INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA [Assembly Report for March 2005]
Harry Riser Assembly No. 31
President: Ken Kern
Secretary: Paul Harnishfeger
Meets the first Monday, 7 PM at Mystic Tai Lodge, SE corner of Illinois & North St.

During the month of February, I.B.M. Ring 10 celebrated their 60th anniversary with a gala banquet and magic show. Assembly 31 wishes to extend our sincere congratulations to Ring 10 for this memorable event. Ron Trippel and the officers of the Gene Keeney Ring did an excellent job of organizing the event. Tom Jones and Rachel Wild provided the magic for all.

The theme for our March meeting was â??Patter.â?? Before the discussion began, guest David Ford was introduced. Members present included; Joe Fuller, Paul Harnishfeger, Chris Henderson, Ken Kern, Taylor Martin, George Notaras, Harry Riser, Dee Saul, Steve Spence, and Bob Vasileff. Many good discussion points came up during the discussion. I will attempt to capture and summarize these points and the member's performances will, in many cases, reinforce them. Patter can often be used to cover a secret move. Selecting a character to play while performing can be an asset to help produce the necessary patter. If one portrays a period character, a storyteller, a comic, an all knowing sage, or any other character, then this can be a big help in performing. Allowing ones imagination to run freely can also be a way to generate patter for a trick.

There are times when a silent act can be more powerful than speaking. A facial gesture, a turn of the head, the look of surprise can very often sell a trick. Club acts of the 40's and 50's were 8-12 minutes and mostly silent due to the venue and audience. Utilization of ones personal experience can be a way to generate patter and allowing the imagination to work is often a good formula for success. Using body language with or without patter can be quit useful to communicate to your audience. An interesting question arose regarding the use of patter as an out should something go wrong. There are some standard lines, mostly thought of beforehand, that should be filed away in ones memory, such as "floor show, 52 pick up, 9 out 10 times this works, can you come for the next performance, and the spirits are not cooperating are some of many lines. Sometimes thinking quickly is the only solution. Most thought this was an educational and thought provoking discussion.

Taylor Martin started of evening of magic using a period character and the patter one would use as that character. Taylor tied a silk around George Notaras' wrist and pulled the silk through the wrist. Taylor continued with a Knot That Was Not a Knot then transitioned into a silk ghost that moved. Taylor concluded with an excellent Finger Chopper. Harry Riser, using a western storyline about a gambler with one arm, showed how one might magically cut the deck in turn to find each of the missing Aces. Harry continued, assisted by David Ford, as David cut the deck twice to note a card. This comedy patter allowed Harry to find the card in a clever way. Joe Fuller then used two different types of patter to do some rope magic. He used a military background and an excellent comedy patter as he pulled a mop head from a bag to do a cut and restored rope trick. George Notaras followed with patter related to a vacation and money. Five one dollar bills were displayed that in a flash, were changed into five $10 dollar bills. George says he was asked to do this again and again showed the dollar bills, but this time they were changed to $100 dollar bills. Chris Henderson came forward, as he performed a Max Maven trick, with a black bag and enough jewels for everyone, but one was a very special black one. All took one jewel, kept it hidden, but Chris was able to identify the person with the black jewel using a period storyline.

Dee Saul did the Forbidden Trick where a deck is shown with some cards face up and some face down. Taylor Martin selected a card and Dee returned it facing the opposite way. Three faro shuffles later, the deck was in new deck order. Bob Vasileff, pretending to be a former CEO, attempted to influence members of the audience after he selected a prediction card. One member of the audience selected the number of cards to be counted, another selected how to separate them into two piles, but the audience was influenced as the prediction card was the correct one. Steve Spence then performed his rendition of Oesterlind's Black Jack as he asked Dee Saul to cut a shuffled deck, take the top card and place it in one pocket and take the bottom card and place it in the other pocket. Steve then correctly divined each card. Based on the length of the meeting, all were pleased with tonight's theme and went home with some great ideas.

Bob Vasileff, Scribe