Meeting Report: February 2021 - Dan Harlan Lecture

“People on Zoom want to see your home,” explained Dan Harlan, flanked by interesting magical items as he lectured from his own home to a large online audience of Ring 216 members at their February10, 2021 meeting. “The point is to make it look like you’ve put together items intentionally, not haphazardly, not a fake background.” Thus began a fire hose of professional advice and creative magical ideas from one of magic’s most energetic inventors.

The evening included new effects, starting with a version of the Professor’s Nightmare that fooled the magicians. He performed some favorites that demonstrated essential principles of his entertainment style, such as taking the burden of being fooled on himself rather than placing it on the audience. He gave ample advice on how to be creative, beginning with, “Write everything down.” He spoke of the history of some of his inventions and gave some new tips for their performance: rubber band magic, “Cardtoon” (including the Fool Us version), “Hot Cross Ones”, “Rising Dough” (his favorite trick from a Penguin Lecture), “Starcle”, “What the Hell”. He spoke about making new tricks by changing the presentation - his favorite trick developed from Tarbell was found by using socks instead of silks. He discussed how to make good routines and understand the theater of magic.

Throughout the evening he responded to a barrage of questions from the audience. The members of Ring 216 are grateful to Dan for a very enjoyable evening.