July 2012

Jeff Carson set the theme for tonight: Magic that we seldom do.  Some because we don’t have the right venue, some because the effect has something that needs to be fixed. Great idea, and it gave us a variety of magic and ideas.

Joe McHugh started with what he called “The Rose.” He invited two female helpers to mix and select from a group of playing cards. After the values were written down and added up, Joe brought out a hotel key fob that had the total on it.  Bill McElveney came next, and had a nice story about Rapunzel and her long hair. He used a rope to tell the tale. When the witch in the story wanted to keep Rapunzel in the tower, she cut the hair (rope) in three places. Bill used good magic to restore the rope into one piece, and gave the rope to a lady in the audience to “keep a piece of the magic.” It was based on the Chinese Chain Mystery rope effect.

Fred Siegel told us a story about a mythical young Fred who was studying for his Bar Mitzvah. The teacher saw young Fred playing with a deck of cards, and asked him if he was paying attention to the lessons. The boy then shuffled the deck, and continued to mix them as he used the cards to tell stories of from the bible. His patter was accurate and really funny.

Reba Strong did a short routine with two small Gozinta Boxes. She asked for ideas to better use them, and as she does a wonderful routine with a Pom Pom bar, some of the crowd suggested that this would be a nice addition to her show of “do-nothing” devices.  Jeff Carson suggested using a sponge egg inside of two cleaned-out Oreo cookies. He tells the group that eggs are a big ingredient in the cookies, produces the egg, and then switches it for a palmed egg that he then cracks open into a glass. A simple, great idea. Thanks Jeff!

Archie Strong showed us his laptop computer that he trained to do magic. After a volunteer picked out five cards from a deck, Archie had him type in the values of four of the cards. When he hit the enter hey, the computer told us the name of the remaining card.

Our youngest performer came next: Joel, Peter Pitchford’s seven year old son. He was very calm and polished as he did a professional Three Card Monte routine. What a nice debut, Joel! Next, Charlie Murtagh had a great routine with a large coin and coin box. The coin vanished from the box, and penetrated through his hand. Dave Hale showed three glasses on a small tray, with a blue silk scarf in one. Dave had the scarf cross into the glass on the opposite side, but did it behind his back. Finally, the scarf flew into the center glass!  Dave had originally done the trick with a large scarf to cover the action, but several of us told him to do the effect uncovered – it is amazing when the scarf flies into the center glass!

Jeff Carson performed with a large black die that passed through two solid metal blades inside of a wooden tube. Jeff says it’s a great effect, but he has no patter story to go with it. He then asked a volunteer to select a card, then he placed it into a card box. He then put an “old school” double edge razor blade into the box. He shook the box, and when he emptied it out, all of the cards inside were sliced up, except the chosen card!

Dick Gustafson did an effect that he purchased in 1955 for $37.50: “Rice, Orange, and Checkers.”  It’s one I have seen in old catalogues, but never seen performed. Rice, checkers, and an orange all changed places inside of three decorated tubes. Dick said that it is a prop-heavy trick, and he rarely performs it as it takes so much for a 4 to 5 minute routine. We all loved seeing this classic.

Dave Kelly (me!) showed his new “Granpa’s Top Hat.” A picture of The instructions call for making the changes behind the back, but I never felt comfortable with this, and have not performed it in public. Members suggested doing the business inside the hat box that it came in.  Also, it will be a running-gag effect in kids’ shows.

George Hample did a no-sleight card in wallet. A volunteer selected a card from a shuffled blue deck, and then held it. George reached into his pocket and took out a wallet. He showed a red card there. Turns out, the card matched the selected card. Then, the red-backed card turned blue to be a true match for the selected card!  George shared the simple workings for this dynamite trick. Al Angelo ended the magic night with a rope that he twice cut and brought back into one single length of rope.


DAVE KELLY, Recording Secretary

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