Ann Arbor Magic Club

IBM 210 - SAM 88

Current Messenger

On the Cover

By Karl Rabe

Magic Messenger June 2024

Club Secretary Ron Krozal displays one of his prized possessions, a Vintage Mak Magic Indian Dove  Chest in mint condition. One of Mak Magic's most colorful pieces. From time to time Rob shares an item from his collection at our monthly meeting in a segment called Rob's Corner.


President's Corner

By Dan Jones

Hello AAMC Members and Friends,

We are near the halfway point of the year and it has been a good year so far. The second half looks just as exciting with several events planned. Please consult the calendar of events elsewhere in the newsletter and mark down the dates so you won't miss any of the fun.

I've said it before here and I'll say it again. Our club is growing and is the place to be for magic.

We have a great membership roster of many magicians and performers. At our meetings I have witnessed new magicians learning from experienced ones and the young learning from the old. We can all learn from each other and I have learned many new things from those younger than me. Let's keep on learning from each other and sharing what we know.

We have full time performers, part time performers, second career magicians, hobbyist, historians and magic buffs all with experience and knowledge to share. Please, take advantage of these great resources.

And of course we have Rob Krozal, "the Ancient One" who has been around since time began. 🙂

See you all on Wednesday, June 12th for our meeting.

Dan Jones, President of Ann Arbor Magic Club.

Secretary's Report

By Karl Rabe

May Meeting

We had a great turnout for our meeting with a number of guests and two new members. The club has hit the 50 member milestone. Thank you to all our members!

The meeting kicked off with our Featured Performer(s) of the Month, Karl and Bill Rabe. Karl and Bill performed their rendition of "Watch in Nest of Boxes" influenced by Tommy Wonder using Karl's original mechanism. A borrowed watch is smashed to bits with a sledge hammer during an auction only for the table to fall apart and reveal a wrapped present. The watch owner opened the present and two locked and  nested cash boxes to reveal their borrowed watch.

Then it was on to Rob's Corner where our Club Treasurer Rob Krozal shared a prized item from his collection, a mint condition vintage Mak Magic Indian Dove Chest. It sure was beautiful!

Next up several of our performers from our upcoming parlor show ran through their routines.

  • Charlie Falco performed a "sweet" routine combining several "candy" transformations and effects.
  • Tara McAllister mesmerized us with her version of Butterfly Blizzard.
  • Kinetic Kay (Kaylin Janiczek) had us holding our breath as she performed her plate-spinning routine  culminating in keeping three plates going (one on her chin) while balancing on a Rola Bola.
  • Captain Sean (Club Vice President Sean Howell) and Mirf, his trained Maine Coon Cat, did a pick-a-card routine with April Barrett as the willing volunteer. Mirf successfully found April's card and "autographed" it with tooth marks.

Then it was on to our educational session. This month's topic was Change Bags. Our President Dan Jones opened with a few demonstrations, including a routine using a dove pan and another using the mis-made flag. Kay Janiczek demonstrated a three pocket change pan and shared some tips on using a zipper change bag. Mike Thornton shared his tips on using the change bag for "cut and restored" routines, and how to downplay the bag for stronger reactions. Ming Louie shared a "flick" move he uses with a mutilated parasol routine to cover the "change". Don Oesterwind shared some strategies to downplay the use of the bag. April Barrett shared a three pocket zippered bag.

Then it was on to member performances.

  • Mike Doyle did a Jack the Ripper routine and a dice spirit routine.
  • Keith Fields did a quick illuminated wand to feather.
  • Ming and Barbara Louie did a slate of mind routine with Tara, Dave Sanders and Michael Reuter assisting.

Kay's finale!


Parlor Show

Our Spring 2024 Parlor Show went off without a hitch. Many thanks to everyone who contributed and attended. We will have a full write-up next month.


Around the Town

By Karl Rabe

Calendar of Events

  • On June 24 the club will be supporting a magic summer camp at the Plymouth Community Arts Council and runs from Monday June 24 through Friday June 28. 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. Go here to sign up for just one morning or all week.
  • Your Board is thrilled to announce an exclusive lecture by the phenomenal NICK DIFFATTE! Date: Saturday, July 27, 2024
     Time: 11:00 AM
     Venue: Diamondback Music Hall, 49345 S Interstate 94 Service Dr, Belleville, MI 48111
    Admission: $20 at the door (Sorry, no member or partner discounts for this special event).What is better than a Nick Diffatte lecture? Only one thing! A Nick Diffatte lecture followed by A Nick Diffatte SHOW! Nick will be performing at the Diamondback the evening of the lecture at 8:00 PM. Tickets are heavily discounted on-line, so don't wait. BUY YOUR TICKET NOW!

    Nick Diffatte is not just another magician. He’s a magic headliner, a regular performer at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, a guest on the Late Late Show on CBS, a Disney Cruise Line star, a fill-in for comedy magic legend Mac King, and a headliner in comedy clubs nationwide. Now, he’s bringing his unique blend of magic and comedy right here to Belleville!

    Here’s what you can look forward to:

    Stand-Up Routines: Enjoy stand-up magic from Nick's act, featuring material from his bestselling book Offbeat and other unpublished works.

    Close-Up Magic: Learn close-up magic techniques, including some of Nick’s marketed tricks and fresh ideas from Offbeat.

    Stage Cueing: Discover the practice and power behind stage cueing—a rarely employed and highly secretive technique.

    Comedy Writing: Gain insights into writing comedy magic routines and finding the perfect balance between comedy and magic.

    ❓ Open Q&A: Have the opportunity to ask Nick anything about his lecture or live shows.

    Here’s what some of the biggest names in magic have to say about Nick Diffatte:

    • “Nick Diffatte is a rare breed. Clever, funny, a total badass.” - Chris Kenner
    • “I sure do love Nick Diffatte. He’s my hope for the future of comedy magic.” - Mac King
    • “A lot of entertainers TRY to be funny. Nick IS funny. He has the perfect blend of comedy and magic.” - The Amazing Johnathan

    This is a rare opportunity to learn from a true master of his craft. Don't miss out on what promises to be an unforgettable experience. Mark your calendar, spread the word, and join us for a magical Saturday morning with Nick Diffatte!


Other Calendars

Past Events

A number of AAMC members were able to attend the Ondrej Psenicka lecture hosted by Ring 22, The Detroit Magic Club. Ondrej is the creator of Butterfly Playing Cards (in stock at Wunderground). Ondrej created miracle after miracle and this was for a room of magicians.

Imagine a deck is given to a spectator named Fred Lenter to shuffle, which he does a number of times. Imagine a Magician named Ondrej Psenicka takes the deck and fans it with their face turned away. A card is selected and held to the chest of the spectator. Only the spectator knows the card. With his head still turned the card is returned to the deck by the spectator and then the deck is shuffled by the spectator. The magician takes the deck and places it on the table in front of them. They place their hand hovering over the deck and name the chosen card. Then the magician states that the card is the seventeenth card in the deck. They count down and the seventeenth card is the spectators card.

This sounds like ad copy, but that is what happened. If you are into cards, you need to check out the Butterfly decks. A marking system so diabolical that miracles like the above can be performed. Wonderground sells them at the same price as the butterfly website, so get them from Josh.






Mirf Tales

By Sean Naes

The morning meeting is over. management is impressed by their first encounter with Mirf the Magnificent. The entire cast and staff spent the majority of the meeting fawning all over Mirf.  Our first meet and greet in the outer courtyard at the gate is in the bag.  We make our way back to the stage after an evil encounter with a small dog.  Mirf didn’t attack the dog, I'm pretty sure he considered it since he was rearing up.  I sequestered Mirf in his cage to chill out from the incident and get ready for the first show scheduled to take place in forty five minutes.  I was not happy about the encounter, it could turn out to be detrimental to Mirf's performance.   Especially after the last 3 weeks.

I have to stop the story for a second and explain something, You see Mirf almost died before the start of the Michigan Renaissance Festival.

I purchased Mirf from Magestic Maine Coons, a reputable cattery in Livonia, MI.  Mirf was purchased under a no breed/no show contract.  I did clarify that I would be performing with him in shows but not showing him at any type of TICA event.  One of the requirements was to have him neutered.  Mirf was neutered at 1 year old, a couple weeks before MiRF started so there shouldn’t be an issue…right?

Well, Mirf started to get lethargic and not acting his self after he was neutered.  I contacted the vet and they had me bring him in immediately.  It turned out that he had opened his sutures and had diarrhea that got into his surgical wound and he had a bad infection requiring emergency surgery.  We were terrified that we were going to lose him.  The vet kept him overnight on IV antibiotics.  When he came home he seemed a little better.  He was prescribed daily antibiotics and put in a cone of shame.  I followed the doctors orders to the letter and took him in for his rechecks.  He was improving well.  The Michigan Renaissance Festival was coming up fast, it was looking like Mirf would miss the first weekend. 


Friday morning before heading to the festival grounds Mirf had an evaluation with the Veterinarian to decide if Mirf was going to perform or not.  Dr. Gaide gave him the green light and off to festival we went.  So you can understand my anger and frustration towards the cast member whose dog harassed Mirf.  I harbor no resentment or ill will, but I was miffed.  Anyway, back to the story.


I'm standing backstage setting up my microphone.  Mirf's sitting in his cage playing with his balls, (it’s a wooden toy with 9 balls in it) when I started hearing people type noises coming from the audience area.  The stage we're on has an oak tree in front of it called The Mother Oak Tree.  This oak tree is beloved by hundreds of people.  so its not uncommon to hear noise from the audience area in the morning as some of the other performers, venders, staff and early birdpatrons come to pay homage to the mother oak, drink beverages and chat a bit under her branches.  So, It's normal to hear some sounds but this was much louder than normal.  My heart raced for a moment, I thought I had squandered too much time backstage when I looked up at the clock and saw that it was still thirty minutes before showtime.


I had plenty of time to finish getting ready.  I put my body pack on my belt, hung the microphone off my ear and stuck my head out the door.  I was amazed to see the entire audience area filled, including the standing area.  I walked out onto the stage, clicked on my microphone to greet the audience.  I said "Hello", the audience replied back "Hello!".  I was pretty shocked, I asked what they were doing down here, a patron said they were here for the show.  I said the show doesn't start for thirty minutes and he said they wanted to make sure they got a seat.

It was a fun interaction.  I finished setting up the stage for the show.  I kept an eye on the clock as I arranged things on stage and chatted with different members of the audience.  I went backstage and loaded Mirf in his cage for the show and covered it with the foulard.  I rolled out Mirf's cage and set it off to the side and continued chatting with some more of the audience members.


Five minutes until showtime, props are loaded in place, ready to go.  As I stood on the stage in front of a packed audience I reflected upon the last ten months.  This was the moment we had worked for.  The Michigan Renaissance Festival is the largest renaissance festival in Michigan.  I've been told MiRF enjoys 250,000+ visitors every year so it's considered one of the larger shows in the country.  At this point, I've been performing on this stage for nearly 7 years. The first show is always the smallest show because most of the patrons have not made it that far back on the festival grounds.  We're located near the back of the festival and it's a fairly large place.  I'm used to having a sparse audience for the first show after opening.  Opening activities are still going on.


I'm excited there's a full audience.

As I'm ready to start the show, I look at the audience, smile, take a deep breath.

I gesture to the audience and say:

"Wow, This has never happened before."

"I find this to be humbling yet humiliating at the same time."

"I find it humbling that you are all here so early to see my show."

"I find it humiliating because I have been here for 7 years and this never happened  until I added the cat!"

"You know what that means?"

"It Worked!"

The audience laughed and We started the show.

I opened the show with my normal opening lines and pocket tricks.

I then introduced Mirf's empty cage with a foulard hanging off the back of it.

I showed the cage empty.  I told the audience:

"In circus they have this wonderful illusion that I have always liked since I was a child.  They show a giant empty cage, then cover it with a giant cloth.  They spin it around three times.  When they pull the cloth off the cage a giant tiger impossibly fills the cage."

"Well, I don't have that kind of budget or liability insurance so I have a livestock cage over here."

I show the livestock cage is empty.  I cover it with a foulard and spin it around three times and enthusiastically say while I pull the foulard away:

"I give you Mirf the Magnificent!"

Mirf was laying there in his cage stretched out like a lazy bum. I opened the top and knocked on it to signal for him to come out.  He took his sweet time, but he came out, stretched, then sat down and looked around at the audience like "Ah, my peons".


The lady that helped me with Mirf's card trick was very animated. I thought she was going to pass out when Mirf pulled her card out of the deck.

The silk trick was a bit rough but the audience seemed to like it well enough.  I end up bonking him on the head at a later show with it, and he decided he wanted nothing to do with it any longer.  I ended up dropping it from the show later in the season.



When it was time to vanish Mirf at the end of the show, he was supposed to climb into his vanishing box, but he wasn't ready to go.  Mirf wanted to hang around with the audience a little longer.  With a little coaxing and a few treats he climbed into the vanishing trunk on his own.  I closed it up and did the vanish.  I passed the props to Mirf's assistant backstage and finished the show with my customary closing card trick.


The show went very well.  The audience applause said it all.  Mirf did his part right on cue.  Mirf came in and out of his prop, moved from prop to table and back again.  He did well and continues to improve with every show.

I grabbed Mirf from backstage to do our meet and greet after the show under the Mother Oak.  That tree provides some amazing shade that Mirf and I appreciate.


It was an amazing feeling.

We did it and the audience loved it.

Mirf seemed to revel in the applause.

It was a good feeling to know I did the right thing, the gamble paid off.

Every show that day was packed.  As a matter of fact, every show for the rest of the season was packed…every one.  It was truly amazing.

Until next time, thank you for reading.


Cap'n Sean and Mirf

Funny Business

By Karl Rabe




Ex Libris

By Karl Rabe

Tommy Wonder's lecture notes are very brief and read...

All I know about magic can be found in the following books: "Showmanship for Magician's" by Daniel Fitzkee, "Magic by Misdirection" by Daniel Fitzkee and "Magic and Showmanship" by Henning Nelms. These books tell you almost everything you need to now about magic and give you an insight into what magic really is; Which is much more important than my tricks or someone else's tricks. At least these books helped me a lot and may they help you as well.

-Tommy Wonder

Reminder. We have published the club's library online.

How to use the Ann Arbor Magic Club Library

  1. Use your Phone or PC to go online to
  2. Find a book you want to check out in the catalog and click the button to PLACE HOLD.
  3. You will be prompted to enter the club password and then you will be prompted to select your name from the member list. The password is the same as the password for the members only section of our website.
  4. Our Librarian will be alerted and will bring the book to the next regular meeting.
  5. The Librarian will hand over the book to you at the meeting and mark the book as CHECKED OUT.
  6. Return the book to the Librarian at the next meeting and they will CHECK IT IN.


  • You may check out no more than two books at any time.
  • You must return them in one month (the next meeting).
  • You will be charged for lost and/or unreturned books.



Visit the club website for past issues, calendar of upcoming events, and other features and articles.


Join our Private Facebook Group to connect and exchange ideas and information with other members.


Like our Public Facebook Page and share it with Friends and Family.

The Ann Arbor Magic Club Board

Contact the board using these email addresses



Updated: September 30, 2023 — 2:41 pm
Ann Arbor Magic Club © 2014 Frontier Theme