2019 Annual Message from the Ring 216 President

Dear Ring 216 Members and Friends,

What an amazing year for magic 2018 was! In this annual president's message, I'd like to reflect on what happened last year and look ahead to 2019.

In 2018, we again hosted some amazing lecturers: John Carney in January, Michael Feldman in March, David Gerard in July, and Jon Armstrong in November. In addition, Peter Apel gave a fun and informative mini-lecture about music and magic.

Ring 216 continued a key initiative in 2018 when we offered Michael's lecture to free to all Ring 216 members as another benefit of membership. We also continued our tradition of raffling off free magic items to members.

Of course, we held our annual Flea Market and Auction in June. And as usual, we hosted three competitions: Walk-Around, Close-Up, and Stage/Parlor. We had some new faces and several new winners.

At our officers elections, we had a changing of the guard as John Jones decided to retire as treasurer. We thank John for all the time and effort he put into the club. He is succeeded as treasurer by Tom Collett. We welcomed a new officer: John Mosch as vice president. Gary Goldberg continues as secretary, and Fred Rasmussen and Cal Tong continue on the board as past presidents.

Looking ahead to 2019, we have already hosted an epic workshop and lecture by Gregory Wilson. In addition, several exciting things planned but also lots of room to add new things as they come up.

As for other lectures, right now we have at least two accomplished magicians booked for 2018: Friend of Ring 216 Steve Silverman will lecture on March 13, which will be offered free to members as a gift from Ring 216, continuing the tradition we started two years ago. In April, we'll host the great Nick Lewin. And we are in discussions with Kayla Drescher, cohost of the Shezam podcast and touring member of the Champions of Magic (we're hoping her touring schedule allows for a lecture in the spring or summer). And believe it or not, we're already talking about lecturers for 2020, so if you have suggestions, please let us know.

As the president of Ring 216, I want to say thank you for supporting our club and for helping keeping magic alive in the Silicon Valley. For 2019, I again ask each of you to think about what you would like to see from Ring 216, and share those ideas with the other officers and me. We do this because we enjoy your company and your contributions.

Let’s keep the momentum going into the New Year!

David Martinez
President, I.B.M. Ring 216
president@ring216.org

Coming Jan. 9, 2019: Workshop and Lecture by Gregory Wilson



Join us on Wednesday, January 9, for an epic workshop and lecture by acclaimed magician Gregory Wilson.

About the Lecture: "Things I Carry and Use"

Just like the title reveals, this lecture uses things that fit in his pockets and are found around him, ever-ready for spur-of-the-moment astonishments.

Continuing on his impromptu work from Off the Cuff and On the Spot, Greg teaches how to convert everyday objects into devastating weapons of deception.

The emphasis here is entertainment. Just because it's called a lecture doesn't mean is has to be dry and academic. You'll experience a rip-roaring, laugh out loud, audience-involving show!

No RSVP necessary... just show up!

TIME: 7:30 –10:00 p.m.
PRICE: $15 for members, $30 for non-members
(Annual membership is $25 and you can sign up at the lecture.)

About the Workshop: A Hands-On, Four-Hour Personal Training Session

Beyond cards, there are many normal and natural props that would make MacGyver proud, like coins, phones, watches, rings, toothpicks, and anything in a coffeehouse.

The format of the workshop is your choice: Impromptu and/or formal performances; scheduled and/or personal requests.

Each attendee will also learn the underlying philosophy and psychology of how and why deception works. All in all, this interactive course of instruction will guarantee that everyone walks away with full and complete routines in their working repertoires.

TIME: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
PRICE: $75 payable directly to Greg at the workshop. (There is no Ring 216 member discount.)

LIMITED TO 10 ATTENDEES! You must sign up ahead of time by sending email to president@ring216.org. No exceptions!

About Gregory Wilson

Gregory Wilson is a two-time FISM award-winner with a score of best-selling instructional DVD's on the market.

He has performed and lectured on 6 continents, in 47 countries and over 1,000 cities, giving him the experience to add to your own personal experience.

Meeting Report: December 12, 2018 - Stage and Parlor Competition

December was Stage and Parlor Competition time at Ring 216! In the Standard Division: Alexander Thorn caused a blindfolded spectator to divine a chosen drawing. Suyash Joshi combined technology and magic in several effects. Susan Zeller performed her musical cups and balls. Mitch Kothe showed his ability to balance. And Miriam Al-Sultan found half of a spectator’s bill in a candy bar.

In the Masters Division: John Jones caused a spectator’s chosen king to lose his head. Fred Lee excited with billiard ball manipulation and card productions. Tom Collett explained the difference between science and magic as he made red and white knots change places. David Martinez showed that a set of free mental choices by spectators had been predicted before the show.


The voting was close, as always. The winners were:

Standard Division
First – Susan Zeller
Second and People’s Choice – Mitch Kothe

Master’s Division:
First and People’s Choice – Tom Collett
Second Place – Fred Lee

Congratulations to all contestants for a good show!

Coming Dec. 12: Stage & Parlor Magic Competition


The 2018 Stage & Parlor Magic Competition is just around the corner — Wednesday, Dec. 12. Come on out to support your fellow magicians as they present their best material in a parlor setting... think the Parlor of Prestidigitation 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:

  • Parlor is defined as an act presented in a formal stand-up setting with a sound system and curtains. There will be 5-6 rows of seating.
  • But remember that we don't have raked seating, so be aware that people in the 2nd or 3rd row will not be able to see the top of a 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 and compete.
  • 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.
To sign up, send an email to president@ring216.org.

Meeting Report: November 14, 2018 - Jon Armstrong Lecture

“Card tricks aren’t boring. Card trick presentations can be boring.” Jon Armstrong’s lecture on bringing your personality to card magic was the treat for Ring 216’s November meeting. In this well-attended and highly anticipated presentation, Jon displayed the professionalism and concern for the audience for which he is famous. Don’t have a predictable presentation, was his first piece of advice: go for originality in leading into an effect and “Get rid of the lack of surprise!”

His opening, a “lucky chip” handling, demonstrated how to stun by managing audience memory before it is formed. The spectators will recall one of them looking through the deck and selecting any card, and then another spectator dropping a chip on a face down spread deck and turning over the card it landed on – without the performer touching it. Jon similarly provided tips on the classic force, sandwich card effect, collectors, and the deck-to-block surprise. He ended with an in-depth study of his famous “Tiny Plunger,” including many detailed tips and hints for maximum performance.

Before the lecture, the annual elections were briskly held. The officers will be instated in January.