Ann Arbor Magic Club

IBM 210 - SAM 88

Current Messenger

On the Cover

By Karl Rabe

Magic Messenger February 2024

Our newest member Alex Heath performs an impressive routine using TCCs Indian Cups and Balls.

President's Corner

By Dan Jones

Hello Fellow Magi of the Ann Arbor Magic Club and Friends,

At the end of January, your board met face-to-face for a planning session for the year. Here is a snapshot of the goals we have set for the club in 2024. If you have any questions about these goals, please ask any board member.

Just to point out a few goals specifically...

  • We grew to 47 members in 2023 and we want to continue that growth into 2024. You can help us by spreading the word and encouraging new members. To help you do that, we plan on having a fresh batch of club business cards printed and we will distribute to members to use.
  • We also want to make branded tees, polos, hoodies and hats available for members to purchase at cost. Look for more information soon on that topic.
  • The club is nothing without you the members and your help. Look for more information soon on a system for recognizing members that participate and volunteer for club events.
  • We want to achieve 501(c)(3) status with the IRS so donors can take a tax deduction and so we will be eligible to be awarded grants. Currently the club does not have that status.
  • We will continue to put on two parlor shows a year, the cornerstone of our club.

We've had a great start to the new year and I hope we are all looking forward to the coming months. Please take out your calendars and mark these dates down.

  • Our February meeting is on Valentine's Day,  Feb. 14th from 7-9 pm at the Plymouth Community Arts Council as always.
  • At our March meeting on the 13th we are hosting a lecture by Michigan magician Nathan Kranzo.
  • On April 10th we will present the second annual "Close Up Showcase" where members can compete for a trophy and bragging rights in the club. More details at the meeting.
  • Our spring parlor show is scheduled for Saturday, May 25th at the PCAC.
  • The AAMC summer picnic will be on Saturday, August 10th from 12-3pm at my home in Livonia.
  • Our annual AAMC Pop Up Magic Shop (magic flea market) is set for Saturday, Sept. 28th from 12-3 pm at the PCAC.

There will also be other opportunities to perform and help out at open houses to promote our club and parlor shows. Please step up and let us know where you can help out.

Related to one of our goals, here is an important message from your board regarding non-profit status.

Recently your board met for it's annual planning session and the future looks exciting! One of the goals was to verify our 501c3 non profit status so that we can offer tax deductions for donations and apply for grants. For example, we would like to add a program to the Parlor Show and sell advertising to local businesses to raise additional funds for the club and enhance our outreach with the community.

We consulted a CPA in order to understand what it would require to obtain our 501c3 and we discovered that, in 1999 when we were incorporated as a Michigan Domestic Nonprofit, incorporation documents required to be filed with the IRS (federal government) were not filed. The window for redemption to file according to the IRS is 3 years.

The recommendation from the CPA is that the only solution available to achieve non-profit status is to start over. We will file new articles of incorporation under a new legal name (not to be confused with the club name) and file the appropriate paperwork to achieve our 501c3 status hopefully by June of this year.

If you have any questions, please feel free to bring them to the beginning of our next meeting. We will have post-its available to jot down your questions in an effort to save time and get to the real reason we're all here…Magic!


Dan Jones, President of AAMC.

Secretary's Report

By Karl Rabe

Our meeting was called to order by President Dan Jones. Dan introduced our newest member, Alex Heath. Welcome Alex!

January Meeting

Then it was on to the Question of the Month. This month the question was "What do you collect OTHER than magic?" Answers were wide ranging and besides the expected coins, cards and stamps, more unusual collections included carpenter pencils, meteorites, Rupert Bear books.

Our president Dan Jones shared some bits of business. There was a reminder that dues are due and can be paid to our treasurer or online at the website. We had a quick treasurer's report from our treasurer Ron Krozal. Dan also reminded us that Nathan Kranzo would be lecturing in March.

Moving on to our educational segment, Dan Jones, Karl Rabe, Sean Naes, Ming Louie and Don Oesterwind all contributed to a discussion of magic tables. Probably 15 different styles of tables were on display and we walked though the types, their names and a variety of ways to make your own table in different styles. Karl shared a handout that provided details and links on different tables and hardware components that can be used to make your own table from thrift store finds. Sean shared his "busking" table he made that is in the waiter tray stand style. Ming displayed a table he built many years ago that breaks down flat using hinges with the pins replaced by stiff wires for easy break down. Ming shared some finishing tips to make tables look good on stage. Ming also brought in a Collector's Workshop "banjo table" and an Instand table.

Then it was on to performances.

  • Ming performed his Rope of Death comedy rope escape using Charlie Palko and Kaylin Janiczek as volunteers.
  • Charlie Palko premiered onstage and entertained us with a few food-related effects. First was a multiple phase M&M package transformation culminating in a sugar free bag of Doritos. Then a nickel and a small magic wand were transformed into a Lolli-pop which then magically became wrapped. Finally, a card selected by Kaylin was shown to have been predicted by a card in Charlies pocket. It was a great set of routines for a premier performance. Well done Charlie!
  • Our newest member Alex Heath performed an impresive routine using TCCs Indian Cups and Balls. Then he walked us through some mini-chop cup moves.
  • Kinetic Kay performed a plate spinning routine she is working on keeping 3 plates going all at once with one of them balanced on her chin.
  • Mike Doyle performed a Tarrot card version of a routine from 13 Steps and ID7, a calculator trick with imaginary dice.
  • Dan Jones was next with a topsy-turvy shot glass in a box routine with a nice script relating the effect to Bob Goodwin's first solo-flight.
  • Then April Barrett did a nice version of the coloring book using a paint palette.
  • Finally and to close the meeting, Phil Mann demonstrated a variety of Invisible Thread (IT) effects including a floating rose, dancing cane and the Floating Sphere which Phil purchased from Charlotte Pendragon.

Mathamagically Speaking

By Bob Goodwin

Mathematically Speaking #5
The Force Square
Bob Goodwin

This month we will explore something known as a Force Square. The Force Square allows you to force a particular number by seeming random selections made by a spectator from a matrix of numbers.


How to create a force square

Step Action Example
1 Select your force number 45
2 Choose two numbers that add to your force number. These numbers become your row and column totals. 20, 25
3 Select four number that add to your row total and fill them in the boxes below A, B, C & D 5+3+8+9=25
4 Select four numbers that add to your column total and fill them in the boxes to the right of 1, 2, 3 & 4 4+6+2+8=20
5 Now populate each blue box with the sum of it's row header and column header. 5+4=9
6 The blue squares are now your Magic Square to force the number 45. Replicate just the magic square portion on whatever you are going to use for your performance.



A B C D Tot
5 3 8 9 25
1 4 9 7 12 13
2 6 11 9 14 15
3 2 7 5 10 11
4 8 13 11 16 17
Tot 20


How to use the force square

9 7 12 13
11 9 14 15
7 5 10 11
13 11 16 17

This is a bare bones description of how to use the force square. We will go through a presentation example below.

  1. Give the spectator a sheet of paper with the force square printed on it and a pen.
  2. Ask the spectator to circle any four numbers, but each number they circle must be in a different row AND column from any other number.
  3. Have them total the circled numbers. It will always equal the force number.




  1. Prepare a force square that adds to the number $210. Dress it up with additional columns as illustrated below.
  2. Prepare a prediction that reads "I predict that the total cost of your Egypt transportation is $210. Put this in a sealed envelope.
From To Camel Chariot Uber Boat
Selected Cost
Amarna Luxor $55 $45 $65 $35
Luxor Aswan $40 $30 $50 $20
Aswan Giza $60 $50 $70 $40
Giza Amarna $75 $65 $85 $55



  1. Ask an audience member to hold your prediction.
  2. Select a volunteer and explain to them that, while vacationing in Egypt, you want to use the four types of transportation to travel to the four cities shown.
  3. Ask the volunteer to select the type of transportation they would like to use from Amarna to Luxor. Tell them they will only be able to use each type of transportation once. Whatever they pick, circle that amount and write the amount in the selected cost column.
  4. Repeat for each leg of the journey. Remind them that they cannot use the same transportation twice.
  5. When all legs have been selected total the column.
  6. Reveal that the total matches your prediction.

You could add interest to the reveal by having stage money in the envelope totaling $210. Put a big $ on the front. Tell them in advance that the envelope has all the money you have budgeted, and you hope they can stay within budget.

This principle can be "dressed up" in many ways. Cost of menu items from appetizer, salad, entree and desert, for example.

What other presentations can you think of?

Edited by Karl Rabe

Around the Town

By Karl Rabe

Calendar of Events

There is something happening every month at the Ann Arbor Magic Club. Here are highlights of the coming year. Mark your calendars. There will be an additional lecture.. guest and date to be determined.


Don't miss him at the Ann Arbor Magic Club meeting on Wednesday  March 13 at 7:00 PM at the Plymouth Community Arts Council 774 Sheldon Rd, Plymouth, MI.

Nathan Kranzo has performed and lectured all over the United States, Europe and Asia for the last two decades.

Nathan has written SEVEN magic books and created hundreds of magic effects. His original creations have been published in MAGIC, GENII, MUM, The Linking Ring, PENUMBRA...and the list goes on. He was also a columnist for MUM magazine for multiple years.

Nathan has worked as a consultant for Penn and Teller, appeared on the SyFy show "Wizard Wars", as well as the FOX show "Houdini and Doyle". Most recently Nathan was featured on the Chinese hit television series "The Amazing Magicians" which was the #1 show for TEN weeks in China!!!


  • EZ OIL & Water
    This is an amazing self working "oil and water" routine that happens in the spectators hands.
  • Dark Triumph
    Magic that happens in the spectator's own hands is a theme that you see a lot in Nathan's work. Why? Because it's hard to get anything stronger than that! Imagine, performing a version of Dai Vernon's TRIUMPH where the spectator gets to Shuffle. They immediately spread the cards and they are all facedown, except for their selection!!!!!!
    This is a routine that Kranzo uses as an opener for small groups. It combines visual magic with comedy and Kranzo uses this routine to talk about the psychology of social dynamics.
  • Moneyball
    This effect will astonish a four-year-old and a 94 year old. A quarter visually transforms into a rubber bouncy ball and can be immediately given away.
  • Schrödinger's Card
    Don't worry we won't poison a cat. But this piece of card magic is guaranteed fool you. Quite possibly the cleanest card transposition effect you'll ever see.


  • Repetition
    This was nominated for trick of the year in 2021!!! This is nathan's modern take on "six card, repeat". A stand-up card routine that can be done for a small or large audience, young or old, with built in comedy and a surprise ending. Oh and it's self working.
    Kranzo will teach several bits, gags and effects from his classic books Comedy For Magicians and Mentalists.


    Take any modern magazine and perform a MIRACLE. Imagine if you could perform the Mother Of ALL Book Tests with a page from a MAGAZINE.

All this and much MORE!!!!!!!

“I love your stuff…..great work!”

-David Copperfield


“VERY good lecture!”

-Jay Marshall


“One of the best lectures I’ve ever seen!!”

-Jack Carpenter


"Nathan never fails to astonish me every time we meet, he fools me badly."

-Joshua Jay


“Nate is part of The Next Generation of Magic. He has amazing work with everything from cards and coins to breath mints and tan lines (really!).”

-Steve Mayhew


"I was fortunate enough to catch Nate's lecture recently and he did an excellent job. His magic is extremely visual and very well routined."

-Steve Bedwell


“Magicians often claim there are no new effects in magic. Nathan Kranzo proves that’s a lie.”



“This lecture was one of the bes t I have attended i n a long time. If your group is looking for a GREAT night of entertainment with something for everybody I highly endorse booking Nate Kranzo.”

- Steve Zuehlke I.B.M. Ring 1 Presdent

All this is absolutely free to AAMC Members and Regional Club Members.

Other Calendars


Funny Business

By Karl Rabe

What’s the difference between a magician and a savings bond?

A savings bond will eventually mature and earn money.


What do you call a female magician? a magician, you sexist.


What's the difference between a magician and an iPhone? The iPhone has 32 gigs....


A Pennsylvania State Trooper pulled a car over on I-81 about two miles north of the PA/MD state line. When the trooper asked the driver why he was speeding, the driver answered that he was a magician and a juggler, and he was on his way to Harrisburg to do a show that night at the Zembo Shrine Circus and didn't want to be late.

The trooper told the driver he was fascinated by juggling, and if the driver would do a little juggling for him, he would not give him a ticket.

The driver told the trooper that he had sent all of his equipment on ahead and didn't have anything to juggle. The trooper told him that he had some flares in the trunk of his patrol car and asked if he could juggle them. The juggler stated that he could, so the trooper got three flares, lit them and handed them to the juggler.

While the man was doing his juggling act, a car pulled in behind the patrol car, a drunk got out, and watched the performance briefly. He then went over to the patrol car, opened the rear door and got in. The trooper observed him doing this and went over to the patrol car, opened the door, and asked the drunk what he thought he was doing.

The drunk replied, "You might as well take my ass to jail, cause there's no way in Hell I can pass that test!"


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Updated: September 30, 2023 — 2:41 pm
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