August 8: Workshop, Performances, Feedback & More

Join us at our next Ring 216 meeting on August 8 for a special night of learning and sharing. Here's what's on the agenda:

Pre-meeting workshop: 6:30 p.m.
Past Ring 216 president Cal Tong will lead members in a teaching session about basic coin sleights. The specific sleights will depend on what the attendees need help with. This is a great opportunity to learn from a master of coin magic.

Regular meeting: 7:30 p.m.
Normally, the Walk-Around Competition is held in August, but this year, many members will be at Magic Live. So the regular meeting will be hosted by our treasurer John Jones and vice president Tom Collett and feature a something a little different. Attendees will be divided into groups of 3-4, and then everybody will have the opportunity to perform a short trick, sleight, or script in order to receive constructive feedback from the group. This is the perfect way to get help and ideas from your fellow magicians in a low-stress environment.

For whatever time remaining, attendees will be invited to share something with the rest of the group. It can be an open performance routine, a product review, or something else that they want the group to know about.

Looking ahead

Now Taking Signups for our Next Competition
We hope you've been working on your acts for our Walk-Around Competition on September 12, 2018. We're taking signups now. Just click the big signup button below to let us know you want to compete. This is a great, low-stress way to hone your act and get feedback. Remember: The goal is to do your best and not focus on winning. Just have fun!

If you're thinking of competing, please keep in mind the following information:

  • All paid members are allowed to compete. If you're new to the club, you have to attend at least three meetings this year to become a member.
  • Acts should be around 6 minutes long, so start timing yourself.
  • If you've won in the past, you are free to compete, but you have to perform a different act.
  • If you want help with your act, ask any member! We're happy to offer guidance on your technique and presentation. (Why not bring it to the August meeting for feedback?)
  • Check out all the competition rules.

Sign up to compete>

Later in the Year

October 10th: Close-Up Competition
Just a month after the Walk-Around Competition, we'll host the Close-Up Magic Competition. Start preparing your act!

November 14th: Workshop & Lecture
Ring 216 will host a lecture and workshop from Jon Armstrong, previous winner of Close-Up Magician of the Year from the Magic Castle. More information to come!

Officer Elections
If you're interested in joining the leadership team of Ring 216 for next year, please get in touch with Fred Rasmussen and Cal Tong, who head up our nominating committee. Send email to both of them at

Future Workshops
The officers are thinking of hosting beginner's workshops and will start reaching out for ideas. If you have any ideas or requests, please share them with an officer.

Meeting Report: July 11, 2018 - The David Gerard Lecture

“That was the best lecture ever!” The immediate response on Ring 216 social media was unabashed praise for the presentation by David Gerard. The Bay Area magician and long-time friend of the Ring had devised his lecture to answer the questions he had been most asked by the members: How to develop entertaining presentations? How to succeed at marketing and producing a show? Few suspected that his talk on the practical business of magic would turn out to be as lively and funny as his magic performances.

Being entertaining is not one secret, David said, but a combination of hundreds of small factors. When he started out eight years ago, what he cared about most was to perform one effect in a local magic show; his goals grew every year as he felt he could always find ways to get bigger applause. Now he had eight hundred professional performances behind him and this lecture consolidated his lessons learned – implicitly, it seemed, in preparation for his next phase of development.

The two-and-a-half hour lecture was overwhelmingly generous in its range of subjects, from strolling at company parties to managing a mentalism show. There was an abundance of anecdotes, from the trials of performing for CEOs at private dinners to the chastisement received when attempting to perform for an unappreciative clique at a party. There was a flood of practical advice, from the use of video to judge spectator interaction to how to stage the visual texture of your presentations. David discussed the five effects he used for all situations and did a deep dive into one card routine, covering the fine points of how it made use of misdirection in a strolling environment, with an ending that probably fooled most of the magicians at the lecture.

For many, the highlight of the lecture was David’s explanation of his characteristic back-and-forth banter with his audiences. He described how he achieved this through a mixture of planned branched responses and spontaneous risk taking, and art he illustrated with numerous stories from his shows.

The Ring 216 members appreciate how much of himself David put into this lecture. He exemplified his most daring advice for connecting with an audience: “Be vulnerable.”