Monday, May 23, 2016

What Happened at the Meeting on Friday 20th May 2016

The meeting had the theme "Card Tricks with a Borrowed Deck" and was led by Al Hirschel.  After the meeting, Al commented that it was a really great night, that we had had EIGHT magicians presenting items, which is a record for us.

Under the "Older Posts" on this blog, you will find an article "We try to be an Active Club" - well, at this last Friday's meeting we certainly achieved this aim !

Our host, Al Hirschel, led off with four items.   Two of these he credited to local Newcastle magicians George Cornford, and the late Peter Jones.   A pile of Jacks and a pile of ordinary cards mysteriously changed places.   In the “Coincidence of Matching Pairs”, chosen cards were found in the deck to be next to the pair of their colour and value.  In “Check the Sonar”, we learnt a lot about the Navy’s use of Sonar to detect U-boats, as Al dealt a layout of cards and progressively removed rows and columns for good Sonar reasons until only one card was left – the U-boat card, which was also the chosen card.  Al also performed his favourite “Seven Card Trick” and whether the spectator chooses to lie or to tell the truth about the chosen card, it still ends up being revealed.

Michael Blakeman is keen on card magic, and did two items for us.  One was a trick in which the chosen card kept rising repeatedly to the top of the pack no matter what he did – a very puzzling effect.  We could see him push the card into the centre of the deck, but nonetheless, on his command, there it was at the top again – and again. Yes, we know it is an illusion, but it still challenges our eyes when we see it happen !

A little piece of metallic wire was used in one trick by John Ferguson.  The wire was able to show what the chosen card was. Dropped into hot water, the wire formed the shape of an “A” and a spade.  John workshopped two tricks – the “Lazy Magician” and “Full Deck Spell”.  Did you know that if you spell all the values of the cards of a suit – “A-C-E”, “T-W-O” and so on, there are exactly fifty two letters, one for each of the cards in a deck?  John used this to discover the chosen card, and gave out instructions to us all..  If you missed out, genuine magicians should email John at  johnferguson1 at  The other trick, Lazy Magician, involved the spectator doing most of the work and dealing out the “value” card and the “suit” card that ended up agreeing with John’s prediction card.  Again, instructions are available to genuine magicians from the above email address.

“Cutting Aces” is a classic effect, and Joel Howlett did it very neatly.  Every time he cut the deck, another ace popped out!  Smooth and startling!  Joel also did an ambitious card routine, and this one also had a section in which the deck, with the chosen card inserted, was cut in two, but the card did not come to the top – no, it came to the top of the other section that he had removed – “the real top of the deck” as Joel pointed out.  Joel did nice humour using the Classic force, with the very same card repeatedly being chosen by us until we were all laughing.

Joel’s father is Steve Howlett, and he took the well-known 21 card trick and experimented nicely with two different endings to the same trick.  As someone has said, if you have a card chosen, and find it in five different ways, it appears to the audience that you have five different tricks.  Steve showed us cleverly how this worked out.

Our President, David Whitson, contributed to the general mayhem, having a card chosen and putting on his “special glasses” to reveal the chosen card.  Great fun !

Andrew Pickard did a “one out of five prediction”, and added in the vanishing card case – a puzzling item that many of us may have wondered about.  We always enjoy Andrew’s performances.

Several items were performed by Noel Clair.  In one,  all four aces came to the top of a shuffled deck!  Noel did the only non-card item of the night, telling us a story about a chicken, while he fashioned a chicken out of a hand towel.  There were jokes made about the “chosen towel” instead of the “chosen card”….   He made aces appear, and then disappear.  He showed us that he had four Kings of Diamonds in his hand, and they all changed to four Queens.  This card magic is something of a new direction for Noel, who loves manipulation and coin magic effects, and we wish him well in developing his card magic interests!