Ann Arbor Magic Club

IBM 210 - SAM 88

Current Messenger

On the Cover

By Karl Rabe

Magic Messenger August 2022



Sean Naes. Feature Performer for July performs a liquid color change illusion from his festival show.

In This Issue


President's Corner

By Dan Jones

We had a great meeting in July at our new home the Plymouth Community Arts Council. If you missed it I hope you make August's meeting this Wednesday, Aug. 3rd to see the beautiful facility.
Our theme this month is "livestock" Magic but I hope you leave the tiger's at home. Who still uses livestock? Rabbits? Doves? Parakeets? Let's see what you have? How have you adapted a production or vanish effect to stuffed animals or other appearances?
Also, as an educational portion of the meeting Sean Naes will teach "the Bill Switch" illusion using a thumb tip. So come prepared with two different denominations of bills and your thumb tip.
As always feel free to perform whatever you'd like to share. And share your stories from the IBM convention and Abbott's Get Together.


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 club Secretary, Karl Rabe.

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

I was born in Detroit and lived in Ferndale MI until 1969 at which time my family moved to Sault Ste. Marie (or Sault Ste. Siberia as I like to call it). I went to college in the Soo and later moved to Midland MI, Iron Mt. MI, Dearborn MI, Belleville MI and finally Saline MI. So I've been in Michigan my whole life.

How did you get started in magic? 

I always enjoyed watching magic. My Dad liked watching magic and he bought me Dunninger's Encyclopedia of Magic. I poured over that cover-to-cover. A friend in the SOO was from New York and he and his brother had the Tannen's and Abbott's catalogs. They had some real props and got me into it. I got the Abbott's catalog and price sheet (remember the price sheets?) and the rest was history. My Dad always made sure I saw magician's perform when possible and he took me to Romig Magic when it was in an upstairs suite on Nine Mile in Ferndale. He secretly bought me a Zombie for Xmas.

What type of magic do you perform? 

I started out with a lot of close up. I really enjoy parlor magic and in particular inventing and creating my own props. I am almost always performing comedy magic. As many of you know, I perform comedy magic with my Son Bill as my "assistant". I like to design routines where I fail as the magician and Bill really does all the magic as the assistant.

What is your favorite magic book? 

Tommy Wonder's Book of Wonder Vol I and II are fantastic. Tommy was very inventive and I really like and use his approach of imaging a routine (he calls it a Mind Movie) before figuring out how to make it happen. This pushes the creator to create the best magic they can.

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

I'll name three. I have to turn to Tommy Wonder once again. I really admire René Lavand for his simplicity and brilliant execution. If you don't know, Rene has only one hand and can perform amazing card slights. Finally I really like Lennart Green. He is a great example of creating something unique and different from everyone else.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians?

I am going to turn to something I wrote when I was about 15 years old for a Magic Kit I put together for Grand Hotel on MACKINAC ISLAND.




Secretary's Report

By Karl Rabe

In July we had our first meeting at our new location, the Plymouth Community Arts Center. President Dan Jones kicked us off by introducing our newest member Dalton Cahill. Then it was time for round-table introductions and each member answered the question: What is your favorite magic book. Many great books and authors were discussed including Tommy Wonder, Harry Loraine, The Royal Road to Card Magic, Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, and Roberto Giobbi. Then it was on to magic with Sean Naes as our featured performer.

Sean performed a color-changing liquid routine from his stage show. First three jars filled with water visibly changed to yellow, blue and red respectively as he juggled them in mid-air. All three liquids were poured in the bucket and then removed a cup-full at a time. Even though the liquid had been mixed, Sean produced a cup of Red, a cup of Yellow and a cup of Blue. Sean continued to mix and separate the colors several times. As a climax the pail was thrown towards the audience an a large multi-colored Kabuki streamer showered the front row.
















Back to business it was President Dan Jones reminded us of some important upcoming club events. See the Around the Town below for details.

Then it was time for members to perform.


  • Johnny New York baffled us with an original poker tell divination where four different spectators shuffled four parts of the deck and Ken Magee then counted down as many cards as he chose to select one card. Through a series of questions and poker tells, Johnny was able to divine the selected card without seemingly ever touching the deck.
  • Karl Rabe performed Michael Skinner's Mona Lisa card trick. The queen of spades was magically changed into a selected card with a puff of air.
  • Next John Russell performed a multi-phase lotto prediction routine he is working on to introduce in his Florida tour. Two Powerball numbers selected by spectators are correctly predicted and then number cards mixed and selected through a variety of choices by Johnny NY amazingly match a lottery ticket.
  • Michael Doyle demonstrated a die prediction and then a calculator number prediction  Richard Lax's ID7.
  • Mike Bodgas performed Supreme Magic's Popsy's Pegs using colorful inherited props. A color selected by Sean Neas was divined by a magical frame. Ribbons clipped to the frame represented the color choices and the ribbon corresponding to Sean's choice mysteriously popped off the Fram.
  • Dalton Cahill weaved a story of the Salem Witch Trials and through a Mike Bodgas' selection of angel and devil cards ended up spelling a demonic message.
  • Johnny New York was back with another original, "Card DNA". Cards are shuffled face up to face down and mixed thoroughly, but Johnny is able to sense the card's DNA with just his fingertips and make a seemingly never-ending series of baffling pronouncements / predictions about the cards; the number of face-up vs face-down cards, black vs red, number of clubs and ultimately correctly predicting the total number of remaining cards.
  • Dan Jones' honesty was tested with a spirit bell and to everyone's amusement found lacking when it came to his perception of his own prowess as a magician.

We wrapped up with the door prize drawing for a beautifully framed poster of Chung Ling Soo, framed and donated by Kevin Peshik. Dan Jones was the lucky winner.

Dan Jones suspiciously reads (but did not draw) his own winning ticket to take home the Door Prize.


Finally we wrapped up with a beautiful and delicious cake adorned with the club logo, provided by Bob Goodwin to celebrate our new location.



Around the Town

By Karl Rabe

Past Events

Dan Jones reports: On July 19th John Machniak performed with his puppet friends at the Caroline Kennedy Library in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. There was a packed room of children and adults who enjoyed the puppets antics and John's impressive magic tricks. John repeated the show the following evening at the John F. Kennedy branch. Well done John!

Upcoming Events




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



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 is a plaque from SAM awarded to the AAMC. You may think that Nate Leipzig invented co-invented the Zig-Zag with Harbin (Harbin inventing the Zag part)... but you would be wrong :-)... According to wikipedia,

 Sam Nate Leipzig (born Nathan Leipziger; May 31, 1873 – October 13, 1939) was an American vaudeville magician who performed in Europe and USA. In May 1938, Leipzig was elected president of the SAM (Society of American Magicians). Previous presidents of SAM include Howard Thurston and Harry Houdini. His innovations of sleight of hand, particularly with card tricks and close-up magic, garnered him respect among fellow magicians. Leipzig was the first magician to perform a stage act using playing cards and thimbles, and is credited with inventing the Side Steal, a.k.a. the Side Slip—a technique for secretly removing a playing card from the middle of a deck of cards.[1]



Funny Business

By Karl Rabe

Caption Contest

I am at a loss for words on this one, so I will open it up to all the club members. Secretary for a day. How do you caption this photo?


Time to give the witches their spotlight

  • There's a sign outside the witch's house on my street. "Witches parking only! All others will be toad."
  • I went to witch school when I was a kid. I didn't love it, all we did was spelling.
  • Be careful of angry witches. They tend to fly off the handle.
  • Witches don't really like martial arts. The only exception is taekwando.
  • I couldn't read the witch's handwriting at all, she always wrote in curse-ive

What’d the fisherman say to the magician?

Pick a cod. Any cod.


Magician mugging

I got mugged by a magician the other day. He pulled a knife on me, but what was weird is that it was behind my ear the whole time.

Magician: and now for my final trick! I will disappear!

Then he grabs a pear from under the table and says: you're the worst fruit ever!

Magician: I can make anything disappear
Tom: ***holding cup*** do it to my tea!
Magician: ***waves hand*** done!
om: ***holding cup*** it didn’t work.


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