This month’s meeting with the theme of Animal Magic started with a lecture and performance by past club President, Leigh Hotz, The Wizard of Fun. Leigh has performed widely with Merlynn, The Magic Cockatiel, and enthralled the group with stories about his experiences auditioning and performing for America’s Got Talent, among others. His suggestions and tips on using birds in your act was great info for anyone thinking of heading in that direction. 

As club President Robert Ray was absent (being out of state for a performing-related event gave him an excused absence) no business was discussed and we went straight into the open performing time. Ex club President Frank Pastula performed first with a routine that he called Rhino Hippo Metamorphosis — and yes, the name describes exactly what happened. Fortunately for our venue, toy animals were used.

Following the animal theme of the night was David Boehm who performed Animal Tarot, in which an animal card was freely chosen from a packet and the rest of the cards were laid face down. When those cards were pushed together, the seemingly abstract designs on the back formed the picture of an animal — the same animal that had been chosen earlier. 

I don’t think I’m the only one who has books on his shelf that haven’t been opened in too long, but member Bruce Kundin actually opened and read several of his old books and lecture notes by Aldo Colombini which inspired him to perform a set with some of the effects he came across, starting with Contact Colors. His card and a selected card both ended up at the same position in two halves of the deck, then the cards surrounding the selections were shown to be aces, and finally, the rest of the deck was seen to have been magically separated into reds and blacks, with the correct colors under each ace. 

Club Secretary Jay Jennings closed out the evening with a routine he called An Ocean of Liars, which was inspired by the classic Kurotsuke by Max Maven. Flying by the seat of his pants (he just came up with the effect that afternoon) Jay had five helpers reach into a bag and grab an ocean animal, either a shark or dolphin, except for one person who grabbed a turtle. With the animals hidden in their hands, Jay used mental powers (so he said) to determine who was lying when they said the phrase, “I have the turtle!” The routine also contained a demonstration of software Jay has just started using, iQ Pro, which allows a performer to remotely control images, audio, and video that are sent to a display (the flat screen TV on the wall). The use of background music can really spice up a routine.

We have a great group of members in Ring 55 who are always willing to share with each other, making for an awesome magic club!

(Photos courtesy Stuart Friedman (and one by Jay Jennings))

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