Ann Arbor Magic Club

IBM 210 - SAM 88

Current Messenger

On the Cover

By Karl Rabe

Magic Messenger September 2023

COURAGE: Club Member Bill Rabe steps out on stage for the first time at Abbott's 85th Get Together in preparation for participating in the Talent Contest.

President's Corner

By Dan Jones

Hello Magic Friends,
The September meeting of the AAMC will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 13th from 7-9 pm at the Plymouth Community Arts Council located at 774 N. Sheldon St. In Plymouth, MI. It's just South of M-14.
We will be featuring a fine performance and lecture by our own Bob Goodwin. You won't want to miss this.
Some of us gather for dinner before the meeting so text or call one of us if interested.
Do any of you have a magic room? Or an office where you keep all your magic, posters and collectibles? I'll bet that most of us do. I recently gave up my magic room/office to my wife to become her craft room. That was a good decision because it looked more like a landfill than a magic room. And it has actually been relocated to a larger room.
It still needs some organizing but that is giving me the incentive to sort through my collection and bring what I don't use to our Pop Up Magic Shop.(formerly the flea market.  Have any of you purchased a table to sell your unused magic effects? The Pop Up Magic Shop is coming up quickly on Sat. Sept. 23rd from 12-3 pm at the Plymouth Community Arts Council.
Take a picture of your magic room, office or Cave of Wonders and share it w/ the rest of us.
I have some posters of my favorite magicians, a few photos of me with Harry Blackstone Jr. One of which I am on stage w/ him at the George Burns Theater in Livonia. There is also room for our parlor magic show posters.
Don't forget that our next Parlor Show will be held on Sat. Oct. 28th with 2 shows at 4 and 7 pm at the PCAC. Tickets are on sale now.

Secretary's Report

By Karl Rabe

August Meeting

Our meeting was called to order by Dan Jones and we kicked off with our round-table question, "What was the last movie you saw in a theater." Many answers were similar, being the latest releases including Mission Impossible, Barbie and Oppenheimer. Several members strongly recommended "The Sound of Freedom". Next was a special presentation to "Doctor Don" Oesterwind which was a framed copy of the Spring Parlor Show poster signed by the performers.

Then it was time to vote on the proposal to change the name of the club. Ballots were distributed and collected and written absentee ballots were added to the mix. Then Secretary Karl Rabe and Treasurer Rob Krozal counted the votes. As per our Bylaws, in order to pass 2/3 of voters (present at the meeting and written absentee ballots) were needed to vote in favor of the proposal. There were 18 total votes cast and thus 12 Yes votes (2/3 * 12) needed for the measure to pass. The results were as follows...

  • Yes votes in favor - 10 (56%)
  • No votes against - 8 (44%)

The proposal DID NOT pass, so there will be no club name change.

A quick raffle was held for two Abbott's 85th Get Together tote bags donated by Karl and Bill Rabe. Dan Jones and guest Charlie Palko were the winners.

Then it was on to performances.

  • Paul Jones kicked us off with a great performance of Laced Up where a borrowed ring inexplicably becomes threaded on his shoe lace.
  • Next Karl Rabe performed a rendition of the Phil Deck.
  • Phil Mann performed a medley of magic. First was silk surprise, then the color changing die, a dragon tube rose appearance and a rising card in glass effect.
  • Johnny New York performed a seemingly impossible any card at any number variation.
  • Then Don Oesterwind did an impromptu routine with his trusty Hopping Halves.
  • John Russell explained some tips on the use of a Svengali deck and roughing fluid for card forcing, including some methods of marking the force cards to prevent mistakes as a worker.
  • Dan Jones did a couple of thumb tip routines including pulling a silk rabbit from a silk hat as well as a card warp routine using a bill and a card.

The official meeting adjourned and members jammed for another hour or so.

Summer Cookout

President Dan Jones hosted a summer cookout at his house in Livonia. We had a good turnout and lots of food, fellowship and magic! Chef Mike Bogdas manned the grill, cooking up delicious hamburgers and hot dogs. Most brought a tradition cookout dish to pass. For desert Karl & Bill brought their ice cream cart with a selection of frozen goodies. Thanks to Jim Molnar for bringing two big pop-up tents which provided everyone much needed shade and protection from a brief sprinkle.

Mike Bogdas performed a Wolfs Magic effect called Pea Shoot.


Mirf Tales

By Sean Naes

My biggest fear is that something startles Mirf and he runs to safety ending up lost.  I have seen GPS trackers suitable for dogs not for cats due to their size because of the battery.  The Apple Air Tags are okay, but they have to be detected by an iPhone or iPad within Bluetooth distance.  I have embedded an Air Tag in his harness and his toy that I call his mouse.  I started with the Air Tags since they were readily available and continued to search for a better solution.  After researching numerous solutions, I chose a company called Tractive. Tractive offers a waterproof miniature cellular GPS tracker that attaches to the harness or collar and has a maximum battery life of 5 days.  Tractive also offers additional services like health and activity monitoring, the ability to create geofencing so you can receive notifications if the tracker moves outside the geofence.  (Geofencing is an invisible virtual fence assigned to a geographic location that the tracker will recognize.) The tracker cost $50, and the service is subscription based similar to your normal cell phone service.  There are limited and premium plans with monthly or annual fees.  I chose to go with the Premium plan with the five-year service option for $300.  With the ability to give others access to the device online or on their phone I am able to allow my wife and stage assistant access to Mirf's location. I feel much better about traveling with Mirf now.  I also have the ability to make his location public for specified periods of time.  I am considering creating a Mirf fan club with one of the benefits being that you can locate Mirf on your cell phone during festival hours to make it easier to find us and see our show.

Our next venue is Sterlini Theatre in Colon, MI the first 3 Saturdays in July.  This was a lot of fun and really good practice for Mirf and I.  The Sterlini's and I hesitantly entered into this performance agreement because John Sterlini is allergic to cats.  After meeting Mirf, the Sterlini's wanted to showcase us while Jay Blackwell who normally does the Saturday matinee was on tour for the month of July.  The shows were a lot of fun.  The first show was lightly attended, people really didn't know what to expect.  The second show was well attended, while not sold out we had a good crowd.  However, we shot ourselves in the foot (paw) because John had done so well with Mirf the first show he was allowed to run around the theatre before and after the second show.  He mostly lounged in the theatre on a couple of the chairs as we chatted while jamming different routines.  Everyone was having a great time while Mirf had wandered off exploring props backstage and eventually found the stairway that led up to the apartment above the theatre where they live.  When I noticed Mirf was missing and started to look for him, Tamara Sterlini went upstairs and found Mirf in their apartment with their dog trapped under their dining room table.  Tam scolded Mirf and he came back downstairs where I then tethered him while I started cleaning up and getting ready to head home.  I received a message from John at 11:30PM letting me know the third show needed to be cancelled.  He had a really bad reaction to Mirf and almost went to the hospital.  With Magic week being only a week and a half away he couldn't take the chance of being down during Abbott's Get Together.  The two shows were great, they still love Mirf, but we need to keep John and Mirf separated for health reasons.

Magic Week in Colon is something special.  For me, it's my annual vacation.  I get to see people I only see once a year and it's also a networking event.  I have met so many people who attend magic week that have helped me over the years since I started this crazy business in entertainment.  This year was different than all the others.  Mirf and I were booked to do a show on the streets of Colon on Wednesday and Saturday for the locals and attendees of Abbott's 85th Get Together.  Normally I pay to attend, this year I would get paid to attend.  When I go to the Get Together, I arrive the day before it starts and stay all week leaving the day after the finale.  I pay a fee to park my trailer at the Colon High School, plug my trailer into the bus garage and use the gymnasium locker room for shower and bathroom.  Basically, its camping in the parking lot of the school where all the stage shows take place.  Taking Mirf with me posed some challenges as there are times that it would not be appropriate to bring him with me to events at people's houses or the shows at the school.  I am not comfortable leaving him in the trailer unattended because it's the first week of August and if the power went out for some reason turning off the air conditioning, he would be at risk of dying of heat exhaustion or heat stroke and I will not have that.  O I am currently researching remote temperature monitoring solutions but until I do, he will never be left alone in that type of situation.  There is one that I '
am considering that works similar to the Tractive GPS unit only it monitors temperature, more research is required.  This year Mirf stayed home except for the times that he would be performing.  I'm lucky, Parma Twp where I live is only about an hour from Colon, so my super supportive accommodating wife Tracy offered to bring Mirf up 1 hour before the show and take him back home afterwards.  I am so lucky to have such a supportive spouse, Tracy is the best.

Performing on the streets was awesome.  Tracy showed up with Mirf right on schedule both days.  It was a simple show.  I performed a rope routine, a ring routine, a card trick with Mirf, a cup and ball routine and closed with my four-card tear trick.  We had a great time performing, people were amazed at Mirf's training and temperament.  Mirf did his card trick perfectly, it goes like this:  I ask a volunteer to think of a card while a sift through the deck and select a card.  I hold the card up and ask what card they're thinking of.  Saturday's show the lady named the queen of hearts that I was holding in my hand.  It was awesome, but that is not the trick.  I took it as a bonus and had the spectator sign the card.  I then showed the audience the signed card, allowed the volunteer where to put the card back into the deck then hand the deck to the volunteer and have them shuffle it as many times as they would like.  When the volunteer hands the deck back to me, I fan spread the deck in front of Mirf and he pulls the volunteers card out of the deck with his teeth. On this occasion, Mirf did his part flawlessly, he grabbed that card out of the deck and threw it down on the tabletop in front of the spectator who about lost her mind. People loved the show, when I passed the hat for tips the audience filled it up with money.  They were fun shows with great crowds, what an awesome time we had.

Once Abbott's Get Together concluded I packed up normally and headed home.  When I arrived at home Mirf was sitting in the window waiting for me.  I had not realized that when I left for the Get Together without Mirf it would be the first time since he came home that we were not together overnight.  Tracy told me that he looked for me, cried for me and spent a lot of time in the window waiting for me to come home.  I need to find a solid remote temperature monitoring solution so he can go to the Get Together with me next year as we have already been told that we are wanted again next year.  I could get into having a regular paid vacation annually.  August 12th is Mirf's 1st birthday, as I sit and contemplate the last 10 months since he came home, I can say it's been worth every minute and expense.

In the next episode I will write about how Mirf's almost died and his final test, the Michigan Renaissance Festival.

Around the Town

By Karl Rabe

Calendar of Events


Parlor Show

  • Tickets are now on sale for our parlor show. Ticket sales are online. Go here to buy tickets.
  • Sean is the show's Producer. Contact Sean if you would like to be in an upcoming show or want to assist. We can always use balloon artists, walk-around magicians, stage hands, front of house ticket takers, etc.
  • Look for our posts on Facebook and please share with your family and friends.

Pop-Up Magic Shop

The Annual AAMC Flea Market is being rebranded as the AAMC Pop-Up Magic Shop. 

The event will be held at the beautiful Plymouth Community Arts Councilconveniently located just South of I-96 at Sheldon Road.

We will be marketing to our usual customers, magic professionals and hobbyists, but we will also be heavily targeting the Plymouth area community to bring in adults and families with children. We will be contacting prior attendees of our Sold-Out Parlor Shows as well as families that attended our Magic Camp held at the Arts Council in June. We will also be marketing on community social media. We will be making this a fun event with demonstrations, balloon twisting, brief performances on the half-hour and pizza and snacks.

We want to use events like this to help grow the next generation of magicians, and we hope you will join us and benefit as well.

Tables prices are still just $10 for AAMC Members and $20 for non-members. Table rental includes one free admission. You can reserve your table online at our wesite (look in the right pane), or contact our Treasurer Rob Krozal in person, by email at or by text or phone at (248) 854-1959.

We hope to give those new to magic the experience and wonder that we had visiting our first magic shop. For vendors we hope this will be an opportunity for you to build your customer base.

While we are “re-branding” to attract a broader customer base, the “setup” for tables will be similar to past events. The Arts Council has and elevated stage and many tables that can be set up in a variety of configurations.

Other Calendars

Funny Business

By Karl Rabe



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Updated: September 30, 2023 — 2:41 pm
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