June 2018 Ring Meeting- Mystery of Photo of old magic prop

Ring Report Ring #170 “The Bev Bergeron Ring” SAM Assembly #99

June 2018  Meeting

President Mike Matson brought the meeting to order with 28 in attendance. Mike announced all the magic playing in the Orlando tourist areas. We had guest Michael Resto.

Bev Bergeron’s Teach-In feature a effect which used the Physics principle of inertia. He stacked 3 quarters with another quarter on top and flicked the card away and the quarter remained on the stack.

Phil Schwartz presented Magic History Moment #93. He began by showing a photograph of an old painting, “Boy with a Puzzle, Boy with a Toy or Cherub with a Game of Patience” which hangs in Eaton Hall, a residence in northeast London. It is oil on wood and 15 by 13 inches.  The painting is from 1520 and thought to be the first picture to show conjuring apparatus that does not depict the cups and balls! For several hundred years it was thought to have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci. The motif is of a little boy similar to the Christ child in Leonardo’s works. The painting style is Sfumato a hazy, dreamy look with softened outlines.  It was actually painted by Bernardino Luini (d. 1532)

The trick the child is holding we know today as Jacob’s Ladder and the mechanism is found in the Himber Wallet. It is a two little boards which is hinged so it can open on both sides ways.  Daniel Schwenter (d.1636) called it “The yawning mouth”. Today, you can buy it as a toy where 8 plastic boards are attached and by flipping the top broad, it looks like it magical flips down each board until it is at the bottom. It uses the math principle of topology as seen in the Tetraflexagon and Rubik’s Cube.

This month’s magic show began with Dennis Phillips doing the Nail-hidden-in-a-paper-bag spike trick. He has the audience choose which of four bags to crush and they selected all but the bag with the spike. Bryan Sullivan took a shuffled deck  and was able to correctly find and place the aces on four piles and spell where a card was in the deck.

Jaffo  did a fun routine with 10 giant cards and with free choices by spectators each dealing their own hands, Jaffo always had the winning hand.

Dan Stapleton did  some effects from his lecture on Psychologic Numbers. He counted his hands and showed that he had eleven fingers and then showed how to put 12 magicians in a hotel with just 11 rooms and they each have a private room!  Jimmy Ichihana was in top form. He did a kind of double “Out-of-this world” where a spectator unknowingly dealt piles with  both the red cards and blue cards were separated and do were their backs.  Revelli concluded the show with a coin vanish and transformation to a larger coin, routine with color changing CDs, a rope with 4 ends, and he lassoed a selected playing card from his hat.

Dennis Phillips





Dennis Deliberations … Ring # 170

“The Bev Bergeron Ring”

July 2018

 ” Gort, Klaatu Barada Nikto, Klaatu Barada Nikto”

-From “The Day the Earth Stood Still- 1951

Have you noticed that magicians seldom use magic words anymore? “Hocus Pocus” was a popular one.  It seems to have been a perversion of the words of the  sacramental blessing from the Latin Mass at the invocation that transforms the bread and wine into the blessed body and blood of Jesus, Hoc est corpus meum “This is my body.”  So there is a religious connection!

The first to make this speculation on its origin apparently was English prelate John Tillotson (1630-1694).

“I will speak of one man … that went about in King James his time … who called himself, the Kings Majesties most excellent Hocus Pocus, and so was called, because that at the playing of every Trick, he used to say, Hocus pocus, tontus tabantus, vade celeriter jubeo, a dark composure of words, to blinde the eyes of the beholders, to make his Trick pass the more currantly without discovery.” [Thomas Ady, “A Candle in the Dark,” 1655]

Then there  is Abracadabra.  Again, a religious connection.

It  seems likely that abracadabra is derived from one of the Semitic languages. It’s from the Aramaic phrase avra kehdabra, meaning “I will create as I speak”.

  • The source is three Hebrew words, ab (father), ben (son), and ruach acadosch (holy spirit).
  • It’s also found in the Chaldean abbada ke dabra, meaning “perish like the word”

Sim Sala Bim? These magic words were made popular by the famous professional magician Dante/The Great Jansen. They also served as the name of his famous touring magic show. Sim salabim is spoken by a Turkish alchemist with magical powers in the early medieval folk play entitled Robyn Hode. Sim sala bim is “the Swedish equivalent of ‘abracadabra,’” and is known in other Scandinavian cultures as well.

“Ala Peanut Butter Sandwiches”.   This is the catch phrase used by  the Muppet character, Mumfred the Magician, on Sesame Street to cast his magic trick spells.

Presto. It is From Italian and means (“quickly”).


Here’s a look at the world’s highest-paid magician and magic acts from across the world as of 2017.

They all have a heavy presence on TV.

The report has been compiled by Statista.  https://www.forbes.com/pictures/59ea187aa7ea436b47b4212b/highest-paid-magicians-of/#6090c6466e02

Here’s a list of the world’s highest-paid magicians and illusionists from across the world as of 2017.

David Blaine | The American endurance artist, magician and illusionist has performed famous acts such as ‘Buried Alive’, ‘Vertigo’ and ‘Drowned Alive’. Blaine has made $6 million to make him the eight highest-paid magicians. (Image: Reuters)

Michael Carbonaro | The American actor, improv artist and magician is famous for his hidden camera ‘Magic Clerk’ segment on The Tonight Show.Carbonaro has raked in $7 million, making him the seventh highest-paid magician worldwide.

Derren Brown | The English illusionist and mentalist has produced multiple television and stage shows including the famous “Derren Brown:Mind Control”. He has earned over $7 million and has been ranked sixth on the list.

Dynamo | Steven Frayne is an English magician who stars in the television show Dynamo: Magician Impossible. Frayne has made $9 million according to the report, making him the fifth richest magician.

The Illusionists | This is a touring magic production that features a rotating cast of five to eight magicians. All of them specialize in specific streams of magic. The production has made $11.5 million so far, putting them fourth on the list of richest magicians.

Criss Angel | Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos is an illusionist and musician. The 50-year-old is known for starring in television and stage show “Criss Angel Mindfreak”. He is the third-most successful magician in history having earned $14.5 million.

Penn & Teller | The American magician and entertainer duo were famous for their acts that included comedy with magic. Together, the duo has made $30.5 million, making them the second-most commercially successful magic act.

David Copperfield | The American illusionist has been called the most commercially successful magician in history by Forbes. Copperfield’s career spanning over 40 years has earned him 11 Guinness World Records. The Las Vegas resident has made $61.5 million until 2017.


This is what really gives magic a bad name…


It violates the rule of embarrassing people and transforms theatrical fright into terrorism

The sooner we condemn and expel grunge, street garbage, terrorism stunts and nonsense like this the better we will be.


Good News!

We can use rabbits again without a lot of hassle from the USDA.  The rules were  first reported by Marty Hahn, a few years back.  Many have tried to politicize this as a victory for one of the political parties, but the political action was by Marty’s Senator Claire  McCaskill (D-MO) . Common sense laws and no laws should not be a political issue.


Dennis Phillips with “Thurston the Bunny” 


As a magician, he was very good at one time… Probably could not make enough money with it… Went to the Dark Side of the Force?




How To Do The Like Michael Jackson “Lean”  The complete tutorial.



From the “How Fast they Fall” department:   This is the same Illusionist who accused Criss Angel of stealing one of his illusion ideas. You have seen him on the Masters of Illusion TV shows and others.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A former Las Vegas Strip headliner from Germany lost his bid to withdraw his guilty plea in a federal child pornography case involving thousands of videos and images.

Jan Rouven Fuechtener, 39, is expected to face at least 24 years in federal prison on felony charges of possession, receipt and distribution of child pornography, according court records. His sentencing is set for Aug. 2.

Fuechtener is a German citizen who performed as Jan Rouven at the Tropicana hotel-casino. His show closed following his arrest in March 2016. He remains in federal custody.

His plea in November 2016 stopped his trial during an FBI agent’s testimony about images found in password-protected files on computer devices seized from the Las Vegas home Fuechtener shared with his husband, Frank Dietmar Alfter.

Authorities say some of the images depicted sex acts involving kindergarten-age boys.

Fuechtener’s lawyer, Karen Connolly, was unavailable Friday to immediately comment on the June 15 ruling by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro involving the guilty plea.

Connolly previously said federal authorities have recommended Fuechtener serve 24 to 30 years in federal prison and possibly a life sentence.

Fuechtener also faces lifetime registration as a sex offender, near-certain deportation if he gets out of prison, and an order to pay $5,000 restitution to each child sex assault victim identified in his case.

Authorities have said they could identify about 85 victims. That would total some $425,000.

The case arose after Fuechtener was identified in August 2014 by an undercover investigator in Buffalo, New York, as a collector of more than 3,500 internet pornographic videos and images using internet, Skype and email names including “Lars45,” ″LarsUSA22″ and Lars Schmidt.

Fuechtener last year accused his lawyers of misleading him about the consequences of his plea.


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