Welcome to Ring 211

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“The Whole is more than the sum of its Parts.” Aristotle, Metaphysica written circa 350 B.C.

Welcome to the Web site for Ring 211! Our aim is to offer a more informative, more interactive site to help everyone better promote our shared love of magic. We sincerely hope you will join us in this ongoing goal.


Our Next Meeting

Our February meeting will be the Fourth Monday on the 23rd at Brann’s. Arrive at 7:15 pm starting time, or 6:00 pm for those wanting to eat dinner with friends.

Workshop: No workshop this month because of the extended program.

February 2015 Program – College Grand Slam!

Four outstanding Ring 211 magi perform a short segment and then teach the “how to” of their routines.

This will be a night to remember! Members will enjoy a combination of program and workshop through a unique round robin of 211’s finest! Professors Dave Storms (Stormenstein), Pete Stobie, Gil Scott, and Steven Elkowitz will demonstrate 1-3 effects each and then teach you how to perform each. Keep an eye on the Ring 211 website for a list of any materials you might need from home for the workshop. The meeting this night will start at 7:15pm so the 2 hour workshop can start sharp at 7:30pm. MC Pete Stobie

Our four Professors Steven Elkowitz, Gil Scott, Pete Stobie and David Storms have requested that each of you bring the following items to the meeting for use during the lecture portions of the Slam.

You will need the following items:

2 full decks of cards of the same color (a couple of the cards will get ruined).
a deck of cards
2 contrasting coins like a half dollar and English penny
7 half dollars if possible or 7 quarters may work also
1 quarter
2 dimes
2 coffee cup sleeves (contrasting if possible, 1 each from 2 different places)
1 Men’s handkerchief or 1 cloth dinner napkin
1 finger ring (should be able to remove from finger)
1 safety pin
5 feet of rope*
scissors to cut rope

*will be used by more than one performer

These items will help your learning hopefully go more smoothly with a hands-on approach!

For more information and a map to Brann’s, please check the Events Page

Coming Soon!

francisFrancis Menotti Lecture

Tue, March 24th, 7:30pm – 9:30pm

Brann’s Steakhouse & Grille, 4157 Division Avenue South, Grand Rapids, MI 49548

More details to follow. Ring 211 Member Fee: $5.00. Nonmember of Ring 211: $15.00


greg-wilsonGregory Wilson lecture

Saturday, April 8 18, 1:30pm – 4:00pm (Please note date and time change!)

Brann’s Steakhouse & Grille, 4157 Division Avenue South, Grand Rapids, MI 49548

More details to follow. Ring 211 Member Fee: $5.00. Nonmember of Ring 211: $15.00


Ring 211 February 2015 Report

P. J. Weber presented the February workshop. He talked how he has his magic items in his magic table case arranged and the many types and sizes of boxes and containers (cigar boxes, Crystal Light containers, film cases, etc.). He has items arranged for quick pick-up and so as to be able to reset as he performs. Crystal Light containers are ideal for pens and wands. Cigar boxes can be used to hold doves and linking rings. Also, he uses dividers in the boxes and at times one cigar box within another. Film containers are great for retrieving vernets. He also uses duck tape to secure the boxes and containers. Other points he mentioned were that he rolls silks within shelf paper to keep the silks wrinkle free, wraps coins in silk or a cloth for his Miser’s Dream, has his show list within his table available and lists which music track to which routine, and has extra cords and batteries in their own containers ready for replacement for his sound system. Thanks P. J.

Tonight was Magic Food Buffet. One had to perform a routine involving some sort of food. Gary Laundre’ was the emcee. He began the show with a comedy Egg Bag routine which had the production of a liquid filled shot glass as the climax. Steven Elkowitz performed a torn and restored card routine which involved the corner of the card to match the rest of the card which was revealed from a Valentine’s heart within a locked box. Dalton Dewitt, a new member, impressed us with a card routine in which he used all five senses to find one’s card. The one sense that worked was his sense of taste. The card appeared from within his mouth. MagicBob Zoerman sneezed and a donut appeared from his nostrils. Randy Vander Wal performed Sandwich Surprise. Dr. Jack Vander Wal presented a chop cup routine using a china tea cup. The climax was the production of two spud potatoes. Brad Lancaster closed the show with what he called “The Stupid Bean Trick.” To music, beans appeared from his hand into an empty can. More beans appeared from a bag and into a dish. The beans were placed in the can and overflowed the can. Beans overflowing from top of the can vanished with use of the bag. Yet, when the can was turned towards the dish, water poured out of the can.

Another night of magic and fun. A thanks to all our performers. Upcoming: 31 Flavors of Magic in Colon, Michigan, presented by Ring 386. Details at http://magic-festival.com/. Also, Michigan Magic Day is May 1 through 3 in Kalamazoo, sponsored by Ring 333. Details at www.michiganmagicday.com.

Ring 211 January 2015 Report

IMG_4616Our January workshop was presented by Peter Stobie. Peter gave a short magic show with a Harry Potter theme. He was in costume as “Professor James ‘Mack’ McIlHenney.” He performed the following: Candle lit with d’Lite, Squaring the Circle, Follow the Leader (hand twist), wand twist, Two to One Glasses, Sponge Rock Gag, Boomerang Gag, Ball to Cube, Dead Man’s Finger, Skele-Grow Finger, Superman (physical push challenge), Card Illusion, Silk to Egg, and Son of Morning (lit match in hand vanish). The theme for the show was “Intro to Muggle Studies.” Professor Mack informed us that magic does have its purpose for us. Specifically, for all the young underage wizards (youth in audience) who cannot use spells outside of Hogwarts, there is no harm in using muggle magic. Muggle magic is based on mostly perception and the use of Muggle Science. After the performance, Peter gave a brief lecture on this Harry Potter Experience. Peter, his wife, and their church put on “All Night Lock-Ins” for youth groups. They have presented a few Harry Potter themes. They have presented one for a middle school age group and then another for a high school age group. His wife is quite creative with ideas and many members of their church also get involved. He does two magic segments, others present workshops such as Divination, Flying Lessons, Muggle Studies, History of Magic, Herbology, and Astrology. Snacks are served named and decorated as one were to find in a Harry Potter world. The church halls and rooms are decorated to fit the Harry Potter Experience. Peter gave a final thought for each of us as a challenge to fit magic into other themes, outside the normal genre.

Tonight’s program was Favorite Gimmick. One had to perform a routine using a favorite gimmick. Steven Elkowitz opened with a card selection routine in which he waved his hands over the deck which then magically cut by itself revealing the card flinging upwards. He performed another card routine in which the card was revealed in his hand after the deck had dropped to the floor. Ron Carnell impressed us with a cut and restored silk in newspaper. Jim Parkes dazzled us with a silk in hand vanish, vanishing a pen, and then the silk reappearing from a rolled piece of paper. Dr. Jack Vander Wal pulled a coat button from his suit jacket’s sleeve, vanished it, and it had reappeared back on the sleeve. Cassandra Heimbecker as “Professor Priscilla Peabody Perrywinkle” produced from a booklet spiders, flowers, more flowers, and then dollar bills. In fact, she magically stretched a one dollar bill. Peter Stobie humored us by pulling his finger off and restoring it, pen up his nose, and changing the color of the pen top. P. J. Weber astonished by pouring out the powder of a sweetener packet vanishing it in his hand, only to magically restore the contents into the packet. Bob Panlener amazed us by changing a one dollar bill into a five dollar bill. Wayne Ramsdell followed with a coin routine in which two coins in one hand turned to one coin in one hand and the other to another coin in the other hand. Gary Laundre’ as “Professor Elderberry Winegarden” closed the show by having his Harvey the Rabbit find a selected card.

What another night of magic and fun. Thanks to Peter for the workshop and all our performers. Michigan Magic Day in Kalamazoo this year on May 1, 2 , and 3. Sponsored by Ring 333. More at www.michiganmagicday.com.

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Ring 211 Youth Chapter January 2015 Report

The Ring 211 June Horowitz / John DeVries Magic Club is excited to start off 2015 with a new Youth Chapter meeting monthly the Friday before the regular monthly club meeting of each month. We started with an information meeting with three youth, Noah Cranson, Evan Priem and Steven Elkowitz along with two youth advisors Peter Stobie and Jim Parkes present on December 20 of 2014. Peter Stobie presented the idea for approval by the board at the January 2015 Board Meeting on January 12, 2015.

We hosted our first official meeting on Friday, January 23, 2015 from 6:30-7:45pm at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids. Youth present included, Evan Priem, Steven Elkowitz, Paul Vander Woude and Emmett Saltsman. Youth Advisors present included Peter Stobie and Jim Parkes. Ring 211 President Michele Parkes stopped in to show her support and observe the beginning of this exciting adventure. Parents and one Grandparent were present quietly observing the meeting.

Peter Stobie kicked the meeting off with some business encouraging Ring and IBM membership dues, information on upcoming meetings both Youth and Club, and explained the purpose of having a Youth Chapter. Everyone introduced themselves, shared why they got into magic and what they looked forward to from the Magic Club.

We then opened the floor up to share magic effects the youth have been working on. Evan started us off with a nice card revelation. Steven performed a nice routine where the spectator’s card leapt out of the deck. Paul performed a nice Ring on String effect he acquired from London. Emmett shared his interest in the program the “Carbonaro Effect” on Tru TV. Paul and Emmett continued to give us a play by play of several entertaining episodes by Michael Carbonaro. We then branched off into some rubber band magic where Peter, Evan and Steven shared several effects with the group. Jim shared a breakfast cereal version of dots impossible. Jim gave each youth a copy of this packet trick made up for the youth by Michele’s uncle and Ring 211 alumni Ray Bielecki.

We then talked about upcoming meetings, lectures and went around the group to have them mention one thing liked about the evenings meeting and one thing they are looking forward to for future meetings. It was a great first meeting and the kids are excited for the next meeting.

Ring 211 December 2014 Report

T’was the night exactly two and half weeks after Christmas and all through the house not a mouse was stirring, except at the China Buffet restaurant on the southwest side of town where Ring 211 held its annual Holiday Party.

Each member and spouse received a gift bag compliments of the Ring which included festive candy pieces, candy canes and a gift, such as a pair of dress socks, a bow tie, and perhaps other appealing repertoire. After a delicious filling dinner amongst the lively friendly chatter, a few of the members also performed a trick informally in small groups. Gil Scott and Jesse Shira were two which I saw from the corner of my eye. In some cases, “a teach and do.” No formal performance program today. Just a good time of food, fun, and fellowship. President Michele Parkes with assistance from “the first man,” Jim Parkes, orchestrated a white elephant gift exchange. Michele called out the so called chosen card (many a time) and the member who had that card went to choose a gift. During the second round the member could keep the gift or “steal” one from another member. Looks to be a bright and exciting year ahead in 2015! Stay tuned with Ring 211 by viewing its web site.

What a fun holiday party. We thank Prez Michele Parkes for her work designing this party. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!

Michigan Magic Day 2015 will be in Kalamazoo this year presented by Ring 333 on May 1, 2, and 3 (a three day event). Details as they develop at http://michiganmagicday.com.

Ring 211 November 2014 Report

For our November regular meeting we do not hold a workshop and the business meeting is very brief so we may have enough selling and buying time for our annual auction. Over four lengthy (8 foot) tables displayed enticing magic apparatus, tricks, and books. Small illusions such as Spikes Through Arm, various card tricks, rope, coins, and escape items enticed many. Other items were sold as package deals. Pamphlets, books, magazines, posters, and memorabilia filled in any empty spots on the tables. Even a few VHS videos were for sale, but many DVDs were available.

Before the auction began, Dr. Jack Vander Wal, had the honors of presenting the Candy Grab Bag Sale. This sale is actually attributed to Percy Abbott as he had many of these types of sales back in the early days of the Abbott Magic Get-Togethers. Seventy bags were filled with at least two pieces of special candy delights. This year the candy was purchased from a local candy maker. No challenging journey to obtain the candy as in past years. Also, almost all the bags had magic puzzles and trick prizes donated from Jim & Michele Parkes of Hippity Hop Magic. Five bags yet were a tad bit more of interest as each of these contained a one dollar bill. The bags sold faster than lit flash paper as they were fifty cents a bag or three for one dollar.

Peter Stobie and MagicBob Zoerman took turns as the auctioneers. Each used his auctioning skilled voice to force those bids to the highest potential. Many of the items sold. The sellers made their profits, the buyers were pleased with their newly purchased “toys,” and the club made ten percent of all sales. Ring President Michele Parkes and I kept track of each sale making sure the debits matched the credits. This year’s biggest buyers were P. J. Weber and Wayne Ramsdell. Our biggest seller was Rick Howell.

Another night of fun and fellowship. The club thanks all who sold and bought with an extra thanks to Dr. Jack, Peter Stobie, MagicBob, and Jim and Michele. Heads up: Michigan Magic Day will be May 1, 2, and 3 of 2015. Ring 333 (The Fox Ring) along with the Timid Rabbit & Masquerade Shop will host this three day convention titled “International Magic Days” because of three performers from France, two from Italy, one from the Netherlands, one from Canada. Details soon at www.michiganmagicday.com.

Ring 211 Hosts Shoot Ogawa & Wayne Houchin Lectures

Ring 211 Shoot Ogawa“Holy Shoot!” Yes, just not the name of his web site, but that is what Ring 211 members were saying during and after a lecture by world renowned magi Shoot Ogawa. Shoot had the pleasure of presenting a lecture to Ring 211 — The June Horowitz/John deVries Magic Club — in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Sunday, November 16.

Shoot Ogawa was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. He began magic at the age of 10. He has been featured on almost and every television channel in Japan and has performed his magic for talk shows, variety shows, and children’s shows. He has produced more than ten videos featuring his original magic. He has also starred as a character in “Magic Master”, a popular Japanese teenager comic book. Now living in the United States, he speaks fluent English and he has maintained two homes – in Los Angeles near the Magic Castle and Las Vegas.

From 1993 to the present, he has won first place in more than ten competitions. In 2002, he took first place in London’s MacMillan International Magic Convention and amazed the magic world with his Doubled-Hand Matrix and Ninja Rings routines. In March 2003, Magic Magazine featured Shoot on the cover. In the same year, he was awarded “Magician of the Year” in the Close-up Category by the American Academy of Magical Arts. In August 2003, Shoot’s biography was published in Japan.

Since moving to America, he has been featured in many major events including the famous Rolling Stone Party. He has also been intimately involved in the Japanese community. In January 2004, “Lighthouse”, one of the most popular Japanese publications named Shoot Ogawa as one of the three best Japanese entertainers in America.

Shoot is a creator and performer of beautiful magic. His original magic has been featured in many magazines and tender through his numerous videos. He’s also an advisor/consultant for TV and live events. Shoot knocked us off our feet with his magic!

Highlights of his lecture were:

  • his flip stick routine using a magic wand and a silk
  • a multi and color changing thimble production routine
  • Jumbo Three Card Monte — $20 dollar bill being produced from two of the cards
  • Numbers — multi card selection and reveal routine at the “numbers.”
  • French Drop routine
  • a mental card selection and revelation
  • 50/50 Chance — an eight card Brainwave
  • a coin and card matrix routine involving his Giza Matrix and a reverse matrix
  • Passenger Seat — an impressive coin vanish and reappearance routine using the
  • Downs’ palm but we were seeing what the person in the passenger’s view was not his Ninja Rings
  • Flash — a four Queen production including the last Queen being produced from inside the deck box which was produced right from the deck of cards
  • Co-in-ci-dence
  • a rope and knot routine including a “no ends” to a multi ends to a knotted to a single rope with use of a spectator

Shoot had his “Oh Shoot Lecture 2014 Notes” for sale, his thimbles, and the following DVD’s: White Album (with Masahiro Yanigida), Rope, Co-in-ci-dence, Easy Hard, The Ninja, Ninja Rings 30th Anniversary (with Masahiro), Thimble, Wand, and The Coins (volumes One, Two, and Three).

Ring 211 was fully delighted with Shoot Ogawa and we recommend him to any club. Also, a special thanks to him for tagging along with a few of us as we later that night visited with PIP Mike Stratman and Bill Wells at a downtown hotel to “shoot the magic bull.” They were here for a site visit for a possible future I.B.M. International Convention. I.B.M. Grand Rapids Yes!

Back by popular demand . . . Wayne Houchin!

Ring 211 Wayne Houchin with Steven ElkowitzFour days later, Wayne presented his current lecture titled “Strange Ideas.” During his lecture he shared with us how he develops and his ideas and his magic routines. His focus: a transformation of ideas.

Wayne Houchin’s work as a performance artist, magician and daredevil has made him one of the most popular and exciting mystery entertainers in the world. Wayne has been described as equal parts con-man, street magician, and daredevil. In 1999 he made headlines when he successfully escaped from a strait-jacket while hanging 50 feet above a crowded intersection – he was 16 years old. His work as a performance artist, magician and daredevil has made him one of the most popular and exciting mystery entertainers in the world. His acclaimed performance and lecture tour has taken him to more than 30 countries. He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, headlined the world- famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, made history in the Dominican Republic by stopping time during a live nationally televised stunt, and has been a guest speaker at Trinity College’s Science Gallery. He currently stars in the Discovery Channel’s Breaking Magic / Magic of Science which has been watched by more than 100 million people worldwide. More about Wayne on his web site, www.waynehouchin.com.

Highlights of his lecture were:

  • Transformation of a Torn Bill Between Two People
  • Drawing Impossible Location — drawing burned and appeared from pocket, then again and appeared from envelope held by spectator from the beginning
  • Helium — balloon controlled down and up on string
  • Unshuffling Rebecca — his version of Paul Harris’ routine, a blackjack card routine
  • a card trick not seemed to be a card trick, Influence using the Monte Cristo Deck and Houdini’s Influence
  • A Single Needle — swallowing a needle and retrieving it on a string, the preamble was tying two cherry stems together in his mouth which sets the contrast.
  • French Kiss — two separate signatures on two separate sheets of paper switch

The first part of his lecture had many of his routines in his booklet, “Remix.” His DVD’s available at the lecture were: Distortion, Thread, Indecent, Stigmata, Remix, A Single Needle, French Kiss, Influence, and Houdini’s Influence. Tycoon Cards were available from Theory 11. We were well entertained, enjoyed his lecture, and recommend Wayne to any club. Visit him at his web site.

Also a thanks to Dave Bogdan (bogsmagic@comcast.net), our lecture chairman, for this “double- whammy” of lectures.

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