Celebrating OUR OWN Magic Circle (by Johnny New York)

If you’re reading these words you probably already realize that magic is an underrated art form requiring creativity, skill, and perseverance.  For some of us (especially me!), an element of risk is also involved as we (hopefully) learn to deal with those pesky unexpected moments which sometimes occur in our performances.  On the other hand, magic provides many rewarding benefits, among the most important of which are the strong bonds and friendships we’ve made with other likeminded individuals we’ve shared our magic with over the years.

In my case, the members and friends belonging to THE Detroit Magic Club (IBM RING 22) have all impacted my life in many positive ways – it was magic, after all, that kept me at least partially sane during our awful COVID years, and amongst family members, magic is a recognizable priority in my life (and probably yours, too).  Although I could easily mention scores of magic-related friendships, there are THREE individuals I am specifically indebted to and I’d like to share some of the many reasons why I feel that way.

Standing next to me in the photo below are some well-known club members and friends I consider to be “super heroes of magic” – individuals who have taught me plenty over the years.  A special shout-out goes to club member Arthur Ottney for insisting on taking this photo and capturing a timeless moment!  Please ignore the guy on the far right – that’s me, and I’d rather focus on the other guys that I fondly refer to as “My THREE AMIGOS”.

Club VP FRED LENTER (to my immediate right) is a dear friend who always amazes me (and everyone around him!) – he is entertaining, engaging, and a true master of misdirection (a vitally important precept of magic which begs the question FRED often asks, “Miss Who???”).  Moreover, he has a keen eye to find and pursue magic effects that are guaranteed to play big with audiences.  He understands the main ingredients of magic and utilizes them well.  FRED has taught me a lot over the years…

Longtime club member TOM MOSIER (to the right of Fred) is another great friend who has helped me in many vital areas of magic.  He is a well-read, experienced magician who has paid his dues over the years and always shares good presentational ideas with those around him – ideas you won’t readily discover in books, video downloads, or DVDs.  TOM knows the reasons WHY some of the classics are classics and WHY essential fundamentals are indeed essential – he’s been a real asset for me in many ways…

Veteran magician JOHN LUKA (to the right of Tom) is another club member and true friend who has inspired and taught me the importance of details when it comes to magic – things that can elevate anyone’s magic, taking it to a higher level.  He’s the guy who seriously and passionately practices magic – not only working out the main ingredients of an effect but also diving into the smallest morsels of the routine, the important peripherals that I sadly often ignore or forget about.  There’s a true method within JOHN’s approach to magic study, and he always finds the most efficient path to success…

Everyone needs friends and mentors, especially when studying any art form, and fortunately for me, “My THREE AMIGOS” have changed the way I think, feel, and operate when it comes to magic.  Although we usually don’t adequately acknowledge them, this morning (over my daily coffee break), I thought I’d change that common practice and remind everyone of the importance and significance of those life-changing friends close to us who live within our unique circles of magic!

Now let’s get back to practicing…

My Conversation With HARRY LORAYNE

It may not be commonly known, but for many years now I’ve shared a long personal friendship with the great magician, HARRY LORAYNE…Well, not really, but I couldn’t resist grabbing your attention with the exaggeration!  Recently, however, as the HARRY LORAYNE welcomed the start of his 95th year (!), I honestly DID have the opportunity to talk with the master cardman and noted memory expert, even managing to ask him a question or two. Needless to say, despite his remarkable age, he’s still as sharp as ever.  LORAYNE has garnered a reputation as sometimes being an overly aggressive lifetime New Yorker, but in our brief conversation (and listening to his response to others), he immediately impressed me as a wonderfully warm and friendly sort who enjoys interacting with anyone he meets.  HARRY LORAYNE was, as always, very informative, entertaining, and revealing.  He’s obviously paid his dues traveling for a lifetime on the road leading to his current status as one of magic’s most celebrated artists, and he’s well aware of how he got there.  Check out my conversation below:

“The Touch of the Master’s Hand”, and More Thoughts

Greetings all, just wanted to share a few thoughts and an awesome poem by Myra Brooks Welch.  My fascination with magic began in the early 70's, largely inspired by the works of Doug Henning.   My personal leap into the art began almost a decade later and the hero of that time was David Copperfield.  When I began I was completely on my own having never even heard of the IBM. I had no direction and largely didn't even know what I wanted from magic. 
I mainly collected tricks that interested me and that I could afford. At that time it was about learning tricks, a far different thing than learning magic. There were several effects that I distinctly remember thinking of (at the time) as being really stupid effects.   I could not imagine something like the Egg Bag actually fooling anyone. Skipping forward many years, I was preparing for a show and needed a few small filler effects to finish off the set. I called The Wunderground Magic Shop and spoke to the owner, Josh Wilde, telling him I needed something easy to learn that would "pack small and play big". He immediately suggested the Egg Bag.  After taking a second look, what I first assumed to be a ridiculous effect from the perspective of a total magical novice, I now witnessed as real magic in the hands of magical masters.  That leads me to the following poem -- I hope you all enjoy it!

The Touch of the Master's Hand

'Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile.
"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar. Then two! Only two?
Two dollars, and who'll make it three?"

"Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three…" But no,
From the room, far back, a grey-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loosened strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
Two thousand! And who'll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice,
And going and gone," said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand.
What changed its worth?" Swift came the reply:
"The touch of the Master's hand."
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd
Much like the old violin.

A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine,
A game — and he travels on.
He is "going" once, and "going" twice,
He's "going" and almost "gone."
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the touch of the Master's hand.

Another Success: Our Second ONLINE Club Meeting!

Thanks to YOUR tremendous support, RING 22 has done it again!  A whopping 55 members and guests registered for our recent April ONLINE meeting, with friends from as far as Ohio, Indiana, Texas, Florida, and even the “original mecca of magic”, Colin, Michigan, participated and contributed to our “learn-athon” of magic as it was “zoomed” into the comforts of our own homes!  The DETROIT MAGIC CLUB’s monthly meetings are now reaching “convention proportions”, and YOU are the reason for our success!  Now more than ever, let’s “keep the ball rollin’ with our future club activities!

  • In case you missed our online event, here’s a quick rundown.  We owe a special “thank you” to our celebrated guest, master magician and creator of magic, Mike Powers, who generously volunteered to join us from Indiana, sharing some great nuances to a classic card routine.  Fred Lenter and Andy Makar explained some awesome coin magic, and I took a moment to explain a wonderful self-working card “gem”.   Dave Wirth opened his "magic vault" and shared some great magic props of the past (including an interesting photo or two). Resident expert magician and entrepreneur, Josh Wilde, shared some of the best tricks currently available at his now famous Clawson establishment, the Wunderground Magic Shop, and several members performed some very entertaining magic.  The meeting was recorded, and will be posted in the “Members-Only” section of our website in the near future.


  • Best of all, the magic news doesn’t stop here - veteran entertainer and world-class magician Keith Fields has volunteered to provide several hours of Zoom coaching sessions AT NO COST(!) for any members interested in sharpening their skills performing magic.  This is a limited opportunity -- If you are interested, be sure to contact us as soon as possible.   By the way, be sure to check out Keith and Lady Sarah’s TEA TIME online every Tuesday at 2 PM! (www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_SCGS9NaME).


  • Finally, our next ONLINE meeting (Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 7:30 PM), will be one for the “record books”,  featuring a ONE HOUR LECTURE from world renowned magician, MEIR YEDID, followed by an informal session for those attending to share their magic, thoughts, and fun with like-minded lovers of magic.  DON’T MISS THIS ONE - guests are always welcome! 

In the meantime - make sure you and your family stay safe and healthy!

ALAIN NU – Thoughts On Magic

Many of you may already be familiar with the incredible magic and mentalism created and performed by the renowned mentalist Alain Nu, and fortunately for RING 22 members, friends, and guests, he'll be giving an exclusive lecture for us this August (Tuesday, August 13, 2019, at 7:30 PM, at the Hunter Community Center in Clawson, MI)! His accomplishments in the world of magic are quite impressive, performing internationally as well as for famous celebrities such as former Presidents Obama and Bush (just to mention a few).  Although he'll certainly cover and present loads of great material at our scheduled lecture, you might enjoy a brief preview of Alain Nu's thoughts regarding the Art of Magic in the following video clips!

Be sure to visit our Lectures link for more information about Alain Nu and our exclusive RING 22 events!