Our meeting was called to order by President Dan Jones and we kicked off with Michael Doyle as our featured performer. Michael performed several effects, including a couple of different die predictions, a tarot match effect with two volunteers and an impressive book based mind reading effect.
Then it was time for our get-to-know-you round table question where members introduced themselves and then told us about their "favorite summertime activity". Answers were varied and included swimming, hiking, BBQ, sailing, fishing, traveling, boating and of course attending magic conventions. We had several guests and prospective members attend including Caden Burkhardt, a student from the University of Michigan Magic Club, Charlie and Mike Palko, a father and son from the neighborhood, and Manish Mishra-Marzetti an attendee from our club's parlor show.
Then it was on to performances. Johnny New York performed a unique Rock-Paper-Scissors prediction with three volunteers, clever name tags and three mystery boxes. Mike Bogdas then performed a Spinning Star three-card prediction. Ron Hoole performed a clever card matching trick with half a deck, which was an actual deck cut in half cross-ways. Karl Rabe performed a card force and reveal. Caden performed a 4 Aces routine, Dan Jones shared his visual story of trying to buy a casket and ending up with a trash can.
Then we wrapped up with Sean Naes providing a hands-on learning session for The Professor's Nightmare.
Ann Arbor Magic Club Partners with Plymouth Community Arts Council for Youth Magic Camp
I.B.M Ring 210, the Ann Arbor Magic Club (AAMC), partnered with the Plymouth Community Arts Council (PCAC) in Plymouth, Michigan to facilitate a 5-day Magic Camp June 19 to June 23, 2023 for ten children ranging in age from 9-14 years old. It was a fantastic collaboration and a resounding success!
Ring 210 AAMC members Mike Bodgas, Dan Jones, Phil Mann, Mark Phelps and Karl Rabe volunteered and partnered with three staff members from the Arts Council to conduct the classes. Arts Council members leveraged their expertise in theater to teach the fundamentals of persona, costume, marketing and on-stage performance while the magicians taught a selection of basic magic effects to the students. The week culminated in the students putting on a live performance for family and friends on the last day of class.
The curriculum was developed in a planning session with Arts Council staff and AAMC volunteers. Each day ran from 9am to Noon with a half-hour break. Days one and two focused on Exploration. Day 3 was for Character Development, Day 4 was Marketing and Practice and Day 5 was Rehearsal and Performance. The blocked-out plan is illustrated below.
Each day started with fun theater games in-the-round designed encourage students to open up, be creative and engage one another. For magic sessions the first two days, the students were divided into two groups. Two magicians worked with five students at a time on a particular effect. Then the students switched and the magicians repeated the lesson to the second group. In small groups the magicians were able to provide close tutoring as the students learned the effects. Students were encouraged to go outside on break for a half-hour each day to give them both a mental and physical break. Each day concluded with fun balloon twisting with the students learning some basic animals, flowers and hats.
By Day 3 the students were guided by the Arts Council staff and magicians in defining their persona and selecting the trick they would perform. Magicians shared their stage persona’s to provide examples. Students practiced acting “in character” in a fun game and then they were let loose to try out the assortment of costumes backstage at the Arts Council and pick one for their performance.
On Day 4 the students used their art skills and further defined their personas by making their own posters for their act. They also made a few business cards to hand out family at the show. Arts Council Staff provided instruction on basic on-stage theater skills. Then it was on to practicing the specific effect they had chosen for the show. Arts Council Staff and magicians worked 1:1 with students to refine their performance and patter.
Day 5 was all about final practice and rehearsal. At 11:30 family and friends arrived to watch the show put on by the students.
The collaboration of the Plymouth Community Arts Council Staff providing education on theater aligned with the Ring 210’s instruction on magic provided a solid introduction to the magical arts with a much needed balance of presentation, performance and magic.
The Ann Arbor Magic Club meets monthly on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Plymouth Community Arts Council. Learn more about the AAMC at http://aamagic.org. You can learn more about the Plymouth Community Arts Council and all the classes, camp and events they offer at https://www.plymoutharts.com.
The Author, Karl Rabe, is the Secretary of the Ann Arbor Magic Club and performs comedy magic with his Son Bill.