Society of American Magicians #94
Magicians from all over the San Francisco Bay Area meet in Palo Alto, 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...
A weekly lunch for magicians in or visiting the Bay Area... still going strong!
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, November 12, 2012
At the Cuernavaca Clubhouse in Mountain View
Do Something, Quick!
This month we will focus on those times when you're asked, often out of the blue, to "do something." Usually, something quick and to the magical point is appropriate at these times. What short piece(s) do you like to perform in this situation? Show, share, discuss, or all of the above, whatever you like.
Election of Officers This Month
At this meeting, we will elect officers for the coming year. The current officers are: President, Kim Silverman; Vice President, Ken Gielow; Treasurer, Blaine Garst; and Secretary, Joe Caffall. However, it's good to bring in new outlooks and ideas from time to time, so please consider whether you would like to participate as an officer for the coming year. Any member who would like to nominate himself/herself, or another member for any office, please email email@example.com before the November meeting. All officers jointly participate in setting the direction and tone of the club, planning activities and topics. Here are brief notes on the specific duties of the officers, as performed at Assembly 94.
Cuernavaca is located off Dale Avenue. Here are directions from Highway 85:
Exit at El Camino Real.
Head south toward Sunnyvale,
Take the second street on the right. That's Dale Avenue
Cuernavaca housing complex is about 500 yards down on the left.
The clubhouse is right at the main entrance.
Click this link for a map: http://sn.im/s.a.m.meeting-location
Some Past Meetings
Our September 2011 meeting... To give members a feeling of what it might be like to have to fill a specified time slot, (and following a suggestion from Eugene Burger) we held a very special contest. The challenge was to perform a five-minute routine. The only judge was the timer - the person coming closest to five minutes was declared the winner.
Our last meeting of 2010 featured a viewing of selected videos. We watched performances of Chris Capehart's "Miser's Dream," Richard Osterlind's "Radar Deck" and "Thought Scan," and "Six-Card Repeat," "Professor's Nightmare," and "Card on Forehead," by Michael Finnery.
September a year ago was our annual auction and flea market.
June's meeting included... Guy Philips had recently returned from South Africa, where he attended a magic club meeting with old friends including Trevor Duffie, and reported on magic there. Guy also performed his Professor's Nightmare. Kim Silvermanran through a presentation he is giving for the East Bay Scottish Association. He talked about the history of magic with an emphasis on magic in Scotland.
Our March meeting featured a special interclub set of presentations. Kim Silverman, President of S.A.M. Assembly 94, illustrated the value of scripting, using routines in which the scripting is his own, and for which he is gaining a solid reputation in the magic community. He performed his Ninja Rings routine (Magic is not about tricks, Magic is about the experience of mystery), his Ring and Cord routine, with the ring representing life and the cord representing problems, and a work in progress, a card routine he calls "Choices." Sy Hoff contributed a scripted Bill Switch routine featuring Ben Franklin as magician and hypnotist. Calvin Tong, Vice President of I.B.M. Ring 216, a skilled and knowledgeable coin worker, will present an overview demonstration of coin magic. Both Kim and Calvin will be giving similar presentations at future meetings of Ring 216.
At our February meeting, James Ridner, aka Sabretooth, gave an interesting and informative lecture, complete with pictures and samples, on illusion design and improvement. Applying his own experience in magic, custom home building and carpentry, together with the work of Eric Van Duzer, author of "7 Basic Secrets of Illusion Design," he gave working examples of ways to rethink, reevaluate, and eliminate weaknesses in props and effects, making your magic stronger.
At our December meeting, Assembly President Kim Silverman formally rolled out two related programs. The first is a series of visits to El Camino Hospital in Mountain View. Dr. Josh Sickel from El Camino Hospital presented information, including a professionally-made video, on a program he started at the hospital to bring in various types of performers and presenters. His program includes music, therapy dogs, artists, and now S.A.M. 94 magicians Members including Kim Silverman, Guy Philips, Lyn Bronner, and Joe Caffall have performed for nurses, lab employees, and patients on two different occasions. We plan on providing performers one Saturday afternoon a month, and possibly some evenings as well. The second program will be visits to the VA clinic in San Jose. Guy Philips, Alvin Lui, and Joe Caffall performed there in November for the Adult Day Health Care Program. We are planning future performance visits. At our meeting, Guy, Alvin, and Joe
were presented certificates and pins from S.A.M. in recognition for this event.
In September, Assembly 94 hosted a series of workshops and a lecture by Shoot Ogawa. Over three days, he led two intensive three-hour
small-group workshops and a lecture. He also performed a lunch-time stage show at Apple, and during the rest of the time he conducted
private one-on-one sessions with Bay Area magicians.
How can we describe this visit? Amazing. Incredible. Stupendous. Fantastic. Unbelievable. Assembly President Kim Silverman said, "I learnt more in my private session with him than I had learned in the prior 18 months of practicing and learning by myself. His Master Classes were like trying to drink from a fire hydrant that dispenses the elixir of life." Many magicians who attended some or all of his sessions have said how grateful they were
for the chance to learn from such a master. Shoot was very generous with his time, very clear and helpful in his teaching, and very
demanding that we learn correctly. He teaches not only moves and effects, but also how to present in ways to make audiences experience a range of emotions, and how to avoid alienating audiences by "showing off." .
We could not stop Shoot from talking about magic. He is passionate about improving the quality of all magicians and raising the standard
of magical performance. Whether sitting in the car, drinking a beer with workshop students at 10:00 PM, or eating breakfast in Denny's at
1:30 AM, he was constantly talking about magic, answering questions, finding out more about how we perform and offering advice on how to
improve, and sharing stories.
Shoot may be returning to our area early next year, and we are eagerly anticipating that possibility.
Our July meeting featured a presentation by S.A.M. 94 member Arthur Hasting, a professor of psychology with research and publications in parapsychology. Arthur discussed some of the key terms in the scientific study of ESP, which is usually called psi. Telepathy is mind to mind communication, the paranormal acquisition of information such as thoughts or feelings of another person. Clairvoyance is information about an object or physical event obtained paranormally, that is, without the use of the senses or inference. Precognition is information obtained paranormally about events that occur later in time. He suggested that mentalists should not refer to "mental telepathy" since by definition telepathy is mental, and using the correct terminology highlights the conditions of the effects. He also discussed some of the research methods used, and the extensive role of imagery in remote viewing experiments, which is like the use of drawings and pictures in mental effects. The talk stimulated a lively discussion with both pro and con questions about parapsychology research.
In June, David Hirata led a very interesting and informative discussion on Scripting and Creating Magical Presentations. Besides giving some good advice and some insights into his own process of choosing effects and developing routines, he presented and discussed his Rope Factory and he Linking Rings routines as strong examples. As further examples, Kim Silverman showed and discussed his Cord on String and Ninja Rings routines.
2007's Annual "Pizza and a Show"
In November, we held our Annual Pizza and a Show Night, with
perhaps the biggest turnout ever. Before and during dinner, Jeff Chiou and
Joe Caffall performed strolling table magic, while Nancy Ward made enchanting
balloon sculptures. After salad, pizza, and dessert, the show began.
To start the show, our MC, Jeff Haas, introduced David Hirata. David performed his "Rope Factory" routine, a series of effects with a length of rope: two ends - no maybe three or four ends, or maybe no ends - and a middle or two, as well. He also performed an elegant silent Linking Ring routine he calls "The Ambiguity of Light." John Bodine began by spinning a cigarette paper on his finger tip, like a propeller. He swallowed a length of thread, apparently just for the fun of it, then took us through an interesting series of definitions stemming from the word “magic.” From a deck of cards, he had each of three spectators remove and remember a card, then return it to the deck. John took the four Threes, had one of the spectators throw the deck, and caught all of the selected cards among the Threes. And then he pulled the string he had swallowed out of his belly, right through the skin just above his waist. Jeff Haas performed a cute and funny Sponge Ball routine with Scott Emo's young daughter Lauren. "Professional Showoff" Trey Cromwell warmed up with some impossible stretching and contortions with a broom, then exhibited his Knife Juggling skills. Bill Goldman closed the show with an act ranging from a balloon that would not stop squeeking even when it was completely out of air to having a card thought of by one spectator match one previously selected by another. He found cards picked by two other members of the audience. Along the way, he swallowed a huge pill. He had a chosen card appear in a picture that had been assembled and held by spectator.
Huge thanks to Julie Silverman for organizing the food; to Rosel and Irv Barowsky, Paul Hastings, Blaine Garst, and John Signa for setting up the room; to our performers; and to everyone else who helped make this a great, fun event!
Directions to our regular meeting place the First Lutheran Church, Palo Alto, CA
See who we've had lecture in the past!
Click here to see what happened some other previous club meetings
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 the First Lutheran Church, Palo Alto, CA (at the corner of Homer and Webster). Click here for directions and a map.
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... every Saturday?
There is also a lunch every Saturday 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 over twelve years!
Yes, it really is still going on every saturday after all these years... Sometimes 2 people show up, sometimes 6 or 8 show up. Here it is... May 2007 and these weekly lunches are still going!
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 think.org's pageThis page last updated November 7, 2012