April 2008

Move over, Michigan and Florida!  When we needed to have a re-vote in our club, we had a re-vote!  Former president Forrest Chapman had to resign his presidential post due to family and study commitments, and we had to convene an election in March, where Hunter Gaul emerged as our new leader. Hunter has quickly moved to reorganize the club, engaging a lot more members in efforts to make our meetings even better than they have been. We now have groups working on our constitution, fundraising, public shows, hospitality, membership, programs and web design. We are all looking forward to an exciting year of lectures, shows, and sharing of magic.

Hunter arranged to have us vote to decide which of two DVDs to watch tonight. He gave a synopsis of each, making it tough to choose. One was a collection of rare magic performances from the old TV show, “You Asked for It!” The other was a performance and lecture DVD by famed street magician Jim Cellini.  The vote was close, 16 to 15, even after two re-votes!  We chose the Cellini DVD. Dave Hale provided a video projector and sound system so we could watch the show on a large movie screen.

We saw Cellini’s street magic act that included silk vanishes, coin magic, cigarette (!) productions and vanishes, and his stand up Cups and Balls routine that finished with multiple lemons. He also did his Linking Rings. I guess that you can still do cigarette magic on the streets of Europe, but I think that nowadays in America it would lose some of your “customers.”

Then the real fun began as he taught many of the effects, but more importantly explained his approach to magic and entertaining an audience. He had his wife show the costume that he still uses on the street: A Renaissance Faire style performer’s outfit. The wearer looks like an old-time wizard in it. He also has a more modern outfit filled with special pockets that make his magic possible for him.

Cellini attracts a street audience with sound and sight. He explained how to attract crowd on the street, how to control the crowd, and how to bring them in closer to the performing area, but not too close! He likes performing with the audience all around him, and how he even uses a crowd in the round to cover some of his moves and steals!

Even though most of us will never do street magic, Jim Cellini shared his well thought out philosophy on magic and performance. A great DVD, which made our free admission tonight an even better attraction!


DAVE KELLY, Recording Secretary

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