President Hunter Gaul began our new year with a solemn remembrance of vice president Jerry Reminicki (Professor Rem), who passed away in December. Hunter conducted the Broken Wand Ceremony for Rem. Long time member Jerry was a wonderful performer.
We then welcomed back Francis Menotti, who has made a name for himself as a professional performer and lecturer. Francis opened by explaining that he would do a short 4 effect “set” of magic, and then detailed the thinking that connected all of them. Francis selects the magic and finds ways to anchor them together. One example was a small white board that he used to reveal a comedy prediction, and later in the set, another effect using the whiteboard had a super punchline!
Francis explained that he had a special affinity for a new deck of cards. As he shuffled the deck, his speech pattern shuffled at the same time. After the deck was completely mixed up, so was his talking! As soon as Francis magically restored the deck to its proper order, so did his patter. Next, he explained how an audience pretends to believe the impossible, and the magician tells them lies. He wants the relationship between audience and performer to be fun and collaborative, not one of the guy who can fool people.
A magic prediction using an envelope and an imaginary object in his hand. By the power of suggestion, a volunteer imagined a coin, then a date for the coin, and inside the envelope was a coin of the same denomination and year. “You’re going to imagine, and I’m going to lie.” No, Francis does not use a stooge, and he has several outs that give him an amazing revelation every time.
“Fleeting Thought” was a wonderful new way to present a cards-across effect. Francis likes to have the audience begin to realize on its own what is happening and being revealed. Francis showed how he vanished a silk hankie with a new handling of an old gimmick that we all have.
All told, Francis gave us two and a half hours of entertainment. As a bonus, he provided us with his website address for a free download of his lecture notes! Welcome to Ring 6, Francis!
DAVE KELLY, Recording Secretary