Ann Arbor Magic Club

IBM 210 - SAM 88

Current Messenger


On the Cover

By Karl Rabe


Magic Messenger Special Edition - Spotlight

 

In this special release of the Magic Messenger we reprint our collection of "Spotlight" columns. Spotlight is a monthly feature in the Magic Messenger each month where we highlight one member and ask them to answer a few questions about themselves.

 

If you haven't already submitted YOUR information for Spotlight, please do so now on this Google Form.

In This Issue

Tara McAllister
Marvin Mathena
Ronald Hoole
John Russell
Kevin Peshick
Johnny New York
Dan Jones
Mike Bogdas
Jim Folkl
Dalton Pittman-Cahill
John Osborne
Dynamike
Karl Rabe
Bob Goodwin
Ming and Barbara Louie
Phil Mann

 


Spotlight

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 Tara McAllister. Tara is a newer member to the Ann Arbor club and is also a member of The Detroit Magic Club.

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

All over the place.

How did you get started in magic? 

I have always been interested in magic and read a lot about it. It was always around during childhood; Penn/Teller's shows/books. I saw Copperfield as a kid. Magic became an active hobby late in the pandemic because I could no longer pursue my current hobby as an aerialist; (Flying trapeze, silks, and hoop,) and needed a new way to be in the lime-light!

What type of magic do you perform? 

At the moment close up and parlor. Lots of mentalism/mental magic. I would like to eventually do stage illusions.

What is your favorite magic book? 

Strong Magic, by Darwin Ortiz

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

Depends on the day. Copperfield or McBride. And that could change.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians?

Get around people who are better than you. Join a Ring. Practice and perform for as many people as you can; whether it's your grandpa, or a sold out theater, as often as possible. Read books. If you fail, fail BIG. Learn from it.

 


Spotlight

By John Smith


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 instead of the normal questions, we are reprinting an article written by Ring 22 President Johnny New York featuring Marvin Mathena.

Marvin has been both president of the Detroit Magic Club Ring 22 and President of the Ann Arbor Magic Club Ring 210.

We just couldn't do a better job than Johnny writing up this lifetime member. Here is Ring 22's "A Closer Look" reprinted with permission of Johnny New York.

Marvin Mathena

A Closer Look: MARVIN MATHENA

Feb 8, 2020 by Johnny New York

RING 22 is proud of its unique members and from time to time we like to feature one of our many “superstars” of magic.  Whenever I think about the long-running history of our club, I’m always reminded of  MARVIN MATHENA, who actually became a RING 22 member soon after the club OFFICIALLY began!   In case you didn’t know, MARVIN was originally from Bluefield West Virgina and moved with his father in his early years to Detroit, his father seeking work in our auto factories (the rest of his family reunited in Detroit shortly after a year or two).  He's been a "Detroiter" ever since, becoming a professional magician as a mere teenager after frequenting and “sessioning with the guys” at the Roy Hall Magic Shop in downtown Detroit.

He’s the proud recipient of IBM’s rarely issued certificate for 60+ consecutive years as an IBM member.   MARV actually served as a past President of RING 22 (way back in 1986, when the club met monthly in Ferndale, Michigan), and he has taught magic to many students while working for about 12 years behind the counter at an unnamed magic shop in Garden City that has since fallen by the wayside.

MARVIN is certainly an impressive and accomplished magician.  He has officially been inducted into the IBM MAGIC HALL OF FAME (yes, that’s his picture currently displayed in the American Museum of Magic in Marshall, MI). He’s also been honored in recent years, being inducted into the MICHIGAN MAGIC DAYS HALL OF FAME in 2014, along with well-known magicians Claire Cummins (as in “Milky the Clown”), and Kevin James.  Like many of us, he cut his teeth reading magic books, attending countless lectures, and perfecting his craft while learning the finer points of magic from a couple of well-known mentors you may have heard of -- Carrol Fox and Wayne Dobson.

There are a lot of “FIRSTS” under MARV’s belt since he became a full-time stage illusionist back in the 1970s – the FIRST to cut a lady into sixths, the FIRST to use a fiberglass Hindu Basket (as well as the FIRST to fill the basket with no less than three assistants at one time!).  Not surprisingly, he’s well-versed and familiar with close-up effects as well, and currently his favorite tricks make use of cards, coins, silks -- just about anything he can get his hands on (he even does memdeck work) – all quite remarkable since he is the survivor of two strokes in recent years and is still going strong in the world of magic!

Hats off and a "STANDING O” to MARV MATHENA – it’s safe to say he’s truly a “magician’s magician”, and we're glad he’s always happy to share his unique history with all of us!  THANKS MARVIN!


Spotlight

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 Ronald Hoole.

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

I was raised most of my life in Plymouth, MI I have spent a few years in Oklahoma, Texas Now I am living in Brighton.

How did you get started in magic? 

I caught the bug after seeing and finally learning my first card trick at the age of 8. By the time I was 10 I preformed my first school show. Then after the show at recess time, three kids (the bully type) came up to me and wanted to know how I did Professor Nightmare and I stuck to my guns " A good magician never reveals the secret." It ended up with me getting punched in the gut and knocking the wind out of me. And still, the Professors Nightmare is probably my favorite trick today.

What type of magic do you perform? 

I do platform and walk-around mostly. I also do mystery performer bizarre magick for special events. Sleight-of-hand had become a deep passion of mine at the time I quit smoking, I tell people I gave up cigarettes and took up cards a trade off of addictions. The good news, I'm now down to one pack of Bikes a day!

What is your favorite magic book? 

The Amateur Magician by Henry Hay. That was the first book I bought that described any sleight-of-hand. The stuff in that book still holds-up, and is a good starting place for anyone wanting to learn more about that side of magic.

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

Most definitely the Professor Dai Vernon, in the 90's I went into a Vernonmania period after he died. I learned all his key routines and read all his books watched his video series a few times. I even imagined him balling the life out of me, working on my routines. I'm past that now, yet I still love him dearly.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians?

Discovering who you are with magic can be difficult, don't try to invent a character. Notice yourself in everyday settings interacting with people like you normally do. Just take note of those moments that when everything just clicks in conversation, or you make people laugh. Even asks friends what's your best traits even worse to be aware of them. Gathering this data will help you know about yourself. Understanding yourself better, is just building blocks on creating a foundation to create your true character. Also be true to your own interests maybe you love working on cars, hey the Magic Grease Monkey, you get the point.

 


Spotlight

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 John Russell. John is a former President of the AAMC, serving several terms. At a later time in his life, John left his "Day Job" and became a full-time professional.

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

I grew up in Southgate Michigan, and have lived mostly in what is referred to as "Downriver". Also lived in South Bend Indiana, Chicago, and San Antonio Texas. Currently live in Grosse Ile, MI

How did you get started in magic? 

Like many magicians, I received a magic set for Christmas when I was in 2nd grade. I faithfully watched Mark Wilson and The Magic Land of Alakazam, and Milky the Clown, who also did magic on our local tv station.

What type of magic do you perform? 

I perform stand-up, or stage magic mostly for adult audiences. RV Resorts, 55+ communities, assisted and independent living, and senior/adult groups. I don't do much in the way of close-up, and I regularly tell groups of magicians that I am NOT a "card guy".

What is your favorite magic book? 

Henry Hay's "Amateur Magician's Handbook" really got me started; these days, anything by Christopher Barnes, one of the most creative magic minds out there, in my opinion.

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

There's not just one. I was inspired by an autobiography of Houdini when I was in elementary school; Mark Wilson, Harry Blackstone Jr. These days, Scott Alexander, Rocco, and Shawn Farquhar all never cease to amaze and inspire me.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians?

Read books on magic tricks, biographies of famous magicians, and books on magic philosophy and performance. Practice. Don't just focus on one type of magic. Be as well rounded as you can. Don't buy a magic trick to see how it works.

 


Spotlight

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 Kevin Peshick

Kevin Peshik performed Walk Around at our Parlor Show

 

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

Saginaw/Houghton Lake/Kalamazoo/East Lansing/Ann Arbor

How did you get started in magic? 

My father, who had been involved in magic before going to Korea, sat me down around the age of ten and decided his number four son would be the magician in the family.

What type of magic do you perform? 

Close-up, Parlor, Bizarre

What is your favorite magic book? 

Strong Magic and Designing Miracles by Darwin Ortiz, The Experience of Magic by Eugene Burger, The Books of Wonder by Tommy Wonder, The Workers Series by Michael Close, and Magic in Theory by Lamont and Wiseman.

Kevin Peshick performs a Water Illusion with the assistance of Mike Bogdas and while Bill Rabe looks on.

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

Hmmmm, just one?
At the moment, Max Malini.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians?

Reading broadly, both within magic and outside of magic, will boost your creativity. Avoid the tyranny of the new; having to have every new effect that comes out will distract you from improving your magic. Help others and always remember: "It is better to be a first rate version of yourself than a second rate version of someone else." Lisa Minnelli

 

 

 

 

 

 


Spotlight

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 John Smith who goes by the stage name Johnny New York.

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

Grew up in Detroit; lived during college years in Boston, MA and Connecticut

How did you get started in magic? 

Always loved watching it; started dabbling in it in 2009 - now an "ALL IN" guy!

What type of magic do you perform? 

Close Up (especially cards, some coins, some mentalism)

What is your favorite magic book? 

Close Up Card Magic, Harry Lorayne (that's the book that got me started...)

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

Jack Carpenter

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians?

Learn from everyone, practice, and have fun!


Spotlight

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 President, Dan Jones. Dan performs magic and performs as a clown using the stage name "Tippy the Clown".

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

I was born in Detroit and grew up in Westland, Michigan. I have lived in the suburbs of Canton, Northville, Redford and now I reside in Livonia. I love Michigan and don't want to leave.

How did you get started in magic? 

Just like a lot of us I got started in magic when my brother Dave received an Adam's Magic kit as a present and we both performed the tricks. We took magic lessons as teenagers and visited Romig Magic shop and the Emporium of Magic to purchase some professional effects. We performed at family gatherings and for our scout troop. I kept on performing while my brother liked to build magic tables and tricks. I still have the Square Circle that he made. In 1980 as a senior in high school I saw a clown (Ray Woiohowski) performing the same tricks I was and having a lot more fun. So, I took a 4-H clown class and "Tippy the Clown" was born. I enjoy performing as Tippy or as Dan equally.

What type of magic do you perform? 

Mostly fun, family friendly and comedy magic. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Dan also performs as a Clown and does Balloon art.)

What is your favorite magic book? 

"Now You See It, Now You Dont". Lessons in sleight of hand. By Bill Tarr.  And Houdini - The man who walked through walls. By William Lindsay Gresham.

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

There are many influences: Houdini, David Copperfield, and Doug Henning. But my favorite is Harry Blackstone Jr.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians?

Perform for people whenever you can to gain experience. Watch others perform, not to copy them but to pick up tips on audience management, staging, style and flow of an act or routine. It's difficult but don't buy every new trick you see.

Dan Jones as Tippy the Clown


Spotlight

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 Feature Performer for August, Mike Bodgas.

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

I grew up in Cleveland, OH and moved to South Lyon in 2015..

How did you get started in magic? 

My grandpa was a kids magician in Cleveland. He had a room full of magic tricks and I was only allowed to look at them as a kid. If I was lucky, he would teach me a trick here or there. When he passed, I inherited his collection.

What type of magic do you perform? 

I like to do parkour style tricks but recently have been interested in doing close-up and card tricks.

What is your favorite magic book? 

Royal road to card magic is my favorite magic book.

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

I would say David Cooperfield. I remember recording his magic special on VHS tapes as a kid and watch them all the time. I have seen him perform three times as well.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians?

Even though I have been interested in magic my whole life, I still feel like it’s new to me. I enjoy the meetings and learning from the skilled magicians in the club!

 

 

 

 


Spotlight

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 Jim Folkl. Jim is a long time member who has moved a bit further away so unfortunately we don't see him too often. He is a gifted performer with a keen sense of humor and a talent for comedy.

 

 

 

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

St. Louis MO, Cedar Rapids Iowa, Detroit MI

How did you get started in magic? 

 

My father showed me a few tricks from C Lang Neil's book, The Modern Conjurer

What type of magic do you perform? 

Principally stand up. In my youth I did a manipulative silent act.

What is your favorite magic book? 

C Lang Neil's The Modern Conjurer (sentimental value)

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

Levent

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians?

There are no bad tricks. The performer has to make the effect his/her own to elevate it to prominence.

Photos of Jim bring us a blast from the past...

 


Spotlight

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 Dalton Pittman-Cahill who goes by the stage name Thomas Rott.

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

I Grew up in Bath, Maine. Have lived In Orlando, FL, Bath, Maine, and Detroit, MI as well.

How did you get started in magic? 

When I was younger I saw one of those "how to do street magic" as seen on TV adverts. For a few years I dabbled and then completely lost sight of magic for about 16 years. This past year I started approaching magic again but couldn't really find my groove. That is when I found story telling magic, bizarre magic, and Séance. Then I knew I was in the right place.

What type of magic do you perform? 

Story Telling/Bizarre/Para-Theater

What is your favorite magic book? 

Henry Hay's The Amerature Magicians handbook

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

Eugene Burger

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians?

“I tell this to young actors whenever possible, Leave yourself at home! Don’t bring yourself into the dressing room. Yes, bring the body and all the know-how and everything else. But when you walk on that stage, you are not yourself. You are not bringing anything that has to do with a memory that might trip you into the mood. No, don’t do it, because you’ll wreck yourself. Many people have. It’s all about imagination. Acting really has to be imagination.”

-Dame Angela Lansbur


Spotlight

By Karl Rabe


This month we have a special edition of Spotlight. We are featuring John Osborne, one of our founding members that passed away recently.

Club member Ming Louie has compiled this about John.

John Osborne

John Edward Osborne was born June 13, 1939, in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and died peacefully after a long illness at the age of 83 on Monday, October 24, 2022. He is survived by his older brother Raymond, Raymond's wife Judith, their two boys and one daughter, and a cousin Mary Lou.

A founding member of IBM Ring 210, John spent his entire life performing as a ventriloquist with his self-made dummy Clancy, as medicine show pitchman Doc Robin Steel, as a Punch & Judy puppeteer, and as a Magician. He had his own school assembly booking agency in the 1960s and performed for fairs and trade shows throughout Canada, and the United States, including the Canadian National Exhibition, Detroit Auto Show, and Petrochemical shows in Texas, and over 30 states throughout the United States. John received his Bachelors of Science degree from Wayne State University and he completed graduate science studies at the University of Detroit.

Clancy & John

John wrote books on comedy, double-talking, building puppets, and vent dummies. Much of his creative output was published and sold by Abbotts Magic in Colon, Michigan and some of it is still available today for purchase.

John was a friend and acquaintance to the greats and near greats. A young Jeff Hobson worked as a roady for John during his medicine show days, along with Jason Magic and others. John often made a foray into the world of working a day job such as teaching public school or the skilled trades, but none of it seems to have had much appeal; he was always drawn back to the romance of the road and the sirens' song of entertainment and performance.

 

Hippity, John and Clancy

My wife Barbara and I first met John Osborne on Memorial Day weekend in May of 1988 in the sleepy little town of Manistee, Michigan. We were in the middle of a boiler room tour for a Florida booking agent name Victor Lewis, and John was brought in as the new Master of Ceremonies replacing Paul Lennon from Texas. Our intrepid ensemble of performers consisted of comedy juggler Jim Oakley, silent manipulation magicienne Lucy Smalley (also of Ring 210), a live band, illusionists Scorpio & Fantasy, ourselves performing "Chinese" magic along with our dancer Krystan Lim and of course, John. Victor paid us in cash each day from a briefcase of $100 bills; those were halcyon days indeed!

 

John had the least amount of props among us and worked out of a small suitcase with Clancy, his vent dummy, corny jokes, passe' passe' bottles, a die box, and all the tricks you would expect in a child's magic set. But what he had in abundance was a compelling personality, one-liners, jokes from the dawn of civilization, and an infectious smile; as an audience, you liked him right away.

I was in awe of the reaction he received from the crowd with such small, simple tricks. We often played very large venues with huge audiences, such as the Masonic Temple in Dayton, Ohio, where we drove our full-size van into an elevator and onto the stage to then be unloaded by unionized theater people. A theater that saw the likes of Jim Nabors, Beverly Sills, Kathleen Battle, and others, and now John was before an audience of over a thousand people enjoying themselves and laughing uproariously as he performed.

He was a master of the trade!

 

Dayton Masonic Temple


Spotlight

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 Dynamike. Learn more about Dynamike at dynamikemagic.com .

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

I grew up in Ecorse Michigan / Metro Detroit.

How did you get started in magic? 

I had a Marshal Brodien TV Magic Set

What type of magic do you perform? 

Kids parlor and close-up magic.

What is your favorite magic book? 

Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic.

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

Doug Henning

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians?

The hands are smoother than the eye.

 

 


Spotlight

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.

 

 

 


Spotlight

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.

 


Spotlight

By Karl Rabe


Ming and Barbara Louie

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, Ming and Barbara Louie.

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

I was born in Shenzhen China, and grew up in California, Barbara was born and raised in Detroit.  Since our marriage we've lived in Hawaii and Rhode Island.  We now live in Northville.

How did you get started in magic? 

I started in magic by being fooled with the French Drop performed by my grandfather.  I was even more amazed when he revealed the method because it was so simple yet fooled me deeply, I wanted to know why.

What type of magic do you perform? 

Barbara and I perform slightly larger magic suitable for a crowd.  With Barbara assisting we have a bit more flexibility in our choice of material.  I am fortunate that she has a passion for performing and the romance of the road.  Plus she is the perfect size for every illusion.

What is your favorite magic book? 

My favorite magic book is "Magic and Showmanship, a Handbook for Conjurers," by Henning Nelms.  Nelms was an avid magic fan and a drama teacher at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

My favorite magician is Jimmy Martin who called himself the Great Martini.  In later years he and his wife owned and operated the Broadway Magic Shop at the corner of Broadway and John R. in downtown Detroit.  It was the former Hall Magic Company.  Doris Hall the widow, sold it to Jimmy in 1955.  Every Saturday, from the age of 12 onward, I was in the magic shop talking with Jimmy and his wife, they always worked together.  Lovely kind people.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians? 

The best advice for newbies would be to join a magic club.  The second best advice would be to become a roady for a touring magician.  Learn the craft in the trenches, see what works and what doesn't.

Barbara adds...
Ming pretty much summed up my feelings about being part of his magic act.  I really enjoy doing it, and still love jumping out of boxes!  One book I found to be particularly helpful was one we got at an IBM convention many years ago.  It is called "The Magician's Assistant" by Jan Jones, and we always had our assistants read it, which they also found useful.  As far as we know, it's the only book of its kind, geared specifically for the assistant.

Learn more about Ming and Barbara at mingthemagician.com.

 


Spotlight

By Karl Rabe


As a reoccurring feature of the Magic Messenger we will highlight a member and as them to answer a few questions about themselves. This month the "Spotlight" is on our featured performer for May, Phil Mann.

Where did you grow up / where have you lived? 

I grew up in a very small town called Cedar Springs in Western Michigan.  I have lived and traveled so far away, that I spent 1 year living in your tomorrow.  But I'm back now.

How did you get started in magic? 

The earliest magical influences on myself were on black and white TV.  Mark Wilson and the magical land of Allakazam.  Right between Captain Kangaroo and Mighty Mouse on Saturday mornings.

What type of magic do you perform? 

I have a large collection of all styles of magical effects.  When I'm in the mood I do close-up.  When I get a chance it's parlor or stand-up.  I can do and have done full scale stage productions.  At the moment I am performing on tiktok, video at The.Magic.Mann, playing the part of a 1920-40 black and white stage magician.

What is your favorite magic book? 

I have a large library of reference and magical history books.  The most useful and the one I often give copies of to young magicians, as a gift, is Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic.  Easy to read and understand plus packed with ideas for all.  My prize book is a first edition of Suspensions and Levitations by Micky Hades.

Who is your favorite Magician of all time? 

My favorite magician now that's a tough one.  I would love to see some of the old masters in their prime.  Adelaide Hermann or Howard Thurston.  But then I am a big fan of the Blackstone's Sr and Jr, true masters of their art.  Modern times Siegfried and Roy or pretty much any of the magicians in Las Vegas.  As for the most talented and creative magician the one to watch is Stuart MacDonald, I feel he is going somewhere in the world of magic.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newer magicians? 

Always look for a way to make your magic entertaining.  Make it captivating, create your own style, it will evolve with time.  Practice whenever and wherever you get the chance.

 

 


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The Ann Arbor Magic Club Board

Contact the board using these email addresses

  • krabe@comcast.net
  • dmjones0701@yahoo.com
  • rkrozal@yahoo.com
  • bogd19@me.com
  • sean@howell.cc

 

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