Ann Arbor Magic Club

IBM 210 - SAM 88


Ming and Barbara Louie

As a reoccurring feature of the Magic Messenger we will highlight a member and ask them to answer a few questions about themselves. This month the "Spotlight" is on our featured performer for June, Ming and Barbara Louie.

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

I was born in Shenzhen China, and grew up in California, Barbara was born and raised in Detroit.  Since our marriage we've lived in Hawaii and Rhode Island.  We now live in Northville.

How did you get started in magic? 

I started in magic by being fooled with the French Drop performed by my grandfather.  I was even more amazed when he revealed the method because it was so simple yet fooled me deeply, I wanted to know why.

What type of magic do you perform? 

Barbara and I perform slightly larger magic suitable for a crowd.  With Barbara assisting we have a bit more flexibility in our choice of material.  I am fortunate that she has a passion for performing and the romance of the road.  Plus she is the perfect size for every illusion.

What is your favorite magic book? 

My favorite magic book is "Magic and Showmanship, a Handbook for Conjurers," by Henning Nelms.  Nelms was an avid magic fan and a drama teacher at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

My favorite magician is Jimmy Martin who called himself the Great Martini.  In later years he and his wife owned and operated the Broadway Magic Shop at the corner of Broadway and John R. in downtown Detroit.  It was the former Hall Magic Company.  Doris Hall the widow, sold it to Jimmy in 1955.  Every Saturday, from the age of 12 onward, I was in the magic shop talking with Jimmy and his wife, they always worked together.  Lovely kind people.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians? 

The best advice for newbies would be to join a magic club.  The second best advice would be to become a roady for a touring magician.  Learn the craft in the trenches, see what works and what doesn't.

Barbara adds...
Ming pretty much summed up my feelings about being part of his magic act.  I really enjoy doing it, and still love jumping out of boxes!  One book I found to be particularly helpful was one we got at an IBM convention many years ago.  It is called "The Magician's Assistant" by Jan Jones, and we always had our assistants read it, which they also found useful.  As far as we know, it's the only book of its kind, geared specifically for the assistant.

Learn more about Ming and Barbara at


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