What a great night of competition and fun! Our Close-Up Contest brought out a huge number of members vying for the title of club champion. President Hunter Gaul arranged for a random performance order, and our competitors did not disappoint.
Mike Miller opened with a card effect that involved 11 helpers. Mike shuffled a deck, then had his assistants each take 4 cards from the pack. He then told them to shuffle their little packs, and tear the cards in half. When it was all done, EVERY person had their top two half cards match! Hard to describe, but wonderful to watch.
Amazing Pon next spoke of his love for magic, and his love of playing cards. His effect revolved around a n’er do well Uncle Charlie who always gambled and lost. Pon, however, revealed the name of a card that his volunteer merely thought of! Dave Storey next did some more card magic. Real magic! He shuffled a deck, and continually pulled matching cards from the deck no matter how it was shuffled. No sleights, just simple, clear magic!
Jeff Carson told us how magic can be an art form when done properly. He spoke about “painting” a card effect. After displaying a new deck from a card box, he shuffled, showed all the cards, then magically painted the Mona Lisa when he placed the cards on a table. True art! Steve Pribish used Lego blocks for a series of effects. First a paddle made of large Legos changed color and finally a little Star Wars figure appeared on the paddle. A selected card vanished and reappeared inside of a small Lego “military compound.”
Randy Shine had a dynamic start with a lively introduction. He then made large coins appear and vanish at will. His act would be ideal either in a sit-down or corporate hospitality room. He also did great reveals of selected cards. Jim Straub followed this with his own coin magic, as he used a Star Trek tale about transporters to explain how his coins moved invisibly from one hand to another. He also had a card effect with a surprising reveal.
Reba Strong did her own coins across, where a spectator places the coins on her hands, and the coins travel invisibly. Her card effect ended when she spelled down the deck to the name of a card that had been shuffled into the deck. Her finish was her amazing Ring and Cord penetrations.
Sam Sandler had a fast-paced and funny series of card effects. He found the four aces in a shuffled deck, then had them turn into other cards. Cards left on the table then became the aces! These then became 10s, and finally kings. Sam ended with a coin vanish, that he repeated in sl-o-o-o-o-w motion.
We finally caught our breath, and all active club member cast their votes for their top three choices. President Gaul and some helpers tallied the results:
In third place (and a prize of $50) Jeff Carson, second place (and a prize of $75) Sam Sandler, and our champion (and a prize of $100), Randy Shine. Thanks to all competitors for making the night one full of magic and laughs.
DAVE KELLY, Recording Secretary