Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday 20th November

The theme was “Packet Tricks’ (and card tricks in general), hosted by John Ferguson.

David Whitson, our President, did a story-telling trick in which each card in the pack was an item in the story.  This “Sam-the Bellhop” type of effect was, David said, derived from a routine devised by Eugene Berger.  A very amusing story.

Denis Norman from Sydney, joined the club at this meeting, and we congratulated him.  He did a nice little packet trick with pictures of apples that turned into top hats, and a rabbit came out of one, and so on, ending up with a picture of an apple core.  Funny, and challenging  card work, too.   He followed that with the classical Wild Card plot, done very neatly and persuasively. 

Steve Irwin apparently has been teaching the colour changing silk to Noel Clair, and Noel did this for us.  It is a very visual effect, with the silk colour changing to a brilliant scarlet.  Following this with the Cut- No-Cut Scissors, Noel did a nice rope trick to finish.

Colour changing and flipping cards was the first item from Joel Howlett.  Next, he did a packet trick along the lines of the Three Card Monte.   Next, he had a spectator choose a card, and then showed it matched an embroidered blank.    Things became even more incredible with his final item – the Poker Deal.   With $50 at risk on the table, he dealt poker cards for himself and a volunteer in the fairest fashion  - and Joel won.
But then, he dealt again, and this time he gave the cards to the volunteer, asking him to choose which cards he, Joel, would have.  Joel still won.  Joel repeated this “give the cards to the spectator” twice, and he won both times.  Amazing !

John Ferguson did a packet trick (“Entourage”) in which the spectator named one of the queens, and that queen was the only one in his hand, the other three becoming jokers.  He did the classic “Card Silks” trick, in which a blank silk is shown and vanished, then the chosen card appears on the silk at the end. 

Then, having had a card chosen, John showed a watch.  As the spectators looked at it, the chosen card faded in to the background of the watch.  A chosen card was not the same as a Jumbo card held in a card frame, but when this card was taken out of the frame (the frame shown empty), the card was the same as the chosen card.

A very nice evening of entertaining magic.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday 17th July

The theme was "Rings, Ropes and Things".   Al Hirschel workshopped an excellent card trick for us, which had an important code to remember, which starts with the number 309.  What this means, we can't say on a public forum like this - you need to come along and find out !

David Whitson presented a chain of coloured ropes knotted together which, with a magic pass, became one continuous rope with several coloured sections.  He then performed Pavel's Rope Trick again for us, in which knots appear on a rope, then they vanish, then they reappear  - and they are genuine knots, for they have to be untied to get them off.  David has done this item for us before,  and I am just as bewildered as to how it can be possible.

Last performer was John Ferguson, who workshopped a card trick, "Wanna Bet" for us.  The spectator is so sure the magician has failed that they want to bet against him.  The kind magician won't take their money, of course, because the magician always wins !

We had lots of fun and laughter during the meeting.  We proceeded to plan for the Carrington Bowling Club show, coming up next month (Saturday August 22nd).

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Stockton Bowling Club Show

On Saturday 27th June, we held a Magic show at Stockton Bowling Club.  There were eight performers - President David Whitson, Al Hirschel, Steve Irwin, Andrew Pickard, John Ferguson, David Blunden, Grahame Holstein and Noel Clair.

The show was well received by the audience, and the Stockton Club has asked us back again next year.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

We try to be an Active Club

We have held public magic shows for the last thirteen years.   This means that those members that wish to be involved (there is no pressure to do so) can present a short act (of say five to fifteen minutes) as part of a club presentation of as many as ten performers on stage to a paying public.

In 2008, and again in 2010, we presented a "MegaMagic Show" at Lake Macquarie Performing Arts Centre. The show lasted about two hours plus interval, and was well received, generating much needed funds for our club, and encouraging those that were involved to improve their performance.   Several members chose not to perform - but often were involved in the vital back stage tasks, including curtain closing, moving stage props chairs and other stage work, as well as selling magic kits in the lobby, not to mention the cleaning up of the hall afterwards. Again in 2011 and 2013 we performed at Wesley Church Hall, Beaumont St Hamilton and were well received.

Many of our meetings include times when any of our members are invited to perform for the other members. This is a good opportunity to try out a new routine in a non-threatening atmosphere.   We try to support and encourage our members.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What happened at the meeting on Friday 17th April 2015

The theme for the night was “Close-up Magic”, hosted by John Ferguson.  He started by placing a caterpillar silk into a small empty metal can and closing the can.  On opening it, the caterpillar silk had changed into a large butterfly silk.  (The Switch Can)

Noel Clair then performed several nice matrix tricks using Australian coins – in which the “kangaroo” coins were moving to his other hand to search for the “platypus” coins…  Noel had developed a interesting story to go with this item.   He moved on to tricks with hair bands (star crossed lovers determined to join each other), and showed us the Close-up item “Gozinta boxes”.  He had promised to do a Time Travel experiment some months earlier, and he did it for us now – going back in time, we found that the burnt matches changed to unburned ones, the time on the clock reversed etc.

Using the “Wild Card” effect, Steve Irwin told a story of aliens attacking people as they slept and turning them into zombies.  An effective use of this Wild Card plot !

Al Hirschel displayed a Magical Key that could move on its shaft or not, at his command.

David Whitson  showed us the paperclip joining item,  some more hair band tricks, and then the “World’s Fastest Magic Trick”.  This one involved pictures of a cheetah – the fastest land animal, and elephant and a zebra.

Eric stunned us all with his card item.  Having had a card chosen and lost in the deck, he tossed a random card into the air, and caught it between the two halves of the deck.  Showing us this place in the deck cleanly, he found that the tossed card had landed next to the chosen card !

John  Ferguson did some more items – the Glass Board, and a Mathematical magic item with Magic number rods.  Asking for help from the club he showed us the trouble he was having at three points with Wagner’s Supercloser car trick, and members gave a lot of very useful suggestions to assist. 

(Asking for help from other magicians to remove problem areas from an item is a valuable way in which the club members can help each other.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What happened at the Meeting on Friday 20th March

The evening of “Silk Magic” was kicked off by our host, Joel Howlett. He produced a streamer from his bare hands, made a sponge ball appear and vanish, changed a sponge ball into a silk, and passed white and red silks through his bare hands to produce a striped silk.  It was all very smoothly done and surprising.  There was a lot of hard work and diligent practice displayed here.

Steve Irwin did a silk Colour Change in the hand, and repeated it.  This was well received.  We know the equipment for this production is challenging – and Steve is well used to using it.

David Whitson set out to show fun, surprise, mystery, reminiscence & poignancy – what a lot of emotions to display with magic!  Part of this was sheer fun, and he became even more surprising when he tore paper into strips, placed these in a box and produced a coloured streamer from it.

Eric, visiting us for only the second time, volunteered to do an item for us – thank you, Eric!  He had a card selected, and then replaced in the deck.  When the spectator looked for his card in the deck, it had vanished, to reappear in the card box.  Generously, Eric then proceeded to workshop this item for us.

It seemed that John had started off with a failure, when he had a card selected and failed to find it.  He directed our attention to an empty crystal box, and suddenly produced from this a silk with a caterpillar picture on it.  Placing this in a black bag, we found the caterpillar silk had vanished, to be replaced by another silk, with a picture of the King of Hearts on it – the chosen card that he had earlier “failed” to find.  “Now what happens to caterpillars when they become butterflies?he said.  “They vanish and fly away.”  Showing a folding screen on both sides, he folded it up and produced a massive butterfly silk from the inside - the butterfly (silk) had flown there!

Monday, February 23, 2015

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday 20th February

At this meeting, we were encouraged by having two visitors.  Eric, from England, had migrated to Australia only recently.  Denis, from the Sydney Geniis Magical Society, was paying us a visit, and hopes to return soon.  We say, “Come again !”

The theme for the evening was “Coins and Time Travel”.  Al Hirschel led off the performance with an excellent Seven Card Trick, one of his favourites, involving him spelling the name of any card stated by the spectator – the chosen card or any other card. – in other words, the spectator can lie or tell the truth about the card he chose.  Regardless, Al found the chosen card.   He continued with a Four Jack Assembly, taught to him by veteran Newcastle magician Peter Jones.

Andrew Pickard had a card chosen by each of three spectators, and all cards returned to the deck.  Then by simply looking through the spread of cards, he named all three cards.  Mysterious mentalism !

Joel Howlett said he was going to show us the classic trick “Any Card at Any Number”, but the chosen card did not turn up in the deck at the number chosen by the spectator.  Instead, Joel opened up a book at the page of that chosen number, and there was a copy of the chosen card tucked into the page  ….  a neat way of fooling us all.  

He next placed a coin very openly into a square of paper, folded it, had a spectator feel it was still there, folded the paper again, again had a spectator check it was there, then he cut up the paper and the coin had vanished completely.

Denis Norman, visiting us from Sydney, started with Ring on Chain.  He showed us that when he dropped the chain, it normally fell straight through the ring.  Then under his mystic control, when he dropped the chain again, it knotted itself around the ring.  Using cards (Juan Tamariz’s Rabbit Cards) with pictures of apples on them,  the pictures changed mysteriously into apple cores and then into rabbits with apple cores.

In keeping with the “Coins” theme, Denis then led into a nice Coin Matrix.

David Whitson performed Barry Mitchell’s “Coal to Diamonds” – his presentation recognizing the involvement of the Newcastle area with coal.  Pieces of coal placed in a vessel changed into brilliant diamonds.

John Ferguson did a card trick called “Rubber Bandit” in which the deck is enclosed in a rubber band, and then when the band is released, it springs the chosen card out of the deck.   In the “Drunken Shuffle” trick, a chosen card seems to be hopelessly lost in a deck so mixed up the card could never be found again, but with one cut the spread cards are all face up, except one card – which is the chosen card.

It occurs to your reporter that in this evening’s performances on the theme “Coins”, only two items in the whole night were actually Coin tricks.  Please do not be discouraged from doing Magic items because they do not fit with the theme – not everyone wants to do items from the month’s theme! – having a theme is only a means to an end – which is, to have a really enjoyable night’s magic.  This evening’s certainly was !

Friday, January 16, 2015

What happened at the Meeting on Friday 16th January

Tom Blunden led off the magic with a colour changing die trick - one shake of the box and the die changed before our eyes.

Three spectators were asked by Joel Howlett (JD Magic) to choose cards.  The first card was revealed when Joel gave a sheet of newspaper (shown whole) to the spectator who opened it out and two diamond shaped holes had appeared in the paper for the "two of diamonds" chosen card.  The next card was placed in the hat with the pack, and when the hat was emptied, all the cards were shredded to nothing except the chosen card. The last card was revealed by Joel taking a sheet from his pocket showing in miniature all 52 cards - and we thought he had not really found the card until he turned the sheet over - and the chosen card was printed on the back in large size.

David Whitson did a circus themed item with a picture of a trapeze artist - but she had disappeared. Despite various manipulations she didn't come back until the very last, when the miniature trapeze appeared hanging from the circus picture ! A smooth visual effect.

A spectator was asked by John Ferguson to choose one of the four aces ("this is a one ace trick, 'cos I'm not good enough to do a four ace trick yet")  and then John tried to pick the ace out of the pack, but got a joker instead - and another joker, then handfuls of jokers - until the table was covered in jokers....  One card remained in his hand - the chosen ace.

With a very clever item, Al Hirschel did a mentalism effect in which he asked a spectator to wrap one of two coins (gold or silver) in a handkerchief so it could not be seen, then he shook the bundle near his ear to try to work out whether it was the gold coin or the silver coin.  He was 100% accurate each time.  Later, he very kindly showed us how this baffling item was done - and you should have been there to find out!

Noel Clair pulled a $20 note right through a $50 note - yes, that's right, one note penetrated the other note.  He then pushed a pen through a $20 note and paper, and the paper was torn with a hole, but the note wasn't.  In another penetration item, a coin shaken near the bottom of a glass penetrated into the glass.   Just so we on the other side of the room didn't miss out, he repeated it for us, and it happened while we were carefully looking at it !

Warden the Magician (Andrew Pickard) loves magic with paper money.  This time, he borrowed a $5 bill, had the serial number written down by a spectator, then folded it up and unfolded a $10 bill.  The $5 had vanished.   He called John Ferguson out, and asked him to take off his shoe, and there in his shoe was the missing $5 bill, and, yes, the serial number matched that of the missing $5 !