Announcing the Ring 216 Auction and Flea Market

Got magic stuff you want to get rid of? Is there anything you have your eye on? Bring your magical friends and join us at our next meeting on Wednesday, June 13, beginning at 7:00 PM to shop the collections of your fellow magicians — and/or sell the stuff you don't use anymore.

Flea Market
Tables for the flea market are available now on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserve your table today using our easy online form. The costs are:
  • Full table: $15 for members, $20 for non-members
  • Half table: $10 for members, $15 for non-members
You can view a layout of the tables when you reserve, and you can make a request for a particular table (although requests are not guaranteed). The earlier you reserve, the more likely you will be to get your preferred location.

Auction
There will also be an auction of magical goods. If you're interested in the auction, just show up. Anybody can sell at auction. The club takes a 10% fee for auction sales, but no fee for table sales.

Make a Donation
If you have some unwanted stuff, consider donating it to the club. We'll auction it off that night, and the proceeds will go to Ring 216.

Evening Agenda
6:30 PM: Sellers may arrive to set up their tables for the flea market.
7:00 PM: The doors open to buyers.
8:15 PM: The auction begins.
9:30 PM (approximately): All sales end and it's time to pack up.

Want more details about the auction? Read our FAQ.

So bring your friends and your stuff — and your cash.

Meeting Update: May 2018

Music and Magic

The May 2018 meeting featuring a great mini-lecture from Peter Apel about magic and music. He has created a handout help you with adding music to your performances. Download it now>

David Gerard Lecture

We also announced an July lecture from San Francisco's own David Gerard. David would like your thoughts and ideas of what to cover during the meeting, and he has set up an online survey to hear from people who are planning to attend the lecture. Take the survey now>

Meeting Report: May 9, 2018 - Appel and Ackerly Music Lecture and More

It was the busiest Ring 216 night of the year in terms of scheduled magical events. It all started with music.

Musician, composer and kid show magician Pete Appel walked out for his mini-lecture to some rousing opening music – then left and walked out again without the music. He asked, see the difference? He drew on his experiences to demonstrate the effectiveness of music in magical performances. “Music can transport people to another place or time,” he pointed out. Music can be used to change emotion, or to attract attention, or as a mnemonic device – one must select music to match your intentions. He covered many practical aspects about using music at the performance site, such as carrying converter plugs and how to work with the sound guy. Stepping in to provide his own experience, well-known and very busy area magician Phil Ackerly emphasized that music takes your show to a whole different level – it makes the show more exciting. Phil gave tips on where to obtain royalty-free music. And if you have no music, use your voice – da da da!

This lecture alone could have filled the entire night, but there was more. Two teach-in workshops followed, with Calvin Tong teaching fine points of a particular coin sleight, and Gary Goldberg leading a discussion on a particular card sleight (names of sleights withheld from this public web site).


The night was capped by a set of open performances. Kim Silverman three times predicted a spectator’s card – once at a freely chosen number, once by cut, once based on a name – and each time it is the same card. Gene Johansson showed a clever presentation of a rope so cheap it had no ends. Yichen Ling pulls a spectator’s selected card out of the card box in the spectator’s pocket. With a musical performance that harkened back to the opening lecture Phil Ackerly, illustrated a family  life lesson using a piece of thread torn to fragments. “Fear keeps us from doing what we love.” The thread is magically restored. “But if you have courage your life would be long, magical and fun.”

Coming in May: Mini-lecture, teach-in sessions, and more

Join your friends in magic on May 9, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. for our next regular meeting. We have a fun, full agenda for the meeting... here's what we have in store for you:

1. Mini-Lecture: Music and Magic
Peter Apel will facilitate a group discussion on the topic, “The Magic of Audio: How Thoughtful Selection and Use of Music Can Enhance Your Magical Performance.” He'll cover selecting the right music, preparation and practice, technology and hardware, and other topics brought up by the members.

2. Teach-In Sessions: False Transfers and Double-Lifts
Next, we'll divide attendees into two groups to take part in teach-in sessions led by two Ring 216 officers. Each group will have the opportunity to attend each session.

• Cal Tong will lead a session on false transfers. As student of Shoot Ogawa, Cal is a master of the art and will discuss technique, psychology, and misdirection. Bring your own coins or other small objects to practice with.

• Gary Goldberg will facilitate a discussion on the double-lift. Gary is a wonderful cardician who has studied the classics, and he'll be able to share advice and techniques for mastering this extremely valuable card sleight.

3. Magic Reviews from Club Members
Have you bought any new magic books, videos, or tricks lately? Tell us what you think about them! We're going to inaugurate a new feature of Ring 216 where we invite YOU to share your opinions in an open forum about what you've purchased. In 1-3 minutes, tell us what you like or don't like about it so that your fellow members can decide whether to buy it. 

4. Open Performances
If you haven't performed at the Ring lately, we invite you to show your stuff! You'll get first priority during our open performance portion of the evening. Remember: As a member of Ring 216, you're obligated to perform at a club event (meeting or competition) at least once per year. Nervous? No need to be... We're family!

Meeting Report: April 11, 2018 - Open Performance Night

   Before the scheduled start of the April meeting of Ring 216, Don White led a workshop to practice the pen and cap trick that had been taught in the previous month’s Michael Feldman lecture.
  The meeting proper began with a greeting to new visitors and a free-for-members raffle of some generously donated magical items. It was Open Performance Night and a variety of valiant volunteers stepped up to practice and baffle.
Rafael Delgadillo started things off by divining a chosen card while his back was turned. 
        John Jones performed a 3-fly routine with differently colored poker chips. 
        John Mosh caused a spectator’s imagined red-backed card to materialize reversed in a blue deck, and he took care to show both sides of the deck. 
        Grant Yang, in his first performance for the Ring, performed a series of intertwined card mysteries, as a single selection is found three different ways.  
         Mitch Kothe used a spectator’s password to find a selected card, then the whole audience participated with cards in hand to find their own cards with their passwords. 
         Fred Rasmussen pitted a man and a woman against each other in trying to guess the color of a series of cards; the man was always wrong and the woman was always right. 
         Ken King told a history-based Old West tale where a gambler cut to four kings – which subsequently changed to four deuces. 
         Don White performed an inventive and deceptive close-up Miser’s Dream - the endless production of coins -- which he then taught to all. 
         David Martinez and a spectator took turns playing detective to identify the culprit among a group of spectators who held the guilty envelope. 
        Tom Collett closed out the evening with his presentation of a transforming sponge ball. 

Coming in April: Pre-Meeting Workshop and Open Performances

Ring 216 members and friends: Join your friends in magic on April 11, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. for our next regular meeting.

Here's the agenda for the meeting:

6:30 p.m. — Pre-meeting workshop
We'll practice one of the routines we learned at Michael Feldman's lecture: End for End. David has purchased a collection of Pilot V7 pens, and so we'll have them available to use and purchase (only $3 for two pens, red and black). The routine is available in Michael's book "The Opposite of People," and you can also purchase a video download of the routine from Art of Magic.

7:30 p.m. — Announcements, Raffle, and Open Performances
As usual, Ring 216 members are eligible to participate in a raffle of magic items — books, tricks, and videos — donated by our members. If you have anything you'd like to share with other members, please bring it!

After the raffle, we'll have a regular night of open performances. Perform a routine you're working on and get feedback. Or if you have something you'd like to teach us or ideas you'd like to share, bring those, too.

Did anyone say refreshments? We'll have those, too. Feel free to bring some food to share if you'd like.

Meeting Report: March 14, 2018 - Michael Feldman Lecture

The creative Bay Area magician Michael Feldman presented a lecture on his latest material to a large audience of Ring 216 members.  The first edition of his recent book, A New Angle, co-written with Ryan Plunkett, has nearly sold out. The last remaining copies were offered for sale after the lecture, and quickly snapped up.

Michael performed and explained a series of novel effects. He began by holding a competition to find the three best Rock Paper Scissors players in the room. The winning moves of the top three players then turned out to have been written, in the correct order, on three large sheets of paper that had been stuck to the wall since the start of the game.

Next the cap of a ballpoint pen vanished, reappeared, and changed color. This was an update of a do-anywhere pocket effect Michael had released years ago and which he had published in his book “The Opposite of People.”

The material from his new book was then showcased in a series of card routines, kicked off by Ryan Plunkett’s “Shuffleupagus.” Two spectators each shuffle half the deck. The magician then shuffles and shows the cards are nearly separated into reds and blacks. He shuffles again, and the cards are in new deck order. It was this effect which was the genesis of the book, Michael explained. He followed this up with the outstanding “Complete faro control, then the direct location of any named four of a kind, and rounded off with some thinking on the larger principles behind the book.

The second half of the lecture was devoted to impromptu card tricks. These included an in-the-hands effect where a mixed deck of face-up and face-down cards rights itself and a cutting the aces routine.

The finale was “Merely Impossible,” a routine Michael has been incorporating into his act over the past year. This astonishing routine has taken in probably every magician who has seen it. In essence, the selected and signed card is located by the magician in the deck…before the spectator returns it to the deck! Michael graciously discussed in detail the psychology behind the routine.


The books he brought with him quickly sold out at the end of the lecture – but a new edition is on the way.


Ring 216 members and friends:

Join us on March 14 at 7:30 p.m. sharp for a magic lecture by San Francisco's own Michael Feldman — sleight-of-hand artist and international man of mystery.

As a gift for Ring 216 members, Michael's lecture is free for paid members ($20 for non-members). You can sign up for membership at the meeting and enjoy all the benefits for just $25.

For the last 20 years, Michael has traveled the world with a deck of cards performing sleight-of-hand magic. He has been a featured performer at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, on Crystal Cruiselines, and at Monday Night Magic, New York’s longest-running, off-Broadway magic show.

At the lecture, Michael is planning to cover a variety of topics. He's most excited about (1) a stand up routine that can be customized to predict almost anything, (2) performing with signed cards, and (3) hands-off magic with cards.

In addition, he's interested to hear what people want to see or have him talk about. He can tailor the lecture to discuss what people would like to hear.

No need to RSVP... just show up!

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.

Meeting Report: February 14, 2018

Awards – raffle prizes – a mini-lecture – and magic performances. What more could one want for Valentine’s Day?

First on the agenda, the awards were handed out for the Ring’s magic competitions that took place last year. Beautiful first-place trophies were awarded to Alex Wu (Stage/Parlor) and to Danny Cheng (Walk-Around,Close-Up and Magician of the Year). Personalized certificates were awarded to the People’s Choice winners, Tom Collett (Stage/Parlor), Perry Yan (Walk-Around) and Luke Adams and Danny Cheng (Close-Up).

The free-for-members raffle followed with prizes of magic props and DVDs generously donated to the club by Fred Rasmussen, John Jones, David Martinez and Tom Collett.

David Martinez presented a mini-lecture on “Opening Lines.” Quoting Eugene Burger – “Every good trick deserves a good opening line” – David compared the compelling first lines of literary works to the typical opener of magicians: “Here I have an ordinary deck of cards.” David presented the characteristics of great lines and how to find them, with references to the ideas of Darwin Ortiz and Pete McCabe. At the end he handed out lecture notes with dozens of examples of openers.

In the open performances of the evening, in which feedback was provided by the members if the performer requested, the Ring enjoyed the following acts.

Anthony “Doc Boodle” Pratkanis – The Three Shell Game.
Gene Johnson – Four aces fairly lost in the deck rise to the top.
Danny Cheng – Coins fly from hand to hand.
Mitch Kothe – A new arrival to the Ring, presenting Valentine themed three card location with a color change, and the deck turning into a steel block.
John Jones – The Box of Doom card prediction.
David Martinez – Teleportation of a nickel from hand to hand as spectators held his wrists.
Ken King – The Wizard Clock prediction.
Raphael Delgadillo – Card magic.
Tom Collett – Vanishing ribbon.
Gary Goldberg – A Shuffling Lesson.
Stan Sieler – A divination.

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.