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Newsletters

Newsletter: 11
October 2005

Printable version.

Classic and Silent Night - 30TH JUNE 2005

TONIGHT WAS A CHANGE TO THE USUAL MEETING BECAUSE CLASSICS ARE A SIDE OF MAGIC WHICH MANY MAGICIANS FIND DIFFICULT TO DO. THE CLASSICS OF MAGIC ARE THE FOUNDATION OF MAGIC TODAY AND SILENT MAGIC TO MUSIC IS A CHALLENGE TO PRESENT.
THE EVENING STARTED WITH MIKE IN A CATCHY MOOD, PERFORMING COIN PRODUCTIONS TO THE SOUND OF "MONEY, MONEY, MONEY."
THEN IT WAS ON TO THE FIRST CLASSIC TRICK, THE CUPS AND BALLS PERFORMED BY GEOFF HUNT IN HIS OWN STYLE.
THIS WAS FOLLOWED BY A SECOND VERSION BY MIKE JUST TO SHOW HOW MANY WAYS AN EFFECT CAN BE PRESENTED.
NEXT IT WAS BACK TO MUSIC AND MIKE PERFORMED HIS ROUTINE OF SKELETON IN THE CUPBOARD TO, OF ALL THINGS, MOZARTS REQUIEM!
GEOFF THEN TOOK THE STAGE AGAIN TO PERFORM A VERY CREDITABLE VERSION OF THIMBLE MANIPULATION, AND THE 1 ST HALF CLOSED WITH THE BALL VASE BY MIKE.
THE SECOND HALF OPENED WITH MIKE PERFORMING EDWARD VICTOR?S ELEVEN CARD TRICK WHICH WAS RECEIVED VERY WELL AND PRODUCED MUCH COMMENT.
THE CHARMING MAGIC OF BRENDA NEXT TOOK THE STAGE AS SHE PRESENTED HER VERSION OF THE RIBBONS TO FLAG IN NEWSPAPER WHICH SHE PERFORMED ON THE QE2, THUS MAKING HER THE FIRST LADY MAGICIAN TO PERFORM ON THE LINER! SHE FOLLOWED WITH DIE THROUGH SILK, FLIP FLAP PHANTASY, AND ENDED WITH DIE TO FLOWERS, ALL PRESENTED TO THE ACCOMPANIMENT OF MUSIC WRITTEN BY ROBERTO DENAVA.
MIKE THEN SHOWED THE DIA VERNON VERSION OF THE LINKING RINGS AND THEN IT WAS TIME TO FINISH, WITH GEOFF PRESENTING HIS WELL PRODUCED AND ENTERTAINING CARD PRODUCTIONS.
THE EVENING WAS SOMETHING ENTIRELY DIFFERENT AND WAS A PLEASURE TO PERFORM.
MIKE PETTITT

SMC Club Night - 28th July 2005

The evening began with the chairman giving out parish notices, including awarding full membership to David Taylor and Philip Sweeting. Congratulations to you both, and we wish you well. Let?s hope that your association with the SMC is a long and happy one.
There followed an audition from Mark Fenton. His natural enthusiasm ensured that it was successful. He started with a card-to-pocket routine (which I missed, having arrived fashionably late, though I did catch up with Mark at the tea break where he chatted about it with characteristic enthusiasm). Mark followed this with a standard presentation of the die box; this was a special moment for me as it is the first trick I can remember seeing as a small child at a Christmas party and it was the only trick I can remember from the show all those years ago. Mark then invited the chairman to choose a card and think of it. He even managed to hypnotise Stu into thinking that he had chosen a different card; thank goodness Ali was there to put him right, but I was impressed by the way in which Mark soldiered on anyway. Mark finished his audition with a version of the golden key, a prop which I particularly like but which is crying out for an interesting story to go with it. Any bizarrists out there fancy writing a story to accompany what is potentially a spooky piece of magical theatre?
Next followed a fascinating account of the Magic Circle Centenary celebrations from four of our members who were fortunate enough to have attended: Geoff Hunt, John and Sylvia Southgate, and John Schofield. They gave a fascinating account of the five days of celebration, and each had their own favourite memories. Five years in the planning, this event was deemed to be a huge success, and even included a talk by one of our own members, Michael Symes, who has written a book entitled ?Magic and Illusion?.
It was generally agreed that Paul Daniels stole the show in which he appeared, and that Billy McComb was also very strong. Both men are far from young, and it just goes to show that there?s no substitute for experience. We were also told stories of how Prince Charles filmed a brief segment of magic for the club; he is a keen amateur magician himself. Various other items were mentioned, including a reception for the S.A.M., of which John Schofield is a member (ask him!), a show of chamber magic, popular in the early twentieth century, and highly regarded by those who watched. We even got to see the ?goody bag?, containing, amongst other things, the obligatory name badge, an engraved crystal glass and a coin inscribed with the image of David Devant, who was of course the first president of the Magic Circle. The last word must go to Geoff, who advised all present ?Not to miss the next centenary!?
Next, Paul performed his new linking rings routine. This was a brave gesture, as he freely admitted that this was still very new and he had not yet perfected the moves (though he still performed the routine far better than I could have done!) Nevertheless, he had clearly put in several hours of work already and doubtless with the right presentation this will be a strong item for Paul.
After the tea break the president asked for help with a ?work in progress? (thanks to Giles for ?les mots justes?). Essentially a dealer item called ?Three Cards in Mind?, this, he explained, was a routine which he had performed on a visit to the Portsmouth Magical Society, and although it had played well, he felt it was too long and somewhat anti-climactically predictable. The effect involved three spectators and a jumbo pack of cards from which spectators freely select cards and place them into envelopes, the performer having previously written the name of the cards he thinks will be chosen. He then asked if anyone had any helpful suggestions as to how the routine could be streamlined. Someone (was it John?) suggested that this should be done publicly rather than privately so that all might benefit from the discussion. A very interesting discussion ensued, in exactly the right spirit, with many different people coming up with suggestions. I found this to be a hugely positive moment for the club, with such a variety of people feeling sufficiently confident to volunteer suggestions, knowing that if they were not incorporated, they were nevertheless gratefully received. I personally derived much from this on a selfish level (i.e. a better constructed routine!), but I believe as a club we also grow from discussions of this kind. Perhaps we should consider a ?Work in Progress? slot on some of our other evenings; I encourage folk to take the plunge. Those of us who would dare to offer criticism of each other?s work will also learn how to do so in a constructive and encouraging manner; this way, everyone wins.
Finally Barry performed the well-known rope and silks, (a.k.a. the Lazy Magician), in which silks fall from two knotted ropes. He also explained the method to those who did not know, and an interesting discussion about the various things which could also be tied on ensued. (Those who have seen Bertie Pearce in cabaret will be smiling now?). Thanks to Barry for sharing.
AJ

Jay Scott Berry Lecture

This was an exceptional evening, and we were graced with some awe inspiring magic. Throughout the lecture there were gasps of astonishment and bursts of spontaneous applause, reflecting moments of genuine and deeply felt wonder. There was laughter and excitement, and there was a wealth of information to absorb. As we sat, captivated and enthralled, we were watching a Master of our Art weaving his magic.
Jay began by performing several impeccable and unique routines from his repertoire. A bare handed silk production became a silk fountain and ended in a bottle production. He then presented some further manipulations with a sponge ball, which became a silk. A cut and restored ribbon, a streamer production and a very clean banknote switch.
He kept the explanations moving at a fast pace and imparted a great deal of knowledge, sharing some clever innovations and ingenious methods. He introduced us to some of his own creations; the finger shell and fazers, and some different concepts such as diamond shaped silks and sleeve pockets. He thinks deeply about magic, and he aims to direct the audience into ?amazement? with the appearance of ?real magic?. There is an exceptional clarity and directness to his effects. His presentation also reflects his desire to invoke wonder, using background music (of his own creation) to stir the emotions, and lyrical patter and stories to set the tone.
Another performance in the second half offered a chance to enjoy more delightfully visual and beautifully presented magic. He began with a copper/silver routine. A ring on ribbon routine, and a ?chameleon knots? effect with silks. Finally, with the room slightly darkened, and weaving a metaphysical tale, he conjured and manipulated a ball of ?light?. Mesmerising and enchanting.
As the evening came to a close there was a flurry of activity around Jay, and there were magicians willingly parting with their money. Magicians with new props and fresh ideas. Others, still open mouthed with astonishment. Some, with rekindled enthusiasm, an injection of inspiration. A gentle knowing that we had experienced something a little bit special. As we went our separate ways, we were as one - magicians with beaming smiles on our faces.
Giles

Mark Worgan ? ?Magic for a Laugh?- 14th July 2005

Mark has been performing comedy magic for many years and shared his thinking and vast experience during this entertaining evening.
After showing us his promotional DVD, recorded during live shows at the Komedia he explained that
in his act the comedy came first and the magic second. Timing was obviously an important part of comedy and although it is difficult to teach timing, this skill can be acquired, developed and improved over the years. Of course to do this you need to be able to play to an audience regularly over a period of time. This gives you the chance to try things out and the chance to fail. Mark explained that he relies heavily on things happening around him in the audience and emphasised the need to be aware of your surroundings, especially when using audience volunteers. The volunteers can be used to get laughs without the need to embarrass them.
During the evening various members were given a joke to learn and perform. This led to some interesting stand up comedy. Mark?s message was that you need to make a joke, a story or magic trick your own. The strongest weapon you have is your own personality.
Mark demonstrated various types of gags from quick throwaway lines to story gags using a prop.
The importance of knowing your audience and playing to them accordingly was emphasised.
He spoke against copying other people?s routine/gags and suggested that finding your own way of performing an effect was much better than being a clone by following the suggested published routine.
Mark also gave us an economical hint! He suggested that before rushing out and buying new props and gadgets, to first examine the items you have already and rethink routines to suit your audience. He gave an example of a close-up routine which he has adapted into his cabaret act.
Paul Gordon then gave us a brief interlude about close-up table-hopping comedy which he emphasised, worked for him! Once again the message was ?be yourself?.
Mark then spoke about bringing jokes alive and making them real. Different body language and using unusual voices could be used to achieve this ? but only if this suits your stage persona.
Mark ended the evening with his box of visual comedy props. Laughter, the comedians reward, was very much in evidence. Thank you Mark for this entertaining evening.
JC

MAGIC BANK HOLIDAY BBQ ? 29th August 2005

A BBQ for magicians and their families was held at The Blenheims, Burgess Hill as a social event for
the three magic clubs in the area. Members from ACES, SDM and the Sussex Magic Circle gathered to have a relaxing afternoon in the company of like minded people. A total of thirty-nine adults and twenty children arrived with their chairs, picnic blankets and bottles of varying shapes and differing levels of ?proof? on one of the hottest days of the Summer. The weather could not have been better, so much so that even some of the adults stripped off and had a dip in the swimming pool which was a highly popular attraction for the younger members present. The less brave had a bounce or two on the trampoline, played outdoor table tennis, enjoyed a walk around the garden or merely relaxed and enjoyed the good company with a glass in their hand! Punch & Judy was performed by Jonathan Cann during the afternoon but it?s doubtful whether the children or adults enjoyed it most.
Burgers, sausages and chicken were cooked on the BBQ by Gordon Burtenshaw and Stuart Harley and quickly disappeared but with no need for magic! Sterling support work was performed in the kitchen by Gill, Alison and Lisa to provide a variety of salads and accompaniments.
Our thanks to Gordon and Gill for kindly hosting the event at their home and for taking on a lot of the work to make it a success.
Although not intended as a money making venture, there was, at the end of the day, a profit of forty pounds. This sum has been donated to the IBM benevolent fund.
Rumour has it that the venture will be repeated next year. Any comments, ideas or suggestions are most welcome.
To those of you who attended ? many thanks for your support of this event. We hope to see you next time. To those of you who were unable to be present this time ? we also hope to see you next year!
JC


Card Competition

This must be one of the most nerve-racking and daunting evenings on which to perform. Presenting card magic in front of an audience who know about forces and controls, about double lifts and Elmsley counts. So, many thanks to each of the competitors for their efforts and contribution to the evening.
The world of card magic opens up a seemingly endless stream of possible effects. From vanishes and productions, to transpositions and transformations, through to coincidence effects and feats of mind reading. George Blake once said of card tricks: ?There are a million out there, which gives us the opportunity to pick a few good ones.? And naturally, there were many timeless classics of card magic presented throughout the evening.
David bravely opened the proceedings, sharing his three favourite card tricks, and performed a couple of ?Coincidence? effects.
Paul Leacy told some gags and performed some professional comedy card magic, and offered a ?Cards Across? routine and a ?Signed Card to Wallet?.
Matt Parr presented a very direct display of mind reading, and a ?One Card? manipulation routine to music
Ross showed us a couple of the very best packet tricks; ?Rainbow Cascade? and ?Twisted Sisters?. And memorably, with a coin wrapped in flash paper, he burnt a hole through a pack of cards, finding a previously selected card.
Mike Pettit offered a variety of material with increasingly large cards. Amongst others, he performed the ?3 Card Monte? and ?Twisting the Aces?.
Finally, Felix displayed his ?Svengali like? wares, and performed Vernon?s ?The Trick That Can?t Be Explained?.
And so, Matthew Parr found himself winning his first competition. A moment of which to be proud. It is very well deserved - for his continued commitment to our craft, his relentless pursuit of direct and baffling material, his wanton experimentation with new presentations, and his willingness to contribute to the club. And, of course, for a great act on the night - Many congratulations!
Giles

Klub Magic at he Komedia - 5th October 2005

Klub Magic came back to the Komedia in Brighton ? and what a welcome return it was for magic fans on the South Coast.
Life wasn?t quite the same without it and it is great that producer Mark Worgan had planned two Autumn shows ? one held last night and the other in December. Only pity is that it isn?t every month! Klub Magic fans were not to be disappointed with some superb acts combined with the ever appealing Mr Worgan himself involving the audience in some funny and captivating routines as well as delivering the jokes.
Mark Worgan needs to give himself bigger slots in the magic cavalcade he so ably comperes. As a regular of Klub Magic it is all too often one of his routines that is the highlight of the evening. The card in the baked bean can routine, at this show has only been surpassed by his acrobatic flea, which is an absolute comedy masterpiece. Mark?s only too brief appearance on the Paul O?Grady show proved an indication that here is a unique comedy talent deserving of greater airtime.
At Klub Magic, Mark is an able performer with immense entertainment value and stage presence who could delight the same audience with his own one-man show! Apart from demonstrating his own entertainment ability, Mark provides a great service to the magic world by bringing variety in magic to the general public on a regular basis ? even although a significant number of his audience are magicians which is understandable given the quality and kudos of the show. Here is a magician to be applauded for his unique contribution to magical entertainment in the UK today.
What delight it was to see Roy Davenport excelling with his very clever manipulations. Roy took two spots in this show ? and enthralled the audience with every moment. If a Paul Daniels style show was to be screened on television then the young talent of Roy would be a suitable contender to lead it. Himself from a very magical family, his showmanship combined with tremendous magic skill made me appreciate just what we are missing with a general absence of the traditional magic show in mainstream entertainment. One of the slots involved him performing his grandfather?s act ? complete with his grandfather?s waistcoat ? and his grandfather must be looking down on this magical wonder with immense pride! Keeping things bright, beautiful and majestic this is an act to look out for. A name to watch out for as it can only get bigger in the magic world!
The ace illusion act Amethyst closed the show with illusions, song and magical presentations that were quite simply magnificent. Catch this act if you can!
Daniel Hunt and Annette Claire are real showstoppers. I marvelled at their snow storm, was mesmerised by their gypsy thread routine and there was faultless presentation of such classic illusions of Metamorphosis, the Indian sword basket and zig zag to name just a few of the offerings. This is a unique and very colourful act with Annette adding some very fine vocal numbers while Daniel did the magic and Annette herself also performing illusions ? making them a very formidable and very equal magical partnership. Wonderful! This was the first time this very impressive act did Brighton and the audience loved every second of their performance.
For lovers of alternative magic, if there is such a concept, Pete Firman, from television?s Monkey Business and Dirty Tricks, delivered his own brand of entertainment which was unmissable even if slightly uncomfortable for some. You cannot really take your eyes off a man who swallows whole lit cigarettes, puts needles through his arm drawing blood and swallows whole balloons. Pete has his own brand of comedy in his routine and, while it must be accepted he would not be to everyone?s taste, he is nevertheless a performer capable of holding the stage and demonstrating some first class magical ability. Television, with its appetite for the unusual and the bizarre, are sure to be including him in its schedules for some time to come.
One of the appeals of taking your table at Klub Magic is the close-up magic from Stevie P, a larger than life character who can produce really original and killer effects that you might not see elsewhere. You cannot miss the guy for his exuberant and laugh a minute personality and the whole cabaret/club like atmosphere does make this a rather special venue for entertainment of this type.
Hopefully Klub Magic will have more dates in the new year. All credit to Mark Worgan and his team for producing something quite unique and special in magical entertainment that could surely tour other cities. If you are looking for an all round evening of magical entertainment combined with some food and drink then it does not get much better than Mark Worgan?s magical feast of entertainment.
Nick Ralls

Forthcoming Events


20th October
Close up Drive
One Close Up Trick repeated several times at
different tables. You should get it right at least once!!

3rd November*
Lecture by Andy Clockwise

17th November
Children?s Competition.

1st December
Worst trick night
Bring your worst trick so we can avoid it!

* = Members only, visiting magicians ?5.

Complied by: Gordon Burtenshaw

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