September 2010

After a short business meeting where we firmed up details for our fund-raising “Cavalcade of Magic!” show set for October at a new site, program director Richie B introduced our guest for the evening: Dan Harlan. Right from the start, Dan exhibited a keen sense of pacing, diction, and engagement with the audience that showed his background in theater and knowledge of magic. He described magic as a variety art that transcends limits, and a magician should have a desire to entertain with a magical experience. Dan did just that in his nearly three hours with us.

Taking the mundane, and making it magical, Dan opened with “Penned In”, an effect where the magic of a vanishing and reappearing borrowed dollar bill seems to happen entirely in the spectator’s hands. His “Crazy Eight” can be done with money or a special gimmick that he offered, and had us all applauding. I especially enjoyed how he took the old effect of three beads off a cord, and made it into a magical moment, where again, the magic takes place between the spectator’s hands. The “World’s Saddest Trick” turned a routine silk hankie vanish into a hysterical bit of entertainment and laughs.

After a quick break, Dan Harlan shared a performance of his “Popcorn” trick, where the kernels magically pop into pop corn inside of a paper bag. The method was secondary, his routine made it entertainment and fun.  Dan turned a simple card effect idea by Jay Sankey into a game show. Finally, he did his “Awakening” rope, a really visual and repeatable version of the Professor’s Nightmare that totally fooled everyone in the room.


DAVE KELLY, Recording Secretary

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