“TEA TIME” Hits Close to Home

Everyone knows that our RING 22 members include many very talented magicians.  Among our most celebrated members is the well-known magician Keith Fields and his wife ("The Lady Sarah").  Together they're not only regular performers at the legendary MAGIC CASTLE (in Los Angeles, California), their unique brand of magic, humor, and entertainment is commonly booked around the world.  Apparently not "busy enough", they've recently launched two HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL ventures.  Of course, you've probably already attended their monthly "hit" dining/magic galas (known as "Lady Sarah's Magic Soiree"), which brilliantly promote magic and magicians with  family-fun fare featuring top drawer close-up and parlor prestidigitation.   Normally scheduled on various weekend evenings at the Camp Ticonderoga in Troy, MI, you'll have to hurry to reserve tickets as every Soiree normally sells out quickly.

During the rise of the life-changing COVID-19 pandemic, Keith and "Lady Sarah" managed to make "lemonade out of lemons" - but in this case the lemonade happens to be "TEA TIME", a weekly television-type show airing every Tuesday afternoon at 2 PM on their Facebook and YouTube channels (see links listed at the end of this post).   This is must see viewing entertainment as Kieth and Sarah interview local celebrities, entrepreneurs, and representatives from many worthwhile organizations.  Not surprisingly, they even feature daily magic presentations by some of the best magicians in our area as well as several internationally known performers.  The 30 minute TV show experience is loads of fun - Kieth and Sarah possess a magic all their own and collectively bring out the very best from their guests.  A large part of the show's success comes from the help of their producer, their daughter, Felicity, who adeptly keeps everything on track.  Several RING 22 magicians  have been featured on TEA TIME, including the RING 22 VP Fred Lenter and Wunderground Magic Shop owner Josh Wilde,  just to name a few.   

Recently, our British TEA TIME hosts honored me as an interviewed guest (discussing, of all things, the success of RING 22!) and also as a performing magician.  The entire experience was a blast, and needless to say, I learned plenty from their experience regarding camera angles, backdrops, and interview do's and don'ts.  Below is the clip of the entire 30 minute segment.  Fortunately (in case you may have missed any of their previous TEA TIME shows), you're able to watch all of their past episodes directly from their Facebook page.   I'm sure you'll agree with me - Keith and "Lady Sarah" are well worth the watch - be sure to tune in for their next TEA TIME.  Check them out at https://themagicsoiree.com/.  CONGRATS and THANKS to Keith Fields and "Lady Sarah"!

Follow Keith and Sarah at:

Facebook/TheMagicSoiree 
Youtube/KiethFields 
The Magic Soiree

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 OLD VIOLIN
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!

Recent Promotional Campaign for RING 22

Our club is always excited to share the many wonderful activities we've scheduled - not only events hosted in the past but those planned for the future - and we're ALWAYS proud of the outstanding contributions and support of our unique membership!  In that spirit we've recently created a campaign to promote RING 22 and MAGIC in the Detroit area.  Below is a short three-minute YouTube video clip advertising and explaining the nature of our organization - we think you'll have fun watching this!

A Closer Look: MARVIN MATHENA

Marvin Mathena, December, 2019

RING 22 is proud of its unique members and from time to time we like to feature one of our many “superstars” of magic.  Whenever I think about the long-running history of our club, I’m always reminded of  MARVIN MATHENA, who actually became a RING 22 member soon after the club OFFICIALLY began!   In case you didn’t know, MARVIN was originally from Bluefield West Virgina and moved with his father in his early years to Detroit, his father seeking work in our auto factories (the rest of his family reunited in Detroit shortly after a year or two).  He's been a "Detroiter" ever since, becoming a professional magician as a mere teenager after frequenting and “sessioning with the guys” at the Roy Hall Magic Shop in downtown Detroit. 

He’s the proud recipient of IBM’s rarely issued certificate for 60+ consecutive years as an IBM member.   MARV actually served as a past President of RING 22 (way back in 1986, when the club met monthly in Ferndale, Michigan), and he has taught magic to many students while working for about 12 years behind the counter at an unnamed magic shop in Garden City that has since fallen by the wayside. 

MARVIN is certainly an impressive and accomplished magician.  He has officially been inducted into the IBM MAGIC HALL OF FAME (yes, that’s his picture currently displayed in the American Museum of Magic in Marshall, MI). He’s also been honored in recent years, being inducted into the MICHIGAN MAGIC DAYS HALL OF FAME in 2014, along with well-known magicians Claire Cummins (as in “Milky the Clown”), and Kevin James.  Like many of us, he cut his teeth reading magic books, attending countless lectures, and perfecting his craft while learning the finer points of magic from a couple of well-known mentors you may have heard of -- Carrol Fox and Wayne Dobson

There are a lot of “FIRSTS” under MARV’s belt since he became a full-time stage illusionist back in the 1970s – the FIRST to cut a lady into sixths, the FIRST to use a fiberglass Hindu Basket (as well as the FIRST to fill the basket with no less than three assistants at one time!).  Not surprisingly, he’s well-versed and familiar with close-up effects as well, and currently his favorite tricks make use of cards, coins, silks -- just about anything he can get his hands on (he even does memdeck work) – all quite remarkable since he is the survivor of two strokes in recent years and is still going strong in the world of magic!

Hats off and a "STANDING O” to MARV MATHENA – it’s safe to say he’s truly a “magician’s magician”, and we're glad he’s always happy to share his unique history with all of us!  THANKS MARVIN!

RING 22 Enjoys MAGIFEST 2020

One of the largest magic festivals over recent years is Vanishing Inc’s annual MAGIFEST.  This year (January 2020) it became even larger (watch out, Blackpool!), with well more than 1000 magicians gathering in the same hotel (in Columbus, Ohio).  Among the star attractions were DAVID WILLIAMSON and DANI DAORTIZ, just to name a few.  Proudly, RING 22 was well represented with 11 members attending the convention, sharing magic, mayhem, and fun.  Some of our members took a moment to pose with our new friend, DANI DAORTIZ, as shown in the photo below! 

RING 22 Members at Magifest 2020 (left to right): Tom C., Peter B., Johnny NY, DANI DAORTIZ, John C., Dan S., Paul N. (members attending but not shown in photo: Tom M., Marshall C., Mike T., Josh W., Andy M.)

 

Wherever the magic convention and regardless of the location or time of year, there’s always some dedicated RING 22 members present!  Next stop:  Abbott’s Close-up Convention, March 27-28, in Colon, MI.  See ya' there!

In Memorium – One Last Goodbye for Bruce Florek

January 26, 1952 - January 9, 2020

Many of us have heard with saddened hearts the unfortunate passing of our good friend and master magician, Bruce Florek, on Wednesday, January 9, 2020.  One of our dearest RING 22 members, Bruce was a mentor and inspiration to so many of us who had the pleasure and opportunity to know him.   He will be missed by all of us, and we will always remember the unique gift his presence brought to everyone in some special way. Bruce was one of RING 22’s most knowledgeable members, a noted performing magician among the magic fraternity, and he will always be a true friend to each of us.  Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with the entire Florek family.

We will hold a special tribute to Bruce as an honored RING 22 member at our next meeting on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.

"Our world will be a much less magical place without Bruce Florek.  We will miss him, but we will never forget him, and he'll always be in our hearts." - his friends at RING 22

Holiday Magic a Huge Success

Congratulations to everyone - our recent RING 22 SPECIAL HOLIDAY CLUB MEETING (Dec. 17, 2019) broke ALL records with an amazing 43 members and guests in attendance - now that’s what you call REAL MAGIC! 

Everyone shared their unique brands of prestidigitation - close-up as well as on our center stage - and a couple of lucky members won our HOLIDAY RAFFLE, earning gift cards to the world-famous WUNDERGROUND Magic Shop!  As always, about 15 members kept the party going at our own “Magic Castle, THE HIDEOUT, giving Clawson a reason to “stay open” and accommodate “magician’s hours” after dark!  A special guest was in attendance - JEFF BRODERICK (from Grand Rapids), currently IBM’s Regional Representative and an IBM Vice-President, who not only performed for us but invited our club to some exciting activities in the future.  The very best news of all - we have all kinds of exciting and magical things coming your way in 2020 and RING 22 will have plenty of spectacular meetings and events in the future!   On a personal note, I was presented with an unexpected and wonderful gift from our membership that literally made this a very special holiday for me - to ALL of you I am sincerely thankful for the opportunity to share magic with YOU!   

Membership Drive 2020!

RING 22, the official non-profit regional organization of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM), is dedicated to the promotion of magic throughout the Greater-Detroit community.  Known as “The DETROIT MAGIC CLUB”, we are proud to serve a membership both young and old that includes professional and amateur magicians as well as hobbyists and enthusiasts who simply enjoy a common interest in the wonderful art of MAGIC.  Our “RING-ers” range from those just beginning their journey to those who have devoted lifetimes pursuing the world of mystery, sleight of hand, and illusion.  In addition to hosting regular monthly informational club meetings, we are proud to present top-notch, cutting-edge lectures featuring internationally acclaimed magicians throughout the year.

Please consider joining us and becoming an official club member of RING 22 for the year 2020 (additional IBM membership is encouraged but NOT required).  Being an active member, you’ll receive exclusive and invaluable tips from fellow members, gain access to our private internet publications, share ideas among friends, and earn considerable discounts at all of our special lectures and exclusive events.  We hope YOU will take advantage of “the best magic deal in town”!  

DON’T WAIT - SUPPORT OUR “MAGICAL MISSION” AND JOIN US TODAY!

Special registration rates are listed and explained below.  Annual registration fees include full RING 22 membership through December 31, 2020.  For your convenience, you may register in person at our monthly club meetings or send us a completed registration form (PDF REGISTRATION FORM) via US mail.   You may also use our ONLINE PAYPAL link!

EXCLUSIVE INCENTIVE for REGISTERED MEMBERS!
Recruit a NEW member at any time for 2020 and earn a $5 credit applied to any TWO Guest Lectures YOU attend (credit must be redeemed in 2020 and is limited to your first recruit only; new membership applies to those persons who have NEVER previously registered with RING 22). 

 

  • Standard Registration
    Register any time in 2020; $30 (Still the best magic deal in town!!!)
     
  • Early-Bird Registration (No longer available)
    Register before Dec. 31, 2019; $25 (Save $5!!!)
     
  • Junior/Student Registration
    Registration created for younger members (ages 14-20) or currently enrolled full-time students in any learning institution; $15 (Save $15!!!)
     
  • Benefactor Registration
    Registration which includes a donation of any amount greater than our Standard Registration fee; over $30 (THANK YOU for your generosity and support!!!) 

As always, we appreciate your continued support of RING 22 -- we are looking forward to sharing MAGIC with YOU and making the year 2020 the most magical year ever!