Tonight we held the annual Close-Up Competition. Due to the Passover Holiday, our numbers were down, but nine members jumped into a heated competition.
Mort Feldman did a masterful routine with a large men’s ring and a piece of string. The ring vanished, reappeared onto the string, penetrated through the string in a variety of ways. Mort always presents a well-organized routine, no matter the venue. Next, Steve Pribish entertained with a bag of goldfish snacks. He explained a game that he plays with his daughter, where she has to guess which hand has the goldfish. His routine followed the lines of a sponge ball routine, up until the end. He crushed one of the little delicious snacks, gathered it into his hand, and as he dropped the crumbs into a large goblet, a real live goldfish appeared! He totally fooled everyone with this finish.
Brian Hurlburt put together a nice variety of table-top magic, beginning with a Professor’s Nightmare, then a card effect where a tiny plunger was used to divine a selected playing card. He showed a “trap door card” that turned inside out of itself – very visual. Finally, he explained how after he accidentally left his wallet in his pants to wash them, the wallet and all of its contents shrank. He showed us his now tiny money, credit cards, and other “ephemera.”
Pure magic of the hands: The only way to describe young Calvin Tan’s masterful card routine. Using only four cards, we expected to see a 4 Ace routine. We saw much more. Calvin had cards appear and disappear at will. His movements were all deliberate and easy to follow – until he would reveal a card under his previously empty hand. Joe McHugh followed with a face paced routine mimicking a street hustler, complete with fedora and dark glasses. Joe did card magic, a wonderful coin matrix where coins invisibly jumped across a table top, and coins through the table. At the end, he revealed a playing card that he had “failed” to find earlier.
George Hample re-visioned a classic: Cups and Balls. He used two coffee cups, and small baseballs appeared, vanished, and reappeared under each of the cups. At the end, he pulled up one of the cups, and there was a lemon! And then he lifted the other cup, and there was an orange! And he then lifted the first cup again, only to reveal a turnip! Pure sleight of hand, done by a master.
Magic Pont had a volunteer mentally select a card, then name it. Pon opened up a pack of cards that had been on the table the whole. The unplanned part of the trick was that the card selected was the only card missing from the deck! The routine baffled even the Magic Pont.
Ryan Adamowicz wowed the group with a music-backed coin production. He then stopped the music and continued his wonderful sleight of hand with rare 1942 Walking Liberty HALF dollars. In short sleeves, he did a smooth coins across routine with the large coins.
While we were now in a money mode, Reba Strong had a nice money themed routine. She changed coupons into real dollar bills, visibly turned a regular dollar bill into a jumbo bill, showed us how to stretch a dollar – literally! At the end, she turned four one dollar bills into four twenties. Very visual and commercial magic.
President Hunter provided us all with ballots, and we chose our top three performers. After a careful count of the ballots, the results: Third Place (& a $50 prize) Ryan Adamowicz; Second Place (& a $75 prize) Calvin Tan; Champion for 2014 (& a $100 prize) Steve Pribish. Thanks to everyone for another great night of sharing magic.
DAVE KELLY, Recording Secretary