Ring 211 March 2019 Report

Gary Laundre’ presented our March workshop. It was on “dice magic.” He informed us how we can use dice in our magic in ten ways, many of which he performed and then explained. Highlights were: 1) Ball to Jumbo Die (sponge die), 2) Die Through Die, 3) Die Smashed, 4) die in a hand vanish, 5) the famous two in one hand, one in pocket to three in one hand, then two in one hand to a big die finish. He continued with 6) pictured dice vanishing off of a paddle and back, 7) chop cup routine using a die with a larger two dice finish, 8) cup and ball routine using dice,9) Benson’s Bowl Routine using a sponge die and dice with a larger die finish, 10) using sponge dice instead of sponge rabbits in the classical sponge multiple rabbit routine. Also with the chop cup routine mentioned, Gary made his own sponge dice and gimmicked chop cup. One could even gimmick a coffee cup. Gary did have some items to sell, including some sponge dice, the Die Through Die, and the Die Smashed. Thanks Gary.

Tonight was Comedy Magic Night with emcee Ron Carnell. Gil Scott opened the program with Killer Spoon, a spoon bend routine by Thom Peterson who we just had as a recent lecture. Ring President, Jeff Brodrick as Jeffini presented a dryer sheet gag and then a card prediction routine in a top hat. Ron Carnell performed a truth or lie routine involving six various colored marbles which were placed in a bag and Ron was able to determine by how each person answered his questions who had what color marble. MagicBob Zoerman showed us his “Magic For Dummies” book and then performed a stunt rabbit routine in which the puppet changes face. Tanyon Sanders, one of our youth members, enlightened us with a two card sign and switch routine using AGT (America Gots Talent) dramatics. Phil Gleason impressed us with his “Cyrus the Blockhead” illusion, a rope and cube penetration. Just being past St. Patrick’s Day, Ron Carnell delighted us with “Last Two Irish Match, ” a routine involving the matching of five pairs of leprechaun cards. Gary Laundre’ in an encore appearance dazzled us by smashing a globe similar to his Die Smashed and then performed a mini die box routine in which a die in case went to a mini die and then was the “exploding die.” Gerrit Craymer, who may become a member, performed a signed card and switch, including an ambitious routine.

Another night of magic, fellowship, and fun. A thanks to all our performers and to all who came.

Ring 211 February 2019 Report

Our February workshop was presented by MagicBob Zoerman. He and his wife, SuZie, had just returned from two trips. One was their trip to India again in which he performs magic shows and she does her chalk art. Two other magi also were on this trip but did a different set of cities. In three weeks, they all performed 38 shows with an audience attendance of over 50,000 people. The other trip was a tour through Israel with a native as the guide. The focus of the workshop was that MagicBob performed seven tricks which were all made in India. He also had these for sale. The tricks were: Mental Dye, Shimmed Bicycle Cards, PK Rings, Okito Boxes, Super Mental Dye — Brass, Finger Chopper, and Wonders of the World (four card prediction routine). He also had some giveaways such as card packet tricks, magic routine writings, and the like from the June Horowitz Estate Sale. These giveaways were souvenirs to remember her. Thanks MagicBob.

Tonight was High Risk Magic with Ring 211 President Jeff Brodrick as our emcee. The focus was that each performer was performing a trick which enlightened some danger. Jeff performed a torn and restored tape routine. MagicBob Zoerman presented a book test with a “hangman” scenario in which he broke away as he retrieved the book. Randy Vander Wal successfully escape from chain cuffs. Dennis Favreau really got into this topic. He invited Jennifer Elkowitz to join him in showing the crowd what “he had learned at a cooking institute.” There was an array of cooking utensils, vegetables, dog food — bagged and canned, etc. Among the demonstration, Dennis ate from a bag of dog food, put a skewer through his hand, ate some canned dog food, swallowed a few big spoonfuls of mayo, smashed a bottle and enjoyed the chewing of the pieces of glass, sliced through his finger instead of the food, and drank a glass of gasoline finishing the aftertaste with a glass of window cleaner. Freaky and the element of danger was sure displayed by Dennis!

Tonight was another night of magic and fun. We thank all who came to the meeting and, of course, our performers.

Ring 211 January 2019 Report

Oh, Jim Parkes! We blame him, that jovial fella! Many should know that Jim and Michele Parkes operate Hippity Hop Magic. Well, he did it again. It happens every year but not to the degree of this year. Jim was fooling around with what is known as snow powder. As he tripped over the cord of his running room fan (why that was on in the winter, who knows?) while holding a 2 liter bottle of lemon-lime soda in one hand and a cup of the snow powder in the other . . . he fell . . . the soda and the powder from the cup along with all the piles of powder he was packaging for shipment mixed and a combustion of produced snow resulted! When he fell (and glad he is okay), he had also fallen toward the door to the outside. That door opened and the fan blew all the produced snow out of his southwest side home and completely covered the Grand Rapids area with a winter blizzard! Schools and businesses closed, with organization events all being canceled, including our January Ring 211 regular meeting!

Of course, the above paragraph is fictitious. In short, our meeting was canceled. The magic and fun at a Ring 211 meeting will thus continue at our February regular meeting.

Ring 211 December 2018 Report

T’was the night exactly two 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. After a delicious filling buffet lunch among the lively friendly chatter, Ring President Jeff Brodrick and Gary Laundre’ performed and then taught a new dice trick. No formal performance program was set. Just a good time of food, magic (for any member who may have performed a trick informally), fun, and fellowship. Looks to be a bright and exciting year ahead in 2019! Stay tuned with Ring 211 by viewing its web site.

What a fun holiday party. We thank Michele Parkes and her sidekick Jim for their work organizing this party. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!

Ring 211 November 2018 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. The doors opened early for a flea market. Sellers were MagicBob Zoerman, Rick Howell, Jeff Veley, Jim Parkes (Hippity Hop Magic), Dave Barritt, and Steven Elkowitz. Each had an array of magic product which enticed our eyes. The flea market part was ready at 5:30 PM for any early arrivals. Just past 7:30 PM, as a tribute to the Late Dr. Jack Vander Wal, I 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. Ever since our Ring held auctions, my dad would present this sale with a unique story of how the candy was obtained. We continue this tradition. Eighty bags were filled with five pieces of special candy delights. This year the candy was provided by the First Place, People’s Choice, and Gold Medal winners of the 2018 I.B.M. Convention in Grand Rapids who were Zhou-Zhou and Yuanyuan of the People’s Republic of China. Jim Parkes and I had the pleasure of escorting them and their team to a nature center during that convention. As a “thank you,” I received a shipment of candy and somehow Dave Barritt (sent to him instead of Jim) received candy plus trick prizes too. Four 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. Over five lengthy (8 foot) tables displayed enticing magic apparatus, tricks, and books. Small illusions, various card tricks, rope, coins, and escape items appealed many. Other items were sold as package deals. Pamphlets, books, magazines, posters, DVDs, and memorabilia filled in any empty spots on the tables. All these items were from the flea market sellers and any other member who had items.

MagicBob Zoerman was the auctioneer. He 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 Treasurer Michele Parkes and I kept track of each sale making sure the debits matched the credits. P. J. Weber was our biggest buyer this year. Our biggest seller was MagicBob Zoerman with Jeff Veley following a close second, and tagging along third was Rick Howell.

Another night of fun and fellowship. The club thanks all who came and either bought, sold, and/or enjoyed the festivities. A thanks to MagicBob and Michele for their devotion to this auction. Thanks to Dave Barritt for supplying candy and trick prizes in the Candy Grab Bag Sale.

Ring Event: Ring 211 Hosts Amazing Corbin Lecture

On Sunday, November 4, the day after Ring 211’s 32nd Annual Hocus Pocus Party (see article in a recent issue), The Amazing Corbin presented his “Fair To Foul” lecture to Ring 211 (Grand Rapids, Michigan). The sub title is “The Twisted Transitions of Magic and Magicians in the 19th Century.” He has also published a booklet with the same title. The lecture was a treat to our membership. The Amazing Corbin was one of our headliners of the party and many of time, we will have the headliner present a lecture the following day. We were quite “charmed” from this “Charming Cheat” during his performance at the party. He is known as The Amazing Corbin — The Charming Cheat!

Michael Fisher, known as The Amazing Corbin, is from London, Ontario, Canada. He also is the president of Ring 265 — London Magicians Guild. Read from his poster was also “Secrets Revealed — Miracles Performed.” Also, “Commencing with magic’s humble beginnings at European fairs and markets, travel through the parlours of Victorian high society and finally onto the stages of North America where magician’s often mounted an attack on SPIRITUALISTS and the SUPERNATURAL! During this you will learn magician’s have some secrets they want to share!”

This was a historical presentation explaining how magicians transformed from distrusted street performers (liars, cheats, shady tricksters, thieves, and spiritualists), to consummate performers of skill, and most importantly, to concluding the 1800’s by debunking the foul spiritualists who were known to take advantage of the gullible and those mourning the loss of loved ones. Magicians covered were:

* John Rannie — kicked out of Scotland and America’s first magician being “a jack of all trades” performing magic, ventriloquism, bird calls, and acrobatics. His magic included cups and balls, card to leg of lamb, wooden duck to card, turning a playing card into a cat, and then he revealed his tricks.
* James Rannie — convinced by brother John to come to America and he also did ventriloquism.
* Richard Potter — born in New Hampshire and America’s first Black magician who learned from the Rannie brothers, was very nice, and began to raise the status of the performer in that era.
* Professor Hoffmann — published first book in the English language which explained how to perform magical feats, “Modern Magic” in 1876
* Pinetti — a professor of physics who performed magic tricks in class to illustrate concepts, performed card shot to ceiling, and what is known as the Troublewitt (a folding Venetian blind)
* Feuer Salamander
* Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin — a watchmaker and known for his auto-mans, considered as the father of of the modern style of conjuring, took magic to the theater to attract a higher class of people — rising card from French roulette
* Kate and Maggie Fox — from New York who talked to the dead, were spiritualists, and put on seances.
* Davenport Brothers — spirit cabinet
* John Nevil Maskeylne and George Cooke — debunked Davenport brothers and put on their own improved show, played Egyptian Hall in plays such “Witch, Will, and Watchman”
* and many more including Canadian connections

Within the lecture, The Amazing Corbin performed a cups and balls routine using two cups with the climax being the production of three tennis balls, the Troublewitt, and a spirit demonstration. The demonstration used a tambourine, a bell, and a light bulb. Multiple times, the chosen number on a die was revealed by hearing the ringing of the bell setting all alone in the near distance. The bell must have been haunted! We were on the edge of our seats.

The club enjoyed this so-called historical tour and highly recommends The Amazing Corbin, not just for his magic, but for the history he shares. One may connect with him on Facebook and at www.charmingcheat.ca/. We suggest his book, “From Fair To Foul: The Twisted Transitions of Magic and Magicians in the 19th Century” which not only includes the full script of the lecture but has much more detail and biographies of these great magicians of that era.