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