Meeting Report - March 9, 2022: Curtis Kam Lecture


At the March 2022 meeting of Ring 216, Jim Blashek announced the sad news of the passing of Ken Gielow. Ken’s estate has donated 600 dollars to the Ring, and Jim is handling the distribution of many boxes filled with the collection of a lifetime in magic.


For the night’s lecture, the Ring was pleased to welcome a master magician and friend to many in the Bay Area: Curtis Kam! During the pandemic Curtis started in some fresh directions, including starting a monthly magazine, The Disclaimer ( In the lecture, he presented many new things he had been working on, including Zoom-centric magic.


The starting effect was a very clean Coins Across with three coins and a finger ring. He then caused the ring (ungimmicked) to penetrate on and off his fingers, then, going too far, pulls off the ring and his finger comes off with it. Next came a a triple color changing deck routine performed with a dealer item that Curtis created. Then his ingenious variation of a classic trick: two decks of different colors that won’t stay in their cases – put one deck in its case, and the other pops out. The recasting of the classic was itself a lesson in inventiveness.


For card tricks that can be done over Zoom, Curtis taught a trick with five cards that combined ideas from Jacob Dailey and Larry Jennings, and a variation of a Dave Solomon effect (based on an Alex Elmsley principle) in which a spectator makes a series of free choices in order to find their own selected card. He had a new self-working card trick with an amusing premise, “The Spectator Almost Cuts to the Aces”. Then he presented a version of a currently notorious effect, in which a freely chosen number gives the exact location of the only printed card in a completely blank deck – unlike a current dealer item, this version is truly ungimmicked and examinable.


There were plenty of stories about performing and tips on numerous tricks. Many of the effects were described in lecture notes Curtis distributed free and instantly over Zoom as a PDF file. It was a great evening of creative magic.   

Coming March 9: Curtis Kam Lecture

 About Curtis Kam, The Wizard of Waikiki

Kam headlined “Magic in Paradise” at the Hale Koa Hotel for 13 years, performed tableside sleight-of-hand regularly at Dave and Buster’s, Tony Roma’s, TGI Fridays, and has entertained corporate and private audiences in Hawaii for over 40 years.  He has designed illusions for “The Magic of Polynesia,” Honolulu marketing and media firms, trade shows, conventions, Ballet Hawaii, and Hawaii Opera Theater. Since 1989, he has performed as one-half of the mentalism and magic team Paranormal Guys with mythical radio personality Jon Kealoha. For even longer, he has created new magic and has lectured to magicians in Milan, Tokyo, Marseilles, Honolulu, California, Melbourne, Amsterdam, Washington, Las Vegas, Hollywood’s Magic Castle and London's Magic Circle..

About the Lecture

As the saying goes, “No matter where you go, there you are,” and where we all are right now is hunkered down in front of a computer screen. Granted, that’s not much different from the way we lived last year, but it is a change in the way we experience a magic show.

Curtis Kam presents a collection of effects, some explained and some not, that reveal the secrets of performing successfully in this environment. Surprisingly, effects that happen in the spectators’ hands, usually procedure heavy “remote” or “virtual” tricks, are only a small part of this. Mostly, the magic that works online is magic you already own, or do, you just have to know what to look for. These secrets turn quarantine into opportunity.

The lecture features a combination of effects that work on Zoom, and those that have to be done live.

DATE: March 9, 2022
TIME: 7:30 p.m. PST
HOW: Live online via Zoom
COST: Free for paid 2022 members of Ring 216 (see below); $15 for non-members
The Zoom link will be sent to paid attendees the day of the event.