Meeting Report - January 18, 2022: Chris Randall Lecture

The first meeting of IBM Ring 216 in 2022 began with welcoming new members to the club, many who attended from long distances, one of the advantages of conducting meetings over Zoom. Then the officers for the year were introduced. These are David Martinez, President; John Morgan, Vice President; Tom Collett, Treasurer; Mitch Kothe, Sergeant at Arms; Dan Chan, Social Media Manager; and Gary Goldberg, Secretary.


The lecturer for the evening was Chris Randall. Chris had visited Ring 216 six years ago and was now Zooming in remotely from his home in Las Vegas. This lecture was an expert class on street performing. He emphasized that being able to make money on the street, as he has done for ten years, means he is never unemployed: he can work anywhere, anytime. Chris described in detail the act he performs six times a day on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, two hours a day. He spoke of self-motivation, coming up with one’s own act, and being able to bring the same act indoors and do it as close-up or stage.       


“The street performer has three jobs,” Chris said. “Get them to stop, get them to stay, and get them to pay.” He explained how his act addressed each task. He often gathers a crowd with the Floating Card, whose nuances and variations he described in great detail. The same attention was given to his descriptions of the appearing balls, the magic egg bag with audience participation, and two bills in a lemon. Each effect was extremely well described and full of invaluable professional tips learned from long experience: the best materials to use in making certain props, what to do when something breaks, the role of sunlight, why he chooses one action or bit of business over another, the use of music, and more, in a lecture lasting more than three hours. Throughout, he gave credit to his mentors and many magical creators, especially Chris Capehart and Scott Alexander. One is unlikely to find a deeper education anywhere on the ins and outs of professional street performing.


    IBM Ring 216 of Silicon Valley meets online the second Wednesday of every month. We welcome all visiting magicians.