Society of American Magicians #94

an old logo for SAM 94 Magicians from all over the San Francisco Bay Area meet in Silicon Valley, California. We're a local assembly of the international Society of American Magicians. Our club offers a monthly meeting for magicians -- those who are trained (or who are training) in the performing art of prestidigitation.

This is an "unofficial" web site for SAM94, but you will find things here about SAM94 and Bay Area Magic that you won't find anywhere else...

About SAM94...

A weekly lunch for magicians in or visiting the Bay Area since 1994 -- OOPS! Chevy's in Foster City has just closed forever so who knows if we'll continue these Saturday lunches!

SAM94 officers are: President, Kim Silverman; Vice President, Ken Gielow; Secretary, Joe Caffall; and Treasurer, Blaine Garst.

Our regular club meetings are on the Second Monday of each month...

Monday, March 9, 2015

Chaat Paradise Restaurant
165 E. Camino Real
Mountain View, CA 94040


This Month's Meeting:
Be Heard and Sound Good

Hearing your voice projecting through a set of speakers can be intimidating to some. To others it's a distraction to our magic. In this month's meeting, Kim and Phil will lead a discussion on microphone technique and the proper way to work with a microphone in a variety of settings. Phil will bring his sound system and show a hook up and operation for in house and outdoor settings. Each one of us will have an opportunity to stand up on stage and learn to be more comfortable using a microphone. During the performance part of the meeting each performer will be asked to utilize the microphone.

Most public speakers, including magicians, do not know how to use microphones and as a result they do not sound either clear or pleasant. We often see volunteers on stage not being given clear microphone direction by magicians, and as a result the audience cannot hear them properly. All of this combines to distract from the performance, and make the performer seem more amateur. We can no longer get away with saying "I don't need to know all this technical stuff". This knowledge is part of a performer's required competence.

Kim will explain and demonstrate:
* Relative advantages and disadvantages of headhunted, lapel, and hand-held microphones
* Clarify why systems feed back (scream), what causes it, and how correct microphone technique will avoid it
* Explain and demonstrate the crucial importance of equalization, and give guidelines on how to set the EQ correctly
* Describe when to use, or not use, dynamics compression, limiting, and reverberation.

A Meeting in the not too distant past...

For the Learners' Workshop, Manfredi Corradino began teaching a very entertaining multi-phase card routine similar to an Oil-and-Water effect, but different from the usual,.

Some of the first volunteers in our new 5X4 Challenge showed us what they had been working on. Those who stepped up were Jesse Rosenberg, Brian Markenson, Sy Hoff, John Jones, Fred Lee, Ken Gielow, and Kim Silverman.

James Tedrow, John Jones, Fed Lee, Larry White (Zappo), Alton Sun, Brian Markenson, Patrick Martin, and Bill Goldman performed during the Open Performance portion of the meeting.

A previous Meeting

The theme for the first meeting of 2014 was 'Something Old, Something New.' Assembly President Kim Silverman presented the new 5 By 4 Challenge and a dozen people committed to applying the idea to some aspect of their performance for the first round. During our performance session, members and guests presented combinations of effects they had been doing for a long time and some they were just starting on. Unfortunately, these were so interesting that I did not take very good notes, so the following will be pretty rough. Blaine Garst started with a card routine involving most of the audience working in pairs to arrive at matching cards, then concluded with a twist on 'Will the Cards Match' using the current S.A.M. membership card. Ariel Spencer performed a card sandwich location with his Dad, Steve. Ken Gielow stretched one of his fingers, then tapped it back to its original length. Alan Kahn performed a Color Monte routine, then showed a ring on bead chain effect he was just starting to work on. Joe Caffall has been doing the ring on chain for a few years and is now trying it with a lighter link chain and a heart instead of a ring, combining it with a necklace prediction that he had just started working with (based on an old El Duco effect but with hearts instead of dice). Suresh Govindachar combined a new effect, cards from an empty box, and an old one, Anniversary Waltz, with new patter to tell a story for Steve and Ariel Spencer. Jesse Rosenberg had Blaine choose a card, then went through series of face-up face-down shuffles, revealing Blaine's card as the last remaining face-down card. John Jones did two coin routines he has been doing and improving for quite a while, then performed Derek Dingle's All Backs. Carl Thomsen told and acted out a story about a San Francisco elf, a deck of cards, and a Tiny Plunger (of the tiny toilet variety) that could lift any number of cards called for. Fred Lee had four people make simple drawings, then did a reading for each person based on his or her drawing. Fred also did an aura reading on Ariel and his dad, then showed that one of them could feel when Fred touched the other. Stan Sieler did a new effect with some lovely medieval-looking cards, quotes from Shakespeare, and a prediction of the last card to be chosen. Then he did his Professor's Nightmare with Cat-5 Ethernet cables. David Nelson's old effect involved a drawing of a stick figure that jumped from card to card until landing on the one selected by Suresh. His new routine was passing four coins magically from hand to hand. Brian Markenson performed two completely different card effects and what I remember is that in each a chosen card was found at a number provided by members of the audience. Alan Leeds showed us his Silk to Egg routine as he has been doing it for years, then added a new bit. Kim Silverman showed us his rope routine based on Whit Haydn's Mongolian Pop Knot, then a new card effect he is developing.



See who we've had lecture in the past!

Click here to see what happened some other previous club meetings

Check out one of our very old newsletters for a bit of "history"!

Look at some pictures from 2002's banquet

Look at some pictures from 2001's banquet

Check out some pictures from our 1998 banquet! (Wow, that's an oldie!)


When and where do we meet?

SAM 94 meets on the second Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at different locations

Who can attend?

Our meetings are usually open to all magicians (or serious students of magic) -- visiting magicians are encouraged to attend. Except for special events (e.g. lectures) there is no charge to attend our meetings while you decided if you want to join our club -- or if you are a magician visiting the area. When we have guest lectures (we've had Lee Earle, Dan Garrett, Docc Hilford, Guy Hollingworth, Loren Christopher Michaels, and David Roth to name a few) non-members are required to pay to attend.

What are the meetings like?

Some of our past meetings from years ago have been: November was our annual banquet with a few performances by some members; September's theme was Halloween and Haunted Houses; July was a special lecture by Mitch Williams; April's theme was RINGS; the February meeting was a special lecture by Jerry Andrus; and the January 1997 meeting was our annual flea market and auction.

Click here to see some pictures from our meetings.

Or click here to find out about some of our past lectures.

How about a lunch for magicians... on a Saturday

Alas it is now when requested by any visiting magician (because the Chevy's Restaurant closed down).

There is also a lunch on-demand on Saturdasy for magicians to just get-together, talk, show, and share -- not affiliated with any club, no membership needed... just be a magician, show up, and pay for your own lunch (not affiliated with SAM 94). We've been doing this weekly lunch for almost twenty years until the Chevy's Restaurant just up and closed!

Yes, it really is still going on once or twice a month on a saturday after all these years... Sometimes 2 people show up, sometimes 6 or 8 show up. Here it is...

In the PAST there was Glenn's Calendar of Magic! Let's see if he'll get the calendar up and running again...???? Will he? or won't he? I think he won't...

Go back to's magic page

Go back to's page

This page last updated March 7, 2015

This site and all content Copyright © 1997-2002 Fantasia Systems Inc (and that includes ALL photos!).