April 2012

We held our stage magic competition tonight. Thanks to a strict time limit of eight minutes for each performance, the magic came at a very entertaining pace.

Steve Applebaum began the magic with a unique card effect. He brought out a large balloon that had a small envelope inside of it, tied to a string that came out of the neck of the balloon. With two volunteers from the audience, Steve had one person select 6 random cards from a shuffled pack, and the other select six brown envelopes. Steve placed the cards into the envelopes, and the volunteer mixed them up, and eliminated all but one envelope. Steve had the balloon popped, and when he opened that envelope, the card inside matched the card in the randomly selected envelope!

Bill and Sue McElvenney performed a team act. Sue had a magical dancing cane float around her in the air. Her gloves then turned into a beautiful bouquet of flowers! Bill had a large wooden ring float onto and off a large rope. Finally, using a volunteer, Bill and Sue did a comedy bit with two plastic cups and water. A volunteer had a cup of water over his head, and Bill vanished the water to laughs all around.

Magic Pont (Aurelio Pontarelli) and Jim Capobianco showed off their mind-reading skills, using a set of random numbers that audience members wrote on a pad of paper.

Ed Schmitt shared a scary routine that he would NEVER do for his normal kids shows. Ed had intense music play as he had two volunteers help with a dangerous effect using four staple guns!  Ed loaded one staple gun with half inch staples, and put it onto a lazy Susan table. Ed spun the table, and had the volunteers pick a staple gun. Ed took the first gun picked and pulled the staple gun onto his palm: No staples!  He was successful with the next two picks. Finally, Ed took the remaining gun and wood plank where he stapled the plank with the live staples!  Scary stuff.

Reba Strong did a variety of magic starting with a Temple Screen production of silks, rope, and a toothbrush! She finished with her Pom Pom machine that does nothing. Except magic with the Pom Poms!

Peter Pitchford had music playing while he did pure magic!  In his hands, a large Sharpie pen changed colors, vanished and reappeared. Next, his name tag vanished, reappeared, and multiplied into “card fans” of cards. Coins appeared and vanished, too!  This gifted professional shared a wonderful eight minutes of skill done with a funny flair.

Our final performer, Jim Straub, was hysterical with a wonderful sponge ball routine, and turned a borrowed $20 bill into a one dollar bill. Fortunately, he restored the bill to a twenty, to the relief of its owner! Jim finished using a borrowed deck of cards. A volunteer picked a card, then signed it. He then did an amazing and funny Ambitious Card effect. No matter where he placed the card, or how he shuffled the deck, the card kept reappearing on top of the deck. The card finally traveled into his pants pocket.

With performances complete, we voted for our favorites. The results of the 2012 Stage Magic competition:  Third Place (and a $50 prize) Jim Straub; Second Place (and a $75 prize) Ed Schmitt; Champion (and a $100 prize) Peter Pitchford.


DAVE KELLY, Recording Secretary

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