August 8: Workshop, Performances, Feedback & More

Join us at our next Ring 216 meeting on August 8 for a special night of learning and sharing. Here's what's on the agenda:

Pre-meeting workshop: 6:30 p.m.
Past Ring 216 president Cal Tong will lead members in a teaching session about basic coin sleights. The specific sleights will depend on what the attendees need help with. This is a great opportunity to learn from a master of coin magic.

Regular meeting: 7:30 p.m.
Normally, the Walk-Around Competition is held in August, but this year, many members will be at Magic Live. So the regular meeting will be hosted by our treasurer John Jones and vice president Tom Collett and feature a something a little different. Attendees will be divided into groups of 3-4, and then everybody will have the opportunity to perform a short trick, sleight, or script in order to receive constructive feedback from the group. This is the perfect way to get help and ideas from your fellow magicians in a low-stress environment.

For whatever time remaining, attendees will be invited to share something with the rest of the group. It can be an open performance routine, a product review, or something else that they want the group to know about.

Looking ahead

Now Taking Signups for our Next Competition
We hope you've been working on your acts for our Walk-Around Competition on September 12, 2018. We're taking signups now. Just click the big signup button below to let us know you want to compete. This is a great, low-stress way to hone your act and get feedback. Remember: The goal is to do your best and not focus on winning. Just have fun!

If you're thinking of competing, please keep in mind the following information:

  • All paid members are allowed to compete. If you're new to the club, you have to attend at least three meetings this year to become a member.
  • Acts should be around 6 minutes long, so start timing yourself.
  • If you've won in the past, you are free to compete, but you have to perform a different act.
  • If you want help with your act, ask any member! We're happy to offer guidance on your technique and presentation. (Why not bring it to the August meeting for feedback?)
  • Check out all the competition rules.

Sign up to compete>

Later in the Year

October 10th: Close-Up Competition
Just a month after the Walk-Around Competition, we'll host the Close-Up Magic Competition. Start preparing your act!

November 14th: Workshop & Lecture
Ring 216 will host a lecture and workshop from Jon Armstrong, previous winner of Close-Up Magician of the Year from the Magic Castle. More information to come!

Officer Elections
If you're interested in joining the leadership team of Ring 216 for next year, please get in touch with Fred Rasmussen and Cal Tong, who head up our nominating committee. Send email to both of them at

Future Workshops
The officers are thinking of hosting beginner's workshops and will start reaching out for ideas. If you have any ideas or requests, please share them with an officer.

Meeting Report: July 11, 2018 - The David Gerard Lecture

“That was the best lecture ever!” The immediate response on Ring 216 social media was unabashed praise for the presentation by David Gerard. The Bay Area magician and long-time friend of the Ring had devised his lecture to answer the questions he had been most asked by the members: How to develop entertaining presentations? How to succeed at marketing and producing a show? Few suspected that his talk on the practical business of magic would turn out to be as lively and funny as his magic performances.

Being entertaining is not one secret, David said, but a combination of hundreds of small factors. When he started out eight years ago, what he cared about most was to perform one effect in a local magic show; his goals grew every year as he felt he could always find ways to get bigger applause. Now he had eight hundred professional performances behind him and this lecture consolidated his lessons learned – implicitly, it seemed, in preparation for his next phase of development.

The two-and-a-half hour lecture was overwhelmingly generous in its range of subjects, from strolling at company parties to managing a mentalism show. There was an abundance of anecdotes, from the trials of performing for CEOs at private dinners to the chastisement received when attempting to perform for an unappreciative clique at a party. There was a flood of practical advice, from the use of video to judge spectator interaction to how to stage the visual texture of your presentations. David discussed the five effects he used for all situations and did a deep dive into one card routine, covering the fine points of how it made use of misdirection in a strolling environment, with an ending that probably fooled most of the magicians at the lecture.

For many, the highlight of the lecture was David’s explanation of his characteristic back-and-forth banter with his audiences. He described how he achieved this through a mixture of planned branched responses and spontaneous risk taking, and art he illustrated with numerous stories from his shows.

The Ring 216 members appreciate how much of himself David put into this lecture. He exemplified his most daring advice for connecting with an audience: “Be vulnerable.”

Announcing The David Gerard Lecture

Ring 216 members and friends: Join us on July 11 at 7:30 p.m. sharp for a magic lecture by the Bay Area's foremost purveyor of sleek, smart, modern magic: David Gerard.

After looking over the survey feedback from Ring 216 members, David has crafted a custom lecture for our group that dives into what everyone asked for — presentation, how to market yourself, and how to make your show more entertaining. Leveraging real life examples from his busy corporate and private show schedule, David will bring concepts to life in a way rarely seen by magic lecturers.

David will hold nothing back in the lecture, offering up the ways he built his business in the Bay Area over the last 8 years. He'll also offer up stories and advice from touring with The Illusionists, how he got in the SF Chronicle, and how he built to service his key buyers. There is something for everyone in this lecture, and we can't wait to host David in just a two short weeks.

No need to RSVP... just show up!

Cost: $15 for paid Ring 216 members / $30 for non-members

Location: Yu-Ai Kai Senior Center, 588 N. 4th Street, San Jose, CA 95112

Meeting Report: June 13, 2016 - Flea Market and Auction

At the June meeting, Ring 216 held its annual Flea Market and Auction. The members browsed among the collectible-crammed tables hunting for bargain miracles.  Many of the amazing wonders that did not sell at the flea market were offered at the auction that followed, a lively affair in which each seller acted as his own auctioneer. 
  Doug Eakin presented a bundle of classics such as Glorpy and, after spirited bidding, sold the whole lot for a happy price. He followed this up with a box of books, the some rice bowls and chocolate. 
  Phil Ackerly offered a number of trick/DVD combinations, a handmade mirror glass, and – his biggest item – a wireless microphone system with case. 
  Will Chandler, known for his role as auctioneer in previous years, gave a sample of his high energy spiel with a series of custom bundles designed just for this occasion: the Champagne Bucket Full of Magic, the Magic Hat Full of Magic, and the Matt King Signed Lunchbox of Magic.  
  Dan Chan had some useful items, and Fred Lee and Mitch Kothe found buyers for some newer mentalism effects. Danny Cheng concentrated on close up items, including a set of small linking rings. 
  Stan Sieler is owed special thanks for donating the proceeds of his comedy mentalism sale to the Ring.  
   Flea market sellers who did not also auction items included David Martinez, Jim Blaishek and Cal Tong, Don White with his crowd-funded Chinese coins, and the irrepressible book collector and dealer Byron Walker.

Announcing the Ring 216 Auction and Flea Market

Got magic stuff you want to get rid of? Is there anything you have your eye on? Bring your magical friends and join us at our next meeting on Wednesday, June 13, beginning at 7:00 PM to shop the collections of your fellow magicians — and/or sell the stuff you don't use anymore.

Flea Market
Tables for the flea market are available now on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserve your table today using our easy online form. The costs are:
  • Full table: $15 for members, $20 for non-members
  • Half table: $10 for members, $15 for non-members
You can view a layout of the tables when you reserve, and you can make a request for a particular table (although requests are not guaranteed). The earlier you reserve, the more likely you will be to get your preferred location.

There will also be an auction of magical goods. If you're interested in the auction, just show up. Anybody can sell at auction. The club takes a 10% fee for auction sales, but no fee for table sales.

Make a Donation
If you have some unwanted stuff, consider donating it to the club. We'll auction it off that night, and the proceeds will go to Ring 216.

Evening Agenda
6:30 PM: Sellers may arrive to set up their tables for the flea market.
7:00 PM: The doors open to buyers.
8:15 PM: The auction begins.
9:30 PM (approximately): All sales end and it's time to pack up.

Want more details about the auction? Read our FAQ.

So bring your friends and your stuff — and your cash.