Meeting Report: January 10, 2018

Cheryl, the receptionist at the Yu Ai Kai Center, was impressed by the number of magicians trooping through the lobby on Ring 216’s meeting night. “Everyone wants to see John Carney,” she said. “They say he’s The Man.”

The man himself began by telling the capacity crowd his mission: “I teach the thinking behind tricks. To me this is the fun – working things out, discovering things.” John demonstrated his thinking process by detailing the reasoning behind every move in his first two routines, “Coffee Cups and Grapes,” inspired by Michael Skinner, and Ramsay’s “Coins in Hat.” Make changes and see what results, he urged. Coffee cups have handles – what new moves does that make possible? Consider whether each visible movement can be made more graceful and more efficient, each hidden sleight covered by misdirection. Apply the attention-controlling concepts of tension and relaxation, punctuation, focus. “You can’t misdirect until you know where they’re looking.” At the end of these two teaching sessions, John remarked truthfully, “We only talked about two tricks, but one hundred secrets.” 

The lecture continued with Mora Balls, Quarter through Plate, and coin vanishes, card controls and color changes, each showing the improvements that occur when one tries out additions and subtractions to routines, and works on changing the moment of secret actions. He reminisced about Vernon and other magicians he had met and learned from. At the end, John summarized again his message of inspiration: “To improve, make adjustments. Don’t practice the same way for forty years.”

The magicians lingered talking with John Carney long after the appointed time for the center to close. At the front desk, Cheryl, waiting patiently, said she did not mind. It looked to her like it had been an important night for the magicians.

Coming February 14: Awards, Mini-Lecture, and Open Performance

When: Wednesday, February 14, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Where: Yu-Ai Kai Senior Center, 588 North 4th Street, San Jose, CA
Join us on February 14 for our next Ring 216 meeting featuring an awards ceremony, mini-lecture, and open performances.

We hope you can get away from your significant other for a few hours on Wednesday, February 14, and spend it with your family in magic. Here's our agenda:
  • Awards ceremony honoring the winners of last year's competitions, including Danny Cheng and Alex Wu
  • Mini-lecture on opening lines by David Martinez (adapted from his essay in the Ring 216 publication, The Real Magic of Silicon Valley: Volume 2).
  • Open performance — share your magic with the club.
  • Food and beverage will be served.
This is a great opportunity to re-connect with your friends, honor our award winners, learn something new, and enjoy some fun magic.

Pre-Meeting Workshop Opportunity

We are thinking about holding an informal, free workshop before our February meeting to discuss a routine we learned at the recent John Carney lecture: Coin Thru Plate. The workshop will run from 6:30–7:15 p.m. on February 14.

If at least 5-6 people will commit to attending, then we will host the workshop. Otherwise, we will schedule a workshop for a future date. Please email president@ring216.org to let us know if you will attend.