On Saturday, November 3, Ring 211 — The June Horowitz/John deVries Magic Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan — held its 26th Annual Earl Ray Wilcox Memorial Hocus Pocus Party. Members sold tickets to another record crowd of nearly 400 people. Attendees came from all over West Michigan. Members, their friends and family members enjoyed a fun-filled evening of magical wonderment which included a delicious buffet dinner and cash bar, a strolling close-up magic period, sponsored raffle giveaway prizes, and a fabulous cabaret show. Again it was held at The Knights of Columbus Hall on the south end of town. This year there were attractive designed table decor themed “red, white, and blue” for the upcoming Presidential Election. Also, a program booklet was available to each attendee which showcased each act and allowed advertisements from sponsors including our own members. This event was also advertised on local TV station web site calendars, Facebook, Twitter, and was number two on Todd Chance’s Playlist in The Grand Rapids Press and on MLive.com.
Prior to the full dinner buffet and until the cabaret show, new this year was fortune telling by Bogga Kahn (Dave Bogdan), tarot card readings by Krag Ryal, and numerology by Carole Ryal. Also new this year was face painting by SuZie Zoerman and Cassandra Heimbecker as Whimsey T. Clown. Jerry Herdegen, who has always done so, provided many balloon creations to not only any kids, but to adults too. Richard Hoffmann also provided balloon creations. To add further appeal to the evening, Raven Keckler was Harvee the Rabbit walking among the tables giving a “hocus pocus” greeting.
The strolling close-up magic began during the food buffet period and continued for about an hour after the dinner. Magicians began by going to tables waiting to go through the buffet line. The following Ring 211 magi amused, amazed, and dazzled our guests: Jared Kish (youth), Roger Bus, Kellen Bogdan (youth), MagicBob Zoerman, Bill Rasmussen, Gil Scott, Ron Carnell, Charles Bennett, John Dykstra, Peter Stobie, Jesse Shira (youth), Jim Parkes, Nicholas Watkins, Wayne Ramsdell, Randy Baker, Bob Panlener, Don Tremblay, P. J. Weber, Nemencio Flores, Gary Oisten, Dennis Favreau, Dr. Jack Vander Wal, Randy Vander Wal, Vince Rosso, Bruce Wehr, Gary Laundre’, Jeff Veley, Mike McNee, and Leo Peters.
Ring 211 President Michele Parkes had each of the close-up performers stand up prior to the evening show to receive recognition. Gil Scott, our “festivities director” recognized PIP June Horowitz (still “magic- partying” at 99!). He also recognized Bob & Judie Kramer who own of Kramer International Entertainment and before their retiring years were a top notch and fast-paced international act known as Kramer & Co. This year they sponsored their first magic and novelty act contest (see previous article) and President Michele informed the attendees of the winner who not only received $500.00 but also to be on tonight’s cabaret show. Jesse Shira accepted this honor.
The evening concluded with an extremely entertaining cabaret show featuring Brad Lancaster as the M.C., Jesse Shira, Peter Stobie, Tom Coverly, and headliners Christian & Katalina from Indianapolis. Brad Lancaster opened the show with his billiard ball manipulation routine. Jesse Shira mystified us with his version of Five Card Repeat, the Prayer Stick, and the Die Box. Peter Stobie performed Gene Anderson’s Torn and Restored Newspaper to Simon & Garfunkel’s 59th Street Bridge Song and an original routine entitled Egg-Shoe-Young with the effect being an egg production. He added laughs with his comic and cartoon impressions, including Aldo Colombini’s Boomerang Gag, all leading up to Wayne Rogers’ Pinocchio’s Nose Routine with the Appearing Pole. Tom “The Illusionist” Coverly followed with a linking rope routine and had his beautiful assistant, Kim Dezonno, appear from a large flexible Square Circle. He also amazed us with Sinful (quarter penetrating a soda can) and a prediction box routine; both these routines involved much audience participation. Next, Brad Lancaster baffled us with a Silk to Egg, a Cut & Retored Rope, Multiplying Sponge Balls, and his well-acclaimed routine of the Three Card Monte. Headliners Christian & Katalina opened their act with their signature piece, Married Money. Next, Katalina (not facing us) displayed her mind reading ability by quickly naming the items taken out from various audience members’ pockets. Christian continued the mind-boggling with his Triple Prediction. They closed the show with Katalina reading a person’s mind in the future (a book test).
What another astounding Hocus Pocus Party! There are many to thank: the entire membership for selling tickets, Jim and Michele Parkes for obtaining the place and managing all ticket sales, Gil Scott and Dave Bogdan for putting the show together, our stage, close-up performers, and other artists, Bill Rasmussen for heading the sound and lighting, Charles Bennett with Jim & Michele Parkes heading the prize drawings and producing the program booklet, Dr. Jack Vander Wal with supplying the jet sets, Jeff Veley for use of his attractive backdrop, Jerry and Kathy Herdegen for decorating each table to magic affair, and to Tina Weber, and my cousin Derek Lieverdink for photos and videotaping. A final thanks to any other member who helped out in any way and to The Knights of Columbus’ staff for their pleasant hospitality. An event such as this allows Ring 211 to host many lectures throughout the year being free to its club members.
Christian & Katalina Lecture
The following day, Christian & Katalina, continued the blast of magic by presenting a lecture to our club at our regular meeting place.
Highlights of their lecture were:
- Touchstones, an equivoque routine with a twist, in which the correct stone is revealed within the correct hand.
- A routine using four decks, four chosen cards, for the revelation three top cards are the same and one differs, yet that card appears as a special card with three club pips and one diamond pip. A similar routine followed using Karrell Fox’s Out Foxed.
- PDQ — a mental telepathy routine between the magician and his partner who knows which item has been selected by an audience member. The chosen item follows either the penny, dime or quarter.
- Pandora’s Box — the same card from an envelope is revealed as the spectator’s and on the back of it, the spectator’s selected word. This was followed by another routine using the Pandora Cards.
- Parallax, an equivoque routine using four items and a half dollar coin.
- Diming You Out — person with the dime has a different card and claiming the date of the dime while the other people with other coins have their cards all the same.
- The Seven Pile Prediction by Steve Daly
- Will The Cards Match, a card matching routine (may use cards with names of your choice) using two goblets with the scenario of “fate” or “free.”
Christian and Katalina shared a few interesting and funny stories from their many performances. They had items for sale as well as Protoplasm, a recent book by Christian (2010) of which most of the routines above are illustrated along with a few essays. Also available was The Pitch — Selling The Experience, a DVD from Heller Productions. Ring 211 highly recommends Christian and Katalina to your magic club. Visit them at www.married2magic.com. Christian also writes his column Mental Breakdown in MUM magazine.