Ann Arbor Magic Club

IBM 210 - SAM 88

Current Messenger

On the Cover

By Karl Rabe

Magic Messenger June 2023


On the Cover Mike Bogdas (left) and Dan Jones (right) display the posters from our last two Parlor Shows featuring Dan Jones on the poster (Left) and Mike Bodgas on the poster (right).

In This Issue


President's Corner

By Dan Jones

Here's a question. If the president's in an oval office then how can there be a president's Corner?

Well we had a great day on Saturday, May 27th at our parlor magic shows. The attendance from the public was terrific and we had many members there to perform, assist and support the two shows. The shows that we do offer us the opportunities to show off our club, promote the art of magic, give our members a chance to perform in public and sustain the fee for our meeting at the PCAC.

Another chance we'll have to promote magic and our club is at the PCAC Summer Camp featuring magic and the performing arts the week of June 19th through June 23rd.

Our June meeting will feature as the educational portion Sean Naes teaching his version of "the Professor's Nightmare ". You won't want to miss this.

And the July meeting we present our First Annual Close Up Showcase. It's a competition for members to show off their skills and maybe win a trophy. More details at the June meeting.

We have a little business to discuss at the meeting. Mainly the possibility of a club name change but we are trying to keep the business to a minimum.

After all we are a magic club and NOT a business club.

See you all soon.
Dan Jones.

Secretary's Report

By Karl Rabe

May Meeting

Our meeting was called to order by President Dan Jones and we kicked off with a get-to-know-you round table question where members introduced themselves and then told us about their "non-magic-related" hobbies, skills and interests. Answers ranged from outdoorsmen, table tennis, martial arts and even operating a rattery.

Next were some reminders about upcoming events the club is holding, including an Open House at the Library, helping with a performing arts summer camp, our May Parlor Show and plans for a Close Up Showcase at our July meeting.

After our treasurer's report and other bits of business it was on to the magic where several performers practiced their routine for the May show.

  • Mark Phelps kicked us off with a tiny deck routine, then a salt pour and tea cup routine, and concluded with a jumbo brainwave that tied back to the tiny deck.
  • Dalton Cahill performed a bit of spooky magic with a reverse prediction.
  • Mike Bogdas produced a balloon animal chosen at random with the final reveal of instructions for the chosen animal being discovered inside the inflated balloon.
  • Karl Rabe performed the classic Jumping Knot.
  • Then Phil Mann performed a trio of routines, kicking off with the Yellow Bandana, then a socks routine with a spectator where one of the spectator's socks disappears and reappears tied between the magicians socks. Finally Phil concluded with a Zombie routine harkening back to the styrofoam zombie ball his mother made for him.
  • Boyu Chen performed a card trick and also provided a lesson on riffle shuffling.
  • The final act was Cap'n Sean and his cat Mirf (the club mouser). Mirf correctly located a chosen card.

Library Open House

We had a decent turnout for the Open House we held at the Plymouth Library to help market our upcoming Parlor Show.

Parlor Show

The Parlor Show was a big success with two sold out shows. Thanks to everyone who volunteered.

  • Production: Sean Howell (Producer, Emcee) & Tracy Howell (Stage Manager)
  • Stage Performers: Karl & Bill Rabe, Mike Bogdas, Mark Phelps, Phil Mann, Dan Jones, Don & Jacob Oesterwind and Sean Naes with Mirf the Club Mouser.
  • Stage Hands, Load-in & Load-out: Jim Molnar, Jacob Oesterwind, David Papow, Gerald Heilman
  • Balloons: Jim Molnar, April Barrett (in character as Bling-E the Clown)
  • Ticket Sales: Patty Rabe, Jackie Clark, Karl Rabe (online Sales & Marketing)
  • Photos: Patty Rabe, Jackie Clark
  • Ushers: Barbara and Ming Louie, Chris Johnson
  • Concessions: Rob Krozal, The Bogdas Family (Popcorn)
  • Finances: Rob Krozal
  • Sound: Carl Wallace
  • Poster Model: Dan Jones
  • Rodent Control: Mirf
  • Graphics: Daniel Kearsey (Dan created our poster free of charge)

Daniel Kearsey is a graphic designer and artist specializing in sports and entertainment illustration. His work often focuses on trading card illustration, poster design and more. Learn more about Daniel at


Special thanks also to Don Oesterwind who purchased a large block of tickets for each show.

Photos below by Jackie Clark and Patty Rabe.

The Broken Wand

By Karl Rabe

Long time friend of the Ann Arbor Magic Club and owner of ABC Magic, David Schneider passed away of heart failure and cancer at his home in Macomb Township on May 15, 2023. He was born in Detroit, Michigan but lived most of his life in Macomb County. He was a graduate of Mt. Clemens High School. David was active in community and civic service. He served on the Downtown Development Authority of Mt. Clemens and was involved in numerous community events. A Boy Scout Leader for over 20 years, he often did charitable magic shows for organizations serving special needs children. His reward was seeing them laugh and smile.

David had a passion for magic from a very young age. His dream of a magic shop came true with the opening of Magic and More at Gibraltar Trade Center 25 years ago. He went on to establish ABC Entertainment which provides fun for children and families and operated magic stores throughout Macomb County. With his white beard and jovial manner he was a sought after Santa Claus each holiday season. Off season, children were amazed to see Santa in person, in everyday situations.

David was a good and honorable man who deeply loved his family and his friends. He always had a story or a joke to share. Many members of the club were friends with Dave. He will be missed.

Mirf Tales

By Sean Naes

Cap'n Sean and Mirf header

Our semiannual club parlor show is coming up at the Ann Arbor Magic Club before the Canterbury Village Faire, so we are going to take advantage of another opportunity for Mirf to perform before a live audience.  Live audiences are hard to emulate in rehearsal.  I can put together a group of 10 or 20 friends but after a short time Mirf will become familiar with them as a crowd and not be the distraction that I need.  Live audiences are continuously new and create stress for Mirf, it's a constant stream of unknown, besides he's the official club mouser so he needs to step up too.  At this point Mirf's got one official show in the books and a meet and greet appearance at the Fire Festival a couple months ago now so we're going to use this show as a conditioning exercise.  The parlor show has two showtimes which will be a great way to gauge Mirf's probability of handling three shows a day at Canterbury Village in just over a month.

As Director, Producer and Master of Ceremonies of the Parlor Show I don't mean it as an abuse of power to shamelessly use the show and venue to train Mirf, I like to think of it as a benefit for volunteering. 😉 Seriously though, I'll produce Mirf in his production cage at the beginning of the show and vanish him in his vanishing box near the end of the show before the finale act.  I don't want to finish any shows with Mirf vanishing as the finale, that way a backstage handler can have him out of his vanishing box as soon as possible and be ready to bring him to me for the meet and greet after the show.  Somewhere in the middle we will do a trick or two depending on the pace of the acts in the show.  Mirf and I have been practicing acrobatic silks and a card trick in addition to his production and vanish for the show.

As the song "fanfare for the common man" plays in the background it's showtime!!!  I'm preparing to load the trailer and Mirf seems to know what's up.  I had to restrain him, first it was "where do you think you're going with my props" to "let me help you load these by tripping you".  While I was staging props and equipment to be loaded onto the trailer he tried to run outside. It's not that he tries to run away from me, he doesn't like to be very far from me at all, he wants to play. I do believe he likes going places with me and performing onstage, being the star of the show at least that's what I perceive based on his demeanor and behavior. He is such a ham and people love him.

Mirf's travel requirements however are not exactly minimal.  He requires a litter box, litter box cleaning tool, extra litter, disposal bags, food bowl, water bowl, food container, water container, toy rabbits' foot, wooden ball toy, short length of rope, travel backpack, and a roll of paper towels.  You almost need a freight train just for the health and wellbeing of the wee one, kind of like hauling around another small mammal.

I load all of his props and gear... and the rest of the equipment needed for the show and head out by 10:00 AM.  This will be Mirf's longest day yet.

The drive was uneventful Mirf is old hat at riding in the truck now, he sits in the seat and naps or looks out the window.  While we were unloading equipment Mirf waited in the truck.  After all the equipment and props were off loaded, I brought Mirf in and let him roam while we set up.  He checked out the room here and there but mostly watched what we were doing, more like what I was doing.

The boy watches me like a hawk.  Mirf did very well, I took him to the trailer for a "litter break" and rest away from the chaos before the first show, during the break and after the second show before we headed to the restaurant.  Mirf conducted himself very well during the show.  His presence on stage was calm and confident.  When I uncover Mirf and hear the collective gasp from the room it makes my heart swell.  Mirf loves being the center of attention and as we work together more, it gets better.  It was a long day, and in both shows Mirf did fantastic, I couldn't have asked for a better performance.

After the show was over, the plan was to break down the show, load all of the props and gear into the trailer and head to a local tavern for food and drinks.  I have a backpack that Mirf fits in, it has side mesh panels so he can see and breath unobstructed, it also has a zip out that fold open to double its size allowing him to lay down and stretch out.  I didn't say anything to the doorman, or the waitress, I just wore the backpack in, and set it on the floor at our table, we ordered, ate, I gave Mirf food and water in his fortress and we all had a good time.  When it was time to go, I paid my tab, zipped up Mirf's backpack, put it on and we all headed home.  Mirf and I will be traveling all over the country together, there are times I have to take him places where he's not always going to be welcome, and I try to be as careful and discreet while being as respectful as I can.  For the upcoming festival at Canterbury Village Mirf and I will be staying in a hotel and the hotel knows he's coming, some things you don't try to fudge.

Now the focus is truly on Canterbury Village, at this point we are 7 days out.  Every day we are rehearsing in my office.  I keep trying to think of what I'm missing.  I know I'm missing something because live and rehearsal are worlds apart.  Remember in his first show, the audio confused him because he had never heard my voice through the speakers like that.  I've tried to condition him to loud noises, loud music, drums, live bands, dogs, other cats.  Canterbury Village is where I plan to shoot video of our show for promotional and booking purposes.  This is an exciting and scary time.  We will be doing 3 shows daily with meet and greets and walkabouts between each show two weekends in a row rain or shine.  Mirf did very well with two air-conditioned shows inside a building, we will see how he does outdoors...

Next time: Canterbury Village Medieval Faire and what did I miss?

Around the Town

By Karl Rabe

Calendar of Events


Club Events


June 19 thru 23
9am to Noon each day


Please sign up if you are willing to participate in supporting the Plymouth Community Arts Council Summer Camp for Magic and the Performing Arts.

It will be held at the Plymouth Community Arts Council and runs from Monday June 19 through Friday June 23. It runs each day from 9am to Noon. We expect up to 24 participants ranging in age from 9-14. We expect the participants will put on a show for their parents on the last day at 11:30.

We need volunteers who are good at working with and teaching 9-14 year olds. We anticipate teaching a variety of performance types -- Magic, Balloon Twisting & Juggling. More specific details to follow.



July 12, 2023 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
At our monthly meeting
Plymouth Community Arts Council
774 Sheldon Rd, Plymouth, MI 48170

Attention all Magicians!  We are please to announce the first ever Close up show case!   We are looking for all magicians of all skill level from beginner to pro to perform.

All you need to do is prepare a show case of five minutes or less. On July 12, 2023, our regular scheduled meeting, we will arrange the tables into small, close up settings. You will get the opportunity to perform multiple times.

At the end of the evening, all of the audience members will vote for their favorite performer. Thanks we look all look forward to an exciting evening!

Please let us know if you are performing by July 8,2023 by using the sign up link to the left.

Members Performing

Catch Ming and Barbara Louie performing in the upcoming months.

  • Tuesday June 20 at 2pm. Okemos library
  • Monday June 26 at 6:30pm. Oxford Library
  • Tuesday June 27 at 7pm. Plymouth library
  • Saturday July 8 at 2pm. Main library Detroit
  • Monday July 10 at 11am.Commerce twp library
  • Tuesday July 11 at 2pm. Knapp library Detroit
  • Tuesday July 11 at 6:30pm. Saline library
  • Sunday July 23 at 3pm Festival of Chariots Novi Civic Center
  • Friday July 28 at 2pm. Campbell library Detroit

Other Calendars

Funny Business

By Karl Rabe

Special thanks to Frank Machniak for contributions to Funny Business.

Funny Business

By Karl Rabe

Special thanks to Frank Machniak for contributions to Funny Business.


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Updated: September 30, 2023 — 2:41 pm
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