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MUM Report for September/October 2015

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Action Packed Meetings

Because the Assembly scribe was dilatory in his duties (mea culpa) and didn’t make the deadline for last month’s report this will be a combined report for the September and October meetings. Assembly 31 is quite proud of the fact that a large percentage of its attending members perform every meeting. As a consequence it would be impossible to detail all of the performances of our members during these past two months so I’ll just present some of the highlights.

The September’s meeting theme was Jay Sankey magic in honor of Mr. Sankey who presented an outstanding lecture at our Assembly only two weeks later. We started the meeting off on a high note by welcoming our newest S.A.M. member, Mike Root, into our midst. Accordingly, it was quite appropriate that Mike led off the presentations for the evening by performing “Holey, Moley.” Also performing Sankey effects in September were Daniel Lee (“In a Flash”), Taylor Martin (“The Almost Human Cannonball”), Jim Croop ( “Back in Time,” “Cardboard Contortionist,” and “Meltdown”), Brendon Ware (demonstrated how to make magic markers disappear) and Don Miller (an unnamed Sankey mentalism effect using paper and scissors). Last up for the evening was our honored guest PNP Mark Weidhaas who was in Indianapolis with PNP Mike Miller laying the groundwork for the amazing 2016 National Conference (if you haven’t registered yet, why not? It’s going to be huge!!!). He performed one of his own creations, a money routine called “Parlor Polaroid Money” for the enjoyment of the gathering.

The Sankey lecture in late September was informative, extremely entertaining and one of the best-attended lectures we have had in a long time. Compeers traveled from throughout the region to experience his magic. Book him in your Assembly if you get the opportunity.

October’s theme was mentalism in honor of Halloween. Taylor Martin started us off with his Mikome vision box. Following Taylor’s presentation Assembly President Don Miller provided some extra insights into the effect that he learned from noted card man, Ed Marlo’s notes. This is another example of the value of the S.A.M. and the local Assembly. The give and take and sharing among our members strengthens all of our magical presentations. The rest of the evening was spent discussing The Feast of the Harvest Moon and The Magic Mini-Summit.

A good time was had by all.

MUM Report for July 2015

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New Officer Installation

Our July meeting was highlighted by the installation of Assembly 31 2015-16 officers: President, Don Miller, 1st Vice President, Taylor Martin (absent in body but present in spirit), 2nd Vice President, Aaron Kalinowski, Secretary, Karen Miller, Treasurer, Dale Benson, and Scribe, Steve Spence. President Miller announced that we have a lot of wonderful and exciting plans in the works for the coming year. Both he and Central Plains RVP Steve Spence briefly recapped this year’s S.A.M. Philadelphia convention. This fabulous convention was filled with some amazing magic and a friendly down home atmosphere. Don and Steve reminded everyone that next year’s convention is here in Indianapolis and is not to be missed.

As part of this evening’s festivities, the officers were encouraged to each present a magical effect. Secretary Karen Miller started us off by having a spectator successfully guess what color stone her husband bought and put on a necklace for her. Next up was Brandon Ware, our youngest and newest member, a high school senior. He demonstrated how he modified some giant changing cards. Rather than changing from Queen to King he selected something more topical, changing from President Obama to President Reagan. Brandon then proceeded to blow us away with a Shawn Farquhar card effect, modified by Brandon with the assistance of Don Miller. A spectator selected a card from a newly opened box of cards, signed it and returned it to the deck. Using his super power of time travel, Brandon revealed the selected card, returned to a sealed box that was in new deck order except for the chosen card. Dr. Jim Croop then explored the conundrum of “do you need a little nothing, before you have something or a little something before you have nothing” with nothing more than a coin purse frame and a coin that continually jumped in and out of existence from thin air. Your humble scribe followed by performing his version of the Magicsmith floating light bulb. 2nd V.P. Dr. Aaron Kalinowski mesmerized the group with his heart-felt version of the gypsy thread relating how he oversees a healthcare center for the homeless. Although life’s challenges can break you, someone outside of yourself can make you whole once again. Finally, topping off the evening, President Don demonstrated the classic Collector’s Workshop Kiper Kobra (snake in basket).

MUM Report for May 2015

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Silks and More

The month of May started off with a bang with a lecture by IBM president and SAM member, Shawn Farquhar. Shawn has a natural, easy-going style. and his magic mastery is amazing This FISM champion beguiled us with his stories and dazzled us with his magic for over three hours.

Only four days later we held our normal monthly meeting. Silks were the theme of the night but like always all magic was welcome. President Taylor Martin started us off with his famous “pouriscuity” test by pulling a knotted silk through aspectator’s wrist. Taylor also utilized touches of Mark Wilson, Tarbell and Slydini to create a most satisfying silk routine. Next up was our soon-to-be member, Brendon Ware. Brendon had Jim Croop assist him by selecting a card. Using a non-functioning gorpy silk (that he purchased as a young boy) Brendon covered the deck and tried, without success, to find Jim’s card. Finally, he let the silk find the chosen card. Brendon finished his routine, using his silk as a sweat cloth to wipe his face. When he removed the silk, miraculously a pair of sunglasses covered his eyes. With each swipe of the silk, the glasses changed to a different color. Taylor next did an encore performance from his working repertoire teaching the history of the terms “two bits, four bits, six bits a dollar” in which he did a torn and restored coin routine. Don Miller strayed from the theme of silks (but no one minded) by testing Brendon’s telekinetic powers. Don had him try to move a light bulb that was enclosed in a clear plastic bag using only his mind. Brendon’s powers were greater than he thought because the light bulb exploded instead. Then using a mentalism effect combining the handlings of David Hoy and Gozo, Don threw out a deck of cards to six different spectators who looked at one card. Don then divined each spectator’s card. Long-time member Ed Filby demonstrated how he uses silks and a disappearing crayon to teach children a lesson about life. Finally, Chris Henderson showed us the “smart phone card trick” where he has the spectator pick a card and then using the spectator’s own android phone, the card appears on the phone’s screen.

MUM Report for April 2015

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It’s All in the Cards

This month’s theme is a favorite among many in our magic community: Card Magic. Dr. Croop kicked things off by having a spectator, Joe Fuller, pick a card, any card. The card was signed and placed back into the center of the pack. Mysteriously one card was shown to now be red-backed with “Your signature” written on the back of the card. When the card was turned over it was revealed that the red-backed card was Joe’s signed card. Chris Henderson next displayed his finger flicking expertise with a series of fancy shuffles and cuts to locate the four aces five separate times. Chris credited his performance to a series of effects in Tarbell. Don Miller demonstrated the connection between cards and calendars by presenting his very entertaining version of Bob Cassidy’s “Chronologue.” Assembly president Taylor Martin presented a “morality lesson” as to why you should never play cards with a person who shows you card tricks using the “sidewalk shuffle”. Your humble acting scribe stepped outside of his comfort zone and much to the amazement of his fellow compeers performed a card effect. Using only four cards Steve told a tale of M. I. Harry Houdini and how he escaped from a pillar in London while surrounded by three bobbys (Thanks, David Goodsell for your “Jailbreaker” packet trick). As we began, so we ended, with Dr. Croop performing John Bannon’s “51 Fat Chances North,” an open prediction effect.

Later in the month, we welcomed Greg Wilson to our Assembly to show us some amazing "impromptu" magic. Greg left us in stitches has he demonstrated how to relieve selected spectators of all of their valuables with a smile on your face. A good time was had by all.

MUM Report for March 2015

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Coin Magic in Indy

The puns were flying fast and furiously on a cold winter night in Indianapolis as we celebrated coin magic. Everyone knew how to coin a phase as groans and laughter filled the air. Don Miller started off the night with the help of our youngest guest of the night, ten-year old Marilyn. Don showed Marilyn two coins with holes in the middle. He explained that it was his “whole collection” as the hole in Marilyn’s hand mysteriously reappeared in Don’s. Dr. Jim Croop next entertained us with “Rising Dough” where an English Penny melted up to the top through a stack of half dollars. Berry Rice impressed us with his version of shadow coins. He not only did it the traditional way but, for good measure, he finished his presentation by doing it with only one hand. Your humble substitute scribe shared a brief “book report” on the new Neil Patrick Harris autobiography. I gave a glowing review of this humorous, magical and often poignant “choose your own path” autobiography and I encouraged everyone to go out and get their very own copy. I finished off my presentation with my version of Chris Smith’s key through dollar bill, “Ignition.” Chris Henderson shared a wonderful version of Richard Osterlind’s signed coin to bottle. Assembly President Taylor Martin peaked our interest with a brief history on the origin of monetary terms such as two bits, four bits, and so on, utilizing an old P & L rattle box. He followed that with a Paul Harris effect using four coins and a card and concluded with an Okito box and his “patented” “Taylor Martin drop”. The evening was topped off by Marilyn’s rendition of needle through balloon.

A good time was had by all.