Meeting Report: August 2020 - First Remote Competition

Ring 216 held its first ever Remote Competition on August 12, 2020. Hosted on the Zoom platform, the rules were six minutes per act and anything goes: close up, parlor, stage, camera tricks – just no pre-recorded video. This was a novel experience for everyone. Approximately 60 audience members and competitors took part, with voting using an online tool (magicians only, no People's Choice award). Tom Collett and John Mosch handled the technical aspects of spotlighting the performers, unmuting spectator assistances and managing the voting website. Gary Goldberg (the author of this report) fumbled his way through as emcee.

In the Standard Division, Rafael Delgadillo kicked things off by triumphing over a mixed up deck to find a selected card using essentially one hand. Suyash Joshi enabled a spectator to magically mark his selected card through the computer screen. Mitch Kothe asked a spectator to select any movie, which he then revealed with a DVD and a magically changing ticket. James Chan, the youngest entrant, performed the three shell game and a four ace routine. The winner of the Standard Division was James Chan.

In the Masters Division, Miriam Al-Sultan caused two selected cards to fuse together in a very twisted way. David Martinez made a ball appear and disappear under a soft drink can, with a fizzy surprise ending. Luke Adams brought a signed card to the top of the deck, then added more impossible revelations until a spectator with another deck online cut to the matching card. Alan Leeds demonstrated with children’s drawings how people can magically match each other’s safety procedures to deal with these anxious times. Dan Chan sent a signed card to many impossible locations. Susan Zeller surprised with her rendition of the linking rings as she recited Edgar Allan Poe to organ music! The winner of the Masters Division was Luke Adams.

Amazingly, both winners were the youngest performers in their divisions! This bodes well for the future of magic—whether online or, we hope, eventually again, in person.