The Master of Illusions Live Show made a stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday, October 20, at Forest Hills Public Schools Fine Arts Center. A handful of Ring 211 members were in the audience to witness a spectacular show. Among the audience attendees was PIP June Horowitz. Even at 103 years young, there is no stopping June from the magical arts! Her friend Diane Downs, the mother of B. J. Mallen (Abbott’s Magic Company), drove up from Colon, Michigan to attend the show with June. June was also recognized by Jonathan Pendragon during his segment. Here is a pic of June Horowitz with the cast.
Top row: Michael Turco, Trino Schincariol (Ring 211 member who was part of the show’s October tour), Tom Burgoon, and Greg Gleason.
Middle row: Farrell Dillion and Gay Blackstone (Executive Producer).
Bottom row: Jonathan Pendragon and June Horowitz.
Photo taken by Jeff Brodrick. He is with June in the other photo.
For our October workshop Jeff Brodrick brought in a few videos of Don Alan’s “Magic Ranch TV Show.” This show ran for thirteen episodes in 1961 on the ABC network. In the selection we saw Senator (Clarke) Crandall and Jack Gwynne. Thanks Jeff.
Tonight was Table-Hopping Round Robin in preparation of the upcoming Hocus Pocus Party (report to soon follow in upcoming edition). It will be the 30th Edition. Bill and son Christian Rasmussen (who will be one of the featured acts on the cabaret show of the party plus join together in performing strolling magic) performed an astonishing card routine called “Whitewash” (by Auke van Dokkum) from Card Shark. MagicBob Zoerman (in which the club . . . should have done this years ago . . . was just named Ring 211 Chaplain) presented a mind boggling challenge involving a spectator to lift three decks of playing cards. This was a weight challenge. He also performed a lottery type routine in which he matched the lucky number. Jeff Brodrick performed “Houdini’s Influence” (a photograph card routine) and a his Card Printer (a card silk routine). Randy Baker had his grandson Julian Leeball (5 years old — who will join him in performing strolling magic at the Hocus Pocus Party) impressed us with a three-shape prediction. Then Randy continued with another card selection and matching prediction along with a double prediction revelation. Wayne Ramsdell . . . oh boy . . . intrigued us with a string and ring routine and followed with a nut magically screwing itself off of the bolt. Dr. Jack (Happy Jack) Vander Wal performed Doc Eason’s “All Screwed Up!” This is a fabulous nut and bolt routine. He followed with Norm Nielsen’s (Japanese) Chop Cup Tea Cup Routine. Dennis Favreau closed the evening off with a thumb cuff escape, a two card transposition, and a dandy ribbon and finger ring routine.
Another night of magic and fun. Thanks to the performers and all who participated.
On September 10, Penguin Magic brought the Michael Ammar Experience to Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Experience has been happening in various cities and the last stop was Grand Rapids. Even though this was not a Ring event, many Ring 211 magicians attended and magi were drawn from all over the West Michigan area and even from as far away as Bay City. This was Michael’s fifth appearance in Grand Rapids over the last four decades. Brent Braun was demonstrating and selling his favorite Penguin products. The event took place at the DoubleTree Airport Hotel on the southeast side. In short,The Experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn magic hands on and up close. It was three hour hands on learning experience where he taught not only how it works but why it works. Michael was one of the lecturers at the I.B.M. convention in San Antonio which was reviewed in the September issue of “The Linking Ring.” A big thanks to both Penguin Magic and to Michael. Ring 211 member Jesse Shira summarizes the Experience by writing the following:
The lecture was really well planned out. Michael said he was going to do two hours worth of magic at the start and the lecture went about 3 and a half. And after that he stuck around just to talk with anyone who had questions, wanted to show him something, take pictures, anything really. He shared a multitude of magic for every skill level ranging from an absolute beginner to the polished pro. There was a nice Q & A at the end where he talked about a bunch of things, including practice tips and stories about The Professor and the differences of performing on Johnny Carson and David Letterman. At the beginning he said he wanted this lecture to be better than his “Better Than Live” video tape series, and I say he did it. When signing up on the Penguin Magic website they don’t call it a lecture, they call it an experience, and that is exactly what it was, an experience nobody there will forget.
The September workshop was presented by Jeff Brodrick. Jeff has interest in magic on TV and on film. He showed us excerpts of the following: “The Magician,” Thomas Edison filmed, February 28, 1900; “Magic Ranch,” 1961, starring Don Alan featuring Ralph Pierce and John Hurtz; “Cardini Festival of Magic,” 1957; and Slydini on “The Dick Cavett Show,” 1977. We enjoyed these moments of magic history and thank Jeff.
Tonight was Tarbell Night. Magi were encourage to perform a routine from the 61 (plus 32 added later) chapters of the Tarbell Course. MagicBob Zoerman performed Magical Bow Tie Knot (volume 1, page 374), Al Baker’s Handkerchief Through Arm and instead using a rope going through his neck (volume 1, page 385), Chefalo’s Knot (volume 2, page 358), and a bill vanish as a prediction using Buddha Papers Mystery (volume 7, page 202). Jeff Brodrick followed by magically dissolving a coin known as The Vanishing Coin In Glass. Another night of magic and fun was had. We also thank the performers.
In August, we do not have either a board meeting nor a regular meeting because we have our annual picnic. Once again, it was held at Dr. Jack Vander Wal’s back yard which blends into Crystal Lake. Members, their friends, and family members arrived just past 2 PM on Sunday, August 21, which happened to be a beautiful sunny day. Members brought salads and desserts. The club furnished the dinnerware, soft drinks, burgers, and hot dogs. Those who attended chatted among each other about their summer activities, the latest on the magic scene, and a few magi performed a close-up trick or two. Dr. Jack Vander Wal grilled the burgers and hot dogs (no he passed that down to me now). Jesse Shira assisted in the serving. The food was delightful and enjoyed by all. After the meal, an impromptu show was put on.
I began the show with the Princess Card Trick rolling out as a banner (marketed through Michael Mode). Gary Oisten performed his classic version of Signed, Sealed, and Delivered. Wayne Ramsdell humored us with his card selection and find routine which involved many piles and adding of cards. He successfully found the chosen cards. Jeff Brodrick amused us with a succession of diminishing fans and back. MagicBob Zoerman amazed us with a lottery tickets routine. Somehow, he had the winning number. Dr. Jack Vander Wal performed Sight Unseen by Joshua Jay. Bill and son Christian Rasmussen impressed us with their card skills and brilliance. Christian took a few seconds to scan the entire face up deck spread. Then two cards were chosen. The cards were mixed, shuffled, and cut. By Christian’s mental powers the two cards were found. As of this writing, PIP June Horowitz has just turned 103 years young! Happy Birthday June!
Once again, it was a great fun time of a picnic. Thanks to all who came and also for bringing their edibles. Hocus Pocus Party is Saturday, November 5. It is the 30th edition. All details on our web site.
Jeff Brodrick brought a magic video which many could view while socializing prior to our program. This video filled in for the July workshop.
Tonight’s program was Mentalism or Mental Magic. Jeff Brodrick opened the show with a card selection. The chosen card from this deck was found from another deck at a number Jeff called. Dr. Jack Vander Wal performed Coincidence. Ron Carnell followed by having various members call out any random number being “one” through “nine.” The numbers added to Ron’s prediction. Randy Vander Wal performed a Joker’s Are Wild card routine and Three Wave. Dennis Favreau presented a nice string and ribbon routine. The ring was blown off the ribbon twice, melted through the ribbon, vanished, and then popped back onto the ribbon. Next, he presented a card routine in which the chosen card matched the color of the backs but somehow all the faces turned to being the Six of Spades. Bill Rasmussen and son Christian thrilled us with mentally determining where a card was in a deck. Christian could “hear” where one’s chosen card was in the deck. He did this tree times after the deck was cut. He also could riffle up from the bottom of the deck to determine the chosen card. He did this with the deck behind his back. Then he could pick out of the deck from behind his back two black cards and a red card, next he did all four suits, then he laid out Ace through King. This all after the deck was cut, split, and shuffled. Ron Carnell closed the show with a dare. He successfully slammed his hand down on four bags in which the fifth one had a spike under it. Using his mental powers he avoided that bag.
Another night of magic and fun. We thank all the performers. Ring 211 hosts its 30th Annual Earl Ray Wilcox Memorial Hocus Pocus Party on Saturday, November 5. Details on the club’s web site.