Ring 211 Hosts The Great Kaplan Lecture

the-great-kaplanAs a treat for our members and other area magi from the recent Hocus Pocus Party, Ring 211 hosted a David Kaplan Lecture. He was the headliner of the Hocus Pocus Party on November 5 and the next day presented an enlightening lecture on character development and creativity which included showmanship.

Highlights of his points were:

  • comic gag on his door handle struggle entrance and straight jacket
  • card in shoe using his crazy glasses
  • story of how he began approaching tables at restaurants
  • his coin work, appearing from his beard, false transfer, and coin balance
  • his views on videotaping one’s show, to use as enhancing “events” in one’s show
  • change of invention from his mentor Levant, process of reverse engineering
  • turkey baster playing
  • hat trick routine
  • cane balancing and how he has three lengths of cane for situations
  • perpetual ping pong mouth production, proper finger palming
  • color changing knife routine
  • Gags such as his large pill production for his Big Headache
  • spin innovation gadget for The Growing Head Illusion
  • types of volunteers he seeks
  • in depth showing of Kerry Pollock’s Media Star Sound System

He had his DVD and lecture notes along with some of his other items for sale at the end of the lecture.

We enjoyed his lecture and recommend him to any club. Dave can be reached through his web site (http://www.greatkaplan.com). Another splendid lecture through our lecture chairman Dave Bogdan.

Wayne Houchin Wows Ring 211

threadWayne Houchin apparently thought his lecture started at seven o’clock? Clearly, he hasn’t been checking our Web site often enough. He was an extremely good sport about the snafu, however, demonstrating saintly patience, and by the time 7:30 rolled around (our announced time) all the chairs were full of warm bodies with many more standing for a better view.

Lecture Chair Dave Bogden introduced Houchin, detailing his quick rise to fame (lots of compliments) before playing a bit fast and loose with the pronunciation of Wayne’s last name. The butt of Dave’s jokes laughed louder than anyone in the room, and even added a few of his own quick one-liners, setting the tone of the evening to one of fun and friendliness.

Houchin started the lecture with one of his more famous effects: Thread.

A whimsical performance of the classic effect, Gypsy Thread, fictitiously detailing Houchin’s introduction to magic as a young child, left the magician standing center stage with a two-foot length of restored string.

“As I got a bit older,” Houchin then told the audience, “I became a bit . . . stranger.”

Placing one end of the string onto his tongue, Houchin slowly began feeding the length into his mouth, until only six inches remained in view. “Mmm,” he muttered, apparently in some slight discomfort. Panning from one side of the room to the other, holding his hands up so everyone could see they were entirely empty, Houchin reached thumb and forefinger to his right eye where he grasped what, to all appearances, was the other end of the partially consumed string. Slowly, he pulled. As one end of the string emerged from Houchin’s squinting eye, the other end was pulled into this mouth, until ultimately it disappeared. And still Houchin continued to pull.

Cameras flashed repeatedly as the string continued to appear from the depths of Houchin’s eye. With slightly over a foot of string hanging from his eye, Houchin turned to the volunteer on his right. Continue reading

Duane and Mary Laflin Double-Header Lecture for Ring 211

Duane and Mary Laflin were on a lecture tour which made a stop in Grand Rapids for Ring 211. But it was a back to back stop, hence a “double-header” on October 10 and 11. One lecture was one which Duane was on tour. The other lecture was requested from MagicBob Zoerman which he saw recently at an FCM convention. MagicBob requested our lecture chairman Dave Bogdan to check if Duane could present that one too. We were so fortunate!

The requested lecture was a lecture titled “What I Learned From The Big Show (Magic Beyond Belief in Pigeon Forge) That Applies To The Everyday Show.” Duane and Mary along with a cast of nearly forty people produced and performed two shows a day which equated to about six hundred shows during last year at Pigeon Forge. Duane discussed five points on how each of us could use what we have to put in our everyday show (birthday parties, civic groups, schools, churches, etc.). He also clarified each of these points with one or two magic routines.

His points were:

  • Magic ain’t broke. The Simple and standard tricks and illusions are still enjoyed by the public. But do it extremely well. He presented a Three Card Monte routine and shared his variations.
  • The trick or routine does not have to be big to play “big.” He illustrated this with a change bag routine and again shared his variations.
  • Boxes are better than tables. He learned that space may be scarce back stage, wanted not to have a loaded coat, and for his routines to get into and out of real quick. He showed us many of his boxes and how they were designed for easy-doing. He showed us routines such as Silk To Egg, Knots Off Silk, Professor’s Nightmare and all ropes to one, and a 20th Century. Here he would have one of his nicely dressed assistance hold the box. Side point — costuming adds production value.
  • People just want to have fun. It is okay to have a little silliness. A color-changing streamer illustrated this point. Also, what emotion do I want. To create a sense of wonder, he illustrated with the Linking Ropes. No ego here. It’s about giving the audience a good time and have them experience fun. The sub point was “developing a routine.” He illustrated five learning cases with a three sponge ball routine. The final case was full costuming, various color and larger balls, attractive box and assistant, music, and patter.
  • Simple and direct is best. It is great when an audience member can explain what happened in one sentence. A simple cut and restored rope routine without all the additional moves goes over better. He illustrated with a cut and restored three knot vanish routine.

He reserved some time to answer questions. An additional point he addressed was the purpose of make- up allows your facial expressions to be seen by the audience.

Lecture number two was one he labeled as “Practical Tips For Performing Platform Magic.” This was a collection of ideas all of us are inclined to do. Some of these ideas were shared to him by respected magicians, many of which are no longer with us (Karrell Fox, Blackstone, Jr., Trevor Lewis, Jay Marshall, etc.). These came from his book Tribute, Inspiration, And Magical Legacy.

Routines performed and illustrated were:

  • Cane Vanish In Newspaper — Jay Marshall and his aspect of timing
  • Streamer To Wand To Streamer
  • Silk To Cane
  • change bag routine involving a red silk (and its “red name” gags such as scarlet) to a multi-color silk — Warren Stevens
  • Truth Or Lies Card Routine with ideas from Racherbaumer and Steinmeyer
  • Power Of Suggestion, a Three Card Monte and selected card match with a subtlety on the Hindu Shuffle
  • Deep Thoughts, a Hot Rod routine using eleven cards
  • the production of many colored silks from one white silk to a silk fountain finale
  • Seven Card Trick Prediction — Trevor Lewis
  • Coke bottle production from a rolled lunch bag
  • Duane’s Simple Thimble Trick — a thimble manipulation to a large thimble with the idea that we all should keep learning, growing, and thinking
  • Patriotic Rope Routine — Pavel and a point to use patter in the third person to make the magic more interesting
  • One-Two-One Rope, rope with four ends — excellent in beginning of show when giving announcements

For both lectures, Mary had their full line of magic, DVD’s, and books available for sale. Among the books were Deep Thoughts, Anatomy Of A Gospel Magic Show, and the one mentioned above. Among the DVD’s were Laflin & Company On Stage At “Magic Beyond Belief,” and . . . On Stage With Illusions, and . . . In A Magical Merry Christmas At Magic Beyond Belief/2010. They are working on a new show called Grand Magic In The Black Hills of South Dakota.

Ring 211 thanks the Laflins for presenting this double-header and highly recommends any lecture from them to your club. You may make contact with them at _laflinmagic@yahoo.com_ (mailto:laflinmagic@yahoo.com) . Also a “thumbs up” to our new lecture chairman Dave Bogdan.

Aldo & Rachel Colombini Farewell Lecture

Aldo & Rachel Colombini are presenting their Farewell Lecture and Ring 211 in Grand Rapids was one of their stops as well as Ring 210 in Ann Arbor and Ring 212 in Bay City. It was an evening of magic, anecdotes, comedy, and entertainment . . . plus friendship, fellowship, and fun.

Rachel emphasized that in a performance it is the effect which is of importance and not the method.

Each took turns performing and explaining.

Rachel presented the following:

  • Zodiac Code
  • a card prediction using three cups and three different colored silks
  • an ESP card routine in which the chosen card was matched by two other pairs
  • Reversed Gilda System, three predictions of colors of cards and three piles match the prediction
  • her Tri-color Cups & Balls Routines with the balls being of tissue and each ball was unwrapped from the final ball.

Aldo presented the following among his “belly-aching” humor:

  • An Empty Envelope, a card and envelope prediction
  • Cutting A Rope In Three, a cut and restored
  • vanishing thumb tip, from their Gag Buster DVD
  • Five Card Mystery — a black card vanishes as one keeps eliminating a red card and replacing a black card
  • Ring Off Knot On Rope
  • Ring Off & Onto Rope
  • Jumbo Six Card Repeat taking three small cards away — gag
  • News Brief, another gag
  • a Houdini card penetration in which the deck is rubber banded and wrapped in foil and a hanky
  • Jumbo Prediction
  • Restless Colors, a color changing cards with the climax being the Aces

Rachel closed the lecture with a poem reminding us that whatever our skill level is make sure that the magic trick or routine one performs has the outcome of being extremely entertaining.

For a full line of magic tricks, routines, DVD’s, and publications from Aldo & Rachel visit their web site at www.wildcolombini.com and explore.

Ring 211 thanks both Aldo and Rachel for a splendid lecture and highly recommends them to any club for their farewell lecture.

Ring Event: Richard Osterlind Lecture

2011-08-osterlind-327-largeOn Wednesday, August 24, Ring 211 had the pleasure of hosting a lecture by Richard Osterlind. This same week Richard also lectured for Ring 22 in Detroit and Ring 36 in Flint. In this new exciting lecture, a number of effects from Mind Mysteries DVD Series (L&L Publishing) were performed and taught in a In this new exciting lecture, a number of effects from Mind Mysteries DVD Series (L&L Publishing) were performed and taught in a hands-on environment: Continue reading