Friday, August 23, 2013

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday 16th August

The theme was “Self Working Tricks”, and the host David Whitson led off the evening with a demonstration of animating a stuffed animal,  “Wally the Wombat”.  While making a stuffed animal appear alive is not directly magic, it is linked to the production of a stuffed animal – especially for those of us who do not wish to raise a live rabbit or dove.   He next used a Drawer Box to produce a teddy bear puppet.

The theme of self-working tricks covers just about every facet of magic, as demonstrated by Barry Whitson performing a rope cutting trick, followed by Al Hirschel performing a close-up item – a magic key in which the tongue could be moved up and down by the magician but not by the spectator.

Tom Blunden had two items for us – the rolling together of a $10 and $20 bills so that they changed places, and the paper cutting item, “Staricle” (from Dan Harlan). Straight cuts with scissors produce a star and a round  circle - the production of this large round hole allows the performer to put his head inside it for an applause cue !

The workings of the “Fire-book” were shown and explained by John Ferguson.  He next showed how a vanished silk reappeared inside a Coke bottle.  Another silk effect used was the Crystal Box, in which a silk appears instantly inside an empty perspex box just with a wave of the hand.  John demonstrated the Egyptian water box, a wooden box that can be shown empty and then a glass of Coke is produced from inside it.  There are problems in using this, though with sight angles.  Cards with coloured spots were used in a baffling mind-reading effect. Because John had not practiced the Penetrating Block effect, and wanted to do it, he was grateful when David Whitson volunteered to perform it for him.

What a collection of magic items Noel Clair had for us!  He had been given a “D-Lite”, and he manipulated the glowing red light so it appeared to come from his mouth, his ear, and so on.  Two coins passed magically through a glass.  He did for us the age-old miracle of the Magic Colouring Book, in which initially blank pages turn into drawings and then into coloured pictures. Coins tricks followed – he loves them – a coin disappearing from a little double door box, Coins Across, and one of the Coin Box type tricks.  His version of Three Card Monte was very smooth, as was the card wallet switch.  The Card Warp effect is a superb mystery, and he did it justice.  He passed a rope around, then through, a volunteer’s arm, foot and leg.  He finished off with colour changing silks and colour changing shoelaces.  His concatenation of items shows just how widely the term “Self-working trick” applies!

Monica Howlett and Deadra gave us a change of pace. Monica sang for us two songs to Deadra’s great guitar playing – “How to Save a Life”, and “Little Talks”.  Nice rendition, and a neat rehearsal for items in our October Show.  Moody and expressive !

Al Hirschel rounded the evening off with his automatic trick with the theme of islands and treasure.  He showed us just how self-working is this item.  This one really is "From A Shuffled Deck In Use"!  Starting with any pack, even a borrowed one, he showed us how to deal the cards out from a shuffled pack, and still tell a fascinating story, with a surprising finish.  This was a vivid practical demonstration of how useful is a self-working trick, allowing the magician to concentrate on presentation.  He did a great job.