Ring 216 President’s Message: 2017 Edition

Dear Ring 216 Members and Friends,

Another eventful year for magic has flown by, and so now is a great time to reflect on what we accomplished in 2017 and look ahead to what’s in store for 2018.

In 2017, we had the good fortune to host some wonderful lecturers: Tony Clark in January, Jeff Prace in February, Shawn McMaster in May, and John Lovick in September. Each of them brought a unique and interesting perspective to their effects and presentations, and I hope all of you gained some inspiration from watching and learning from them.

Ring 216 implemented several new initiatives in 2017 that we hope you enjoyed. One new program was offering the Jeff Prace lecture free to all Ring 216 members as another benefit of membership; we will do that again in 2018 (more information below). In 2017, we hosted a panel discussion on restaurant magic, we raffled off free magic items to members, and we experimented with streamlining our competitions.

Other milestones of 2017 included our annual Flea Market and Auction in June, and our three competitions: Walk-Around, Close-Up, and Stage/Parlor. We loved seeing several new faces in those competitions, and we hope to see more in 2018. We also conducted several pre-meeting workshops and held mini-lectures on interesting topics… thank you to all who contributed!

At our officers elections, we had a changing of the guard as Cal Tong decided to step down as an officer for the first time in many, many years. But not to worry: Cal will continue as a board member, and he is succeeded as Vice President by the estimable Tom Collett. John Jones continues as Treasurer, Gary Goldberg as Secretary, and Thomas Busk as Sergeant at Arms. Jeremiah Junkins is our new webmaster.

No recap of 2017 would be complete without an acknowledgement of some of the magical lives we lost. On a global scale, the community lost three giants: Daryl, Bob Cassidy, and Eugene Burger. Locally, we were all saddened by the passing of Bill Benson, for whom the Ring conducted a Broken Wand Ceremony featuring wonderful remembrances by Jim Blashek, Anthony Pratkanis, and Bill Jacobson.

Looking ahead to 2018, we have several exciting things planned but also lots of room to add new things as they come up. The officers and I have proposed a theme for 2018: Stand-Up Magic. So throughout the year, we’re going to offer mini-lectures and discussions on to help us perform more effectively for groups. We’re looking at concepts like scripting, music, theatricality, and other elements used in stand-up performances. Stay tuned for details.

As for our lectures, right now we have two accomplished magicians booked for 2018: the wonderful John Carney on January 10, and our own local cardician Michael Feldman on March 14. Michael’s lecture will be offered free to members as a gift from Ring 216, continuing the tradition we started in 2017.

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 2018, I 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

Coming in January: John Carney — A Magic Lecture

John’s seminars include stage and close-up magic using cards, coins, cigars and a variety of everyday objects. Each routine is a lesson in itself, containing the insights and ingenuities that have made John one of the premier teachers of magic today.

Topics include presentation, routining, misdirection, and creativity.

Cost: $15 for Ring 216 members, $30 for non-members

Date: January 10, 2018
Time: 7:30 - 10:00 p.m.
Location: Yu-Ai Kai Senior Center

More details to come!

Coming in December: Stage/Parlor Magic Competition

Join us on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, for the IBM Ring 216 Annual Stage & Parlor Magic Competition.

Where: Yu-Ai Kai Community Center (see map at right)
When: December 13, 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

We hope you all can show up to enjoy some fun magic and support your fellow Ring members who have signed up to compete.

Bring your friends or family with you to enjoy an evening of great magic. The more people we have, the better the magic.

We already have a few signups, so if you want to compete, please send an email to David Martinez (president@ring216.org).

All contestants should check the rules and information on competitions.

Magicians in attendance will serve as the judges for the competition. Family and friends (non-magicians) will be the judges for the People's Choice Award, assuming we have at least 10 non-magicians present. All competitors will compete in a single division.

The time and place are the same as usual: Yu-Ai Kai Community Center at 7:30 p.m. sharp. See you then!

Nov. 8: Broken Wand, Elections, and Open Performance

Broken Wand, Elections, and Open Performance
When: Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Where: Yu-Ai Kai Community Center

Join us on the evening of November 8, at that regular magic place and magic time, for our next meeting featuring magic performances from your fellow members and more.

6:30 p.m. – Pre-Meeting Workshop
100th Dollar Bill Switch
At our September meeting, John Lovick taught us his handling of a tipless bill switch, known in his book "Switch" as the "100th Dollar Bill Switch." At the next meeting, we'll informally get together to practice techniques and share feedback on this move. So arrive early and bring a couple of different denomination bills.

7:30 p.m. – Regular Meeting
Broken Wand Ceremony 
Please join IBM Ring 216’s Tribute and Celebration of the Magical Life of Bill Benson, a longtime member and past officer of the club. We'll have a Broken Wand ceremony, and members and family will be invited to honor Bill's life in magic. Refreshments will be provided.

Officer Elections
After a break, we'll continue the meeting with the election of Ring 216 officers. Please see this page for details.

Open Performances
The rest of our meeting will be devoted to open performances. Magicians can perform any routine they want, but priority will given to magicians performing in honor of Bill Benson. Please bring your works in progress, or even your favorite gem looking for that extra bit of polish, to share with the group. Come ready to help your fellow magi improve his or her craft with your constructive feedback. To accommodate as many performers as possible please plan to perform a piece no longer than 5 or 6 minutes in length in order to allow time for brief feedback.

A message about Ring 216 Officer Elections

This message was sent to our email list last week:

On November 8, IBM Ring 216 will hold its yearly election of officers. This is an opportunity for Ring members to get involved with the leadership of the club. Officers have a vote in the club's direction, provide a valuable service, expand their social networks, meet new magicians, and have fun.

The Nominating Committee consists of Fred Rasmussen and Cal Tong, who have been looking for candidates over the past two months. As of now, the candidates qualified by the Nominating Committee are:

President: David Martinez
Vice President: Tom Collett
Secretary: Gary Goldberg
Treasurer: John Jones
Web Master: Jeremiah Junkins
Sergeant at Arms: Thomas Busk

All paid Ring 216 members are invited to submit their names to also be considered as a nominee for any of the above positions. The deadline will be October 31, 2017. Candidates must be 18 years or older.

In addition, any Ring 216 member can challenge final nominees by a floor nomination at the election. Ring membership and qualification must be validated at the election to be nominated as a floor candidate. If we have more than one nominee for a position, then a secret ballet will be held to determine the winner.

For inquiries, contact Fred Rasmussen at fredemail@comcast.net or Cal Tong at calvinloutong@yahoo.com, or send email to both of us at nominating-committee@ring216.org.

Thank you,

Ring 216 Nominating Committee
Fred Rasmussen, Cal Tong