Greg’s classic material included the poker chip that vanishes and repeatedly appears on a spectator’s shoulder; his quick opener, in which five blank cards turn into a royal flush; a bill that changes into several different foreign currencies; three coins that appear out of nothing and then vanish completely; a pencil that mysteriously flips end for end; and how to have a spectator correctly guess the amount of change in his pocket. The latter two effects were Greg’s favorites for obtaining free upgrades at ticket counters, as he described with a series of amusing real-life stories. As for the newer material…to preserve the surprise, let’s wait until they are released.
Among the many audience questions, perhaps the one that received the lengthiest answer was asked by Suyash J.: “What do you want the spectators to care about?” It is a subject on which Greg has given much thought, and he gave several examples of his philosophy of starting with an idea that arouses their curiosity, rather than immediately diving into the trick. “Grab their attention, sustain their interest; the magic is a visual exclamation mark on what you just said.”
Ring 216 was treated to a live lecture by Nick Lewin, Zooming from his home in magical and musical Austin, Texas on July 14, 2021. Nick’s cheerful manner and big smile were notable throughout the lecture. Reflecting on his beginnings in magic, he credited his mentors Ken Brooke and Billy McComb with changing his life leading him to develop his goal as a comedy magician presenting “Strong magic, made funny.”
The effects he lectured on, drawn from his lifetime repertoire, demonstrated his working requirement of “Packs small, plays STRONG.” He described in impressive detail his favorite opener, the Color-Changing Silks, covering many little touches over the years, and giving thoughtful answers to questions from the magician Paprika and others in the audience. He segued smoothly into the Bill in Lemon, always speaking during the transition, never allowing a dull moment on stage. His message: you are controlling the audience - when to laugh, when not, when to applause, when to stop applause, and to do this keep eye contact with the audience (even if you can't see them for the stage lights) and smile.
A borrowed credit card to wallet routine then led to a very commercial, straightforward and fooling version of a triple prediction, in this case of a custom-ordered car. In answer to questions from David Martinez and others, Nick explained how he made his show flow, using such unifying techniques as callbacks and borrowing repeatedly from the same person. He spoke passionately about the practical means of inventing new effects. Jonathan Steigman asked for Nick’s favorite Bill McComb story, and Nick happily complied (first warning that he needed to clean up the language because there were youths in attendance).
in the Texas wee hours, Susan Lewin closed the night: “Thank you, everyone. It’s been a fun evening. Nick enjoys chatting with magicians and you’ll find him on FaceBook.”
Zoom link will be sent to members and other paid attendees on the day of the event.
Nick has been featured on numerous television shows and also entertained British Royalty, American Presidents, Business Legends and Hollywood Icons. Lewin’s award-winning show is very funny and non-stop entertainment, with Nick’s dry English sense of humor perfectly honed for American audiences. Audiences are delighted with Lewin's highly individual blend of stand-up comedy sleight of hand and mind magic.
At this lecture, Nick will share tools and tips to strengthen your magic.
You must be a paid member of Ring 216 for 2021 to attend the lecture, or else you can purchase this lecture on its own for $15.
If you are not already a member, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information about attending this lecture.
No one knew what would happen on June 9, 2021, when Ring 216 held its annual auction for the first time online over Zoom. Would there be sellers? Would there be buyers? There were indeed ten sellers, with were some three dozen attendees onscreen. Unlike a normal auction, the potential buyers were unable to browse the wares ahead of time, nor could they look forward to taking immediate possession of their items. As the new rules specified, at the start of the meeting each seller was given two minutes to outline what they had brought to the auction. When the auction itself began, each seller had ten minutes to make the sales. For the delivery of the items, the buyer and seller were to arrange for pickup or delivery between themselves.
Despite these barriers, there was enjoyment in getting a peek into other magicians’ closets, and quite a few sales were made. The sellers included Dan Chan; Mike Della Penna, with a charming mirror box; Mitch Kothe, who found a buyer for the “Box Office” mentalism effect; Al Skinner; Steven Goldstein; Tom Collette, offering a Losander Bubble Zombie among other items; Alan Kahn, displaying a chair suspension; Suyash Joshi; Sohum Modha, successfully selling “Sheer Luck”; and David Martinez, whose “Triple Split” sale was the item that sold for the highest price of the evening; David also auctioned items that had been donated to the club. Some other items that gained multiple bids included “Mint Box,” a set of Ninja rings, the Multiplying Bottles, and a bag of wands.
The experiment in online auctions was a fun way to revisit magic history, but it is hoped there will be no need to repeat the experiment next year.
Got magic stuff you want to get rid of? Is there anything you have your eye on? Invite your magical friends and join us for our first-ever online auction!
DATE: Wednesday, June 9. 2021
TIME: 7:30 p.m. PDT
HOW: Live online via Zoom
COST: No cost
All members and non-members are invited!
How to buy stuff
Just show up for the Zoom call! You can bid on as many items as you want. You will arrange payment and shipping information with the seller directly. We'll share a Google spreadsheet where sellers will list their payment/shipping information.
How to sell your stuff
Anybody on this email list is invited to sign up for a slot to sell their stuff. For time purposes, we're going to limit the seller list to no more than 20 people. We will prioritize paid members of Ring 216, but otherwise it is first come, first served.
Here are more details:
-Sellers will be invited to share pictures of their items in our Facebook group.
-Sellers get a limited amount of time to offer their items during the auction. The amount of time will be based on the number of sellers.
-Sellers will update the Google spreadsheet with their payment information (PayPal, Venmo, etc.) and shipping costs to make it easier for buyers.
-The Ring will record the session to act as a backup in case there is any question about buyers and sellers.
-Sellers and buyers will arrange their own payment, shipping, and pickup details.
-The Ring will do what we can to help, but buyers and sellers are responsible for their own transactions.
-The Ring will not take a percentage of any sales. The profits are yours to keep!
To sign up or ask questions, contact David at email@example.com.
The energetic Suzanne was the welcome lecturer at the May 12, 2021 meeting of Ring 216. Presenting over Zoom, she was generous sharing her deep experience in restaurant magic. As she demonstrated her main opening set for table work, young club member Satvik ably assisted her as audience volunteer and afterwards was not shy in asking questions about her performance. Among the magic she explained was her working card routine, in which she focused on details of maximizing misdirection and entertainment, and a clever presentation for the transformation of dollars into hundred-dollar bills. And she related her nerve-wracking (and trophy-winning) experience on “Fool Us”.
Many members were interested in the practical side of the business. In response to their non-stop questions, Suzanne described how she got her first restaurant gigs, and how she learned over time that as a house magician she was not just the entertainment but had an important role as a liaison between the restaurant staff and the diners. She gave advice on how to approach a table and what to do if the people aren’t welcoming, including, “Never take it personally.”
And what does she do if a spectator blurts out that they’ve caught her in a move? This took a long time for her to learn. She was very upset at this for years. Now she has a number of ways for handling it gracefully. Most of all: “If you’re a nice person, and not a jerk to them, you can make a lot of mistakes, and you’ll be fine.”
This is Suzanne, and if you enjoyed her magic, please tell the hostess on the way out!
Another exciting lecture coming up in May as Ring 216 welcomes the legendary Suzanne!
Audiences all over the country have been falling in love with Suzanne since 1985. She resides in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota and can be seen locally there at Birch's on the Lake, Lord Fletcher's Old Lake Lodge and Rockwood's.
Her engaging style makes the audience an essential participant in her performance. Other respected professional magicians have called her "flawless" and "amazing". She is a favorite at Hollywood's famous Magic Castle and was awarded Close Up Magician of the Year for 2010 by The Academy of Magical Arts. Her specialty is close-up magic for corporate and private events.
For Ring 216, Suzanne will lecture about restaurant magic and strolling magic.
The members of Ring 216 were pleased to host Francis Menotti for a live Zoom lecture at their April 14, 2021 meeting. A compendium of creative effects infused with Francis' thoughtfully off-center presentations, the lecture followed up each presentation of a routine with the philosophy of performance that led to its creation and use.
Francis’ opener was “Shunuffled,” an example of finding an opener that one is very comfortable with, reveals one's personality, and surprises the audience and forces them to focus. Next, an effect of writing with an invisible pen demonstrated his approach to the question, “How do I take an impossibility and make it more interesting?” Sleight of hand was then given added intrigue in a routine with three coins, two of which were shown to have only one side each, and an effect with a coin that vanishes when covered with a piece of nothing. A calculator effect with a spooky premise illustrated the Paul Harris maxim, “When you find a piece of strange, ask how to make it magical.”
Francis recounted in detail his two “Fool Us” performances, the first using Scrabble to divine a thought-of word and the second, “Boxed”, employing metaphysics to switch the properties of a wooden box and a deck of cards. There were many more effects discussed, including his unique razor swallowing routine. At last, in response to the audience question, “Where does inspiration come from?”, he answered that it comes from surrounding yourself with good people. His concluding advice: magic is a small community, go ahead and reach out to anyone whose work you admire.
Eric Jones received a warm welcome for his live Zoom lecture for the March 2021 meeting of IBM Ring 216. It was a large and diverse audience, yet his presentation was designed for all skill levels and he generously answered questions on every effect.
He opened by changing a catalog picture of a coin into a real coin, leaving a blank space behind. Then, with the greatest detail, he taught his coin routine in which three fly from hand to hand. Although it involved some sophisticated techniques, he taught every move and everyone was able to learn from it. Notable was his care and thoroughness in giving credit to the magicians whose creations he had built on.
Eric then moved to cards and a very magical-looking assembly of the aces. He spoke on the subject of creating conviction for Zoom magic, including using a deck that he had mailed out previously to participants for shuffling. He explained a sleight-free version of a Paul Harris effect in which a signed selected card, trapped between two other cards, disappears and reappears. Eric also presented a bare hand production of a Sharpie marker and, as a knuckle-buster, some work on Fred Robinson’s rising card.
Among the many questions Eric answered, beyond those related to the effects taught, were what to do about finger windows (his solutions include jewelry), his appearances on America’s Got Talent and Penn and Teller (in which he had presented his favorite effect), how he performs for people in social situations, and his favorite magic books, among which he rates Ascanio’s highly.
Another exciting lecture coming up in March as Ring 216 welcomes a modern maestro of magic, Eric Jones!
Regarded by his peers as one of magic's rising stars, Eric Jones has made quite a name for himself in the world of magic. Armed with cunning sleight of hand and a charming personality, he will astound you with his digital dexterity.
Ring 216 was
pleased to start the new year with an inspiring lecture by Richard Osterlind.
From his home in front of his bookshelves, before a large Zoom audience, Richard
conversationally taught many of his favorite effects. He delved into the development of many subtle points of their presentation that had been honed over the years to produce the maximum audience impact.
Richard opened with his famous center
tear. Many audience members had questions that he answered with great care and with close-up
demonstrations of the fine points (for which Zoom was well-suited). He then
described his book test and discussed his presentation philosophy for the
revelation of spectator’s thoughts. The great power of the swami gimmick and of
spoon bending became apparent in Richard’s hands. Numerous other mental effects were discussed at the members' suggestion.
Our first lecture of the year is from master mentalist Richard Osterlind.
Richard Osterlind is considered by many to be the foremost mentalist performing in the English language today. His unique mix of natural warmth with an almost supernatural ability to read thoughts, bend metal objects with his mind, and scores of other amazing demonstrations, has made him one of the most sought-after corporate entertainers in the world.