Ring 211 June 2019 Report

At this meeting our newly elected officers took their positions. Dennis Favreau, President; Gary Laundre’, Vice President; Charles Bennett, Secretary; Treasurer, Michele Parkes and Phil Gleason; Sgt. At Arms, Jim Parkes; Dave Bogdan, Board Member At Large; and Gil Scott, Board Member At Large. The club congratulates these members on their elected positions.

The club also thanks Jeff Brodrick for being president the past term and Trino for being vice president. Charles Bennett, Michele Parkes, Jim Parkes, Dave Bogdan, and Gil Scott all have been re-elected in their positions. The club also thanks these members for their service of the past term. Note: The club appreciates the work that these members provided as within their term they worked with the 2018 I.B.M. Convention Committee as that year the convention was here in Grand Rapids. The I.B.M. also shared its appreciation as announced at the convention. Magic Top Hats Off to Ring 211!

For our June workshop our workshop chairman, Brad Lancaster, had lined up three or our expert magi. The combined years of magical entertainment experience between these three is well over one hundred and eighty years. Wow! The panel consisted of Dave Bogdan (our lecture chairman), Gary Laundre’, and Gil “one ‘l'” Scott. Jeff Brodrick was the moderator and had the following questions addressed. Oh, P. J. Weber was also to be part of the panel but was out performing a show. But, Jeff had gathered P. J.’s responses prior. Now that makes over two hundred and twenty years of combined experience!

* Your name and where you were born
* The first magician you saw
* The age you realized you wanted to become a magician
* The place you bought your first magic trick and what was that trick
* The length of time you have been in the magical arts
* Tell of your performance experience
* Your favorite trick and a second
* Why you like being a magician and your most rewarding part
* Most difficult magic trick
* Handling stressful situations
* Final advice to share

Here are some highlights from the discussion. For P. J. his neighbor was the first magician he saw and P. J. was three years of age. The neighbor also taught him magic. Gary mentioned Claire Cummings as his first magician. Gil Scott pointed to Lynn Miner and J. B. Bobo. Dave remembers Mark Wilson on the “The Magic Land of Allakazam.” P. J. wanted to become a magician already at age three. Gary and Dave became interested around 6 and 7 years of age. Gil caught the magic bug in his early teens. As far as performance experience, Dave began performing in his restaurant called “Bogdan’s Magic Palace” and had performed for many celebrities. Gil opened for Loretta Lynn, performed many trade shows, and early in his career performed eight shows a day on a six day schedule at Cedar Point Amusement Park. Gil did own his own magic shop called “Merlin’s.” Gary was Captain Magic on the local Bozo Show here in Grand Rapids (second longest running Bozo Show next to WGN TV 9 in Chicago), emcee’d and opened for the Statler Brothers for over seven years, other expos, Brenda Lee, and Sally Struthers. Of course, he did have a stint at Alladin’s Magic Shop before it changed to Merlin’s. P. J. has performed for four US Presidents, in sixty-eight countries, Gorbachev, and had vanished a local radio station’s (WCUZ) mobile studio with audience members touching it. He also was the headliner for the New Olympian International Show Team which helped him obtain shows world wide. Favorite tricks mentioned were the multiplying sponge bunnies, Invisible Deck, Chop Cup, Norm Nielson’s Floating Violin, Blackstone’s Sword Cabinet, Gene Anderson’s Paper Tear, and rabbit out of the hat. Most rewarding parts mentioned were the smiles, interaction, and reaction of the audience members. Final advice was “practice, practice, practice” and perform what you love and interests you; make it fun and your personality will come through. A few audience questions were addressed, in part, where are the opportunities for the the younger magicians these days.

The panel discussion was very much interesting and there more which could be written. To hear the full discussion check out the Ring 211 web site at http://ring211.org. This will appear under the June Ring Report. We thank our panel for their stories and insight.

Tonight’s program was Hanky Panky. Four us performed some kind of magic using silks. Gil Scott, generally a card guy, produced a deck from a silk so he could perform for us a card trick. It involved the chosen card which changed into the King of Clubs and then all four kings completed the routine. Jeff Brodrick produced a wand from a silk and continued with a color-changing silk through his hand. Randy Vander Wal performed a known classic, a 20th Century Silk routine. Ring President, Dennis Favreau, presented to music an enjoyable Knott’s Off Silk routine.

Another night of magic and fun with plenty of fellowship. A thanks to our performers and all who at the meeting.

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