Ann Arbor Magic Club

IBM 210 - SAM 88

Current Messenger

On the Cover

By Karl Rabe

Magic Messenger July 2022



Bob Goodwin featured performer for June.

In This Issue

Bob Goodwin


President's Corner

By Dan Jones

Starting at this month's meeting on July 13th we  are starting a new chapter in the story of the Ann Arbor Magic Club. We will be focusing our attention more on magic at our meetings as we have been lately.
We are meeting at the Plymouth Communith Arts Council facility. That is a new location for us and we are excited about the possibilities it holds fo our club.
The PCAC is located at  774 N. Sheldon road in Plymouth, Michigan 48170  just South of M-14. It is a beautiful facility which has been recently renovated and updated. It will be suitable for our meetings, lectures, public magic shows, our flea market or banquets if we choose. It has a nice stage with lighting and sound and is easily accessible off of Sheldon road and M-14 freeway for all to find. The meeting will be from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Same day, same time.
Plymouth has numerous restaurants that we can meet up at before or after the meeting to eat, talk and jam if you'd like.
Our theme for July was supposed to be Fire Magic but we don't want to burn down our new location. So, we changed the theme to "Streamers". Silk streamers, paper streamers. Mylar streamers. What do you have? Save the fire tricks for our picnic in August.
Speaking of the AAMC picnic, it will be held on Sunday, August 13th from 12-3 pm at my home in Livonia. As always we'll have burgers and hotdogs and all the fixins and sides. Bring a chair, a beverage and some magic and stories to share. It's a great time. See you there.


By Karl Rabe

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, Bob Goodwin.

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

I was born and grew up in Wichita, Kansas. After graduating from Wichita State University in 1970, I served in the USAF for eight years, with assignments in the U.P., England, and Nebraska. I have lived in Plymouth since 1978.

How did you get started in magic? 

I've enjoyed watching magic since I was young (a very long time ago.) I got interested in performing and learning about magic after attending an AAMC meeting in around 2010. I enjoyed Kozmo's performance / lecture, and I was hooked.

What type of magic do you perform? 

I perform mentalism, mind reading, and ESP demonstrations, usually based on principles of math magic plus some humor.

What is your favorite magic book? 

My favorite magic book is 'How To Perform Feats of Mathematical Wizardry' by Harry Lorayne. I learned some very useful principles from this book, and his writing style is engaging.

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

I very much enjoyed watching Siegfried and Roy when I was in Vegas years ago.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians? 

  • When starting out, learn about all the different types of magic, to help you identify the types that you would like to perform...and PRACTICE.
  • An expensive routine performed without sufficient practice is not nearly as entertaining and magical as performing a simple routine that you've mastered and made your own.
  • When thinking about buying a new routine, ask yourself if you are willing to practice it however much it takes to master it. Your audience deserves nothing less from you.
  • Hang out with fellow magicians so you can try out new routines informally before they are "audience ready" and get unfiltered feedback.
  • Adopt a Continuous Improvement performance policy. After each performance in front of an audience:
    • Use audience reaction to improve -- what worked and what didn't, what to do more of/less of.
    • Ask your friends to give you HONEST feedback on the performance. Also ask your friends for their ideas for improving that performance.


Secretary's Report

By Karl Rabe

Bob Goodwin Featured Performer

Bob Goodwin stepped in at the last minute as our featured performer and kicked off our June meeting with a nice presentation of a prediction routine involving an audience created wine from the Lazy Magician's Winery. The entertaining routine called for a quick round of pallet cleansing after due to the unusual wine ingredients which Bob correctly predicted.

Next up was introduction of a new guest and potential member, Dalton Pittman-Cahill. Dalton has a background in the performing arts and likes mentalism.

Kevin Peshik shared some background on the artwork he donated for this month's door prize. Read about Chung Ling Soo in Kevin's column "Our Rich Magical History" in last month's Messenger. Debbie Mann was the proud winner of the door prize. Rumor has it Phil Mann will be getting a framed photo of Chung Ling Soo for his birthday this year.


Next up, Don Oesterwind announced that Board had secured a new location for our monthly meeting. Our next meeting will be at the Plymouth Community Arts Council located at 774 N. Sheldon Road at Junction Street in Plymouth, MI 48170. This is just South of M-14 at the Sheldon Road exit. We will continue to meet on the same date and the same time --- the Second Wednesday of each month at 7pm. Please note that this is a change from our previous "restaurant" venue. If you wish to gather with your fellow magicians before or after the meeting for a bite to eat or cocktail, you will need to coordinate that yourself. This is a great location that will offer a more professional atmosphere for performing. It will also enable us to use the facility to hold shows. There will be no change to membership dues and there will not be a door charge for attending meetings. The club plans on organizing a Club Show two times a year to raise funds to suplement facility charges. You can see pictures of the facility and the recent facility upgrades they have performed here. We will share more about our plans for this new venue in the coming days.

Art Council Main Meeting Room


It was time for performances.


  • Ming and Barbara Louie brought their incredible mind reading duck that was able to find the selected cards even when blindfolded. Later it was revealed the duck was cheating. It was a Peaking Duck.
  • Kevin Peshik transformed water into ice which he proceeded to dump into his glass and then take a drink
  • Phil Mann Performed the Genie Tube and a variation of the Diminishing Milk glasses. Pouring a red liquid from larger glasses into progressively smaller glasses and then incredibly repeating in reverse.
  • Mike Bogdas performed a calendar prediction routine
  • Johnny New York correctly located four separate "thought of" cards from a borrowed deck.

The meeting was adjourned. See you all next month.

Our Rich Magical History

By Kevin Peshik

William Robinson, aka Chung Ling Soo – Part 2

Last month we looked at Robinson's evolution to becoming Chung Ling Soo. In this month’s column, I want to look at a few of Robinson’s magic effects that he was famous for. Robinson's first performance as Soo was in 1900. This fell right in the middle of The Boxer Rebellion, a war in China where the United States, joined by seven other countries, sent troops to China to fight the rebellion. The rebellion was sparked by anti-imperialist sentiments, initially by the Society of Righteous and Harmonies Fist, commonly called The Boxers. Before long, Empress Dowager Cixi joined the uprising with the Chinese army. The Boxers destroyed railroads and infrastructure built by the western countries, killing missionaries and other westerners.

The Boxer Rebellion created an anti-Chinese sentiment in the west, which Robinson had to contend with in his show. When performing in England, Robinson’s closing culminated in a large production of silks, punctuated by the appearance of a large Chinese flag with a dragon on it. When the boos started, Robinson threw the flag on the ground and stomped on it. Then he took a few other flags he had produced, bundled them together, and attached them to a rope that raised the bundle above the stage, unfurling into a large Union Jack to thunderous applause.

Despite the anti-Chinese sentiment from The Boxer Rebellion, Soo remained very popular. His show included traditional Chinese Conjurors’ tricks such as the linking rings, fire eating, and the fishbowl production. His rendition of the Orange Tree and his Cannon Illusion were two very popular illusions. In the Orange Tree illusion, Soo had a conical metal tube suspended by a rope, lowered over his assistant Suee Seen. Then Soo clapped his hands, and the tube was raised with Suee Seen vanished. The tube was then lowered onto a table which, when lifted, had an orange tree that blossomed and produced oranges that were distributed to the audience.

In the Cannon Illusion, a giant cannon was brought onto the stage, and Suee Seen was loaded into it. Then an enormous black cannonball was loaded after her. The cannon was fired over the heads of the audience, causing quite a commotion that turned to laughter when the rubber cannonball bounced off the back wall and started rolling back toward the stage. Then the spotlights illuminated the first balcony to find Suee Seen standing there. Soo borrowed the rubber cannon ball idea from Alexander Herrmann.

In 1908 Soo, as his finale, introduced a fascinating new illusion, The Mystic Cauldron. An iron cauldron was brought on stage, shown empty, then suspended on a tripod like a witches' cauldron. Buckets of water filled the cauldron, and a ring of gas jets was ignited under the caldron, bringing the water to a boil. Soo's assistants then brought out a bunch of dead animals (rabbits, ducks, doves, and pigeons), dilapidated taxidermies that looked quite funny, and Soo would throw each one of them into the boiling water. Then Soo dipped his hand into the boiling water and produced three live rabbits, bright white ducks, doves, and chickens, that all hopped and waddled around the stage, creating quite a ruckus. Finally, he reached in and produced Suee Seen adorned in dry Chinese silks.

Next month I will finish up this series on William Robinson with the illusion he is most associated with. Until then, remember our rich magical heritage.

Recommended Reading: The Glorious Deception - The Double Life of William Robinson, aka Chung Ling Soo the "Marvelous Chinese Conjurer" by Jim Steinmeyer.


Around the Town

By Karl Rabe

Check out John Luka's Magic page and his well maintained list of Michigan Events

From AAMC John Machniak. 
To my peeps in or near the Dearborn Heights, Michigan area... Wanna see a cool puppet show with a special appearance by a magician?🎩🐰  If so... Come to the Caroline Kennedy Library in Dearborn Heights on Tuesday, July 19th at 7:00 PM. I'll stop in and visit with the puppet animals Tiberious T.  Tiger and Forrest and Sebastian. Tiberious believes he can do a better trick with the help of science. Will mayhem rule the day as the tiger's invention backfires? Come and find out. I'll be performing a short set of magic tricks and interacting with the puppets and the audience. I'll also be showing the audience some simple magic that they can perform, and be answering any questions about magic that they might have. The presentation will last for about 30 minutes, but it's scheduled to run until 8:00 PM, allowing for questions from the audience and for extra impromptu fun with those loveable puppet animals. 😄  Ages 1 to 99 are welcome to attend this family-friendly event. 😊
If you can't make it Tuesday, a repeat performance will take place on Wednesday, July 20th at 6:30 PM at John F. Kennedy, Jr. Library in South Dearborn Heights.  If you plan on attending, please contact me by phone or text at  (313) 505-4349 and let me know.😉  Thank you. 👍

From the Archives

By Karl Rabe

From the Archives will periodically take a look back at photos, documents and other memorabilia from the clubs archives.

Below we can see Governor John Engler's Certificate of Special Tribute and designation of Michigan Magic Day as April 27, 1991.

Do any club members know how this came about?

Funny Business

By Karl Rabe

Not terribly punny...

  • A good magician's assistant is hard to find. They're highly sawed after.
  • The magician was sad he'd failed at his trick. He became a wand erring soul.
  • The magician was unrecognisable in the street. He always kept his hoodini up.
  • The magician got so angry he pulled his hair out.
  • The chocolate magician performed a lot of Twix.

For magician's only

  • Does anybody else own the Alex Elmsley box set? It's a 4 DVD compilation of his works. I haven't watched the third DVD but I saw the first one twice.
  • How many Spanish magicians does it take to memorize a stacked deck? Just Juan
  • How many magicians does it take to replace a light bulb? Fifteen. One to replace it, six to say, "You flashed!" and eight to say, "Let me show you my version of that."


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