Coming Oct. 10: 2018 Close-Up Magic Competition

It's time for some more magic!

The 2018 Close-Up Magic Competition is just around the corner — Wednesday, Oct. 10. Come on out to support your fellow magicians as they present their best material in a formal, close-up setting... think Close-Up Room at the Magic Castle (without the cover charge).

And be sure to bring your friends and family because magic is always better when there are more people to enjoy it! Your guests can be fellow magicians or, preferably, non-magicians who love magic.

The performances start at 7:30 p.m. sharp! We'll be at our usual location at Yu-Ai Kai Senior Center, 588 North 4th Street, San Jose, CA.

Sign up to perform.

Whether you're a past winner, a brand-new entrant, or something in between, now's your chance to share your routines and show off your skills. 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:
  • Close-up is defined as an act presented in a formal performing area with a table. There will be 2-3 rows of seating.
  • But remember that we don't have raked seating, so don't expect people in the 2nd or 3rd row to be able to see the top of the table.
  • All paid members are allowed to compete, including past winners. If you're new to the club, you have to attend at least three meetings this year to become a member. 
  • If you've won in the past, you must perform a different act.
  • Acts should be around 6 minutes long, so start timing yourself. (Depending on the number of participants, this number may be larger or smaller.)
  • Check out all the competition rules.

Coming Sept. 12: Walk-Around Competition

Mark your calendars. Bring your friends.

The 2018 Walk-Around Magic Competition is just a few weeks away — Wednesday, Sept. 12. Come on out to support your fellow magicians as they present their best material in a walk-around setting. And since magic is always better when there are more people to enjoy it, bring your friends and family!

The performances start at 7:30 p.m. sharp! We'll be at our usual location at Yu-Ai Kai Senior Center, 588 North 4th Street, San Jose, CA.

There's still time to sign up.

Whether you're a past winner, a brand-new entrant, or something in between, now's your chance to share your routines and show off your skills. 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:
  • The room will be set up as if you're at a cocktail party doing walk-around magic. People will be in different types of situations: some standing, some sitting, some with tables, some holding drinks. Your job is to entertain them in a short amount of time under the conditions you have.
  • 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. (Depending on the number of participants, this number may be larger or smaller.)
  • If you've won in the past, you are free to compete, but you have to perform a different act.
Check out all the competition rules.

How to Sign Up

Just send an email to president@ring216.org


Meeting Report: August 8, 2018 - Open Performance Night

An open performance night with a twist highlighted the August meeting of Ring 216. On this night, the volunteer performers were separated into three small groups which visited in turn audience members at three separate tables. This gave more performing opportunities and a more intimate setting, with the opportunity for instant give-and-take sessions on each performance.

In Group 1, John Jay performed a coins across, Tom Collett jumping knots with red and white silks, Sohum Modha an amazing matching of cards randomly stopped at, and Don White his lucky coin that multiplied into poker chips.

The Group 2 illusions included new member Vickie Jasinsky’s location of one selected card out of twenty-one, Mitch Kothe’s ESP cards prediction, Tetra’s magic finger ring routine and unique three-gear flight.

For Group 3, Cal Tong work-shopped his new copper-silver-brass coin routine, Ken King transported a selected card from a padlocked deck, and Fred Lee showed off a four-coin routine.

The evening closed with the reassembling of the audience for a reprise of some of the performances before the entire group. The new performing format was found by all to be refreshing and a fine aid in developing performing skills.

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 nominating-committee@ring216.org.

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.”