Saturday, September 19, 2020

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday 18th September


Your reporter was (virtually) present at this meeting courtesy of Jeff Clark, who had arranged that in the face to face meeting, there was a camera connected to ZOOM so that I (and others who wished) could view what was going on.  Thank you Jeff !

The meeting was opened by AL HIRSCHEL, host for the night, on the topic of "Paper and Everyday Objects".   He commenced with the Paper Tear, saying that he loves this trick, although it does not always work. This time, it did, with a nice restoration to the original newspaper.

He also loves the item "Cutting a Business Card so you can put your Head through it".  This involves very precise cutting with scissors!  He did it successfully for us.  He said that if he were to use a postcard, then you can put your whole body through it !

Next up was DAVID WHITSON who vanished a cane by rolling it in a sheet of newspaper and then scrunching it all up to show the cane had vanished. He fanned the one pack of cards in different ways to produce half a dozen brilliant patterns.  He showed us a pack of shrinking cards, and after diminishing them five times, he vanished the pack entirely – really good fun !   He fanned a pack of cards, and then when he fanned them a second time, they glowed gold.

JOEL HOWLETT  displayed a piece of black paper and a piece of white paper and turned them into a black and white checkerboard pattern.  Showing us a large capsule, he asked someone to open it, and inside was a tiny paper bird.  This Joel vanished, and made it reappear inside the capsule.

Baby Mia featured in his next item.  Joel dealt cards down until the spectator told him to stop.  Then he displayed a photo of baby Mia, holding a playing card – and, yes, it was the card stopped at !

JEFF CLARK produced a puppet bird for his item.  A card was chosen by a spectator, put back in the pack, and the pack thrown in the air.  One card was caught by the bird, but it was the wrong one.  A prediction envelope held by a spectator was opened, but it only contained a blank sheet of paper.  Joel scrunched this up, and fed it to the bird puppet.  The bird coughed it up again, and written on the paper was the chosen card !

STEVE IRWIN used something as simple as three bottle caps and one ball bearing to make magic !  After he moved the caps around, the spectator (Diane) was asked which cap held the ball bearing.  Yes, she could not get it right, and the ball bearing was under the control of magician Steve the whole time.

Then Steve asked a spectator to choose a card, and replace it in the deck.  By spelling "S-H-E-R-L-O-C-K  H-O-L-M-E-S" as he dealt cards from the pack, he ended up on the chosen card !  At the end of the evening, Steve kindly work - shopped this trick for us.

To round off the evening, AL HIRSCHEL performed a coin matrix. (He credited Dennis Norman with teaching him this item.) He reminded us that the Australian 5 cent coin features an echidna.  He described the life of an echidna, and laid out four five cent pieces in a square on a mat.  He showed a five cent piece "burrowing like an echidna" under the mat from one corner to the other, and showed that the one coin had been joined by a second, and so on until all four coins had magically assembled in one corner. As well as being amazed by the coin assembly, we learnt quite a bit about echidnas !

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

2020 Syllabus and Office Bearers

Normally, the meetings of Newcastle Society are held on the third Friday of each month (except December) at 7.30 pm at Mayfield Bowling Club, 2A Ingall St, Mayfield. The Club is opposite Albion Street, beside Park Street on one side and the Mayfield Swimming Centre on the other.

However, during the Lockdown, the meetings are being held at a private home.                                                      

Fri 18 Sep    was  Paper and Everyday Objects  -  Host Al Hirschel
Fri 16 Oct     Apparatus Magic   -  Host Andrew Pickard
Fri 20 Nov    Annual General Meeting &  Coin Magic  - Host Steve Irwin

Of course, you may not be interested in any of these themes.  No problem!  You are MOST WELCOME to bring along something entirely different that you have been working on and do it in the performance section of the meeting.  The only reason for having a theme is to broaden our horizons, and if yours are already broader than these themes, so much the better !

Office Bearers for 2020
At the January 2020 Annual General Meeting, the following Officers were elected:
Patron:      Graham Holstein                  President:   David Whitson
Vice-President:   Joel Howlett               Acting Secretary:   David Whitson
Assistant Secretary:  Joel Howlett    
Treasurer: Al Hirschel
Archivist:  Steve Howlett                       Auditor:  Cyrus Taraparwalla
Editors for Facebook and Blogspot -  Andrew Pickard and John Ferguson

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday 17th April 2020

Because of the Corona virus lockdown, the meeting was conducted online using Zoom.  Since we are all in lockdown, we talked at some length about magic websites to look at:
1.Tim Ellis has a website for his "Laneway Theatre" –
and in this website Tim interviews many magicians from Australia and overseas (including our own Joel Howlett!).  Tim has purchased a warehouse in one of the laneways in the Melbourne CBD, and has fitted it out for magic performances.
2. Andrew Pickard drew our attention to a massive 21/2 hour lecture by Marc de Sousa.  It is available to all magicians through the Society of American Magicians, at
and you will need to give the surname of the magician known as "The Professor" to gain entry (which is free) and you don't need to be a member of SAM.

In our online magic session, Noel Clair performed some coin transfers from hand to hand.  Warden (Andrew Pickard) did card to pocket, and a smo-o-o-th top change.   Jeff Clark had attended the Joshua Jay lecture in Sydney, and showed us Joshua's "Phantom Deck".

Thursday, February 27, 2020

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday 21st February 2020

The theme of the Meeting was "Packet Tricks" (including gimmicked decks).  John Ferguson was the host for the evening, and led off with "Deckstress", in which a card *freely* chosen by the spectator is turned over, and reveals a prediction written on its back that the spectator would choose *that* card.  He also had a card chosen, and then produced a picture frame full of sand.  When the frame was turned upside down, the sand drained down to reveal the chosen card.

Joel Howlett (of JD Magic) performed Twisting the Aces, then a Wild Card item using cards with Chinese symbols on them, and progressively all the cards changed to the same design.  He confused us with "Three Confusing Cards".  He showed us the classic item "Twisted Sisters" with four magic queens, and finished with having lots of fun dealing poker hands and repeatedly dealing himself a royal flush !

Steve Irwin had a card chosen, and then produced a folded card out of thin air, and it was the chosen card!

Several innovative items were performed by Jeffrey Clarke – a card trick in which a small number of cards were dealt out, and when they were turned over, they formed a picture of a rat, which agreed with the prediction.  He asked a spectator to pick a card, and put the card in the pack. Then he took an iphone picture of the spectator, and when we looked at the resultant photo,  the chosen card had appeared in the spectator's hands ! Then a card was chosen, replaced in the pack, and any 12 cards were chosen by the spectator, and dealt in a circle (like a clock dial) on the table by Jeffrey.  Pointing to the 12.00 position, he turned the card over to show it was the chosen card.

Andrew Pickard did two items involving card reversals.  A chosen card, placed in the pack, was the only one that reversed itself.   Again, a chosen card was placed in a small talon of cards, and that also reversed itself.

Our President, David Whitson excelled himself with Packet tricks and Gimmicked Decks !  Starting with the "Mystic Kings" and the Irish 3 card trick, he moved on to the 6 card repeat.  A chosen card rose eerily out of the Rising Cards pack.  Your reporter was asked to push his finger into a riffled pack, and David could predict the card I chose (a Svengali Deck).   David moved on then to the Diminishing cards, which shrunk to half size four – or was it five – times.   He demonstrated the use of the 52 card predictor card. 

To round off a very enjoyable evening, David related "The Adventures of Diamond Jack" and Joel Howlett spoke for all of us when David announced this story, saying "Oh, good!" – and it was.