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
president@ring216.org

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