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.”