Monday, May 24, 2021

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday21st May 2021


Al Hirschel was the host of this evening, the theme being "Card Tricks with a Borrowed Deck".  He performed the "echidna coin matrix", covering the coins with cards. The story he told, of an echidna burrowing from one corner of the matrix to the other, fitted the item well.   When he launched into the "Diamonds on the Islands" trick, we knew we were in for a treat. Al tells the story with vigour, and makes the trick come alive.

Another coin matrix trick was done by Noel Clair.  He called it "The Flying Kangaroo".  He generously shared the working of it with us, and Jeff Clark videoed this.

John Ferguson did a card trick called "The Lazy Magician".  First,  he selected a prediction card, and then dealt off a small number of cards until the spectator told him to stop.  Then the spectator took the cards and dealt them into two piles.  He asked the spectator to turn over both top cards – one was the value card, and one was the suit card, and these matched the prediction card.  

Next John laid out a square of cards flat on the card mat and asked everyone how to add four cards so that the pattern of a swastika was formed. Neil Lynch was able to solve this puzzle, giving the clue "negative space".  (This trick was used in the TV show "Foyle's War".)

Steve Irwin showed us four cards face up.  Then as he closed and opened the talon of cards three times, each card turned faced down in turn, showing a red back.  When the fourth card turned over, Steve showed us the backs of the other three cards, and they were all blue !  Your reporter wonders if he was using the Elmsley Count – and if he was, he is extra good at it !

"John Bannon's Card Trick" was performed for us by David Whitson.  He did not explain it, but recommended that we search the internet under this title to find the explanation.

Jeff Clark asked for a card to be chosen, and the outcome was that he showed us his T-shirt with the name of the card correctly displayed on it.  He then did a 23 card prediction trick.

Al Hirschel wrapped up the whole night by doing an excellent Jack Assembly.

One of the magicians said to me at the end of the night, "That was an evening of really great magic !"

Friday, March 19, 2021

What Happened at the meeting on Friday 19th March 2021

 The meeting was hosted by Noel Clare, who treated us to “Rope Through finger” and an assortment of “Ring and Rope” magic and moves with props large and small. 

Andrew Pickard was up next with his “Houdini Card Trick” (Card Through Ribbon) and three to one ropes. 

Joel Howlett did a very visual version of the classic cut and restored ribbon and then added variety to his set by doing a ‘torn and restored paper’ and “card in chewing gum packet”. 

Al Hirschel was keen to show off his beautiful Viking Magic brass tubes that mysteriously caused two coloured pencils to change places. 

David Whitson generously performed a whole host of rope effects for us including Coloured Rope Link, Card Through Ribbon, Professors Wands (“Professor’s Nightmare with Rope”), Stiff Rope, Joining Ropes and his version of Pavel’s Yellow Rope (Knots through the tube / a David Whitson Classic!). 

At the request of Neil Lynch a discussion on “Magic with Australian Money” and Joel Howlett’s version of the “Card To Wallet” followed. 

Barbara Whitson also joined the fun by showing members her “Divination / Fortune Telling Pack of Cards”.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday 19th February 2021

The theme for the evening was "Packet Card Tricks", hosted by JEFF CLARK.  Jeff dealt most of the suit of clubs, saying they were soldiers, and the cards left were the King and Queen, to be guarded by the soldiers.  Next, placing the deck in a glass, he caused each of the four aces to appear suddenly in turn.

Jeff had a card selected from the pack and returned to it.  It was the five of hearts.  He tossed the deck in the air and caught the 5H.  Then he folded up the T-shirt he was wearing, and it displayed the 5H.

The next magician was JOEL HOWLETT, who had a spectator choose a card, and then replace it in the deck.   The spectator then spread out the deck, and the spectator pushed one card out of the spread – and it was the chosen card !!  This left us all amazed.  Joel did the "knot on" - "knot off" rope, and followed this with the jumping knot, which jumps from a white rope to a red rope, and when undone, we find the white section that jumped is permanently part of the rope!

In Joel's hands, four coins appeared and disappeared in the air until none were left.

Coin appearances and disappearances were also the theme of NOEL CLAIR'S performance, using a coin matrix.  Next, using Australian platypus coins, Noel taught an item as a workshop.  He taught us how to cause the coins to tumble down into his hand and transfer to his other hand.

STEVE IRWIN displayed an arrangement of 24 five cent coins in the shape of a figure "9".  He asked a spectator to choose a number between 10 and 20, and count through the coins, then to count backwards to show a miracle happening !

Covering up a deck of cards in a tea towel, GRAHAM HOLSTEIN held up the bundle and declared what the face card would be, and he was correct.

ANDREW PICKARD asked for a one card among six to be chosen by a volunteer – it was the ten of clubs.   Repeatedly tapping the talon of cards on the table, Andrew revealed one card coming up – it was the ten of clubs !

He then lost the ten of clubs in the deck, spread the deck and the ten of clubs came out of it.

Our President, DAVID WHITSON presented the card item "Chase the Ace", with ginormous cards.  The magician has total control of the cards.  Next he presented the Diminishing Cards, causing them to shrink – and shrink - five times.

He asked a spectator to STOP ! him while he was spreading through the pack, in order to choose a card.  He revealed the card by displaying the well-known "52-on-one" card which has all the 52 cards on the back.

Using an ancient packet item bought from Weirdo's Magic (a Sydney Magic shop from the 1950's) David displayed 4 Kings.  They changed to 4 Aces.  They changed to 4 blank cards.   Al Hirschel commented that this was the most popular card trick. David added that it's a trick that a ten year old can do. 

One of our members commented afterwards that this was a thoroughly good night !

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Welcome to the Club


During this present time, because of COVID restrictions, meetings are held at a private home

Newcastle Society of Magicians meets 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.  Check at the bar to find the room we have been allocated.

The meeting starts at 7.30 pm with those present performing magic (if they wish) for the others present. Around 8.30pm to 9pm there is a 10 minute break to get refreshments, then a business meeting starts that can last for a half hour to an hour depending on what events are coming up.

Contact Details
If you want to contact us by phone, you can ring  our Vice-President, Joel Howlett on 4942 3593.

But, Will I Be Welcome ?

Anyone with a genuine interest in magic is welcome to our meetings.  The usual procedure is to attend for three meetings and then to apply to join the society. The current membership fee for one year is $20.

Because we meet in a registered club, those under 18 are expected to be accompanied by parent or guardian. While this may be inconvenient for some folk, meeting in a club means that room hire is only a modest expense, and we can keep our club fees down.

2021 Meeting 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 COVID Lockdown, the meetings are being held at a private home.                                                      

Fri 19 Feb   was   Packet Card Tricks

Fri 19 Mar     Ropes, Strings & Things   Host Noel Clair 

Fri 16 Apr      Colour Changing Classics  Host David Whitson

Fri 21 May     Card Tricks with a Borrowed Deck   Host Al Hirschel

Fri 19 Jun       Bar Betchas and Puzzles   Host  Jeff Clark

Fri 16 Jul        Silks and Handkerchiefs     Host Joel Howlett

Fri  20 Aug     Balls and Other Things       Host Noel CLair

Fri  17 Sept     Paper and Everyday Objects   Host Al Hirschel

Fri  15 Oct      Apparatus and Gimmicks     Andrew Pickard

Fri  19 Nov     Coins and the AGM            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 2021
At the January 2021 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


Friday, November 27, 2020

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday 20th November 2020


The magic was hosted by Steve Irwin, on the theme of "Coins".  Steve commenced with a coin item arranged like "ring off rope", using three Chinese coins (because they have holes in the centre).  Each escaped the ribbon on command. The next item was a transfer of four coins from one hand to another, invisibly.  He finished  with a $20 note held between his hands, and it became suspended in the air at one end on one finger tip.

Kangaroos were the theme of the first item that Noel Clair did.  Calling the item "Jumping Kangaroos", Noel made the kangaroo coins jump from his right hand to his left one at a time.  Next, he showed a handful of "doubloons" and made one of these shiny coins transfer from his left hand to his right, and then repeated this twice.

Noel continued with a story to tell us – about the "Escape from Alcatraz".  Despite frantic attempts to stop four dangerous criminals (four bottle tops) escaping from Alcatraz, one bottle top does make it across from one hand to the other.  In the midst of alarm bells ringing, one by one the other bottle tops escape to join it.

He showed us the "Flying Eagles" – US coins moved across from one hand to the other.   Here were two different presentations of a transference item.

Al Hirschel spoke about Australian echidna coins. He laid out four $1 coins in a square matrix, and covered it all with a thin blanket.  The echidna loves to burrow, he said, and we could see his hand burrowing towards the other corner of the blanket – and behold, he showed us that the single coin was now two coins. Progressively, all four coins joined each other by magic  at one corner of the blanket.

Jeff Clark did not have his puppet this night!  Instead, he whirled a deck of cards around his head, and they opened out into a concertina.   Next, Jeff put two coins very cleanly in each of two candleholders.  He then poured them out on the table, there were three coins in one holder and one coin in the other.  He repeated this, and showed four coins in one holder and none in the other.  Your reported watched the handling very closely – there were no tricks, Jeff just poured the coins out and it happened !

Jeff selected a volunteer (Neil) using a pin poked into a notebook. The pin moved towards the person's name.  Jeff asked Neil to sit under a  small plastic bag filled with water into which Jeff poked biro pens without the bag breaking (thankfully, Neil said).

Steve Irwin, who was dressed in a Santa suit, danced and sang a Christmas song while his Santa hat  played the music, which worked in well with the Christmas party theme.  He also vanished a 20 cent platypus coin.

A floating credit card was David Whitson's first item – simple, but very baffling. Your reporter looked carefully at the credit card floating above David's hand and I could see nothing.  Next, David had a number chosen, and asked the helper to tell him which of several cards he showed to him had the chosen number on them.  David was then able to tell him the number.  Lastly, a coin was place into a circular box, and plastic needles were driven through the coin, even though it was solid.