Archive for the ‘M-U-M Reports’ Category

Assembly 12 had a “sponge-worthy” evening

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

February 19, 2010:
The theme of sponge-magic began with Bruce Kilber using a coin purse-frame to produce sponge balls. Dave Taylor explained that he prefers square shaped sponges as, “they don’t roll away.” Adam Moore performed Color Changing Ball to Jumbo Square and shared the success-story of his first Super-X levitation utilizing a volunteer. Host Larry Kahlow gave us a wonderful history of sponge magic and samples of today’s varieties. Both Larry and David Stahl shared Al Goshman stories that we won’t repeat. Darnay gave us a peek at (perhaps) the word’s largest sponge-rabbit.

The evening wasn’t all sponge magic. Brent Andera introduced us to PowerBall-60, the Sander’s/Abbott retooling of the classic magic number square prediction effect.

Joe Otto demonstrated one way to stop annoying cell-phone interruptions with his cell-phone into water bottle penetration. David Stahl demonstrated a delightful bill packet switch.

Kenny Shank performed the illuminating 4-lamp, switchbox effect and Jack Nordin shared from his collection of Chinese sticks, the square fishing poles.

It was after all the formal presentations, in a corner of the room where, surrounded, Tom O’Lenick quietly and casually held an ordinary brass bolt while the nut slowly and magically unscrewed into a spectator’s hand (all to be instantly examined). What a way to end the evening. [ now available]

Assembly 12 members riveted on sponge-magic
Assembly 12 members riveted on sponge-magic

September Meeting Report

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Jerry Martin performing Blok-Kord

Jerry Martin performing Blok-Kord

We began the September meeting by noting the obvious — that we’re meeting in a new place — and thanking Larry and Jennifer Kahlow for Eagle Magic’s hospitality. We also welcomed guests and new members Brent, Marc, Charlie, and Todd.

Next we had convention reports. Mike Arazi and Dave Taylor reported on the Houdini Convention in Wisconsin with headliner George Saterial from Boston. The convention was held at a beautiful hotel. Unfortunately, attendance was low this year. Mike brought some extra commemorative t-shirts produced by Tim Taylor which he offered to sell after the meeting to anyone who was interested.

Adam Moore reported on the I.B.M. convention held at the impressive Opryland Hotel in Nashville. The Thursday evening show directed by and featuring Jorge Blass with David & Dania, Yuji Yamamoto, Kyle Eschen, Latimer, and An Ha Lim was excellent. Other favorite events included Losander’s lecture and David & Dania’s quick-change workshop.

Jerry Martin attended MAGIC Live in Las Vegas. He particularly liked the one-hour, one-man-show Expert at the Card Table starring British magician Guy Hollingsworth which brought the Erdnase story to life. The show, produced by Neil Patrick Harris, had excellent story and stagecraft, and Guy’s character was suave and smooth. Jerry really liked it when a gentleman in the front row, who turned out to be Teller, was asked to pick a card and it happened to be the three of clubs. (Years ago in a book by Penn & Teller, they asked magicians to use the three of clubs as an international force card.)

Closer to home, Mike talked about visiting with British pickpocket Lee Thopmson from the cast of Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza. (Kooza was in town this summer.) He began developing a pickpocket act when, during his magic show, a volunteer’s watch came off as Lee was leading him to the stage. The volunteer didn’t realize it, so Lee took that opportunity to magically produce it at the end of the routine. This elicited such a positive reaction from the audience, that he began working in earnest to deliberately make pickpocket effects part of his show.

Next month, instead of the regular October meeting, our Assembly will host a magic auction. All magicians are welcome. This will be the great spot to turn old tricks into cash … so you can snap up the great deals on new ones all while supporting your local S.A.M. Assembly 12! There will be flat fee of a $5 to bid and/or sell. This will be waived for Assembly 12 members who have paid their local dues for 2009–2010. (Haven’t paid your dues? You can do so at the door or mail your check to Secretary/Treasurer Dave Taylor.) In the interest of time, we ask that sellers bundle smaller items as the opening bid will be $5. Each seller will have 10 minutes to show his or her items. This event will support the Assembly with a 10% commission on all sales.

To celebrate our new meeting location, the theme for this month’s performances was “tricks purchased from Eagle Magic.” Dave started with “Everyone’s a Critic.” Jerry followed with “Blok-Kord” which Doris sold to him. Darnay was next with a Ball & Vase routine and shared his experience purchasing his first Ball & Vase from Colin Pence. Dwight Exe assisted Jim Zurales with “Devistation” using a borrowed deck that (maybe) had been purchased from Eagle. Larry made an announcement that he is interested in acquiring Eagle Magic Shop memorabilia. He then performed and shared stories about the “Miracle Ball.” Donn French shared his take on the theme by demonstrating props he bought that he couldn’t get to work. Kenny Shank showed and talked about the book Counts, Cuts, Moves and Subtlities that he bought from Eagle when he got back into magic. Adam performed a color changing silk routine with silks he purchased on his first visit to Eagle. Dwight wrapped things up with a jumping rubber band routine.

May Meeting: Elections

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
Dwight Exe and Jennifer Kahlow

Dwight Exe and Jennifer Kahlow

Elections were held for Assembly 12 officers. The current officers — Adam Moore, President; Steven Peer, Vice President; Dave Taylor, Secretary/Treasurer — were voted in for a second term. The National Council ballot was subsequently reviewed, and Tom O’Lenick was selected as a delegate to the National Council Meeting.

Bruce Jensen is doing well according to Larry and Jennifer Kahlow who had just come from visiting him. Dave reported on his recent trip to Des Moines, IA for Magic Maynia where he saw Fielding West, Justin Alan, and Steve Daly. Larry attended Magic Collectors Weekend in Chicago where Minneapolis-based Tad Ware gave a presentation on Nicola showing never-before-seen photos of the sinking ship that was carrying Nicola’s show.

Jack Nordin gave a mini-lecture on magic tables focusing on P&L flanges, casters, and dragons. Aaron Timmerman performed Extreme Burn by Richard Sanders while telling how he ended up doing this trick in a Vegas casino. Donn French was on next with his trained fleas. Darnay then shared an impromptu card prediction with a borrowed deck that he uses in social situations. Adam performed Art Emerson’s Color Monte which reminded Larry of the time Art sat next to him at a convention, poured a glass of what turned out to be Vodka from a Mr. Clean bottle, and offered it to Larry. Dave performed Card Warp. Dwight Exe threaded Jennifer’s ring on a rubber band and caused it to move uphill. Tom wrapped things up by showing the program from the Tenth Annual Conference on Magic History (held in Los Angeles in November 2007) on Dr. Hooker’s “Impossibilities and Rising Cards.”

April Meeting: Magic from MUM

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Jack Nordin performed his Classic “puzzle” Chinese sticks.  William “Darney” VonStocken showed us the shrinking sandwich sign, a snake fakir trick and a magic square.

Jerry Martin introduced us (by bio) to the magician-mathematician Percy Darconis and described a long-distance card trick where a mailed deck is shuffled by the recipient and a card selected.  Mailed back, the magician calls the spectator with the name of the selected card.

Dave Taylor entertained us with a four-ace production from Card College.  Bruce performed Oscar Munoz’s version of reversing aces  (un-gimmicked, impromptu).

Kenny, with Don McLean’s American Pie playing, performed an illusion where, just as the “music died”, so did a music CD disappear from a wooden frame.   We were also entertained with the bill-to-matchbook classic.

President Adam Moore, also with musical accompaniment, performed a routine from the November 2008 issue of M-U-M inspired by Robert Service’s poem, “The Shooting of Dan McGrew.”

Remember, starting September 18, 2009, Assembly 12 will meet at Eagle Magic in Burnsville, MN — 4 lights east of 35W on Hwy 13 and CR 11, the southeast corner; look for the Remax sign.

-Steven Peer

Assembly 12 Celebrates 86th anniversary with a “Past Presidents Performance”

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Reminder:  Twin Cities Assembly 12 begins meeting at the new location of Eagle Magic Shop, Burnsville starting Sep, ’09 (same day/date).

The past presidents of Assembly 12 representing 27 years of leadership joined us for a special evening where the leadership performed for the members.

William VonStocken (72-73,93-95) opened with a version of “cut here” as a newspaper prediction. 

Jack Nordin (74-75, 76-77), in tux, presented Gospel stories using the juggling ball transposition and Chinese rice bowls.

Jerry Martin (86-88; 99-2001) opened with comic juggling. A humorous rendition of the 3 rope trick including a shoelace conundrum.

Bruce Colton (88-90) entertained us with a three card illustration of the classic story of the wool sweater, a party, and an emaciated Mexican Chihuahua.  Bruce closed with a dual, any card at any number routine.

Mike Arazi (95-99) performed a great poker routine.

Current president Adam Moore performed the teach-a-(teach-a)-trick version of the vanishing silk (& egg). 

Jim Kostick (04-05) had us laughing with his giant (hula hoop) linking rings. 

Dave Taylor (05-07) complete with stripping music, performed the classic Hank Moorehouse straightjacket routine. 



February 2009 Meeting

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Theme: Magic I saw/learned from Television

The assembly moved that we accept the gracious offer of Larry Kahlow to host the meetings at Eagle Magic.  It was decided that (with Larry’s final approval) we would start meeting there in September, after the three-month summer hiatus.

Adam and his lovely wife (and capable assistant) Lisa performed a wonderful version of metamorphosis.  Don French used two chairs and a rope to illustrate a story about a one-semaphore town in the 1940s.

Jack Nordin (left) demonstrated his latest moves in the now-infamous rope routine.

Darnay “took us home” (literally) with video of a complete performance from his home-theater during a SAM Assembly-12 meeting in the mid 1980s.  In that Halloween-themed performance, Darnay performed death defying illusions and a levitation with (then teen-age) Suzanne.

January 2009 Meeting

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Justin Alan was our featured guest.

Prior to Justin’s lecture, we applauded the success of the November meeting held at Eagle Magic.  We voted against having meeting-locations rotate between member-homes.

The obituary that Darnay had graciously prepared for Jerry Johnson was read aloud.

It was agreed that the March meeting will feature and acknowledge past presidents of SAM Assembly-12. 

Then it was time for Justin.  In addition to a delightful sampling of his routine, Justin also shared some of his observations and rules on restaurant magic.  We saw a here, then there signed-card routine, a card-to-wallet using his preferred “Real Man’s” brand wallet, and a vanishing tissue sucker routine using a roll of toilet paper (one-ply).  We also were entertained with a teathered-folded card illusion and the “Instant M.C.” routine.  Justin closed with a tic tac toe prediction.  Thank you Justin.

November Meeting at Eagle

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Minneapolis, MN  This month’s meeting took place at the new location of the oldest, continuously-operating magic store in the U.S.A. — Eagle Magic.

Meeting at New Eagle Magic Store

Photo: Jennifer Kahlow

Owner Larry Kahlow shared with the members some of the rich history of the store since it’s inception in 1899 including visits by Houdini and Thurston.  On this night he performed two knots-on/off rope trick.  Jack Nordin followed with a different kind of rope trick; that of a cowboy, swinging and twirling a lasso.  Darnay shared a bent-nail puzzle similar to one that fascinated him as a small boy.  Aaron Timmerman  flashed all of us with a wad of bills that changed from ones to hundreds.  Geoff Williams entertained with Hart’s Link and Adam Moore performed a thumb-cuff escape and vanish.  Bob Miller closed with an entire routine he has been developing that included versions of Feeling Flushed, Shuffleboard, and a BAM method of tracking five cards.  Thank you Larry for opening your doors to us.

Sept & October Meetings 2008

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
The October meeting was our annual auction, where deals were the theme of the evening.  Value of the items was boosted when a few of the sellers offered to instruct bidders on the methods and nuances.
We noted that attendance was less than our 2007 auction: the economy, attrition, and reduced promotion were cited as reasons.

Obituary: Gerald B. “Jerry” Johnson

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008




Jerry Johnson of Richfield, Minnesota, died October 30, 2008 after an eight-month illness. He was 76.

Jerry grew up on a farm in Forest Lake, MN, and began studying magic at age eleven.  He built many of his tricks and wrote his own patter which resulted in his unique style of comedy stage magic.  He began performing as a young teenager and continued to do shows until his retirement in 1997.  He was known for his original moves, quick wit, and humor.

After graduating from Forest Lake High School, he attended Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN for two years before being drafted into the Army.  He was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky where he played the trumpet in the 74th Army Band and performed magic in shows for Special Services.  He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1958 with a degree in education.  The family moved to San Diego, California where, for two years, Jerry taught English and Speech at La Jolla Jr. Sr. High School.  He then took a job with Retail Credit Company as insurance inspector, was able to transfer to Minneapolis, and work a total of twenty two years.  In 1983 he returned to education and worked with computers in a special education school district until he retired.

During his years in San Diego and later in Minneapolis, he belonged to the SAM and IBM, holding offices in both organizations.  He won the Silver Medal for stage magic at the 1983 SAM Convention, and in 2000 he won the First Place Award for Comedy Magic at the Houdini Club of Wisconsin. 

Jerry is survived by his wife of 55 years Connie; four daughters: Pam, Ann, Leslie, and Kim; and two grandsons: Phillip Morley and Leo Plumer.