2015 December

Mouth Brothers Knock ’em Dead with Magical Duel

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Kaufman, top, and Dupin (in box). Photo by Robb Froman.

By R.A. Dyer

Like Old West gunfighters, veteran magicians Michael Kaufman and Arsene Dupin dueled on stage in December: each one-upping the other with ridiculous rope tricks, eye-popping sleight of hand, dangerous knives and more.

Although Kaufman and Dupin typically perform separately, the longtime friends polished off their dueling magicians bit as a special holiday gift to Assembly 206. Their Battle Royale was the main attraction during the Austin club’s 2016 holiday banquet.  Kaufman and Dupin appeared together as “The Mouth Brothers.”

“It was hilarious — I couldn’t stop laughing,” said one front-row guest. “What a bunch of goofs. The magic was great. It was really, really funny.”

Don’t tread on me, Arsene. Photo by Robb Froman.

There’s no dialogue in the Mouth Brother’s 35-minute bit. Instead, the magicians produce mouth loads, magically link and un-link ropes, make balls appear and disappear and even move onto illusions — all in silent pantomime. Kaufman, also known as Magical Mystical Michael, assumes the persona of the brash challenger. Dupin is the curmudgeonly veteran.

Kaufman and Dupin have been friends or more than 30 years, having first met during Abbott’s Get Together Convention in Colon, Michigan. Both are seasoned street performers, but they also have appeared at corporate events, on TV, at renaissance festivals and in comedy clubs. They’ve performed both on national stages and on those worldwide.

But their Mouth Brothers dueling magicians bit is a rarity. The December banquet show marked only the second time they’ve performed it publicly. The first was about three years ago, when they entered into a Central Texas magic contest.

Ouch! Photo by Robb Froman.
Ouch! Photo by Robb Froman.

“We just practiced a couple of hours and then we won,” recalled Dupin.

They also won the crowd during their December performance.

“I love the Mouth Brothers,” said another spectator. “I hope we get to see more of them.”

In other news: Will Mannis, the Assembly 206 sergeant at arms, was awarded the SAM Presidential Citation during the holiday banquet. Will has been a tireless leader for Assembly 206, having helped direct the club for several years. He’s also been involved in several magical productions in Austin, including the annual Magic at the Capitol presentations. He received the citation for his outstanding service to SAM and to the magic community at large.

The hard work of treasurer Tammy Dietz also was recognized during the banquet. Tammy was the main force behind the always successful potluck event, which is a perennial highlight of the Austin magical calendar.

A new slate of officers for Assembly 206 also were elected. They are President R.A. “Jake” Dyer, Vice President Albert Lucio, Vice President Dan Page, Secretary Steve Farmer, Sergeant at Arms Will Mannis and Treasurer Tammy Dietz.


Famed Close Up Magician Jon Armstrong to Lecture in Austin

Posted by | Meeting Notice, SAM 206 News | No Comments
Jon Armstrong

Jon Armstrong

Famed close-up magician Jon Armstrong will be the main attraction for the annual membership meeting of Assembly 206 on Jan. 18. The veteran LA and Las Vegas performer is a regular at the Magic Castle, has made TV appearances on Masters of Illusion and Penn & Teller’s Fool Us and has been featured in Harpers Magazine and the New York Times.

The lecture is FREE for members, but you MUST be a paid member to attend. The annual dues are $25. So better bring your check book.

We’ll be meeting at the Omni South Park, on Governor’s Row in South Austin. That’s a giant map, just below this article. And check back here later for additional details about Jon’s appearance. We’ll post up more information in the coming weeks.