Ring Report Ring #170 “The Bev Bergeron Ring” SAM Assembly #99
November 2017 Meeting
President Craig Schwarz called the meeting to order. Nominations are due for next year’s board members.
The November Ring meeting featured a lecture by David Stone from France. He was very entertaining. His first language was French but he did understand American humor and kept up a barrage of funny lines.
Rather than just “pick a card. I know what it is”, his card effects we especially baffling. He used several clever devices like a gimmicked card box and one with a magnetic outer card that could stick on the box and steal away cards as well as one with a magnetic stamp that could clip a card for the “ Card on ceiling .
We saw a slowly and visibly vanishing deck of cards that melted away slowly.
He also had a hidden cloth strap bottle holder that clipped on his belt and he showed a dozen ways to produce a bottle of champagne.
He concluded with a borrowed ladies ring appearing in a tennis ball after a lot of comedy by-play.
All his effects were amazing.
Dennis Phillips, Secretary Ring 170
Dennis Deliberations … Ring # 170
“The Bev Bergeron Ring”
Sexual Harassment accusations are currently rocking all forms of show business. This is not a matter to be taken lightly by a performer.
David Copperfield faced that issue in 2010. David was interviewed by the FBI and state prosecutors during a two year investigation but no charges were ever brought.
His accuser, former beauty queen Lacey Carroll, was later arrested for making false sexual assault allegations against another man.
Now David Blaine faces the same problem. The outcome has not been revolved yet with criminal changes or exoneration.
I did not see a headline that said, “Blaine ordered held without bail…in a giant block of ice.” (I made that up)
I recently sold an AGA Levitation that I built and used for many years. It has a nice new home in a theater in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, under the direction of Illusionist Craig Diamond.
Here is the mechanism. It is a “Rising Block” design. I designed the lift without a gooseneck. Trick hoops work great and in my design you can pull the lifting bar back through the curtain and wheel the couch out to the footlights to awaken the girl.
One Ring member asked me, “what does AGA stand for”?
Peter Warlock’s book Walter Jeans: Illusioneer indicates in the footnote on the first page that Winkler sold the Aga levitation to Will Goldston in 1910. Will was manager of the conjuring department of A.W. Gamage, Ltd. It is said that “Aga” was formed from the initials of Gamage’s managing director (Alec) plus the first two letters of Gamage.
However, John A. McKinven’s book Roltair claims that Otto Heinemann appeared with “The Mysterious Aga” about eight years prior to the Gamage version.
I was told that the name “Aga” was from an Arabic word that meant “King”. But that is wrong, the pronunciation for King is “malik” ( ملك )
In Arabic speaking Muslim countries, especially under the Ottoman Empire, an “Aga” was a military commander or official, so maybe that was the confusion.
The Aga Levitation has been attributed to several individuals – Albert Winckler (Venturini) and Otto Heinemann both of Germany and Ernst Hartwig Seeman (Prof. Seeman). It is unclear which of these men used it first, but they each incorporated it into their acts. The Aga was a popular levitation in the early 1900s. Eventually, it got competition when Servais Le Roy introduced his levitation (the Asrah).
The person to be levitated lies uncovered on some sort of couch and then starts to float in mid-air. In the improved Aga, a hoop is then passed around the person, twice. The Aga effect uses a “behind the curtain” method and the improved Aga uses a “gooseneck” principle.
Does anyone else hate it when card tricks are too “busy?”
Discovery (find-your-card) tricks are the worst offenders. When done right (see Shin Lim) they’re amazing, but when the trick involves multiple meaningless instructions I lose all interest and patience.
“I’m gonna find your card. Cut the deck into 3 piles. Now take the top 2 cards of the left one and put them on the right one. Okay, now deal the cards of the middle pile onto just the left one- no you can’t just put the pile on top, you have to deal them. Now name a number between 3 and 5. Cut the-“
JUST FIND MY CARD AND GET ON WITH IT, YOU MORON!.”
But in contrast , here is the late Fred Kapps with a perfect card effect! This is card magic as it should be! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2CNO_AL_vs
The Egg Bag Routine from Master Payne, at the end of the clip, is fabulous. It is a pure tease with a great finale
Phil Morris (magician, mentor and businessman) passed from Alzheimer’s. Amy and the family wanted me to come up for a celebration of his life.
That happened on November 11th. I flew up on Frontier Airlines to Charlotte and stayed with Eddy and Sandra Wade. Eddy is the owner of “Magic Methods”. Buy something from him! This is a shameless plug.
A friend of their’ s owned an “event hall” , in Charlotte, called “Extravaganza” and decorated the big room into a circus theme and they invited many of Phil’s friends to perform. In this photo you can see the Morris extended family.
They had big screens around projecting picture from his life. Show Business friends performed in the center ring. They has a circus band and a row filled with popcorn, cotton candy and hot dog concessions. At the end many were given kazoos and red noses and invited to make a Congo line parade and sing “When the Saints Go Marching In”. This might sound tacky ( and Phil was tacky in a fun way) but the idea worked well and it was to bring everyone together and party! At the end we all put on red clown noses and were given kazoos to parade around the room in a line singing, “When the Saints Go Marching in”.
I was treated like one -of-the-family.
Here I am with Don Post Jr. on my right and Ed Edmonds (Hollywood Maskmaker) on my left.
These photos were made at Scott Morris’ “Castle” (CEO of the company and Phil’s Son) on Lake Norman, just north of Charlotte
The Morris Castle is a kind of Biltmore Estate . Scott and his family live there.
Phil and I co-authored this book which is still in print
I saw people in Charlotte, who I had not seen in 42 years. One of my lines was, “ Why does this crowd look more like a Walmart Greeter’s Convention?” Many old people, I knew very well long ago, I recognized only by their name-tags.
It was a crazy weekend!