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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.

MUM Report May 2014

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Spring has finally arrived so what better theme for our May meeting then “Spring and Flowers”! After some brief announcements concerning the action-packed summer that is planned for Assembly 31 and Ring 10, President Taylor Martin introduced us all to our newest member, Nicholas Geigle. Talk about dedication, Nick drives all of the way from Illinois (where he lives) to Indianapolis in central Indiana (close to a 200 mile round trip) to attend our magic gatherings. A tip of the top hat to you, Nick.

Mike Root kicked off the evening by performing a flower production using his wife’s botania. Although Mike did a wonderful production, he bemoaned what he considered to a weakness of the botania gimmick. He believes that the shape of the cone itself suggests to the audience that the flowers are concealed within the cone. He asked for some suggestions from his compeers on how to cover this flaw. His request sparked an outpouring of useful suggestions. This discussion once again was evidence of the strength of S.A.M. We saw compeers always ready to help their fellow magicians in order to strengthen the art of magic.

President Taylor next demonstrated for us his method of making napkin roses. It’s all in the little tears that make the petals appear life-like. Next up was our newest member, Nike Geigle. He shared one of his favorite card tricks using a deck of cards, his business card, some disappearing/appearing ink and a flame. His was a clever handling of this effect guaranteed to astonish his audience.

Finally, President Taylor and 1st V.P. Don Miller each shared a story of how magic can go terribly wrong while performing live-a fitting conclusion to an enjoyable springtime evening.

MUM Report for April 2014

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It Was All About the Money in Indianapolis

Our theme was "Money Magic" and it turned out that the magic for the evening was right on the money!  But first we discussed our plan for inviting all clubs within a reasonable distance of Indianapolis to join us at our annual Magic Picnic on June 22. It is always a great event with food and magic in a beautiful outdoor setting at one of the largest city parks in the country. Feel free to check our website for details.

Our second "on the money" event was the formal initiation ritual of new member, Doug Jave. We all know Doug as a superb magician and he proved it to us with some astounding money magic later in the evening. We are proud to welcome Doug into our Assembly #31.

And then it was time to move on to  multiple miraculous effects with coins and bills. Daniel Lee showed us his take on the Extreme Burn 2.0. Our President, Taylor Martin, shared a "Brief History of Money," including a description of the origin of the picayune. He also did a nice four coins and a card, and taught us the "Taylor Twist", his method of moving coins through his hand one at a time.

Jim Croop asked for a dollar bill, but it turned out to be counterfeit and using the Scottie York Counterfeit Bill routine was able to save the owner from embarrassment and jail. However, the owner of the bill clearly imagined it was a dollar and four quarters were produced from the remains of the counterfeit bill which allowed Jim to move on to the Garrett Thomas Imagination Coins routine.

Very long time member, Tom Winterrowd did his version of a half dollar traveling invisibly from one hand to the other which he termed "Very Costly."  With two half dollars in his right hand he tossed one invisibly to his left hand. Unfortunately, he missed, leaving him with only one half dollar. He commented that he had been working on this effect for some time and that every time he misses, it costs him fifty cents!

Finally, it should be noted that newly inducted member, Doug Jave, taught us how to  transition a borrowed bill into a bill divided into four quarters. To top it off, he used the box which formerly had contained his membership pin, and which was presented to him earlier in the evening, as the prop for his magic!

MUM Report for March 2014

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Beware the Ides of March! Also beware magicians tasked with presenting “Dangerous Magic” (this month’s theme). After a brief business meeting during which we approved the upcoming May 17, 2014 lecture by Joshua Jay and also once again nominated Steve Spence for Central Plains RVP, things got seriously dangerous.

President Taylor Martin presented “Truth”, an effect designed to discourage bullying in which the “bully” is required to promise that they will never bully another person in the future. The punishment for lying is being cut in half by a rope. Fortunately, the “bully” passed the test. Next up, Tom Winterrowd presented the mystery of a tube in which he placed a golden wooden cube. The tube was bisected with a dagger and yet the golden cube passed straight through the dagger, undamaged. Daniel Lee shared that he became fascinated with dangerous magic after watching Barry Rice perform his razor swallowing act at last year’s Winter Spectacle. Daniel’s mother made him promise right then and there that he wouldn’t swallow razors. Instead, Daniel dazzled us with his gut wrenching needle swallowing routine, ably assisted by compeer Jim Croop who verified that Daniel had truly swallowed the 20 or so needles before they reappeared from his mouth, threaded upon black thread. Jay Newby continued the theme using a switchblade, a brown paper bag and a deck of cards. After brazenly announcing what his real name was (for security reasons I won’t list it here) prior to entering the local witness protection program, he proceeded to find a chosen card by blindly sticking the knife through it. Don Miller, ever the professional, called Jay (if that is his name) back in front of the room to try out his rope through neck routine that he swore he’d only just learned that day. Fortunately for Jay, Don is a quick learner and no blood was spilt. Finally, although diverging from the theme, Doug Jave, after swearing us all to secrecy, demonstrated and explained his unique and original method of producing a sponge ball from the flame. What made it unique was that after the production the audience visibly sees smoke emanating from inside the sponge ball. Additionally, he demonstrated how he could do a double production using the same principle.

Thankfully, considering the theme of the night, all compeers left the building unscathed and unscarred!

MUM Report for October 2013

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The compeers of Assembly 31 were in a festive mood as we celebrated our October theme, Holiday Magic.

Jeff Higgins kicked off the festivities in order, as he said, to guarantee that he was "the best youâ??ve seen thus far tonight." Jeff first magically rearranged a skeleton without laying a hand upon him, leaving him first standing on his head and then removing his head entirely to another location and then causing it to invisibly fly across space and reattach itself to the body. Jeff concluded his presentation with an Christmas-themed effect inspired by David Ginn involving Jack Frost, Nick the Christmas reindeer, Santa Jerry and Mt. Jim.

MUM Report for August 2013

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The theme for the month was â??Summer Magicâ??.  What you may say is summer magic?  The answer is:  â??Whatever you want it to be!â??  For Jeff Higgins, summer magic meant dusting off an old classic and performing the Chinese linking rings.  Jay Newby followed with an updated version of Hindu Deck Color Change from Tarbell Volume No. 1.  Starting with a blue deck, coming from a blue box, the spectator picked a random card that turned out to be the only red card in a blue deck.  Jack Wiegel, with the help of two spectators, Jim Croop and Phil Dubbs,  expertly  performed his version of Karl Fulvesâ?? Diabolical Transposition from his book, Charles Jordanâ??s Best Card Tricks.  Next, as a preview of his upcoming performance at the Indy Fringe festival, Barry Rice had two spectators select a card, write their names on the face of their card and put the card back in the deck.  No matter how hard he tried and no matter where he looked-in his left pocket, his right pocket, and  in a place on his person involving a zipper-Barry could only find Taylorâ??s card.  Finally, Steve discovered that Taylorâ??s card which was in his hand had magically transformed into his very own signed card.  Your humble correspondent broke the string of card magic by performing what he called â??The Uncommon Manâ??s Escapeâ?? (really his version of Lossanderâ??s â??Chain Breaker  Thumb Tieâ??).  Our President Taylor Martin concluded our mid-summer eveningâ??s magic  with his unique Bullet, Block and Ribbon effect. Taylor recounted the tale of how this effect was used as a test to determine whether an individual was worthy of becoming a member of the magicianâ??s guild of London a long long time ago.   After threading the ribbon through the wooden block and wooden bullet the candidate was required to remove the bullet from the block without removing the ribbon.  Few could pass the test but Taylor proved to us that he is worthy to join said illustrious group (if they ever need a new member).  The evening concluded with our teach-in led by President Taylor showing us how to successfully pull a solid coin through a silk.  This classic chestnut can be found in Tarbell, Bobo, or Mark Wilsonâ??s course on magic.  A summer night well spent.


Submitted by Steve Spence, Scribe

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