By R.A. Dyer
High ceilings, great parking, plenty of space and the right price — the All Saints Episcopal Church has everything a magic club could ask for.
And after a year of casting about, the members of Assembly 206 have made All Saints Episcopal their new home. The club held its first meeting in the church’s Gregg House facility on March 30.
VP Dan Page, who helped secure the spot, explained that by making the move from the Onni SouthPark location the club will save more than $100 each month on rent. The church management also has been extremely accommodating, although it stresses that church activities must take precedence over club events.
“There are currently no conflicts with our programs scheduled for 2016, but there remains the possibility of having to reschedule in the future,” said Dan.
All Saints is located just a stone’s throw away from the University of Texas campus, and the new meeting days — the third Wednesday’s of each month — fall on the same day that the UT Magic club meets. But the UT Magic Club meets an hour earlier and so it’s expected that many of the student magicians may find their way afterwards to the SAM 206 meetings.
And in fact many UT Magic Club members did exactly that on March 30th, during our first meeting at All Saints. The meeting was led by Albert Lucio, another Assembly 206 VP, and devoted to card magic. Albert preformed various card effects and also led a discussion into both the presentation of card magic, and some of the mathematical principles that undergird many card effects.
Albert explained that the possible combinations of a deck of cards can be expressed as a 52 factorial. “That number is huge, there are less grains of rain on the earth,” he said.
A guest performer, Joe Walden of the UT Magic Club, spoke a bit about his club’s history and his involvement with it. He explained that the UT Magic Club has been around for about eight years, and that it now sponsors various charity events. “Our club — we’ve got weekly meetings, and we do magic for Dell’s Children hospital. We also do close-up shows and stage shows,” he said.
Next up was Andy Lau, another UT Magic Club member and a bio-chem major. Andy performed a card miracle in which one spectator thought of a card and then it was found in the deck — but precisely beneath the number of cards selected randomly by another spectator.
Other performers included UT Magic Club president Fin Gao, who performed a feat in which a selected card kept returning to his pocket, and SAM 206 member Edward Boswell, who performed a feat in which a volunteer discovered he was sitting on a selected card.
The other news of the night was the introduction of new SAM 206 “Event Cards.” The cards are good for discounts and free admission to lectures. Magic’s Theater, in South Austin, also has agreed to honor a $3 discount for any Assembly 206 member who attends a show there and presents a SAM 206 Event Card.