of a playing card chosen by a young audience member. The first attempt was wrong, but the regulation size card grew to about a foot in length with enough pips to be correct.

JUNE 3rd MEETING - Winton Carroll Contest

Get ready for the June 3rd meeting and present your comedy magic material for the “Most Humorous Magician” contest and win a $100. This Winton Carroll Contest is open to all Ring 50 members. This contest and meeting will be conducted in the Dinning Room of the Hotel. Winner will be chosen by popular vote (please bring a pencil or pen to mark the ballot). Contact Louis Meyer ( or ph. 703-765-1923) if you want to compete in this contest. Let us know a week before the meeting so the ballots can be printed.

Also at the June 3 Meeting - New Officers to be Installed

The newly elected Executive Committee shall be installed during the June 4th meeting. Officers are: President, Louis Meyer; Vice President, Arnie Fuoco; Treasurer, Bob Patterson; Secretary, Eric Henning; Sgt-at-Arms, Tom Paxton. The Board of Directors are: Don Freedman, Dwight Redman, and Michael Taggert. Jim Flanigan, IBM Territorial VP, will conduct the installation.

~ ~ Bob Patterson

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Magi-Whirl 2009 - A Smashing Success!

Comments received on the surveys: “Jeff McBride was fabulous”, “Jeff’s lecture was the best-great!”, “Loved Sam Brothers lobby close-up”, "Best magic convention I ever attended," Mike and Bob really did a great one!” If you didn’t get to attend Magi-Whirl 2009 you missed a really great convention. You can see more photos and stories in the May Magi-Gram. (Just click on the "More" tab in the frame just above the "M" in "Magi-Gram" to print it out.)

145 magicians and magic enthusiasts descended on Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria Virginia to participate in the IBM National Capital Ring 50’s annual Magi-Whirl. The honored guest was Joan Caesar, International President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and Bruce Kalver, National President of the Society of American Magicians. Mike Taggert, Event Producer along with Bob Patterson, co-producer orchestrated the attendees through three lectures, three close-up shows, a question & answer session, and a Gala Evening Magic show.

Paul Green, Magic Castle’s 2008 Close-up Magician of the Year; Jeff McBride, The Academy of Magical Arts (The Magic Castle) 2008 Lecturer of the Year, and Bruce Kalver, SAM National President presented outstanding lectures, which the attendees took away many ideas and techniques to enhance their own act. The lectures were a great way to start off the convention. Close-up shows were presented by Jeff McBride, Paul Green, and Bill Warren.

Between events, there were ten excellent dealers to provide the latest magic props, supplies, and equipment for every magic buff from beginner to the seasoned professional. The dealer’s show was an excellent show within itself demonstrating the latest in magic. The dealers were Jeff McBride, Bob Sanders, John Reid, Mark Reed, Pravin Ponnuri, Richard Hughes, Scott Correll, Fred Mitchell, Bruce Kalver, and Paul Green.

This year’s Question and Answer Session with Joan Caesar, I.B.M. and Bruce Kalver S.A.M., was very interesting about the ways they got into magic. Mike Taggert served as moderator for the session. Joan, from Eastern Canada and has traveled the world since assuming the helm as the IBM’s International President, confessed she loves magic conventions. SAM President Bruce Kalver was literally born into a world of magic. His grandfather, Samuel Woolf, was a magician who built magic for Harry Houdini. Volunteers from Ring 50 helped in various areas to contribute to the highly successful convention. Other honorees appearing at the convention were Al & Rita Cohen and Magic Castle Performing Fellow Howard Schwarzman & Patty Moore-Ott.

Strolling magicians, under the direction of Dwight Redman, were in the lobby of the theater performing feats of magic for the 600 people as they waited for the doors to open to the Gala Show. Magicians working the lobby were Captain Token (Louis Hofheimer), Dwight Redman, Rick Beatty, Eric Redman, Sam Brothers, TEO (Theo Rushin), and Lorenzo the Great (Larry Lipman).

The closing Gala Show performance was out of this world. The emcee for the evening program was past Ring 50 President Eric Henning. Four-time DC Magician of the Year Noland Montgomery, was the opening act. Up next was Bruce Kalver with Joan Caesar followed by Eric Henning. After the intermission Jeff McBride put on over an hour of great magic with his excellent stagecraft and sheer mastery of illusion which astonished the audience. A young boy named C.J. selected by McBride from the audience was brought on stage by the superstar. The youngster caught the performer off guard as he mimicked his every move and drew loud applause for his delightful bows.

On Sunday, Jeff McBride presented his Masters Workshop to the pleasure of 32 magicians. Jeff shared his own life story and lessons learned along the way to becoming a Las Vegas headliner and noted performer around the world. Everyone gained exceptional techniques and knowledge from the teachings of McBride. His acclaimed workshop combined magical performance, interactive participation and fascinating insights and stories to teach the attendees how to think and perform like a magician. McBride revealed inside secrets of how magic REALLY works. Not merely an explanation of tricks, but the psychology that can be applied in the everyday business world to achieve magical results. Picture are Jeff McBride and Danny Selnick.
(Photos by Becki Wells, Dwight Redman, Bob Patterson, and Jim Flanigan)
~ ~ Bob Patterson

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

From the President of Ring 50

Hello all. This email is announcing the beginning of our Youth Ring in DC. Our first meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn in Alexandria, where we normally have our meetings, on June 3rd at 6pm. The Youth Ring will be open for children ages 7-17. I will run the Youth Ring for now. Every meeting will teach the kids magic history, presentation, and a magic trick that they will practice and perform at the meeting. The meetings will run 90 minutes. Parents can drop the children off or stay for the meeting. Every month we will have a guest magician come and demonstrate the magic trick or the magic history. Please encourage anyone you think that would be interested in joining to come. The child members will need to become Junior Members of the IBM then members of our Youth Ring. There are small fees and we will go over that at the first meeting. I can promise you that we, as a club, will offer a fun, interactive, and safe environment for the kids.

Now, I will need a few volunteers to help me with the meetings. Even if you can only make it to one meeting, that will help. For safety reasons we need more than one adult there, preferably a woman volunteer. But any volunteer will be greatly appreciated. Please email me at if you are interested.

In addition, if you belong to any of the other clubs could you mention it to your members?

Thank you everyone.

Louis Meyer
President Ring 50

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April Auction Activity

Fifty-three members and guests attended our annual Ring 50 auction. Auctioneers Dick Christian and IBM Past President Bill Wells did a fantastic job demonstrating the live auction items and coaxing out the best dollar. Overall lucky bidders bought some great magic equipment, videos, and publications. A Berglass book drew very active bidding but Wayne Alan gave the final bid of $250 and walked away with it. A head twister was another piece of magic that was won for only $175. After escalating bids Reggie Rice succeeded in winning a ring to gumball machine. A lot of active bidding took place on the 25 items that an anonymous magician donated to Ring 50 for the live auction. He also donated 48 items for the silent auction. Mike Wolfson took home Double Coincidence and Kevin Sievers was top bidder for a vintage Tannen’s Stars of Magic book. Altogether, it was a very busy night with a total of 272 items being sold of which 121 items were bought in the live auction and 151 magic items sold in the silent auction.

President Louis Meyer encouraged members to compete on May 6 in the Dan Lacey ‘Washington Magician of the Year’ contest held annually in memory of a former Ring 50 president. Entrants will perform following the election of officers for the coming year.

The June meeting will be a comedy magic contest in honor of Winton Carroll for the most the Most Humorous Magician.

Magi-Whirl Is Just a Few Days Away!
If you haven’t registered for Magi-Whirl 2008, do it today! The registration price is $65 for everyone. You can register and pay on our website: until April 14th. After that pay at the door.

The doors open at 6:00 PM on Friday for registration and Paul Green’s lecture starts at 6:30 PM. Dealer’s room will NOT be open until after the lecture. On Saturday the doors open at 9:00 AM for registration, admission, and Dealer room. Jeff McBride’s lecture starts at 10:00 AM.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jeff McBride Lecturer of the Year at Magi-Whirl!

The Academy of Magical Arts (The Magic Castle) has named Jeff McBride the 2008 Lecturer of the Year. I.B.M. Ring 50, the National Capital Ring, is pleased to announce that Jeff will be lecturing and headlining the Public Show at Magi-Whirl 2009, April 17-18 at Whaley Auditorium, Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia.

Jeff will also be presenting his famous Secret Session after Magi-Whirl on April 19, also at Bishop Ireton. This session is limited to 20 people and there is an additional fee.

Get full info, tickets and register at

If that's not enough, we also have the Magic Castle's 2007 Close-up Magician of the Year, Paul Green, who will be lecturing, as well as SAM President Bruce Kalver who will be lecturing and performing in the Public Show. The Public Show also features IBM President Joan Caesar, 4-time DC Magician of the Year Noland Montgomery and M.C. Eric Henning.

We also have a Close-up Session, 10 TOP dealers with LOTS of time to browse and a Special Q&A session with the Presidents of the SAM & IBM, Bruce Kalver & Joan Caesar!

Register at

Early Bird Convention Registration
$50.00 through April 1, 2009 - $65.00 after April 1
(for one person, includes convention, all lectures on April 17 & 18, Dealer Room, Close-up Shows, Q&A session and One Ticket for Gala Public Show.)

Bishop Ireton High School has a lovely 700-seat full theatre - you will want to bring your friends to the Public Show on Saturday April 18. Show-only tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door (cash only at the door) and $45 for a four-ticket Family Pack (advance only).

Tickets on the Web at

Tell your friends! DC's ONLY Magic Convention is better than ever!

Friday, March 06, 2009

March Brings “What’s New At Barry’s”

President Louis Meyer began the meeting with the indoctrination of two new members into I.B.M Ring 50; Thomas Bohacek of Haymarket VA and Theo Rushin of Germantown MD. Meyer reminded those attending that next month was ‘Auction Night’. Bob Patterson gave out the auction procedures and forms to some of the interested people in putting items into the auction. Mike Taggert, Chairman of Magi-Whirl encouraged everyone to register now before the price increase. It was suggested those attending the I.B.M. Convention in Nashville to meet one evening at the convention for dinner.

The theme for the March meeting was “What’s New at Barry’s”. The personable proprietor of Barry’s Magic Shop demonstrated a wide variety of magical items. “He brought some new things and some old things.” Barry Taylor says. “You know, what’s old is new and we have some things that are old that nobody ever saw”. He had some standard classics too that people were interested in seeing. Barry’s shop has served the Washington D.C. magic community since 1974.

Barry brought a lot of items including attractive displays of magic items, magazines, DVDs, and books. He opened with multiplying ice cream cones, turning one ice cream cone into two cones. After several cones were place into a hat, he inverted the hat and showed it to be empty. The Card Lasso or Miracle Rope routine has been around for a long time but never gets old. Barry had a card selected from a deck. Toss the cards into a hat and drop in the end of a length of rope. Give the rope a few shakes and when the rope was pulled out, the selected card was seen tied in a loop of rope! Next Barry followed with the Misers Delight Pro. He placed a paper bag on the table and reach into the air to pluck out a red light and then he placed the light in the paper bag. The light was seen falling into the bag and then settling to the bottom. He repeated several more times and had several lights shining in the bag. On his puff of breath all the lights went out. For laughs he brought out is hot book and fire wallet.

A very impressive effect was the Mental Die Prediction. A spectator was given a 3" die, made with an exotic dark hardwood and contrasting white spots. Barry turned away and the spectator is instructed to choose a number on the die, set the die on the table face up, and cover it with a cloth. Barry was able to reveal exactly what number they chose. He repeated this with various spectators and named correct the number each time. This was a fantastic addition to an elegant magic performance.

~ ~ Bob Patterson

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February Teach-In at Ring 50

President Louis Meyer opened the meeting and introduced the guests. Mike Taggert, Magi-Whirl Chairman, distributed posters he had made for Magi-Whirl 2009. He encouraged everyone to register soon for the April 17 & 18 event. Also the 4-hour Special Workshop with Jeff McBride is filling up fast and be sure to register for this too. Bob Patterson, Treasurer, introduced some changes and additions to the Ring 50 Constitution and By-Laws. These were approved by the members. Louis introduced the magical teachers for the evening: John Roberts, Arnie Fuoco, Rucj Uffelman, Glenn Gary, and Eric Henning.

John Roberts taught the rope through the neck effect which can be done with any rope, ribbon, sash, string of sausages, or whatever. John said you can play this in many ways. You can ask for volunteers to help decapitate you, or you can simply use whatever patter you choose. This effect segues cleanly into a cut and restored rope routine.

Rucj Uffelman had lots of bags and a carton of eggs to demonstrate the “Egg Bag” routines made famous by Malini, Tarbell, Senor Mardo, and others. He used Plastic eggs, wood eggs, and golf balls. He showed ways to make the egg appear and vanish, from inside and outside. He discussed the routines used by Ken Brooke, Scottish Golf Ball Bag, Tarbell, and Martin Lewis.

Arnie Fuoco presented “Paper Clipped”. A folded and paper clipped playing card (red backed) is placed on the table. A second card was freely selected from a shuffled pack (blue backed) and the spectator signed their name across the face of the card. The card was returned to the pack and the deck shuffled. Moments later, the paperclip was removed from the folded card that has been on the table from the very beginning, and shown to be the spectator’s signed card. Arnie went into great detail covering the method used including lecture notes with step by step procedures.

Glenn Gary walked everyone through an appearing ball routine using a silk. This developed into multiple appearing balls, followed by a ball switch. Each person was able to get hands on practice with the balls and silks Glenn provided.

Eric Henning gave us some very impressive coin routines. He demonstrated the fake take which enables you to secretly retain an object in one hand while supposedly taking it in the other hand. He then worked with us using a pencil and coin vanish where a coin is held in the finger tips and tapped three times with a pencil. The pencil disappears and is found behind the magician’s ear. The coin is tapped again and vanishes completely. Eric also showed the classic palm, finger palm, and others ways to palm a coin.

~ ~ Bob Patterson